Like the rest of us, the self-confessed born-again-biker Carl Fogarty is itching for the end of lockdown when he can climb on his bike to ride wherever he wants to go, to meet whoever he wants and for whatever reason.
But what has the coronavirus lockdown been like the four-times Superbike World Champion and former winner of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of Here?
Three months in and now, possibly, with the end in sight, Carl Fogarty MBE answers our questions about his life in lockdown.
How’s Foggy’s mood three months into lockdown?
“We’ve been lucky because the weather has been amazing and that makes everything a little bit more bearable. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time in the garden enjoying the sun.
“It would be a very long three months if the weather hadn’t been so kind and we had all been stuck indoors.”
But Carl Fogarty realises he is very lucky. The “ordinary guy from Blackburn” reflects on how fortunate he was to have made a good living doing something he enjoyed and was very good at, racing superbikes.
That skill, and the rewards from it, mean he has a nice house in the country with a little bit of land, so there is plenty of room for him and his family to remain safe and sane during the enforced lockdown.
“I know I’m lucky with what I have, but my heart really goes out to those less fortunate. People living perhaps in flats, with children having no space to play, struggling for money, wondering how they will keep the family fed.
“It must be an incredible struggle for them and I know that I have been incredibly lucky to have all that I have.”
Did Foggy learn anything in lockdown?
Unfortunately, not too much, he joked: “About all I have learned is how to buy an awful lot of stuff online.“
What about DIY projects around the home?
“I’ve worked on and serviced bikes in the garage. Pottered around the garden, fixed a couple of gates that were broken and I’ve done a lot of power washing, patios, garden furniture, everything. I always try to keep myself busy.”
Is Foggy fitter or fatter as a result of lockdown?
“Definitely fitter. I’m quite lucky that I have the sort of metabolism that burns off the fat. I do use the home gym and go out on the bike regularly so I am pretty fit. There’s nothing regimental, but I just keep on the move and thankfully keep in pretty good shape.”
What has Foggy missed most during lockdown?
“Because of our situation in a nice part of the country I’ve not really missed too much, we haven’t suffered.
“I’d always planned to spend more time at home this year because in 2019 I was away far too much. I wanted to chill and enjoy what I have with my home and my family this year and the lockdown, in a funny sort of way, has helped me do that.”
But Carl Fogarty, the modest guy with modest pleasures, admitted: “Like a lot of people the one thing I have missed most is going to the local pub and meeting and mixing with friends.
“I don’t go to the pub every night, but I have missed it because it’s all about the community.”
How has Foggy kept in touch during lockdown?
“I use a lot of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and I’ve done some Zoom stuff with people like Suzi Perry on BT Sport and Eurosport so I think I’ve kept in touch pretty well. It will be good to get to meet people face to face again soon though!”
What has Foggy enjoyed about lockdown?
“As I said, I was away a lot last year so it’s been wonderful being able to enjoy the English summer at home so far. For once, I’ve been able to really relax and chill.
“And the roads. They’re so quiet. If we could take one thing out of lockdown it would be that, quieter roads!
“I’ve enjoyed the TV too. They’ve been showing a lot of old sport, old races.
“I’ve had lots of messages on social media from people who have watched them and have been reminded of the good old days.”
What are you looking forward to doing most when it’s over?
“I’ve had to make no sacrifices during lockdown but I suppose I’m looking forward to getting on the bike and riding out to Lytham on the coast, that’s not far.
“Just sitting down in a cafe and having a spot of lunch over a chat with some friends. That sounds good.
“And perhaps a bit of a holiday. A couple of weeks in Ibiza or somewhere would be nice, if they can sort out social distancing at airports and quarantine regulations.”
You toured Spain before lockdown, where next?
“I did a coast to coast from north to south Wales last year. It was a great trip and I would like to do something similar this year. I quite fancy Spain again too, perhaps in October. We’ll see.”
Much has been cancelled, which event did you miss most?
“So much was cancelled, the Isle of Man TTs, I was going to a big classic bike event in France… A lot has gone by the board, but there’ll be next year. All these events will come again.”
How will Foggy celebrate his birthday?
Don’t say it too loud but the very lithe looking Carl Fogarty celebrates his 55th birthday on Wednesday, 1st July: “I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Perhaps a nice meal at home.
“If we’re allowed I might have a few friends over and perhaps a barbecue in the garden. Just simple things. I don’t want for much, I don’t need to do too much to celebrate.”
Whatever he does, many happy returns to Carl Fogarty MBE. His views as Bikesure ambassador are always welcome here!
Foggy retired from superbike racing 20 years ago and he has decided to mark that milestone by continuing his long and happy association with Bikesure the specialist motorcycle insurance intermediary.
Once life returns to normal Foggy will be supporting Bikesure at a number of events around the country giving fans the chance to meet and chat to him face to face.