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Scunthorpe Special

Updated: Apr 4

It was an early Saturday morning trip to Scunthorpe for the Harris family, and I am not joking when i say Cruz was awake before 5 o'clock excited like a kid at Christmas. The rest of us were up at the crack of dawn as Chris said we needed to leave at 6am as it's a 3 hour journey - he was clearly thinking we were going to Redcar, as our journey was only going to take 2 hours lol.


Chris loaded up the van with a bike for himself to practice on (not his new ones i will add, he was saving them for Oxford Spires Press and Practice day) and of course Cruz's revvi, complete with his new custom bike cover and all their gear, ready for the adventure.


From the moment we were booked in at Scunthorpe (thanks Ian from AMSA for the invite) we discussed Chris going on track with Cruz, as this would be a dream come true moment for Chris, and he was buzzing, whilst I was in panic mode already and kept saying 'you'll have to go really really slow like you are on parade, like throttle off' to Chris's amusement. The emotions were high, even just talking about it.


The journey was pretty straight forward apart from a few rain showers on route, and a small delay due to a diversion, and we arrived early at the Eddie Wright Raceway, to the not so sunny scunny at this point, more like cold, wet and wild.


The boys have a quick chat at the back of the van with Dan Bewley who was parked behind us, Cruz being a big Dan Bewley fan (after dad of course) it was the perfectly start to the day.


Time to unload the van, and for the first time together the Harris boys walked their bikes side by side from the back of the van to their shared pit bay. I already have a tear in my eye at this point, whilst trying to capture the moment with my camera, arms full with bags in true mum multi-tasking style...


The bikes are set-up side by side in the pits, and Cruz looks so happy, as does Chris.

I stand at the edge of the pit bay in awe of them both, about to make the most special memories together doing what they love, the bond they have is unreal. It's all hands on Chris's bike getting ready for practice around the main track, he had a new clutch to try out and at this point Cruz is already getting impatient (he definitely takes after Chris for his lack of patience lol) so a quick Hot Chocolate and a snack for the kids to warm them up and pass some time, always a winner.


Cruz wants to get ready so he heads off to the male changing room with his little swag (if you know you know) and returns suited and booted (speedway style, not formal) and ready to go. Ian from AMSA shows Cruz the Junior Speedway bike they have built, he was like 'wow' and had a little sit on it, it's a bit big for him yet as he's only just turned 4, but if he could've rode it he would've.


Time for the riders briefing, Chris tells Cruz to wait in the pits and he'll be back in a minute as the meeting is for the riders, in true Cruz style he ignores dad, and walks over to join the meeting whilst shouting 'I am a rider' much to everyone's amusement.


With his first riders briefing done, I head into the office to sign the paperwork on Cruz's behalf, and as i sign it, Chris stands and watches on with a grin whilst saying 'that's it no going back now mummy, this will be the first of many' and that's it the tracks are open and the boys are ready to go.


Cruz heads to the mini track and has some practice laps, in general it's 4 laps and then off and get to the back of the queue and take turns, Cruz wouldn't come off and just kept ignoring Chris and Gary who were trying to coax him back in lol.


I was in panic mode and made Chris put the revvi on slow mode as the track was grippy and wet, to Cruz's dismay not even a lap complete until Chris had to up the speed to medium mode. Chris told him 'don't go too wide as the tracks wet' - Cruz completely ignored Chris and went out wide, and on one lap in turn 4 he binned it, Chris legged it over to see if he was ok and Cruz was just laughing and said 'I just done what you do it's funny' and got back up and carried on - like father like son for sure...


It's Chris's turn to head out on to the main track, I head into the centre green to video his starts so his team can see what the new clutch is doing, I've been in the centre green recording videos many times, it still never fails to amazes me - the speed, the throttle control, the skill...


Chris wasn't happy with the clutch so it was back to the pits for some bike adjustments, before he would head out again for another practice. Cruz is getting a little impatient, ok ok I should say very impatient waiting for dad to go on track with him, if you have kids you'll understand.


Unbelievably, people were asking for pictures with Cruz, he said "they're my fans" bless him as he happily obliged.


Finally, it's now time for the boys to make memories. Cruz's little face lights up when it's time to go around to the mini track, and he shouts to daddy 'I'm going to beat you' as they push their bikes in sync around to the queue. I followed behind videoing and trying to take pictures, whilst listening to them banter who's going to beat who.


