Get up to speed with Adam ‘Chad’ Child
With over 1 million miles under his tyres, the amazing Mr Child is a land speed record breaker, international motorcycle journalist, romantic, proud father and Fawcett Ambassador Extraordinaire. He’s also a familiar face at Goodwood. So we asked…
What puts the good into Goodwood?
If you only do one event, do Goodwood. It’s the highlight of my year.
The period dress means it's like being in a movie, fantastic attention to detail. But the racing’s properly tough, real racing. It’s very prestigious, you have to be invited by Lord March, the Duke of Richmond. It’s unusual for a journalist to be on the track at the sharp end with the BSB boys so I really like that side of it. This year my son met Brian Johnson, frontman of AC/DC and Mr Bean. Amazing who Goodwood brings together!
I rode field bikes on a farm but my first road bike was a Suzuki RG125.
Vintage Ducati 900SS. It’s on my brother’s workbench right now. He’s an engineer.
Barry Sheen. My brother and I used to watch Kick Start (1980s British motorcycle off-road trials TV show).
Dad was an engineer in the RAF but he doesn’t ride and can’t bear to watch. Now I’m a father I see where he’s coming from.
Where did you first ride?
On a farm where Dad couldn’t see me!
Started at the Yorkshire Post magazine Northern Biker. Messed about in the south of France being a hooligan for Fast Bikes magazine. Motorcycle News called and said do you want to be a proper journalist or are you happy just pulling wheelies for the rest of your life? So I got my act together with them for 15 years. Now I work internationally as a freelance journalist.
Road, track or off-road?
Roads. Not for the speed, it’s the variety. You could do 180 miles down a high street on the Isle of Man or be in an open face helmet, taking it easy on a Harley in California.
Fastest recorded speed ?
I did 247 mph on a Kawasaki ZX10 with a turbo charged engine. The world record is 251 mph. I might go for it.
The world’s ultimate road trip?
India has a special place in my heart. It's where I met my wife Sarah when she was riding a motorcycle on a charity ride. It’s also where I met Richie and Iain, 13 years ago.
What was it like to ride with Keanu Reeves?
He’s really down to earth and normal. We rode for a day in the canyons north of LA. He had an old Norton and his kit’s very well-worn. Not flashy. He loves motorcycling because his helmet gives him the freedom of anonymity.
Advice for anyone thinking of joining BarbersRide ?
Take your time and enjoy the ride. No one is judgemental, it doesn't matter if you've been riding for 50 years or two weeks. No one cares about what kind of bike you're on. It’s not about being at the front, it’s about the journey. The best people are usually the ones at the back who take the longest in the coffee shops because it's really about the friendships you make and the camaraderie.
And…why are you called Chad?
No idea! My older brother was also called Chad. I was Baby Chad or Little Chad. I’m only called Adam by strangers, authorities, race marshals and my parents. It’s a barometer of how well I’m behaving!
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