My initial attempt to ride a motorcycle was a fraught experience that left me with nothing but respect for the top tier of Speedway racing that make it look so easy
Wormwood Scrubs is an oddly irregular piece of grass that sits in a less than fashionable part of west London and is perhaps most famed for being the location of the Prison of the same name. I’d like to be able to say it was a stay in this maximum security penal institution that has left me with a haunted memory of the grassy parkland, glimpses of it from my cell window reminding me of freedom, the open air and of the wonders of nature. Unfortunately the truth is far more hum drum.
Denmark Well Represented In Speedway Racing
• Three of the top 15 riders are from Denmark
• A Dane will be a reserve rider this year too
• ComeOn! Sportsbook offers great odds on races
My school had playing fields adjacent to the scrubs and once a week we’d be bussed there by to further our physical education. Obviously this being school that consisted of cricket in the summer and football or rugby in the winter time. At least on paper it did. In reality those that liked sport played along and those that didn’t were gambling lifestyle choices and clever selections of positional play would gain them a quiet life away from the action.
Personally I eschewed the path of fake illnesses or badly forged notes from mother, and instead relied on the proven and far simpler expedient of being what more than one of the teachers at the school termed “bloody useless”. I was “bloody useless” at cricket and thus no complaints were raised by my fellows when I would take up a fielding position so far away from the crease a ball would have to be rocket-assisted to get to me, and, of course I was “bloody useless” at football (they stop passing the ball to you if you just stare at it unmoved as it rolls by) and even worse at rugby.
By the third year our sports strata had settled somewhat into those that represented the school in competitions against other similar institutions, those that wished they could represent the school in competitions against other similar institutions, and those of us that wished longingly we were safely locked up in the hulking brickwork shape of the prison rather than listening to a geography teacher enthuse us to tackle each other with a glint in his eye of real sadism.
Two Wheeled Death Machine
One of my abiding memories however is of the winter days when the snow would fall heavily and the groundsmen of the playing fields would nix any chance we had to play football or the dreaded rugby and we would instead be forced to run around the edge of Wormwood Scrubs itself, a freezing trail of misery in shorts and boots jogging around in the sleet or snow wishing for the end of the school day and the death of the teacher who felt this was a good idea.
It was during one of these runs (barely two miles but it felt so much longer) that I happened upon a friend of mine from the local area who, along with one or two other chaps I knew, was fiddling with a motorcycle he’d acquired from somewhere. They were taking it in turns to slither around on the wet grass and laugh at each other as they failed to retain balance or the bike failed to retain them on the seat. Most amusing. Not as amusing, I should point out, as they found me in sports attire.
I’d never ridden a motorbike and thus was allowed to seat myself on the two-wheeled machine of doom and instructed on how to make it move at a pace slightly above that at which I’d been running, with the plan being I’d whizz past the runners I should have been emulating much to the amusement and jealousy of all. It was a foolproof plan that suffered from one minor flaw that completely stuffed the entire concept. Motorbikes and me don’t get on.
To this day I am uncertain as to what happened next. I recall twisting the throttle to the encouraging shouts of those nearby, I can remember releasing the clutch, and I can still see all too vividly suddenly shooting forward with the acceleration of a starship going to warp, being so shocked I forgot the rest of the instructions I’d been given and then falling back on my mainstay reaction. Panic. Thus it was I attempted to turn the bike, back towards its master, throttle full open, bike churning up mud behind me.
20% of FIM World Championship Riders Are Danish
That I managed a circle of any sort still surprises me, but not as much as it appeared to surprise my fellows one of which asked me if I’d ever thought of taking up speedway. Apparently my panic simulated the sideways riding style quite effectively. I pretended I’d done it on purpose but I doubt they really believed that. Speedway is for people who can ride motorcycles, and not school boys gambling news of their misdemeanors will bar them from future games lessons on Wednesday afternoons.
Speedway is hugely popular the world over. The roar of the engines, the spray of the surface behind the competitors as they throw themselves into lengthy skid after lengthy skid making for a massively watchable spectacle be you a biker or not. The FIM World Championships, made up of 12 rounds throughout the year, for instance, is terribly popular in Denmark something indicated by the fact a clear 20% of the top fifteen riders are Danish.
Those that like to bet on sport in Denmark have doubtless already checked out the odds being given by ComeOn! Sportsbook on their very own Nicki Pedersen taking this years title, he gets 8.75, he’s ranked just behind the Pole Krzsztof kasprazak at 4.90 and the famed American Greg Hancock who hovers oddly on 6.80. The other two Danes in the top flight of this fabulous sport are Niels-kristian Iversen who likewise gets 8.75 and Micheal Jepsen Jensen on 21.00 at this time.
Danish gambling laws have been heralded as being a way forward for the Nordic states in terms of legislation and many people in Denmark take advantage of this to place wagers with ComeOn! Sportsbook backing their favorite Speedway rider well ahead of the season getting underway. They may even have a chance to wager on Peter Kildemand, another Dane, who is appearing as a reserve rider in the 2015 series to make up the numbers should a ride be unable to appear. This fabulous sport offers some great opportunities to not only back a Dane but perhaps even win it big in doing so.