The Coat Lady of Motor Cycle Racing UK

http://www.donington-park.co.uk/ Please visit to see a slideshow from my day with Betty Hudson at Donnington Park, England, meeting up with the current big names of International motorcycle racing. 2015 Coat Lady of Motorcycing


Betty wears a worn white nylon jacket graffitti-ed with the signatures of all the riders she meets in the pits. They all know her, for she has been following the racing for over fifty years, long before they were born. She knows all about them, has been known to tell them where they are going wrong, and gets invited into the VIP area because she is such a character, but knows what she is talking about.

Pit Lane is an eye opener to me. On this practice day we are allowed access. Betty is always allowed access. Finely tuned bikes purr and grumble these days. No roaring till they open up on track. Beautiful shiny machines. Young men like Ninja Turtles in their safety leathers, clomping about in very expensive motorcycle books and what seem like space helmets. All very high-tech. Big money. Betty is unimpressed. They are as good as their wins, but these boys are good. 

I am quite worn out by the time we actually go trackside to see those riders zoom past. So very fast. All over so quickly. I am ready for a cup of tea. 

In the canteen riders and mechanics queue with the public. Others are in their huge trailers parked in convoy by the security guards, but it seems some like to keep it real. I am still smarting from a rebuff in Pit Lane. There is an Aussie rider there but a fussy lady who seemed to think she was special would not let me say ‘G’day mate’. Though I am Australian too. Some team owner’s overdressed, over coiffeured wife. Betty names her with disdain. I should have waited for Betty to get me in.

So here I am, back in Oz, watching the motorcycling telecast. Oh there is so kand so. I met him! 

But as they roar by the stand I am scanning the crowd. Somewhere there is a lady with an alert look, wearing a white nylon jacket covered in scribbles. Betty!

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