Published on 3rd August 2020
Author Dick Barrie

OK, it had to come off.

Following the presentation of a multi-signature petition organised by a ‘Mrs C from Tweedmouth’ I am again a clean-shaven clever-clogs, rather than a whiskered wise-guy.

In truth, as during lock-down I was seeing no-one and going nowhere – and I couldn’t get my hair cut anyway – I just let it grow. And grow. And grow…….

Finally, with Scottish barbers opening up last week, I was able to shed enough facial hair to stuff a large cushion, and allow normal service to be resumed.

Though not before the paparazzi from ‘Speedway Star’ grabbed quick before-and-after shots, as you may have seen!

Anyway, despite a confusing mixture of hopeful hints and slammed doors from both Westminster and Holyrood, we still currently have no prospect of live speedway.


No speedway, life still not moving out of lockdown quickly enough for you?

Well, sit yourself down with the very device you’re reading this on and flip back through over 500 blogs, posted by our gang since we got it all going three-and-a-half years ago…….

I’ve just done so, and have found some lovely stuff.

In his nearly 150 blogs, old Dodders has seldom failed to be pointed, informative and surreal in equal measure, and although we haven’t had as many columns from Kev Doolan, in the thirty-odd pages he contributed King Kev would bring a rider’s insight, explaining the ‘game within the game’ that goes unseen, even undreamed of, by us mere mortals.

Mythman has always got something different to say, and it has been a delight since Sarah joined the team to witness the naked passion of a rabid, black-and-gold-spectacled, true supporter.

If she doesn’t like something, the lady says so – and woe betide any husband, rider, promoter or presenter who ends up on the receiving end of her wrath……….

I’ve even banged a few drums myself. Back in February of 2017, in what was my second-ever blog, I told of how we had a concept of putting transponders on speedway bikes, to allow lap-times and start-jumping to be accurately controlled. This week, we have the BSPA telling us how Belle Vue have the same idea (over three years on) and how great it was all going to be.

I guess someone further south must have been reading back-numbers of The Dirt Xtra, too!

So anyway, if you’re stuck at home by yourself, if we are locked up again as a result of idiotic behaviour by the “it’s our right not to wear masks, to congregate in numbers at parties and who cares if we end up killing our grannies” brigade……

Check our library of blogs on here. There are worse things you could end up doing during lock-down…….

Moving on, I should congratulate Robert Lambert on his Euro-victory, which elevates him to the 2021 Grand Prix series – the first rider to be assured of a place – and follows a nice trajectory, as he has previously been crowned Euro U-21 champion.

I do however have little interest in, or time for, the SEC series.

It is a manufactured event, created by a Polish television company into which you require to be invited — if your face fits — and I find it very disappointing the FIM have agreed to accept this Mickey Mouse competition as a direct stepping-stone into the GP series.

How fair can it be to allow a free pass into the World Championship for a European rider when the Yanks, Kiwis and Aussies, who have won 40% (30 out of 74) World Championships, have no way of gaining the same kind of back-door preference?

Finally, I mentioned in my last weblog that sometimes I received nice comments as well as adverse criticism of my words of wisdom.

Which in turn lead this past week to a further burst of communications. These mixing praise (thanks, Sheila, David, George and the McDonald family) and criticism – and I really don’t ever object to constructive criticism — included one cracker, possibly from a dementia facility on the south bank of the Tweed, which concluded with the correspondent hoping I might fall into a deep hole filled with water.

I know he means well.
Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk

Dick Barrie
Dick Barrie

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