At the moment I think I’m more stressed than I’ve ever been. Not because of contract negotiations or the like, but because I’m moving house tomorrow and it’s chaos. What do they say? The two most stressful things you can ever do are get divorced and move house? After this week I’m never moving again and certainly not getting divorced! Although it is all getting a bit tense in the McGuinness household.
There are boxes and boxes of shit everywhere and it took me two solid days just to clear out the loft, but I’ve found some really cool stuff. Amongst all the spiders and cobwebs I discovered a set of TSR250 Vimto bodywork, a full 2006 HM Plant fairing and loads of retro T-shirts. I’ve even found some old VHS videos of 250 races from 1997! It has been an interesting few days, although me and the missus have had a few heated debates over what stays and what goes...
I’m a total squirrel and never throw anything away, but Becky can’t see the value in a copy of MCN from 1999. She wants to chuck it all away but I’m like, ‘Hold on, I’ll read that when I have a bit more time...’ She thinks I’m mad, especially when I started hoarding my old school reports and pictures the kids drew when they were younger. Some of the treasures I’ve been uncovering have been breaking my heart; I even got a bit emotional over an old Thomas the Tank Engine toy me and Ewan used to play with when he was young. Becky was just like, ‘Bin!’ but I was devastated. Thankfully I did manage to save a bunch of original Star Wars toys from the dustmen and Ewan seems to appreciate them. But, like his mum, he doesn’t see the value in my old racing stuff.
In the loft I found a bunch of my early race trophies. There was one from Cadwell – third place in November 1991 – and some stuff from my first TT. Back then there was a TT manufacturers’ award and I have trophies with my name on them next to Joey’s, which is really nice. I’m so glad I kept everything and boxed it all up safely under 10 foot of dust! There will come a time when the phone won’t ring and I can sit there and look through all these memories in peace. And thankfully the new house has lots of room for my leathers as I have quite a few sets...
While I was packing, I counted 97 leather suits and I also boxed up 86 crash helmets! I tend to give away boots and gloves, but I keep all my leathers and helmets, and even swap kits with other riders. I have a set of Guy Martin’s leathers, one of Kiyo’s, Karl Harris, Tim Reeves, Plater, the list goes on. I might set up a trophy room in the new house and hopefully the kids will appreciate them in the years to come – or they might just stick them in an auction and blow the profits on PlayStation games!
While I was rooting around I did spot I was missing a few things. I don’t have a Monstermob suit, for example, and my first TT winning lid has gone. I lent them to a mate who had a bike shop, but he emigrated to New Zealand and my kit appears to have gone with him. I’d love that lid back – it was the first ever voodoo doll design I had done.
The new house is going to be amazing. There is an equestrian centre nearby but I haven’t got a clue about horses. All I see are eight foot tall grass-eating shit machines! There are lots of red-faced ladies in jodhpurs walking around and I’m certain to upset a few when I get the motocross bike out. I’m going to build a Rossi-ranch in Morecambe! Speaking of which, I got my annual invite over to Rossi’s ranch for the 100km race again and I’m bloody moving house, so had to turn it down. I’m gutted; that’s twice I’ve turned it down and he must think I’m a right prick. It’s just impossible – can you image the shit I’ll get if I clear off to Italy and leave the family drowning in cardboard boxes?
Finally, I can at last say what I’m doing next year. I’m back with Honda on the Superbike and Superstocker for the North West and TT, and with Jackson Racing on the CBR600RR. I always wanted to stay with Honda as I’m so comfortable with them and I’m a creature of habit. When I sit on the start line I want to know and trust who’s put my bike together. I’m really looking forward to developing the new Blade. The only problem with the old bike was it needed a few more ponies and some electronics, so I’m pretty confident we should be in with a shot. After eight years on the same bike I needed to sit on something new. I’m excited, it should be a good season ahead and I may even see if I can get Jackson Racing to let me give the CBR a quick run out at Oulton Park in British Supersport!