It’s been an interesting week this week, not a pleasant experience seeing your son being knocked off at Brands Hatch by another rider - I think the best description of my week is ‘mixed emotions’….
This year, I’ve managed to watch all of Wil’s races, at his first race weekend in March at Brands Hatch, there were times when watching him heading out onto the circuit that I felt a little uneasy, but quickly managed to say a little prayer and put my trust in God, accepting that He is in control and that I can trust God to watch over Wil. Remembering those verses in the Bible that say “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4v6-7.
As the races went by, Brands, Cadwell, Silverstone, then Snetterton, watching Wil head out to the race circuit, and then return unscathed, I started to feel more and more comfortable with him out there, racing at high speed, but knowing deep down that one day, he would find him self on the grass or in the gravel - you can’t race a bike on the limit without stepping over that limit. Which he did actually manage at Snetterton, but saved the slide and brought the bike back safe.
Monday we were at Brands Hatch again, this time riding the Grand Prix circuit, giving Wil the opportunity to learn the circuit before we race there in July.
As usual, Wil was out there, steadily learning the circuit, picking up his pace, dropping his lap times and looking very comfortable. It was the last session, when another rider ran out of talent and hit the back of Wil’s bike into Surtees, knocking Wil off the side of his bike, all be it still holding onto the handle bars heading towards the tyre barrier at speed, Wil had to make a split second decision to let go and accept the accident as inevitable.
Wil tumbled over and over stopping just shy of the tyre wall, the bike tumbled over and over and unfortunately landing on top of the tire wall before falling back down.
I was standing watching Wil from the back of the pits where you can see the back straight and the first part of Sutees - I saw the other rider hit Wil and just started running to get a better view…
I could see Wil sitting up in the gravel trap, holding his leg, the bike in bits and the other rider lying motionless on the grass - my first thought was “Wil looks okay, but he does look hurt”
The session was red flagged, and the track was cleared - I decided to try and get a better look and just walked out of the pits and across the grass towards the accident. I knew I shouldn’t and I knew they would send me back, to which they did, but I just couldn’t stop myself from getting closer and checking to see if Wil was okay.
As the marshals signalled me to return to the pits, Wil waved and shouted “I’m okay”. Therefore I relaxed a little but still with some concern, prayed for Wil and the other rider as I was walking back towards the pits, where I stopped and did a bit to camera for the Vlog.
Knowing that Wil was (mostly) okay, I ran back to the car and drove round the perimeter road to the medical centre, where they took Wil, and checked him over - finding various bruises, scratches and a rather painful left foot.
The bike had suffered quite badly, but mostly cosmetic and fixable.
The other rider, who caused the accident had suffered with bad concussion, but should make a good recovery.
We left the circuit, and headed to our local minor injuries unit in Canterbury, where they x-rayed Wil’s foot and confirmed that it wasn’t broken - what a relief!
I went to bed that night feeling grateful that God had watched over Wil and that he walked (well limped) away with minor injuries. I felt for Paul, having to take the bike back in such a mess, knowing that there was financial implications too.
The next day, a different emotion started kicking in, grappling with the details of the accident in my head and trying to make sense of why the other rider took that risk, and generally feeling quite aggrieved and annoyed at his actions. Resulting in not only putting Wil at unnecessary risk, but also causing substantial damage to the bike too. Of course there wasn’t anything I could do apart from accept it and move on. Having trust in God, knowing that he has ultimate control, I found it easier to move on and deal with it in my own head, along with accepting that forgiving the other rider is the only way forward, and the Christian thing to do.
The following day, now Wednesday, I found myself considering how much I don’t like the idea of watching my son crashing a motorcycle. It’s not the first time I’ve witnessed this, and I momentarily started doubting whether we should be racing - it was only momentarily and it was quickly followed with a reminder to put my trust in God.
I have to say it’s been an interesting, but not necessarily good week. However each day being reminded me of my Christian faith, and how putting my trust in God really helps in difficult situations. God is good, and I believe is ultimately in control over everything, as we read in the Bible “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” Romans 8v28.
Of course, that’s not the end of the week, only to hear our good friend and part of Faith Fueled Racing, Will James Gravenor had a motorcycle accident on Friday afternoon, suffering a broken shoulder blade and a rather a beaten up motorcycle. Finding myself praying for Will James and visiting him in A&E, we are very pleased, and praise God that his injuries are relatively minor.