Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m sitting on a jet, crossing the Atlantic Ocean, heading back to New York, and then back home to California.
My stay in Sweden was wonderful. But as I mentioned in my last blog, I was going to tell you some stories about the trip over to Sweden and more.
It started Tuesday night with packing … which always seems to take longer than planned. I ended up getting no sleep, make it to LAX and boarded the plane. Once we boarded, we headed out onto the tarmac, ready for take off. Except we didn’t take off. We really didn’t do much of anything, except sitting on the tarmac for over an hour. Not a big deal in the picture of life, but it seemed like a bigger inconvenience at the time.
So, a few hours later we land in New York to change planes. We have a three hour layover. Just enough time to exchange currency, grab a little snack, and make it over to the boarding gate.
We were supposed to leave NY for Stockholm, Sweden at 5:20pm. Then a little sign at our boarding gate read ‘Flight to Stockholm delayed 20 minutes, will now take off at 5:40′. Then it changed to 5:50. Then 6:15. Then 6:30. Then 6:55. Then 7:20. Then 7:50. Then 8:20. Then 9:20. I was going a little stir-crazy sitting in the airport now since about 2:20pm – 7 hours.
Finally, at 9:30pm we were allowed to board – except we had to run to another terminal and another gate to board a different jet! Even the flight crew was a bit perturbed and confused as to what was going on and where we should be. (The problem with the first jet was they couldn’t get the main cabin door to close all the way.)
Arrive into Stockholm Sweden about nine hours later – and I’m four hours late. No big deal. My day was going to be leisurely, just driving from the east coast of Sweden over to the west coast – about a six hour drive. And, just to assure all my friends, family, and police officers everywhere, I always obey all speed limits when driving.
Every race is a new learning experience for me. New country, new culture, new food, new ways to get lost while driving. At no time did I even attempt to drive over the legal speed limit (Ha ha ha!).
I can tell you that the Youthstream Organization that oversees the World Motocross Championships is a very professionally run organization. The pay attention to every detail. Every race, even though a local club and organizer hosts the race, Youthstream is there to make sure standards remain at the same level for every race. They also invest heavily in so many different ways to make sure the series has growth over the next number of years, from communicating with the Japanese Manufacturers, to capital investment in infrastructure, to expanding the series to more countries to upgrading the TV to eventually bring it all live worldwide.
Now, someone you might know that works here at Supercross.com that shall remain nameless (LEX!) had a unique experience at the Swedish GP. To make a short story endless, ol’ Lex went to the top of the rocky cliffs near the tree line to take some photos overlooking the entire track. He did a good job climbing up the hill, and taking the photos. He did not do a very good job on his descent down the rocky cliffs however. (Ladies, you might want not to dance with this guy … I’m pretty sure he has two left feet.)
Lex proceeded to take one step down the cliff, then two steps, then three. The plan was to stop on the third step/ledge, and then re-evaluate the path to continue coming back down the hill. Well, Lex didn’t stop on Step/Rock # 3. Lex proceeded stagger onto Step/Rock #4, and then #5, picking up speed, and losing control at the same time. Finally, losing all control, Lex’s left knee proceeded to seriously injure a big, jagged rock. You should see what his knee did to that rock! Poor rock! The rock sure was on the losing end of that fight! (Lex’s has been limping the entire week, his knee and leg are purple and swollen, and it’s likely he shredded his ACL and will need surgery. Niiiiiiiiiiiice!) He did try to brag that ‘No one saw me fall, so at least it wasn’t embarrassing’. Right.
To wrap up the race week, the Swedish people and organizers and fans are tremendous hosts. I had a great time!
The next round that I’ll go to for the MX World Championships and the live TV and Supercross.com will be South Africa. I heard stories that make it sound tremendously exciting and fun, and I can’t wait to go! We might even go on Safari with a few GP riders to film for the TV program – that I’m definitely looking forward to!
But, I’ve also heard stories that are making me a bit concerned about going. Stories about gangs. Stories about robberies. Stories about snakes and spiders and crocodiles and alligators. (The river that runs next to the track is actually called ‘Crocodile River’) And would you believe the one thing that people are telling me to be most afraid of??? Hippos! Hippopotamus! Evidently they kill people frequently, because of their size and weight, and when they get upset … they’ll come after you! Sounds lovely!! Even with these stories and facts about the country, I am still looking forward to going. Maybe I’m crazy…. but no hippos, snakes, or crocodiles are going to keep me from this event!
The race in South Africa is unique in many other ways as well …. it’s the only race this year outside of Europe, It’s the only race in the Southern Hemisphere, and, it’s a brand new circuit – never been used before, so no rider has any ‘history’ with this circuit. But it is still the ‘home’ GP of all the riders for RSA (Republic of South Africa), including MX2 series points leader Tyla Rattray.
To see Tyla Rattray talk about this upcoming event in South Africa, you can watch the video below.
Monday night was one of the most relaxing evenings I’ve had since helping out with the TV programs of the FIM World Motocross Grand Prix Series. It was actually the first day where I had a little time to do some sight seeing and walk around and check things out. I got to visit so many things in Stockholm (check the photos!), saw the old town, saw the castle where the King lives, the ‘changing of the guard’, had a beautiful dinner, and a good night of sleep before boarding the jet I’m on now!
Tack sÃ¥ mycket Sverige! (That means ‘Thank you very much Sweden!’ in Swedish!)
p.s. Here is a little treat that I was surprised to see Monday morning after the race weekend. While eating breakfast, a friend of mine showed me the newspaper (of Sweden) with the event coverage of the GP … you’ll never guess who is in it! (bottom left corner : )