CROZ – Larrikin Biker
I’m currently half way through my second read of Croz – Larrikin Biker. I read it when it was first published by HarperCollins in 2010 and frankly I didn’t believe it.
I’ve recently had a chance to get to know Croz, and I realise that just about every word is true.
What makes it seem like fiction is how incredible the story is. It starts with a crash on a customer’s bike when he was scratching a living as a nobody in the motorcycle trade in Auckland in 1972 and finishes with him walking away from the 500GP circuit in 1982 having got within inches of becoming world champion. Coming second is still bloody excellent and Croz has never lost a night’s sleep over what could have been.
In the interim, he achieved legendary status on Moriwaki Superbikes in Britain and blitzed the Isle of Man TT in both the Senior and Formula One TT’s. Croz’s story is even more amazing when you realise most of his high-profile international achievements were in just four years. He arrived in Britain in 1979 with just his leathers and 150 quid and returned to NZ four years later as arguably the most recognised motorcycle racer in the world.
His autobiography is searingly honest and often hilarious at the same time. Unlike Hugh Anderson, Crosby is happy to name names and there would have been many nervous colleagues of his when the book was published.
While the international component of the story is a focus, there’s much joy to be had from his recollections of racing in NZ and Australia in the early years and the industry characters he interacted with on the way. Auckland in 1972 was a different place and Croz’s insights bring it to vivid life.
If you, like me, read this book five years ago, now might be the time to revisit it. The original edition pictured here was a sellout but it’s still available in a slimmer format and it’s a bit cheaper. Croz – national treasure.
Croz – Larrikin Biker is available from www.graemecrosby.com for $NZ36 including postage.