What happens when you bring 220,000 crazy partygoers into a festival atmosphere, chuck in an international-spec motocross track and a complete lack of health and safety, and a few KTM 790 Dukes? Zwarte Cross. That’s what.
44T regulars will know that Chris absolutely loves motocross and anything off-road related, so what better way to feed that hunger for pain and discomfort than a trip to the world’s biggest motocross festival? And, to top it off, riding heavy road bikes with road tyres on a deep sand MX track. Simply lovely.
‘Zwarte Cross’ translates to ‘Black Cross,’ which takes heed from illegal motocross races back in the 1960s. The festival was first staged back in 1997 and attracted 1000 visitors, later moving to Lichtenvoorde; a small town in the east of the Netherlands, right on the German border where the festival has grown to world-renowned status. Sure, there are actual motocross races and proper racers racing, but the majority of the crowd come to throw beer and sausages at wankers riding mopeds, whacky home-built bikes and gargantuan lorries with pissed-up idiots inside. And KTM 790 Dukes.
Soon after clocking the reality and sheer enormity of this feat, Farnham’s very own Jeffrey Herlings soon made his excuses for leaving early: something to do with riding back on Friday night to drive the McLaren Senna at Goodwood the following day.
Our part-time camera guy, Toby Carvery, joined us to capture some of the gold. Thankfully, Toby accompanied me after Chris buggered off early, and we got well and truly stuck into the festival vibe.
But nothing could prepare us for the ensuing carnage…