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TOPIC: Weekend at the Races

Weekend at the Races 11 Jul 2018 05:43 #51

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Always nicely framed. Thanks for taking us along.
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Weekend at the Races 11 Jul 2018 16:26 #52

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Great stories and photos...I really like your posts Tom!
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Weekend at the Races 22 Jul 2018 21:38 #53

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One week ago I went to The Wild One event in Castle Rock, Wash. If you live in the Pacific Northwest and are into old bikes, racing, and good parties, this is the place to be. This event is now in its fifth year. It's a great mixer for the local flat track race crowd and other two-wheel enthusiasts who don't spend much time at the races. There are loads of regular race bikes, minibikes, old school choppers and much more.There were a number of Yamaha Enduros present, but only one of them raced. Several SR/TT 500-powered bikes raced. They are a flat track staple.

There was sort of a medieval theme this year. Last year it was scary clowns. The race director wore a knight's suit all weekend and the announcer was dressed as a bishop. One of the flaggers was done up as Robin Hood in short-shorts. Lots of people wore costumes, ranging from a star spangled onesie to a guy in a Santa Claus suit. With some folks, you weren't sure if they had dressed up, or just go around like that all of the time.

The event started on Friday night with a regular flat track event hosted my the Mt. St. Helens M/C. The Castle Rock track is a fast 3/8 mile clay oval. There is an infield TT section with a jump and a right-hand turn. For many years, Castle Rock hosted AMA national championship TT races of great fame. That ended in 2014, when the club fell on hard times. The TT part doesn't get used much anymore, but on this weekend they did put it into service for a jump-off contest.

Saturday was the big day and there was stuff going on all afternoon. It started with informal minibike races on a large concrete pad. Winners were rewarded with cases of beer. Safety rules were not enforced and most folks rode in shorts and no helmet. There were a few scrapes but no cracked noggins. At the same time there was a bike show going on in another area, and a vendor row got down to business.

The campground was packed, and kids and grownups rode around and around on all sorts of bikes. No one seemed to mind the huge clouds of dust that got stirred up and there were smiles all around.

When the minibike races ended everyone moved into the race track infield for the jump-off. Around a dozen riders showed off for the cheering crowd. Top prize went to the guy who did a no-footer on an '81 DT 175. His prizes included a real chain mail suit and a great big bottle of Jack Daniels.

Saturday night's races had classes for minibikes, choppers, pro flat trackers, kid flat trackers, three-wheelers and others. It was also a round of the Roland Sands Design national Super Hooligan series. That class sees pro racers on track-prepped cruisers from Indian, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph plus a couple of other brands.

Getting back to the medieval theme, (and I think this is the best part) at halftime they had minibike jousting. Yes, real jousting. More on that in a bit.

The super hooligan main event was won by Joe Kopp, a former AMA grand national flat track champion who lives in Washington. The minibike class was one by a DB30 doodlebug with a highly modified Harbor Freight Predator engine that absolutely barked. It was a hot machine.

When the races were done everyone moved to a large barn for the trophy ceremony. Only about half of the people who earned prizes showed up to claim them because minibike races had started up again outside the barn. A live band began to play and a food truck handed out free fried chicken. The party went on nearly until sunrise. It was wild.

I took more than 1,000 photos. I'll post a few of them here, starting with some old Enduros. More to come later.















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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 26 Jul 2018 21:38 #54

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Getting back to the medieval theme (and I think this is the best part) at halftime they had minibike jousting. Yes, real jousting. Organizers provided two electric minis decorated as horses, long stiff poles tipped with pads, and each rider also was given a shield. They lined up about thirty feet apart on the race track's front straight and ran directly at each other. One fellow took it right in the kisser and was swept off the bike. But he got back up to try again. The winner was given more beer or whisky or something.





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Weekend at the Races 27 Jul 2018 14:16 #55

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Here are some shots from the jump-off contest at The Wild One. I did not take the photo of the young man doing the no-footer on an '81 DT 175., but I did get a shot of him later with his prizes of a chain mail suit and a giant bottle of Jack Daniels. Funny choice of prizes. This is not a hard drinking crowd. Beside him is his brand new wife. Happy newlyweds.









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Last Edit: by Tom S..

Weekend at the Races 21 Aug 2018 18:24 #56

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Heading into a busy period as the season winds down. Last weekend I traveled to Peoria, Ill., for the 72nd annual running of the Peoria TT. This is always one of my favorite events. The track runs up and down the bottom of a small valley. Instead of the usual flat oval that most of these races are held on, the back straight on this half-mile circuit has a big jump that ends in a dogleg left-right-left turn.

Henry Wiles (17) won the class for twin cylinder bikes. It was his fourteenth Peoria win in a row. They call him the King of Peoria. Henry does OK on the flat ovals- he's running second in season points -but at this track he's unstoppable. His bike had a Kawasaki engine in a custom frame. Indians have dominated the series this year and Kawis have really fallen out of favor. The Japanese machine worked fine here, however.

Heavy rain in the days before the event left the track a muddy mess. These bikes really need a flat hard surface. Caterpillar Inc. is a longtime event sponsor. On the morning of the race they were hard at work with huge earth moving equipment. They scraped off the top few inches of soil from most of the track, tilled what was left to air it out, and then smoothed it back down. Not satisfied, they fluffed it up and packed it back down again once more. This made the event start about two hours late. But with careful trimming of the schedule and careful attention to moving things along it ended just a few minutes later than originally planned. Everyone was pleased with how the organizers handled it all.









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Weekend at the Races 21 Aug 2018 18:28 #57

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And then there was the rental car deal...

I like to to fly from Oregon to Chicago and then drive to Peoria. The road trip is about 175 miles each way and the countryside is pretty. I choose routes that are off the freeway. When I picked up my rental car at O'Hare airport, they were all out of the compact rigs that I normally order. The lady handed me the key to this new Dodge Challenger and said "have fun." Well, it took me about two minutes to find the 0-60 timer on the trip meter and I was off and running. I have never seen anything like this on a car before.

The best that I could achieve was six seconds flat. I tried all sorts of things to break into the fives, but had no luck. Still, 6.0 isn't bad for a 4,000 +/- pound car with 6 cylinder engine. Good clean fun, and all within the posted speed limit. :cheer:



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Weekend at the Races 21 Aug 2018 19:22 #58

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My dream car is a white 426 hemi Challenger, just like the one in Vanishing Point!
Great pictures thanks much!
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Weekend at the Races 22 Aug 2018 06:20 #59

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Hi Tom, That's an impressive win streak for Henry. What other bikes has he won this race with? Has he won any other races? TIA

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Weekend at the Races 22 Aug 2018 08:49 #60

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Another great story with awesome photos! Thanks Tom

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