May 2017 marks the last issue of Ultimate Motorcycling you will see with Andrew Oldar as an Associate Editor. If you follow supercross and motocross on our website, you’re quite familiar with Andrew’s outstanding coverage of those series. Off-road enthusiasts have undoubtedly read Andrew’s many in-depth and authoritative reviews of motocross machinery dating back to 2014.
By the time you read this, Andrew will be taking his skills to Dirt Rider magazine, leaving a legacy here at Ultimate Motorcycling that will be difficult to replicate. While you might think we may be disappointed to see one of our family members leave the fold, we are unreservedly thrilled for Andrew. As Ultimate Motorcycling tackles every aspect of our sport, Andrew rides off-road exclusively. He was destined to land at a special-interest motorcycle magazine, so we are the first people to root for him at his new position.
More than simply an Associate Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling, Andrew is also a long-time friend—very long-time. I’ve known Andrew’s parents since before he was born, and have watched him grow from a gregarious young boy on a tiny motorcycle to an impressive and enthusiastic young man hitting the big jumps at motocross tracks around the country on our behalf.
Andrew is also a former competitor of mine, as we both have an observed motorcycle trials background, as does his father. As Andrew was coming up through the ranks, he and I butt heads on the trials course one summer season, as we traded victories on the way to attempting to secure a championship.
One detail worth mentioning is that Andrew was 10 years old, and I was about 30 years older. After many sections of trading dabs and cleans, the championship came down to a final section. To win the ITS Intermediate Championship, Andrew had to only score a “three” on his last ride. If you’re not familiar with trials scoring, that allowed Andrew to simply paddle his way through the section to a championship.
However, being 10, Andrew didn’t see it that way. He went into the section with the intention of scoring a clean and punctuating his hard-fought championship in front of a small crowd. He attempted a bit of a trick turn with a rear wheel hop, and disaster struck—the engine stalled and he took five points. That was the maximum and enough to cost him the championship he worked for all summer.
Andrew started up his bike, rode out of the section and, as disappointed 10-year-olds can do, he started to cry. I walked up to Andrew and expressed that I understood his disappointment. I said to him, “Andrew, I know this hurts, but when you look back on this it won’t nearly seem as bad as it seems right now. And, you know, this is the last time I’ll ever beat you. You’re just going to keep on getting better, and I’m just hanging on to the skills I have.”
On the way home, I called my dad and he asked how the trial went. I told him, “I beat a 10-year-old and made him cry.” My dad, being my dad, got a laugh about that, understanding how trials works. From then on, whenever I’d call my dad after a trial, he’d invariably ask me, “Did you make any 10-year-olds cry today?”
As you’d imagine, Andrew has gone onto great success as a trials rider. He won the prestigious El Trial de España in 2015 (joining the likes of world champions Sammy Miller and Bernie Schreiber), and has been a Honda Montesa factory-sponsored rider.
So, we wish Andrew Oldar the best at Dirt Rider, and know that he will do a fantastic job. Who knows, when I’m ready to retire here at Ultimate Motorcycling, he may end up with my job.