Friday 21st

Saturday 20th - Monday 22nd October: MX and Mini tracks open each day from 9.00 until dark. Trail loops closed. Sunday free sausage sizzle at lunch time.

Hugh Anderson Biography

"Being There"

maddix park mx
Hugh Anderson M.B.E's autobiography is available now. 

Motorcycling legend Hugh Anderson's career captured in brilliant fashion

http://www.stuff.co.nz/  EVAN PEGDEN

As a 10-year-old on an Ohinewai farm in 1946 Hugh Anderson was captivated by reports he read of the return of motorcycle racing to the Isle of Man after World War II.

"I decided I'd like to go there one day but these were gods and I couldn't do that. I was just a kid on a dairy farm in Ohinewai and not a very big farm at that," Anderson said.

At the age of 78 Anderson, who for years has lived in Hamilton, has finally published an enthralling autobiography that details how he not only did that but went on to win the Isle of Man TT twice and was four times a world motorcycle road racing champion.

IN PRINT: Hugh Anderson at the Timaru International Motor Raceway with his new autobiography.
Fairfax NZ

IN PRINT: Hugh Anderson at the Timaru International Motor Raceway with his new autobiography.

He also went on to excel on the European international motocross circuit after retiring from the world road racing circuit as a Suzuki factory rider.

In his "retirement" Anderson led the way in the fledgling classic racing movement from the 1980s and was crowned the unofficial world classic champion for his efforts racing the old bikes in competition throughout the world.

They were deeds that were later in life to lead to him being honoured with an MBE and admittance to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, while being considered a legend by motorcycle racing fans not just in this country but throughout the world.

But, at the time, all a young Anderson wanted to do was get there and be part of the racing scene - hence the title of his book Being There.

"All I ever wanted to do was be there, to tread the same path, breathe the same air and be part of this Continental circus as they termed it."

He first rode a motorbike on his mother's farm when he was nine. By the time he was 12 he was riding and crashing his older brother's bike, at 14 he rode a motorbike to school in Huntly to hs teacher's chagrin, at 17 he went to his first dirt bike event with a self-built converted road bike and won every race with the sort of intense approach that was to take him to stardom and by 20 he was doing the same in road races.

It was soon apparent he had natural talent and, despite an admitted lack of confidence and the culture shock of going from Ohinewai to London, he made the big step to Europe.

After winning a host of New Zealand titles and three British titles on larger capacity British bikes, Anderson went on to claim four world championships on 50cc and 125cc Suzukis at the dawn of the grand prix two-stroke era, having helped develop the bikes into world beaters.

He won 25 grand prix and gained 47 podium positions before retiring in 1966 as the sixth most successful rider in the history of the world championship series.

Anderson then helped Suzuki develop the motocross bike that delivered them more world titles. He himself went on to finish in the top four of over 40 European international motocross events and after returning to New Zealand won 19 national and North Island off-road championships before retiring at the age of 37.

In a dangerous sport that saw many of his friends and rivals killed, Anderson endured many accidents, his Dutch wife Janny twice being told he was dead.

He has broken his back, shoulders, legs, arms, feet, hands and ribs, suffered multiple dislocations, had a fractured skull and concussions.

The most recent of these injuries was as recent as six years ago just after, at the age of 72, he had recorded his fastest lap at Pukekohe on his classic 500cc Manx Norton that he had bought in 1961.

It was while recovering from that Anderson, who still owns five or six bikes and regularly goes touring, decided the time was right for an autobiography, not only to chronicle what is a fascinating story of his life and his racing career but to describe to young riders exactly what it is like leaning over the tank of a racing machine at over 200km/h. How he went about winning the big races with fastidious attention to detail, brilliant technical analysis, total commitment and the use of visualisation well before the term had even been coined and sports psychologists existed.

"What I wanted to know as a kid was what it was like behind the handlebars and behind the steering wheel.

"I looked for it everywhere but people were so modest back then and people didn't explain their inner feelings and how they think and we don't talk to each other about it. With this book I've tried to do just that."

An incredible photographic recall of detail from events 40, 50, even 60 years ago means he has been able to tell the story of a quite amazing life in such a vivid way that he takes you back to those times and you ride almost in pillion passenger fashion through what was a quite incredible era in motorsport. He admits to still coming out in goose bumps both writing and talking about it.

It is not only a thrilling ride and written in page-turning fashion that will appeal not just to motorcycle enthusiasts but anyone who wants to find out about a different era in New Zealand and world sport as well as get an insight into a man who lives in our community with a past superstar status of which many will be totally unaware.

It was a three-year labour of love and hard work - in between brain tumours and a debilitating migraine that left him unable to walk - for a man who says writing does not come naturally, although you would hardly believe it on reading the book with his use of some sound writing techniques and one fascinating anecdote after another.

Anderson has done it all himself, from writing it, finding the photographs, designing the cover and publishing it, the printing done locally in Hamilton.

He is also marketing and selling it himself, both from home and through a network of motorcycle dealers from Whangarei to Invercargill, determined to avoid the usual bookshop route and concentrate on his perceived market.

*Being There is available at most of the leading motorcycle dealers in Waikato or from Hugh Anderson at either [email protected] or 07-853-2711.

 - Waikato Times

And a review from Australia....

MA's Bonanza Coordinator Peter Drakeford recently finished the autobiography of arguably New Zealand's greatest racers Hugh Anderson. In preparation for the 2015 Broadford Bike Bonanza Gala Dinner, chek out Drakey's review of Hugh's book below:

The 2015 Bonanza is creeping up on us and a recent book I’ve read emphasised the talent we have in Australasia and we always aim to highlight it at the annual BBB Gala Dinner.

Hugh Anderson, a 4 time World Road Race GP Champion in the 1960s; on the hardest bikes to master – 50 & 125cc Suzukis; was a guest at the 2013 BBB and would have to be one of the best speakers we have had at the Gala Dinner.

To have Hugh explain the intricacies of dealing with a 500rpm powerband at 13,500rpm gives you some idea of the superhuman task required to keep the tiddler GP bikes moving forward at all. Combine this with the literally death defying efforts needed at the Isle of Man TT course (or any other circuit at the time) and this guy deserves to be in the pantheon of the greatest. That he was able to give a glimpse of the effort in his interview with Alan Cathcart at the Gala Dinner left me wanting more, and subsequently this book came into being.

Hugh’s book ‘Being There’ goes into so much detail of the effort he had to put in; almost regardless of personal risk. When the death rate of his contemporaries at the TT left him wondering if he was the next victim of the event, he took himself off to Douglas harbour and hunched in his greatcoat against the cold, contemplated his existence. What else was there? Return to the mines in NZ? No, he had to face death as this was where he wanted to be, he was ‘being there’ in the moment, in the zone where every action transcended normality, where he became one with the motorcycle, in the bubble of GP road racing.

Hugh would have to be one of the great all rounders. When he walked away from the GP scene (to Suzuki’s surprise) he tested himself in the International Motocross scene. Ever heard of a Roadrace Champ turning their hand to MX? Most go from MX to Road Racing. Hugh was the highest placed CZ rider in the internationals, down from the full on MX GP likes of Robert and Geboers. the CZ factory maintained his bikes and he took 7 of them back to NZ when he left Europe. Then there was his development work for the Suzuki MX bike, but self-effacingly refused their offer of a contract and recommended Olle Peterson to them. The rest is history.

This is the finest autobiography I’ve read. Do yourself a favour, get a copy and be prepared for the next surprise at the BBB Gala Dinner 2015.

Price is NZ$50 including postage to Australia, email is [email protected]

http://www.ma.org.au/ 

 
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