I’m SnapChap: keen motorcyclist, avid bike racing fan, and attempting to get established in amongst the photographers of one of the most dangerous sports ...‘in the World’ (to get that Clarkson vibe in there!).
But who am I? Well, I’m a short, tubby, forty something web designer who lives in the North West of the UK, just a stones throw from the Lake District. I’ve been married to my long suffering wife for more years than she’d care to mention and share our home with two daft cats. Motorcycles have been part of my family for generations, my paternal grandfather had motorcycles throughout his life as did my dad (including a fully restored Manx Norton 350, which is sadly long since gone), and for nearly 30 years, I too have had motorbikes, from my first learner bike a Honda MBX80, right up to litre sportsbikes and everything in between.
My interest in motorcycles all started for me in the early eighties (1982 IIRC), as a young lad my dad and his dad took me to the Isle of Man to see the Tourist Trophy (the ‘TT’). Just as most visitors to the island, we arrived by ferry and on landing in Douglas terminal we set off for a guided coach tour of the course, spending the remainder of the day baking in the hot sun sat on the dry stone wall just up from the Creg-ny-Baa corner. Somewhere in my loft I still have photos from that visit, taken with my very first camera, a Boots (a UK chemists) 110 film folding camera. I’ll have to pull a finger out and see if I can find them.
For a few years, in my teens, I marshalled with my dad at the annual car and motorbike hill sprints at nearby Barbon Manor just outside Kirkby Lonsdale (where Devils Bridge is). The access you get as a marshal is so much better than that of the general public, but with it comes responsibility. Pulling a knackered bike off the course and mopping up the oil with cement dust is one thing, but tending to someone who could be injured and ensuring that the local Ambulance can attend is quite another, so I’ve been closer to grass root motorsports than most, and in part this has been a contributor to my photography style and preference in the images from other photographers.
So what’s to come from this tribe? The intention is to show you the kind of images you're less likely to see, a more candid view of my favourite sport, the highs, the lows, the good, the bad, in my words and images. Along the way I’ll endeavour to give the back story to any of my images I post, and if I can I’ll try and get other accounts of racing from other photographers, racers themselves and anyone else I can cajole into offering a few words who is of any relevance. Just keep in mind that this tribe, although will hopefully track my journey into motorcycle road racing photography, is primarily about my photography in general, so along the way I’ll be showing you images from bike shows, car shows, air shows and any other motor based event that takes my interest that I attend, and during the off season I’ll look back through my archive and share some highlights.
Well, that’s the intro over, I don’t want to show all my cards at the beginning, else I won’t have a right lot to talk about over the coming months. If you’re not familiar with my work you can find it at snapchap.co.uk and if you’re up on your social media you can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook (links below).