Thanks to blog reader Robert Watson for giving me a Mark Barnett alert...Robert read my report on running and mountain biking on trails in Greensboro, North Carolina and emailed to let me know that Barnett, a former 125cc and Supercross National Champion, now lives in Greensboro! Robert said he saw Barnett at a Vintage MX race and that Mark was very fit and tearing up the mountain bike trails.
Mark was one of my favorites from the early days, when I was a news reporter and photographer for Cycle News. Barnett took a blue collar approach to racing and knew how to get 'er done. Hard trainer, hard racer. Barnett was like a fine artist and his canvas was a motocross track. Anyone from that era knew what crazy powerbands the factory bikes had, and how hard it was to keep them on the pipe. Barnett was one of the best 125 racers ever. He could rail the turns and use the clutch to scream his Suzuki RH125...fantastic.
So where am I going with this? Master competitor is having a hard time getting fit and finding the motivation to train. After my Christmas break, I'm going to try and locate Barnett, and ask if I can ride in his shadow. It will be a miracle if I can even keep him in sight, but the magic in watching "The Bomber" ride again would help to fire my engines.
I'll keep you posted.