QUEANBEYAN motorbike racer Ben Richards will return to competition this weekend, two months after suffering life-threatening injuries in a crash at Bega Speedway.
After receiving a doctor’s clearance to get back on the bike a fortnight ago, Richards will line-up in this weekend’s Australian Classic Dirt Track Titles at Fairbairn Park.
The 17-year-old was left with bleeding on the brain and multiple broken bones after wiping out during a regular season speedway meeting in August.
But the brash youngster was adamant there wouldn’t be any nerves when he takes his place on the starting line for the first time in eight weeks tomorrow.
“I was having withdrawals from not being on the bike for so long, that’s how bad it’s been,” Richards said in the lead-up to this weekend’s titles. “The most exciting part of my day for the past few weeks has been walking the dog.
“Just to be back on the bike was unreal. Not even riding that hard, just putting around I realised how much I missed it. I was definitely over sitting at home.”
Incredibly, Richards will make his return to racing on a bike he has ridden just once before – a 1973 Honda CR 250 which clocks in at more than twice the age of its rider.
This weekend’s Classic titles are limited to vintage bikes produced pre-1978 and Richards will be the youngest competitor at the meet.
“It’s a whole different experience when you hop on a classic,” Richards said. “There’s just a different way to handle it to get it around the corners, it’s more on an art to ride the classics than a normal bike.”
Richards estimates the bike, which was purchased from the United States and which has rebuilt over the space of six months by his dad Wayne, has not been raced in more than three decades.
The Australian Classic Dirt Track Titles will be held at Fairbairn Park on Pialligo Avenue, Majura from the 6th-7th of October. Entry is $5pp or $15 per car.