Photos & Musings: Grands Prix

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Stopover at Meribel

This photo of a few months old Sophie and I was taken by Claire at Meribel in France.

I had first got the bug for skiing when I was invited along by Dickie Dye, Russ Jarman, Paul Hunt and others on their annual winter trip in about 1986. I had so much fun on that trip. It was a week of continual laughs and silliness.

Being motocross riders every person on the trip was fearless and set on out-doing each other both in terms of speed and also the craziness of whatever jumps could be found. We would cruise slowly down a run at first, checking out where any possible jumps were. Then we would go back up and come back down over the jumps, taking it in turns. Each time we would make the starting point higher and higher back up the hill so we could hit it faster and faster each time. There were some hilarious - and spectacular - crashes. None of us were brilliant skiiers and so really I'm surprised that no-one got seriously hurt!

The photo was taken when Claire, Sophie and I stopped off at Meribel - one of the boys' ski trip venues - in-between two races in 1990. It would have been about April I guess, and the resort was deserted as it was pretty much at the end of the season. But there was still plenty of snow and so I rented some equipment and had a great day, albeit on my own, high up in the mountains.

In my last couple of years racing we did try and make an effort to stop in some nice places when we could. Earlier on in my career we would dash from race to race, and country to country, sometime stopping for several days in roadside lay-bys and service stations. It started to dawn on me that we were travelling round Europe but not really seeing any of it, if you know what I mean. So, on this occasion I think we had been racing in France and then had to go to Payerne in Switzerland for the Swiss GP. A medium length detour enabled us to stop over in the mountains for a few days where I could still do some training but have a little fun on my rest days.

I apologize profusely for the running tights and motocross socks.

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