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Stateside to Scunny

Wowza, what a busy few weeks, so much has happened behind the scenes ready for the new season mixed in with our usual busy family life. Here's a little catch up ....


We travelled to Birmingham for 'a night with Chris Harris' and special guest Cruz. Cruz made his debut on the stage sat next to Chris, who looked so proud to have Cruz by his side. Cruz took it all in his stride, and the crowd seemed to adore him, as do we, not going to lie I had a tear or two in my eye once or twice, ok maybe more than just once or twice.


The night continued with Chris telling stories from his early career to the present time, which I sat and listened to in awe, even though I've heard them all before. I know I am biased, but he is something else ...


Laurence spoke about my blog and although I refused to get on the stage, I did briefly speak to explain why I started this blog and a little about our real life. So many people came over and said how much they like reading my blog which was quite overwhelming, and so many suggested I need my own show and a column in the speedway star ..... maybe one day!


Saturday morning quickly followed, dance for Amara-Mae as usual, whilst Chris headed off to Oxford United FC for a lunchtime kick-off where Chris rode a bike down the side of the pitch and showcased a burn-out at half time in front of over 10k football fans.


Chris is actually a good football player (he's annoyingly good at pretty much all sports, except golf we won't mention that lol), and enjoys watching it - but always seems to miss the goals - it's a running joke in our house, and true to the story he missed a goal when he left his seat to prepare for the half time speedway demonstration.


I remember the first time Chris took me all the way to Cornwall to stand in the rain and the freezing cold to watch him play football, he played for the Blue Anchor pub team I think it was called on a Sunday morning (off season), I'm not a football fan really, but I remember thinking "damn he's even a good footballer, like a little powerhouse on the field, with such speed in his legs" and still now if he plays on a Monday night he's the same...


We are now at Tuesday and Chris is heading to the states tomorrow for his first meeting of the year for USA V RoW, I spent the afternoon at my friend Tassy's having a little pamper and I returned home at 5pm to Chris waiting with his phone in hand with a message from the organisers in the states asking if he can race the week after, due to poor weather forecast, I mean he was due to be leaving in 12 hours to catch his flight from Heathrow! So I spent the next two hours rearranging his flight and travel arrangements for him to fly out the following week. (Valentine's Day, and the kids half term where we had visitors from Cornwall).


At this point, believe it or not we are still in the midst of Suit & Kevlar designs, bear in mind they are being made the last week of Feb, it's been tricky finalising this years designs, but we know what we want and sometimes you just have to keep making tweaks and getting it just right, even though this year we are cutting it really fine for the deadline.


Our visitors arrive from Cornwall - Chris's mum, his sister Carla and our nephew Jowan who are staying with us for the week. We manage to spend a few days all as a family before Chris heads off for the states (attempt number 2). We manage to squeeze in some soft play fun, swimming, a trip to All Things Wild and a visit to Mini Meadows farm which was lovely. Chris then headed off to Heathrow early hours Wednesday morning for his flight to LAX. Being such a short trip, he only had a day spare prior to practice and race day, so he enjoyed some gaming time and a private shooting session with Mike - which he absolutely loved.


Practice day arrives, and Chris arrives at the track early as he needs to do some work on the bike he will be using. I can only begin to imagine for a rider how strange it is to ride someone else's bike, but he did cart a huge bag of bits with him with his own handlebars, hydraulic clutch etc. Practice session went well and everyone was saying how fast he was, but they had an issue with the rear chain keep coming off. Chris uses a chain guide on his bikes which suits his riding style, so they arranged for a chain guide to be available for the race day. Race day arrives and Chris is ready to go, bike all ready and chain guide now fitted. First race and Chris is leading the race, until the final corner of the last lap when the split pin broke on the rear chain - watching from home you can see his frustration. He messaged us to say that his old mate Billy J gave him his spare bike to use for the rest of the meeting. Then there was a bit of drama with the red flag, which Chris argued about and the ref rightly changed the decision, and then he stormed to a classy 18 point haul for the team. Most importantly he was coming home in one piece, and he had a great time. The meeting was streamed on BSN and i watched in bed with Mia-Faye keeping me company as i wasn't actually feeling well, it was way too late for Amara-Mae and Cruz - who were going to watch on catch up. It was nice to hear so many positive comments about Chris and also little Cruz getting a few mentions, much to his delight when he watched the replay. Chris arrived back to London Heathrow on Monday morning, and walked through our front door about 12.30pm, to an excited Cruz who is desperate to go out on his bike - so that's what they did, straight to the field for some father and son practice time. It's now Monday evening, on the 26th February and the deadline for Chris's 2024 kit so we spend the evening making the last minute changes which we sent over to CW late evening, and then early Tuesday morning the final mock up is in and we finally approve the designs just in time for his slot for manufacturing, phew and relax .... well you would like to think so, but then comes Chris Harris 2024 Merchandise. The replica clothing designs took a few attempts to get right, but once the race kit was signed off we were able to sign off the replica merchandise design and then it's on to the website shop to prepare the products ready to announce the pre-order on social media.


The pre-order is open, the replica merchandise is shared on socials, and relax .... well, again you would like to think so, but i now have to manage the orders and collate for the clothing supplier. Mia-Faye was roped in to help me, and we have spent 3-4 hours over a few evenings doing this, but the response this year has been amazing and makes it all worth while.


In the midst of the last few weeks, we also completed the team clothing design and orders, signed 2 race contracts, took Cruz's bike to have a template made, designed his custom bike cover, took him to be measured for a new race suit and sent his boot off to have a steel shoe made, sorted Chris's race boots through customs, survived Mia-Faye studying and 2 GCSE mock exams, re-arranged our whole kitchen layout at home and Chris, Cruz and Amara-Mae took part in a promo video for Swim Works....


When i say so much goes on behind the scenes, it really does and if i documented everything i would be here all day, or you lovely readers would be bored of reading lol.


It's Monday, and most importantly it's race week, the new season is officially starting and Chris is his usual super excited self.


The boys spent the morning out and about to collect Cruz's new suit this morning and pick up Chris's race boots from parcel force, with an extra stop at our local Sainsburys on the way home for a new kettle as ours decided to die this morning, and I can't survive without coffee.


The boys arrived home and immediately got themselves suited and booted - speedway style, and I was called downstairs to spend my lunch break outside in the cold taking videos and pictures for Chris's social media accounts to showcase his 2024 kit, at least it wasn't raining! I have to say though, it all looks really good, and a couple of the photos will remain super special for our family, and are definitely ones for the memory box, when you see them, you'll know what I mean.


I will bring this blog to a close with a mention of Scunthorpe. Ian from the AMSA kindly invited Cruz and Chris to the Eddie Wright Raceway on Saturday - I am sure some of you will have seen some of my video footage or some photos's, but this day deserves a blog of it's own, so watch this space and maybe get a tissue or two at the ready ... or in my case a box !



Photos - Harris family, unless stated otherwise ©️

Cruz's first interview with BSSC
Chris at Oxford United Football Club

Chris getting ready for USA v RoW

Bomber doing Bomber things - USA v RoW
Chris & Cruz - another training session
Me & Cruz sharing a moment


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