WHAT’S WITH …?

Words Scott Bishop

What’s with the people who control the air-conditioner at Sizzler restaurants? Every Sizzler I have ever wandered into is colder than a Tasmanian winter and it hurts just sitting there. I know it’s to get you to get out of the joint as fast as possible so you don’t graze on the salad bar for five hours but would a couple of extra degrees kill you? It feels like they’re trying to incubate some exotic virus, it’s so cold.

And do these same people have night-shift jobs at cinemas? Why is it always cold in a cinema? Surely they don’t want you walking out halfway through because you’re sitting in an igloo trying to watch a movie. If the Sizzler people took over, I think their strategy would be to turn the place into an oven to sell a few more overpriced ice-creams and post-mix soft drinks.

What’s with the sudden importance of a hi-vis vest in regard to safety? And if everyone is wearing a hi-vis vest, does it really stand out? Pretty much any workplace health and safety requirement now is to wear a vest — even pit boarding. I’ve put a lot of thought into this and I still struggle to come up with a reasonable answer as to how a hi-vis vest is going to make the pit board area safer and reduce accidents. Putting the pit-board area in a spot that allows the rider time to look at it might be a better way to go.

What’s with the amount of ads that get jammed into the AMA Supercross telecast? The hashtag should be #adsonfox as the three-hour telecast is wall-to-wall ads broken up with a six-minute race. And worse, the ads are the same and they are poo. I don’t mind a good ad but when I’ve seen it 200 times in one round of SX I want to toss my own TV out the window.

What’s with the venue commentators screaming down the microphone at an AMA Supercross? When the main events are about to start and Ralph and Jeff are pointing out the green Kawasakis, the blue Yamahas and the orange KTMs, listen in the background to the death-metal commentator screaming like his nuts are stuck in a vice. You won’t have to listen long — an ad will soon burst onto your screen — but he does it at every single main event. Time to switch up your act, buddy!

What’s with shops that produce the world longest tax invoice when you buy one item? Get a litre of fuel but you get a metre of paper and, what’s worse, half of these places promote looking after the environment. Now, I’m no tree hugger but there must be a way to halve the size of the receipt without too much hassle because once you get two receipts in your wallet it’s thicker than an encyclopaedia (that’s the book form of the internet, kids) and makes sitting down a real tax on my butt cheeks.

MX NATS

It’s promising to see the rider numbers at the opening two have been good and the gates in the MXD, MX2 and the support classes have been full to oversubscribed. A full field of 40 riders charging into the first turn makes for a better atmosphere and a much better spectacle on the track.

MX1 is the class that could do with a few extra numbers but hopefully the numbers will continue to grow as the championship progresses.

The two-stroke-versus-four-stoke debate has been a hot topic in the pits among the MX2 and MXD riders. Everyone has an opinion about it and at Appin the motocross subcommittee took everyone’s opinions on board. No doubt the return of two-strokes to the MX Nationals has added to the rider numbers but whether they belong racing against 250cc four-strokes is what is up for debate at the moment.

Weather has also been kind to us at the opening two rounds: just when you expect it to be the mud bath to end all mud baths, the skies have cleared, the track has dried and we’ve had two pretty good rounds that would have been dry and dusty had the rains not come. We’ve dodged a bullet at several rounds lately, so the time for a real quagmire can’t be far away.

It was also good to see plenty of riders from past generations turning up at local rounds. A range of ex-racers were on hand at both Broadford and Appin and, although they might have stopped racing, many still follow motocross closely and still ride semi–regularly. It’s damn hard to get away from dirtbikes when you’ve raced them for so long.

And congrats to everyone who helped with the Broadford memorial garden at the back of the circuit. Sometimes we’re too quick to forget about those who have died riding and racing motocross. The garden — and the Jono Porter memorial round at Gladstone later in the year — are two things that need to happen as we remember some close mates.