(I just found this post in my blog’s drafts. I wrote it one night in 2010, just edited it again and decided to post it today. I have no idea why I didn’t post it back then, it was a fun memory of a night I won’t forget from the 1980s.)
I couldn’t sleep last night from about 2am to about 5am, and for some reason I couldn’t get an image out of my head from when I was a kid and totally into motorcycles (I had a dirt bike back then). It was 1984, Supercross was big and every year my family would go see the races at Anaheim stadium and at the LA Coliseum. A bit of googling filled in the blanks of my memory.
I remember it was the final event of the 1984 season and the battles between the top 3-4 guys were tightly fought. There was prize money and sponsor money riding on where they ended up in the final year-end placings and this was the final race to decide the series overall winner in LA, and we were in the stands. David Bailey was my favorite rider (he was on Honda, like my dirt bike) and I was rooting for him to win the series.
As the final race was being staged, Broc Glover emerged from the pits decked out in day-glo pink from head to toe. Pink helmet. Pink leathers. Pink accents on his jersey and boots. It seems inconsequential now, but it was a bold choice back then and I remember an audible gasp in the crowd and a lot of confused fans. Motorcycle racing has always been a sport with hard misogynist undertones, and even today many years later, when you think of women in motocross it’s usually as objects, either “hot girlfriends” in the pits or the ever-present podium girls. These days there are finally events where women race motocross too but for the most part the sport is a neanderthal man’s world.
I remember Broc’s pink outfit causing waves. He didn’t have a big message or say much about it, he just came out wearing it to the shock of the crowd. Everyone seemed to think it was some sort of ridiculous stunt. Broc Glover going all pink on the most important race of the year had to be distraction to himself and others but he not only raced well, he won the race and the entire year’s series that night.
I’ll never forget that after he won (amid people in the stands saying lots of homophobic shit all night) his sponsors ended up selling a line of pink motocross wear and you’d see people wearing it at local riding spots in Southern California for years after. I was 11 years old at the time I watched this race and there was definitely something rad about pulling a stunt like this out of the blue, but then going the extra mile to outdo everyone around you while doing it that totally impressed me.