Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yes, I am alive and moving...

I have been having too much fun to spend time on the computer, so here is the quick report on what has happened in the last week. I did go to Baltimore and visit family for my birthday, had a great dinner (seafood, of course) and hit the HOT road to Vintage Motorcycle Days near Lexington Ohio at 7AMish on the 8th of July. Since I volunteer for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame I get in Thursday night. I camped in my regular spot in the infield Thursday night, alone. Kind of weird. Friday started early as always at the showers right next to the flea market area. Got to see folks as they set out their goodies, and bought some items including a small folding chair for traveling.

Friday at 9:30pm while three of us were talking at our camp-sites, a track employee notified us that the infield was closing and we'd have to leave. I begged, but it didn't work. Packed the tent and was out before dark - about 15 minutes - and on to a motel. Set up the next morning in the worker area that was not too bad.

For the first time I worked on Saturday (usually Ann and I take the last Sunday shift and help take down the displays) and had the pleasure of hearing great riders from the past tell what it was like "in the day." Malcolm Smith and John Penton were the people that brought European style off-road competition to North America, and Craig Vetter told about his passion for design and innovation.

Craig Vetter designed the sidecar I drive, though his company did not produce it under his leadership, it was produced after he sold the firm.

The next group of speakers were 4 of the 5 members of the of the US ISDE (International Six Day Enduro) team. Again, more great stories of the effort it took to travel to Europe to compete in this very difficult event. They also told the story of Edison Dye, the father of motocross, the event that made all of the other off-road events happen here. He was quite a character from what was said!

The Observed Trails competition was moved to Sunday morning this year. This is a 'race' in which the objective is to not put your foot down, and not stop forward motion (don't roll backwards, but you can stop as long as your feet stay off the ground). Well with all the rain Thursday and Friday, it was somewhat muddy.

Oh, and you have to go over downed trees and piles of rocks and climb stream banks while following paths marked by ribbons.

Yes, this is a prewar, tank-shift Indian motorcycle being ridden by a vintage fellow in the mud of the Ohio woods! And he was pretty good at it. I am not sure if he was older than the bike or vice-versa.

In addition to listening to these guys talk about memories I spent a long time watching the road racing. After a few hours of watching I began to understand what is going on. The little chair I bought enabled the long term sitting. The last race of the day on Sunday was the sidecar race and my favorite couple won! So I did another first - I went to the winners circle where all the prizes were awarded. Immediately after that everyone leaves. Fast. In only two hours the place looked like a pristine farm instead of 30 acres of flea market and parking. It was so quiet, all I heard was birds chirping. I stayed over Sunday night to get a good night's sleep before hitting the road. I was alone in the worker camping area, no problems. For those who have been there, even the shower floors were dry by the time I went there at about 9pm.

As I got up early in the morning, with rain predicted for the afternoon, I could smell rain. Got the tent packed as the rain just started and hit the road. Rained all the way home. I arrived at about 3pm instead of Midnight if I had left after the races on Sunday. I decided that riding in the rain is actually easier then riding in 100 degree temperatures.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I start on Part II, a seafood-free trip to the gulf coast via Atlanta, Oxford, MS (Thirty–Seventh Annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference), Greenville, MS (Doe's Eat Place), Clarksdale, MS (Ground Zero) Baton Rouge, Coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and home via Georgia and the Carolinas. That should keep me busy for two weeks. I am taking the BMW convertible for this part of the trip so I will likely have more time for photos and story-telling. I've been wanting to take the car on a road trip and this is the time for air conditioning! Top down may be a possibility at night. In packing I find that the sidecar has more cargo space than the car!

I will be running the tracker again, so if you like you can see where I am if there are any hams in the areas running digital repeaters.

Life is good!

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

A/C sounds like the way to go.... especially for an OLD guy. Finished with camp last week and had a great time.
Stay Safe

anilia said...

Did you see Beano?
hehe, my word is retro...

OldBikeRider said...

No Beano as far as I could tell, and no flat track racing due to weather ...