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Dick Barrie's picture

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People ask me what I do in winter, when there’s no speedway.

I’ll tell you what I do.

I stare out of the window and wait for spring.

As I write there are just a dozen more sleeps until the Benfund Bonanza at Leicester, the traditional beginning of the British speedway season.

Following that, just another thirteen before we hear the exhausts crackling in the pits, the parade music swelling out of the venerable Shielfield sound system, the parade beginning for the Bordernapolis -- and the boys will be back in town!

In short, here we go again.

Despite ongoing stiffness and sore muscles -- I asked the doctor for something for a creaky hip joint, but he just gave me a ticket for Bedrocks – I’ll be there, bouncing with all the vim a brand new season produces.

Everything in the garden blooming, spring firmly in the air and speedway at Shielfield – bring it on!

I think everyone here is well aware that it wasn’t nailed on that we’d be back, but the courageous decision announced by Jamie Courtney at the Fans Forum gave us the green light, albeit with a caveat that maybe the club would require a bit of extra financial help to survive into 2019 and beyond.

To our credit, this ethic has been embraced by many and foundations have been, and are still being, laid to assist the promotion in paying the bills.

Not everyone seems to agree of course – and wouldn’t it be a dull old world if they did – but without doubt, this season will require that all of us, young or old, happy or sad,, bright or beautiful do our bit to help the cause.

If you don’t agree – well, there have always been people hanging around this place who should be ducked in the village pond!

It has been an interesting winter. I wasn’t in Australia this time around, so spent the colder months at home, reading with interest the way clubs around the country carefully constructed their squads, only to spend the last few weeks changing them again!

Which was disappointing. Not least when innocent riders who had committed to a team, presumably knocking back offers from elsewhere to do so – I could cite Viktor Palovaara as a case in point -- suddenly found themselves sidelined at the last minute with virtually no chance of finding another club before the new season.

Late changes like this are sometimes unavoidable, and if clearly explained to the general public can be understood and accepted. But – like in so many other circumstances – clear explanations can be slow to emerge.

Have anyone’s pants actually caught fire while they’re telling porkies?
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Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk