092: Dougie Lampkin/The Two Lives of Dougie Lampkin

Dougie Lampkin, London, July 2019. Photo: Tozer

“As a kid you dream of becoming all sorts of weird and wonderful things. I just wanted to be a world champion, and I managed to achieve that.”

I’m back with perhaps my must successful guest ever – Dougie Lampkin, the motorcycle trials legend who dominated his sport to such an extent he has crossed over into the mythical realm where he basically symbolises his own sport in the eyes of the mainstream.

And when you run the numbers, it isn’t difficult to see why. Dougie, who hails from the first family of British motorcycle trials riding, won his first Scottish Six Day Trials and Trial GP events in 1994. He went on to have an era-defining career which saw him win seven consecutive world titles and dominate his sport to such an unparalleled degree that today he is still considered to be the greatest trials rider of all time.

Dougie and friends. Photo: Tozer

These days he still competes in Scottish Six Day Trial events and continues his association with long-term sponsor Red Bull, for whom he continues to work on stunts such as his mission to wheelie around the Isle of Man TT course, a feat he counts as up there with any of his world titles.

A career of incredible highs, basically – and with those come the attendant lows, including the moment his crown slipped and the winning streak ended, and the recent loss of his beloved father Martin, Dougie’s friend, mentor and partner throughout his career.

Photo: Tozer

This conversation is a brilliant investigation into the mind of an absolute winner, and how somebody who has experienced the greatest highs their sport has to offer copes with the negatives that inevitably follow. Big thanks to Dougie for being such great company and for getting into the spirit of the podcast so wholeheartedly:

Show Notes

  • Enjoying the sun in the big smoke.
  • Being a country boy.
  • New projects.
  • 20th year working with Red Bull.
  • Roller coaster video.
  • Feeling “a bit travelled out”.
  • Kick Start’s theme tune.
  • 25 years since arriving “on the world stage”.
  • Winning European World Championship in 1993
  • Signing with Beta.
  • Generations of motorcycling in Dougie’s family.
  • “If you’re going to have a go, make sure you have a really good go at it”.
  • His fist Scottish Six Days Trial.
  • “You dream of becoming world champion and it could come true”.
  • When sacrifice doesn’t feel like sacrifice.
  • Dougie’s work ethic.
  • Deciding a career between golf or motorbiking.
  • His Dad joining “the real world” after his motorcycling career.
  • The Miners Arms pub his Dad ran.
  • Motorcycle minders.
  • Father/ son relationships.
  • Highs and lows of winning a losing.
  • 99 GP wins.
  • On never being satisfied as a pro.
  • Switching off at home: “there’s not a single trophy in our house”.
  • Losing the Scottish 6 Day Trials in 2019.
  • Difference between amateur and pro athletes.
  • Confidence in ability.
  • When no one deserves to lose in a competition.
  • Knowing the time to retire.
  • No to triathlons: “I’ve never ran in my life”.
  • Coping after losing his dad in 2016.
  • Doing Wheelies across the entire Isle of Man TT Course.
  • Longest standing UK athlete with Red Bull.
  • Realising Dave Taylor’s wheelie dreams.
  • Wheelie training on small Yorkshire roads: “I got brought home in a cattle trailer once”.
  • Being absolutely “cramp solid” doing the wheelies.
  • In 1 hr 38 mins: “the best, daftest, most under pressure, draining thing I’ve ever done”.
  • Wheelies up Everest .
  • Getting an MBE.

People Mentioned

Places Mentioned

Companies/Brands/Organisations Mentioned