MOTOR SPORT: SO you thought it was hot this week? Try circulating a race track in temperatures in the high seventies, curled up in a ball clad in leathers over a scorching radiator at speeds of up to 180mph. That's hot - and the easy bit!
Hanging over the side of the machine on the corners with backside scraping the Tarmac is the scary part. It's also living life to the limit and that's what Superside Sidecar world champion passenger Jamie Biggs does every couple of weeks in defence of the title he won with rider Steve Abbott last year.
The duo have been riding the circuits together since 1996 and last year was the pinnacle of their careers. But the championship regulations banning riders beyond the age of 50 means their partnership will end next year when Abbott, from Derby, reaches his half century.
All the more reason for the champions to go out in style, but the chances of them retaining their crown look slim after a frustrating series so far. They had fuel-pump problems at Monza and their latest mishap was at Misano in San Marino where their machine died on them on the fourth lap.
They believe the problem has been sorted but their hopes of storming back to the podium this weekend have been dashed by the cancellation of the next round of the championship at the A1 Ring in Austria.
It doesn't mean a day off, though. Biggs, who lives in Saughall, and Abbot have reorganised their schedule to head for Mondello Park in Ireland where they can put their rejuvenated machine through its paces before Brands Hatch, Assen, Imola and Magny-Cours hoping to claim enough points to retain their title.
Can it be done after such a rollercoaster season? 'You never know in motorcycling. The other contenders could have bad races and we could win,' said Biggs who has the incentive of trying to finish ahead of his passenger brother Philip, who is lying seventh in the table with his partner Tom Hanks.
Jamie and Abbott are fifth leading up to the next race at Brands Hatch next week - 45 points behind the leaders - and it promises to be a close call to see which brother finishes higher in the standings.
Despite the sibling rivalry, the competition between the two never gets out of control. 'I suppose we are rivals in a sense, but I am made up for Phil when he does well and it's the same the other way around.'
With 53-year-old uncle Vince Biggs setting the standards with a successful career on the track before his recent retirement and another brother, Robert, also a keen rider, they can't afford to let any rivalry get out of hand. Family comes before racing.
And for Jamie, racing comes before virtually everything else. 'I haven't had a steady job since I was made redundant,' he explained. 'I do a few odd jobs here and there, but I am virtually a full-time racer, except that I don't make any money out of it.'
It has cost £5,000 to enter the championship and £30,000 for engine redevelopment on their 1,000cc Suzuki, as well as travelling and other expenses. Not surprisingly, they rely heavily on sponsorship.
'We do it because we love racing,' said Biggs. 'It is something I always wanted to do. It's awesome racing at up to 180mph and it's always worse when the weather is hot.
'It has been disappointing so far this season because we had bought new gear following our victory last season, but that's motorsport. We will keep plugging away and hope our luck changes.'