When I saw this photo I immediately thought it looked exactly like me the moment before I hit the deck on my first and last time on a speedway bike. The Costa Mesa Speedway folks were interested in building rider participation in their sport so, they put on a free school at Glen Helen where they provided the bike, steel shoe and your personalized instructor. After a bit of classroom basics the first group was called by name, I was in it. I go to my bike and none other than Bad Brad Oxley introduces himself as my instructor. Wow, this is great. I'm gonna be a Speedway Star.
The first few laps were an eyeopener. You can't sit down on a speedway bike although I desperately wanted to. The thing had beans aplenty and I had to force myself to lean forward at a 45 degree angle to stay on the thing. I tried a few slides and they felt natural and not out of control. I got this. After a few laps of high line cushion sliding (that must have been pretty lame) Brad Oxley steps out onto the track and gives me the thumbs up with one hand and the twist throttle, gas it sign with the other.
I thought I was going good but, I'm gonna be a Speedway Star so, I open'er up and throw it into the corner. It worked great for three quarters of the corner and then I just threw it away involuntarily. I could not have been hauling' ass at all because there I was laying behind the bike nice and neatly.
Brad comes running up "Man ! how's your elbow?" It was unscathed but my throttle thumb was jammed into the handlebars I think because of the deadman switch and it was hurting like a MFer. Brads saying OK this time, don't lean it over that far. I thank him and say my thumb is killin' me. And it did for the next six months.
He picks the bike up and whistles to the next guy to come and get it.