When I was racing bikes, I had no children and the Internet Boom was happening. As my bike racing costs rose, so did the shares given to me by my employer. I was never really short of money, in spite of spending upwards of 30 grand on the sport in the year I won the Bemsee 250 Championship.
These days, with two kids and my partner no longer working - and no more share schemes as computer companies retrench and cut costs - things are a bit tighter. Unfortunately things came to a head, and I had to take out my first loan for nearly 20 years, shortly before I crashed at Cadwell.
There was no chance of paying McMillan to the work, as I had last year after my expensive Snett crash. But my friends were great, and Trev, Charles and Chris all rallied round to help out. I did most of the basic strip-down myself, until we got to the "engine-out" stage. Then the guys, and my brother, all came round for an "engine out and barbecue" party. A great time was had by all, and the engine was removed, together with everything else that still needed to come off.
The chassis went to Arch, who were (and I guess still are) struggling somewhat as Caterham had told them they wouldn't be making any more chassis after April, but they still were due to the apparent inability of Caged to start production of the new metric robot-welded chassis. Hence it took them a couple of weeks or so. Then we had the boys around again for a rebuild barbecue - and then I went off to the US with work, then on holiday, etc.
Knockhill or Thruxton might have been possibilities for my return to the track, but I really couldn't be arsed to drive all the way to Knockhill for one race in the pouring rain at nine o'clock in the morning (as it turned out). And I wasn't over keen on Thruxton with no test day to get back into things.
So my return will be for the final, glorious (we hope) meeting at Spa in October.