Steve Dick had an interview with the Burnaby Now (local community newspaper last week) and the story was printed in Saturday July 24th's edition of the paper. Another effort that local racers and the WMRC have made to promote the sport of motorcycling racing here in B.C.
Burnaby Now Click on Sports and the story is under Riding Club's Second Wave.
For some reason the link might now be working so I have pasted the text from the story below.
Riding Club's second wave
By Tom Berridge - Now Sports Reporter
For former two-time Canadian superbike champion Steve Dick, professional motorcycle racing comes in threes.
Dick, the Canadian 600 cc champion in 1981 and '82, is back in the saddle again after three partners and three offspring, and is currently in hot pursuit of the regional pro championship triple he won back in 2002.
In the late '80s, the now Burnaby resident was ranked as high as top 10 on circuits in the United States and in his first trip to Daytona, finished on the podium in third place on a 750 supersport bike.
Prize money was good then and the sport was enjoying nationwide exposure, but those glory days were rapidly coming to an end in B.C.
Motorcycle racing nearly became an extinct species in the Lower Mainland following the loss of the popular Westwood track in Coquitlam in 1990.
What used to be a quarter million dollar operation became little more than a hobby club as the Westwood Motorcycle Racing Club searched for other venues from which to reinvent itself.
By 2001, the WMRC found itself viable again, this time at Mission Raceway, following an addition to the modified drag strip track.
Now three years later, little has changed. Dick is still racing and leaving younger competitors in his taillights as he charges into the turns in his 'point-and-shoot' style and sliding around the breakneck curves at a heart stopping 50-degree angle.
Dick, who grew up in St. Albert, Alta., turned pro at the age of 24 and two years later was being heralded as the best in Canada.
He became street legal on 100 cc bikes on the day he turned 14 and six years later was racing competitively.
Dick remembers that day well. He was browsing through an accessory store in Edmonton, where he would blow his paycheck on bike parts, and saw a man behind the counter stapling a racing poster to the notice board.
At the track, people he now knows as good friends, recognized his unreadiness to race and helped outfit him properly.
He entered three races that day, finishing second last in the opener, mid-pack in the second one and runner-up in the final. "I was hooked," he said.
Now a sales representative in B.C. for Steen Hansen's, an after market motorcycle parts and accessory distributor, Dick often runs into that same man behind the counter now running a dealership in Campbell River. "I still bug him that he's the reason I'm poor."
Few pros will ever end up making money in motorcycling, Dick says. Last year, he made $42,000, but just broke even after expenses.
A prot‚g‚ of his, Jeremy Leduc, won the national amateur 600 cc championship last year at the age of 27, but retired after spending over $50,000 on his hobby.
It's an unfortunate fact of life for would-be racers, but things are slowly changing, says Dick.
The WMRC now has money in the bank and hopefully with more favourable race dates opening up at Mission Raceway, the sport will continue to grow.
The club has plans to add safety features to the track in the hopes of wooing a national championship to the West Coast.
Today, motorcycle racing in the Lower Mainland is better organized and prize money is more attractive, which is fueling a 30 per cent growth in annual ridership, he says.
At 49 years of age, the Burnaby resident is easily the grand daddy of the field.
Maple Ridge racer Steve Crevier, a six-time Canadian champion and 10 year's Dick's junior, is one of a number of notable West Coast riders who have made a name on the national and international circuit.
Crevier is still on top and currently running in second place in the national superbike championship. He is also a frequent visitor to Mission, much to the delight of his former rival.
"It's fun. It reminds me of the glory days. I was younger and I would go to a Westwood race and come away with $3,000 or $4,000 a weekend.
"I don't get nearly as nervous as I did before. I guess what it is, is it's still really fun to beat the younger guys. We're good friends on the track, but we battle hard, banging fairings, but we don't want to take each other out," Dick said.
"I just don't seem to have lost that edge."
As Dick contemplates retirement, he still has some unfinished business to attend to.
"I want to win the three championships I lost last year - the 600 supersport, open supersport and superbike. As 50 draws closer, I'm thinking maybe I'll quit when I'm 50, but the problem is I'm still having fun and I'm winning. It's really hard to quit something you enjoy and doing so well at."
There is also perhaps a more personal concern for Dick, to leave a rebuilding sport that has been so good to him too early, and with so much yet to be done.
"In beautiful B.C. we have the best motorcycling in Canada. It's a shame we don't have a national level competition in our own backyard," he said.
Westwood will be hosting a pair of race days this Saturday and Sunday, a tough sell against a Molson Indy weekend in Vancouver
Gates open at 7 a.m. with practices and qualifying races running until noon. Main races start both days at 1 p.m. Admission is $10 at the gate.
For more info on motorcycle racing at Mission, go to Westwood Motorcycle Racing Club www.wmrc.ca.