Every issue we pose a question and get various people to answer it. This time it is…WHO IS YOUR HERO?
From Dirt Issue 130 – December 2013
Words by Mike Rose. Photo by Nige’s mum.
We normally contact three different people for their view, but for some reason CRC team manager Nigel Page went a bit crazy and knocked out around a 1000! So for this issue only, we ditched the three opinions and went for just one…NIGEL PAGE – CHAIN REACTION CYCLES/NUKEPROOF TEAM MANAGER
Growing up there have been people that have made an impact on my life, and yes, you can say they were my heroes. Even now I remember them and what they did. And to this day, when someone mentions their name it takes me back to how they made a positive impact on my life. I have had a few over the years.
The first one was the motor bike racer Barry Sheene. I remember watching him win races on the tele at a very early age and when I got my first motorbike at age 4, I had to have the number 7 on my plate just like Barry.
I think my first real hero that I saw on a regular basis was BMX racer Tim March. Tim had the speed and the style back then in the early 80’s that was way ahead of his time. I can still remember how rad I thought he was. I just thought he was amazing. I remember the European Championships in 1983 in Dijon, France. They had all these huge trophies on display with one trophy for the Pro class that was massive. It was the biggest and coolest trophy I had ever seen. I remember thinking, ‘imagine winning that’. Tim March did just that.
As I got a bit older Geth Shooter was next. He came bursting onto the UK BMX race scene beating all the UK pros at only 17! He was ahead of his time in power and skills at riding a bike. When he beat all the American pros in the first round of the UK BMX TV series ‘The Kellogg’s’, it was one of the best things I had ever seen. It still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck even now when I watch that race. What is funny is that I went riding with Geth recently. It still feels weird riding with one of my childhood heroes.
Then in my 20’s I would I would have to say the MX legend Jeremy McGrath. I used to watch all the videos with MC in and I saw his own video ‘Showtime’ about a million times. In the late 90’s when I was racing downhill and I got to go to Anaheim SX and watch my hero win. It was one of my best memories. A year or two later I actually got to meet Jeremy. I remember how weird and nervous it made me feel, and even though I was in my late 20’s I felt like a kid again. My team mate at the time was Randy Lawrence, an amazing bike rider and top guy, who also happened to be MC’s mechanic. We went over to Jeremy’s house one day. We walked into his garage and I shook his hand and he said “Hi, Jeremy” or something like that. I was thinking “no shit, I’ve watched you on tele for that last seven or eight years and willed you to win every race”. He was a really nice guy.
Now I have turned 40 my heroes have changed. I still have riders that I really admire and if I was younger they would be classed as my heroes. But now my real heroes are my family, my son Harrison being the biggest. He is only 16 months old and I took him to the BMX track the other day. He scooted around the finish line with his Mum on his little plastic scooter bike, but ‘kicked off’ until we took him up the start hill where all the rest of the big boys where. I thought once up there he would be a bit freaked out, but to my horror and amazement he just scooted his little bike along, lined up and turned in to face the track then scooted off over the gate and down the start hill!
Thinking back over my life though, my biggest hero was my dad. He is not around any more, but he did so much for me and took me to so many places to ride and race my bike for about 25 years. Thanks Dad.
I think we all need and have heroes in our lives. They give us inspiration to better ourselves and achieve our goals and it’s also great fun watching and following them in what they do.