Selected Speedway Twitter photos 2012

With more speedway riders than ever on Twitter, fans now get to learn much more about their favourite characters and the reality of the lives they lead. Though not everyone has yet joined Twitter, the riders (and others from the speedway world) regularly share their thoughts and opinions. Not all of these comments meet with the approval of the British speedway authorities but may prove hard to police. Get tweets on the hoof but we also get to see the photos.

Looking at some of the images from the 2012 speedway season sometimes gives us a brief tantalising glance backstage behind the metaphorical curtain.

To show it’s not all glamour, let’s start off with some uncalled for nakedness – in the showers and also in the pits!

They say the journey is often more important than the destination but travel between the tracks during the height of the season is a daily grind of airports/traffic jams interspersed with japes plus complex logistics and the endless daily use of an impressive range of cleaning products.  Meetings can be off before you get there, when you arrive or delayed by sunshine. Equally, if it’s a Speedway Grand Prix meeting then the pre-meeting atmosphere and the crowd size speaks for itself. That said, Chris Holder is a popular, youthful new World Champion whose victory was greeted very differently.

Riders prepare meticulously in the workshop, in the pits but also away from the track. Their bodies are temples – some intimately known – so much so that riders often have to dress carefully, attend closely to tonsorial matters and also fastidiously watch what they eat.

The speedway media apparently lead an altogether cushier life than the talent whose exploits they follow and excitedly report upon to earn their living.

To end on a serious note, speedway is a hard business commercially and, sadly sometimes, personally. To universal disbelief and shock – this season taking part in our sport Lee Richardson tragically lost his life. Friends, fans and riders alike were devastated and the family totally bereft. Though there have been many tears (plus celebrations and various commemorations of Lee Richardson’s life), you can still make a donation to the Lee Richardson Support Fund set up by Lakeside Speedway here

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