IN most cases, undergoing brain surgery would prompt people to slow down, but not if your Warilla sidecar racer Andy Bridge.
Bridge will travel to Mildura on Saturday with passenger Robbie Weston in the hope of claiming the Australian sidecar crown.
It comes little more than a year after a brain aneurysm stopped him in his tracks.
“It was June last year, I was working on my bike in the shed and just suddenly got dizzy,” Bridge recalls.
“I’d had a brain aneurysm so I went straight into intensive care at Wollongong Hospital.
“I had one lot of surgery and then I’ve had two more surgeries in the past 12 months. I only had my my last one 12 weeks ago.”
Bridge initially thought it would spell the end of his competitive racing career but, having made a return to racing at Cowra a fortnight ago, is confident he can claim the national title.
“All my family said to give the bike racing away but one of my aunties convinced me to stay with it,” Bridge said.
“I didn’t think I’d ever get to do it again but she just said ‘it’s what you love doing so hook into it’. My sponsors CJ’s Motorcycles at Oak Flats have been a big help keeping me in it.
“I had my first race back last weekend at Cowra and I got four first places. I actually think I’ve come back better.”
With success in the sport largely dependent on chemistry between rider and passenger, Bridge is confident he and Weston can claim the national title.
“We’re a big, big chance,” Bridge said.
“The hardest thing in the sport is finding someone made enough to get on the side of one. They’re four inches off the ground doing a hundred miles an hour with no brakes sideways into a corner.
“The two people need to gel together, if you don’t you’re dead. You’ve got to have 110 per cent trust in your passenger and they need the same in the rider."