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Life after racing

I quit racing at the end of the 1990 season, purely because I accepted that I had done the best I could do, and I didn't feel I was going to get any better. It's a tough career, and is hard on the body and mind. It's seven days a week and only a few weeks off in the winter. I had given it everything that I could and didn't want to continue if my progress was in a downward direction.

At my last GP I had a fifth place, and in my last British championship I had a second, so I finished on a high.

I never won a GP or a championship, and I guess that's because I wasn't good enough! But, I have no regrets. I left nothing on the table and I did the best I could.

After racing I tested for Dirt Bike Rider and MXUK magazines for several years. That was nice, being able to ride other people's bikes, and the occasional full factory bike too. You can read some of those factory bike tests in the Bike Tests section.

I also enjoyed the writing aspect. We told it like it was, and if we didn't like a bike we didn't sugar-coat it. I think my co-tester Gary Freeman and I helped break some new ground in British magazine bike testing, both journalistically and photographically, and we're both proud of that.

Test riding also weaned me off riding slowly, which softened the blow of quitting racing altogether.

Career-wise, I am managing director of my own specialised media supply company, supplying cover-mounted gifts to magazine publishers worldwide.

Now in my mid-40s, I live in Worcestershire in the UK, with my wife of 20 years, Claire, and three daughters, Sophie, Elicea and Lily.

I play quite a lot of golf, having taken up the game properly three years ago. I play a couple of times a week and play off a handicap of 7.6. Golf has become my new sporting challenge.

I also play guitar, and make oak furniture for fun during the gloomy winter months.

I still have a couple of bikes - a Yamaha YZ125 and my restored Honda CR500. 500 two strokes seem to have achieved almost 'legend' status recently, and are in great demand. I almost feel it's my duty to keep one running, just to show youngsters these days what a proper bike sounds (and goes) like! Certainly for me there's no better sound than a 500 two-stroke on the gas, and so for all the visitors that have asked, I'm happy to be able to post a brief video of my 500 at Apex in Worcester. Enjoy that sound for one last time!

I only ride maybe once a year now, just for fun. However, although the mind is willing, my forearms and my timing have other ideas! Even so, I still enjoy the occasional blast although most of the time the bikes sit in my garage alongside my other toys.

With my Dad Ron Enlarge image

Bike testing filled a void Enlarge image

Oak dresser, built by myself Enlarge image

Oak Linen Press wardrobe, built for Sophie in 2007 Enlarge image

Oak bed which I built for Lily and finished on Christmas Eve 2008 Enlarge image

My fully restored CR500. Enlarge image