168 hours in a week, 58 or more of them working, 14 of them training, 49 asleep.
A rich mans game.
It’s not often you hear of a 21 year old working two jobs to fund a hobby, costing up at least £700 a time.
But Guy Mckenzie is different.
He is attempting to become one of the best within his class of motorcycle racing.
Like his inspirations Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa of MotoGP fame he is willing to do anything to fund his hobby, hopeful of a successful future.
“Racing is life, anything before or after is just waiting,” said Guy.
It is Pedrosa’s willingness to try that fuels his admiration for the Spaniard.
“He seems to get podium after podium but he’s not yet won a championship even after years of pushing.”
Passion is a word widely associated within motorcycle racing; without passion you are unlikely to find yourself within the dog eat dog sport for longer than five minutes.
For Guy this passion began at the mere age of nine but was not truly realised until he turned 14.
“When you’re young you know the people for it but I don’t think it crosses your mind that it’s possible to do it yourself,” he said.
A passion so expensive that it seems almost inaccessible to younger generations it’s always about the time old cliché ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’.
Often the obsession with racing comes from an influential family member whether it is watching the sport or participating inside it, with Guy this is no different.
“Well as far as actually competing goes my uncle got me into bikes and track days, he always had bikes and kinda pushed me into getting a pretty much road legal race bike as soon as I could,” Guy said.
Influenced from a young age racing has always been part of their relationship whether it is attending race meets together, or getting to know race circuits across the country even before he had the chance to test a bike out.
“I went to a few BSB rounds and decided I wanted to give it a go, never really thought that riding a fast bike round in circles could be so much fun.”
It is no big secret that it is commonly thought amongst non race fans that motorsport is merely going round and round in circles with minimal exertion.
But Guy proves that there is both skill and thrill involved in something that seems at first from the eyes of armchair pundits, very simple.
Athletes of any kind spend hours each day getting their body to the ultimate fitness of their sport, building up muscles some people may have never heard of.
For followers of the sport it will come as no surprise that Guy’s training regime includes a bicycle- favoured by many of the sports top athletes:
“Basically I cycle, prefer cycling to running although I’m probably better at running or jogging. And then lots of core stuff as you tend to use that mostly on the motorcycle,” he said.
Fitness is a huge part of any sport and motorsport, especially motorcycle racing, is no different.
To be in good shape means to be quick, to aid endurance and the way in which the rider’s weight moves the bike.
Bikes are notorious for wanting to stand upright of their own accord.
A rider is purely an interference.
You could almost say they resemble bull riding.
It is this which can often lead to riders having a high rate of injury, Guy’s idol Dani Pedrosa is often referred to as a bionic man due to the amount of metal work his body has endured for the purpose of racing.
Guy however has been one of the few lucky ones, so far.
“I’ve never actually had a major crash, only ever had low sides or lost the front which don’t really damage a lot, as far as bones go I’ve only done fingers,” said Guy.
‘Low side’ crashes tend to be slower paced and with the bike falling away from the rider pose less of a threat of injury and also a greater likelihood of immediately putting the bike back on track.
This is opposed to a ‘high side’ which will most likely flick the rider away from the bike at high speed usually resulting in a breakage and higher financial consequences for the team.
Typically sport in general is focused around the idea that winning is the be all and end all.
But for Guy his best race of the season provided entertainment rather than a trophy.
“My best race was at Donington on 2/3rd June, it was pissing it down all weekend but I had my first proper wet race there and absolutely loved it! I went through 10 pairs of socks mind. Didn’t finish on the podium but still had mega fun,” he said.
Motorsport is an intense sport, one that most champions start from an early age but a key personality trait in most riders seems to be their sense of enjoyment.
Only this season it became clear what riders do when they stop enjoying themselves- they quit.
The season is now over for Guy but this does not mean the hard work stops.
He continues to spend most hours of the week raising money to fund not only his hobby but a potential future career.
“I work so hard because I have a dream and I wanna work as far towards it as I can, plus racing really does take over your life… you eat well, you train and you just look forward to getting back out on the bike. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Guy.
But racing always has the ability to remind its supporters and competitors that it can be a nasty and sometimes unrewarding experience.
Whilst Guy enjoys Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire it is the circuit where his friend Ben Gautrey lost his life:
“Cadwell because it’s only got a max of 20ft width or something daft makes for mega overtakes and it’s where Ben last was.”
As a whole the bike racing community felt the death of the young rider, from those who knew him to those who watched his style from the sidelines.
Racing can be draining and hard.
But for now Guy Mckenzie is looking forward to the 2013 season and of course what the future will bring.
“A career I hope, failing that a commercial pilot, for now it’s a hobby I guess,” he said.