Rob Indri Forever
By Marco Dell’Isola
Time really does fly… I can’t believe it’s Rob Indri’s anniversary again today, 13 years since he passed away! The Old School will remember Rob for being one of the biggest and most loved characters in the game. He was well known Stateside being one of Dale Holmes best friends. For those of you that never had the pleasure of knowing Rob you can tell from his photo’s in this post that he was an entertainer on and off the track.
You couldn’t help but love Indri and he was one of the people I looked forward to seeing first when I pulled up at a national. With that said he was a nightmare at the same time, he was a few years older than me and a few pounds heavier so he liked to throw his weight around and push you to the limit. We had a few playful fights that went a bit far over the years, but looking back a lot of people did, I’d say all of his mates have ended up wrestling and falling out with him at some point in time. I’d normally come off worse but back then as a teenager he looked like a man when really he was just a big kid, it’s funny how your perception of age is different when you’re young.
One year mid 90′s I was the young pup in the (Anthony) Revell Van going to a Euro round in Holland.. My mum had packed me a load of food for the trip (Italian styles) and thought it was a good idea to write “Indri keep out” on the lid! That was like red flag to a bull and this backfired for me big time as he ate pretty much all of my food before we got to Calais! Being about 14 at the time I pretty much starved the weekend thanks to the fat lad! That weekend he also rared up on Martin Murray who was also one of his best mates, Indri was hot headed, a volatile dude, but his split personality is what made him who he was.. Everyone in the class and most of his mates pretty much had a run in with him at some point, he’d strike first then always apologize afterwards! You had to say “it’s just Indri!”
Rob was a complete stress head, he took racing so seriously it’s funny! We’d always wind him up and try to push his buttons! He always had the best gear, his bike was always dialled, with attention to detail, he ran custom painted helmet’s and name and number on the back of his “factory” jerseys and was a big fan of the GT brands, (Powerlite, Robinson included). He was nicknamed “Ellis”, “Primo” and “Choo Choo” (Gary Ellis, Greg Romero , Charles Townsend) over the years, he rode for a couple of these brands but I’m guessing now they were probably sticker deals networked through Dale while he was in the States! Either way he looked the part all the time and was still fast for a big lad, he just lacked finesse and a race head. He had the mentals to get himself worked up but this often resulted in him blowing up around the track!
Indri epitomises the term “Weekend Warrior”, He had a good job in the city in the week. worked hard, played harder and come the weekend he was a wanna be “PRO” racer! But What he lacked in skills he made up for in DESIRE.. The dude would psyche up for races like no-one else…Rocky blaring out of his Ford Mondeo, top off, belly out, he bought into every gimmick available back then and loved a Red Bull back when energy drinks were just being launched! He even used one of those stupid nose plasters that premier league footballers promoted to supposedly help you breath better haha.. looking back he was pretty extreme! He took BMX VERY seriously, which is even more funny as the 90′s was the fun era! Not like racing these days, with coaches, national teams, warm up bikes and all that stuff… The fact he had so many run in’s and rivals was testament to how much he really wanted it and loved BMX!
Rob’s race of his life was when he managed to hold off Thomas Allier for 4th in a Pro 1/4 at a Euro round at Bournemouth mid 90′s .. Allier was possibly Euro Elite Champ at the time and had somehow cocked up his lap and got caught up in the pack behind Indri.. EVERYONE was screaming for Rob as he snaked all over the track blocking Allier and somehow held him off to the line and put him out! Classic memories!
I could literally write pages on the funniest times spent with Indri, from when he snapped his bike jumping the canal jump in Slagharen and everyone rallied round to buy him a new bike for the race, to him riding a lap in the rain at Farnham in just his underpants and helmet, caked in mud! The time he rolled out to the National presentation at Minehead in just his helmet, goggles and underwear and plenty of things I can’t write on here!! So many good times in America, me and him training in the day times with Dale and Neal Wood eating healthily then sneaking to Mc Donalds at night when they were in bed!.. He certainly reached LEGENDARY status and left a mark on UK BMX in that Era.. We sure as hell still miss him and I still recite some of his “classic” quotes even today!
RIP Primo I know you’re still a fan and all over the message board up there! Thinking about it you are probably Krautrocks!
Love you man! RIP