Updated: Oct 18, 2022
A Speedway meeting in Edinburgh to a Grass track meeting in Kent – 1,084 miles, 20 hours on the road in 2 days
‘Farewell Armadale’ - Edinburgh
Chris was invited to take part in the meeting, which of course he said yes! Even though he had a big grass track meeting on Sunday at the opposite end of the country, he wanted to go and support the monarchs in their farewell on the Armadale shale.
So, the preparations began with a 2 hour round trip to JHR to pick up his new forks, Cruz of course wanted to go in the van with Daddy and see ‘all Johns bikes and stuff and have cup of tea’ in Cruz’s words, before Chris could get on with the bikes.
It’s Friday, the forks are back from Derby and bike prep begins, the unloading of the van, the emptying of the dirty kit bag, the noisy steam cleaner and he’s ready to go! I decided to take my camera out so I can create a video of Chris washing a bike, and it’s raining! Yes, we are both outside in the rain, Chris stripping, then washing his bike and I’m filming – we must be nuts, but this is reality - the bikes get washed come rain or shine. Unfortunately, a magical bike wash machine that you can just pop them in and take them out doesn’t exist, much to Chris’s dismay lol
The washing machine is filled again (for the 100th odd time this season) with a dirty Kevlar and other items from his kit bag. The amount of shale that makes its way into our machine, I am honestly surprised it still works!
Bikes are done, new forks are fitted, van is loaded, kit bag ready so Chris finally squeezes in a haircut – he needed one! He’s so superstitious about shaving etc before a race day, but finally after all these years, he will at least get a haircut ….
Saturday morning arrives and Chris & Andy head off at 10am for the 664-mile round trip to Armadale which will take 12 hours in total. I was in Coventry for Dance Festival Day 3 so, we were unable to go. Thank goodness for BSN & Club livestreams – we really rely upon these as a family to support Chris’s racing when we are unable to attend. I managed to order the livestream whilst sat in the theatre waiting for Mia-Faye to complete her last dance. We missed Chris’s first race, but luckily managed to catch the meeting from heat 5 onwards, it was great to see a good turnout for the monarchs, along with some decent racing.
Chris finished 5th after reaching the semi-final. They boys left Armadale at 9.15pm and Chris arrived home at 3am Sunday morning. He climbed into bed and slept for 2 hours, before his alarm went off and he left home at 5.15am for Swingfield, Kent – a 3 hour drive, on his own (his team were meeting him at the track with his bikes and setup)
‘FIM European Grass track Championship’ - Kent
Chris was taking part in the European Grass track Championship, which he qualified for in Denmark a little while ago – a pretty big meeting to end his season on the grass.
We really wanted to go and support Chris, but it’s day 4 of the Dance Festival and with no help with childcare it just wasn’t to be. I can’t lie, I was gutted - the only thing that made me feel a little better was knowing he has the best team around him and support from some friends, along with his Auntie Carole – who is one of his biggest fans - I can always rely on Carole for meeting updates and to make sure Chris has something to eat & drink (she usually makes him and the boys a proper Cornish pasty – you can take the boy out of Cornwall and all that). If you have ever seen Chris at a grass track, he is usually surrounded from the beginning to the end and believe me when I say he would rather starve than turn anyone away whether it be an interview, a signature and/or a selfie!
Chris sent some pictures and an update as to how the day was going, which we returned the favour with some pictures of our day with little Amara-Mae scooping a 1st & 2nd Place in her 2 dances!
Chris rode well by all accounts and finished 3rd in the qualifying heats and made it straight through to the A Final behind Romano & Zach. The final arrives and Chris in his words ‘made the gate of his life, and a great first corner’ and was leading until Romano who was unbeaten all day passed him to take the win, Chris finishing 2nd ahead of Zach, taking the silver medal.
Carole kept me updated throughout the day, and I received some lovely messages from friends saying how well Chris was riding etc and luckily I found a few videos posted to Facebook. The phone call followed from Chris buzzing with the news he came 2nd !
Chris finally arrived home at 8.40pm after the 3-hour drive home on his own – honestly don’t know how he does it, but somehow he does, he came in proud as punch with a huge smile on his face carrying his medal & trophy, but also desperate for a shower and a good nights sleep.
What a weekend all round for the Harris household - 6 medals overall between Chris & the girls and another Trophy for the collection – I couldn’t be prouder if I tried, despite the rollercoaster of emotions and the juggle of trying to be a great parent as well as a supportive wife.
It's now Monday and Chris is out washing bikes for Monmore Green tonight where he is taking part in the Olympique. As I write this - the Kevlar is enjoying a spin in the washing machine, I can hear the noisy steam cleaner blasting away, but at least the sun is shining this time .…