At this point my heart is racing, my anxiety is in full swing and I can feel the palms of my hands and the back of my neck start to get clammy. I know you guys will be thinking 'Em must be used to it now with Chris riding' let me tell you, you don't ever get used to it, I've learnt a lot over the years how Chris rides and what to expect - it helps with the anxiety, but you never get used to it, and it hits every race day.


This was different, this was my 4 year old son being on track with his dad. Cruz on his revvi electric bike, whilst dad was on a full on 500cc race bike on a mini track. As we wait by the entrance to the track, I say to Chris 'remember go really really slow like you are on parade, like throttle off' he looks at me through his helmet with a smile, and at that moment I knew he was just in the moment, ready to fulfil a lifelong dream.


The boys get the all clear to go on track and off they go in sync down down the back straight round to the start line (there isn't really a start line but we told Cruz where to stop, to get ready to race)

I am full of emotion with tears in my eyes, my heart is beating so fast like it was going to explode, and I run over to the 'start line' with my camera to take 'the' photo, whilst Mia-Faye is on video duty. It's tapes up (imaginary) and off they go, a crowd of people watching on and capturing the moment just like we are. After one lap Cruz pulls up shouting he wants his bike on 'fast mode' and Chris has to lay his bike down, and is on his hands and knees whilst trying to keep it running to switch it up a mode.


Race has restarted and is in full swing and Cruz was giving Chris a taste of his own medicine by pushing him wide to the fence and leaving him hardly any racing room, I could see Chris laughing and shaking his head in disbelief that Cruz stole his moves. I was laughing and crying at the same time, a mixture of so many emotions. The race is over and Cruz took the victory, proud as punch and his little face and smile could've lit up the whole of Scunthorpe, as could Chris's. Chris doesn't get emotional really, but anybody could see the happiness and pride from a million miles away.


In hindsight, I don't even know why I got so anxious about it, because when they went on track I forgot all about telling Chris to go slow and worrying and just enjoyed the moment because it was truly magical and just like it was meant to be.


Chris had another go on the main track to try his clutch again, and Cruz done a load more laps on his own until it was time to pack up and go home.


What a day, one that we will never forget as a family.


I honesty can't tell you how many times I cried just making the video that we shared, and looking through the photographs, even reading Chris's words to Peter Oakes in the Speedway Star with my picture of the boys on track bought a tear or two to my eye.


The whole day and every day since has been truly overwhelming for us as a family, from the thousands of comments and DM's, to the crazy amount of times the video has been shared, to the most unbelievable 1/2 a Million+ people who have watched it .... WOWZA


Photos - Harris family ©️


Taking their bikes to the pits

Bikes side by side

The boys in the pits

Cruz trying out the AMSA Junior Speedway Bike

Chris & Cruz heading to the mini track

The boys waiting to go

The Harris boys at the start line

Chris trying to change the mode on Cruz's bike

Cruz taking Chris out wide to the fence

Mummy & Cruz

Cruz out doing laps on his own

Cruz doing laps on his own

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what a lovely blog Emma such beautiful memories i was very emotional reading it cruz is a little star but then he has a good teacher (Daddy)

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What a start to a day. Absolutely perfect. Well done Emma. Captured all the emotion. I had a little emotion myself reading it and looking at the beautiful pictures. Thanks for these insights in to your family and speedway (at the top and now at the beginning)

This kind of stuff is priceless (as a family and a fan)

Definitely worthy of a slot in Speedway Star.

Well done, capturing this special moment.

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I read all the blogs and it’s great to get an insight into life of a speedway rider. This one though as a parent myself to a boy touches different. U must be soo proud. When a father and child have such a strong bond over a sport they both love like I do with my dad and son and Chris and Cruz there will be no stopping them and every opportunity to get their fix will be taken. I just wish I had the bottle to ride speedway like my uncle did but I’m afraid I don’t. I’ve met Chris a few times at tracks around the country he’s a legend, always smiles, always has time for a chat…

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Wow absolutely loved reading your latest blog Emma , how proud you must be of your boys ! I had tears in my eyes reading this !

Cruz is an absolute super star 🌟

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