30+ Years of Fun... Heres to 30 More!

September 1, 2015

 

Back in the day, waaay back in 1971...I was a ten year old kid standing at the bus stop early in the morning. The purr of a small four-cycle motor caught the attention of those waiting for their ride to school, and a startled group of elementary students looked on with envy as my dad pulled up riding his maroon Honda CL350. I had forgotten my lunch, leaving it on the kitchen counter, and dad was bringing it to me while on his way to work. As dad pulled away, the other kids couldn’t believe my dad rode a motorcycle. To every kid, then and now, motorcycles are cool and I guess in small town New England, only Marlon Brando was supposed to ride a street bike...not the dad down the street with the grin ear to ear.

 

Dad loved things with motors. He loved fast cars, bikes, boats...although his wild days drag racing on back roads and local lakes were a distant memory. Like most folks, my dad wanted to share the things he enjoyed with his kids. So one day after school, while I was sitting at the kitchen table doing homework...dad walked up and dropped the Owners Manual for a Yamaha JT-1 Mini Enduro in my lap and said “You better read up on this”. It took a minute to sink in, but my brother and I dashed out to the driveway to find an orange Yamaha with yellow trim stuffed in the back of my dad’s Ford Bronco. As the story goes, a kid near my dad’s work bought it without thinking where he was going to ride it...once the neighbors started to complain, his folks told him the bike has gotta’ go. My first dirt bike was clean, like new...maybe had ten or twenty hours on it. Whereas its first owner lived in the city, I was a farm kid...and could ride forever out the back door of the barn where the bike slept. Little did I know at the time, but I was on my way to enjoying a great sport that would become the primary focus of my leisure time for many years...

 

Fast forward thirty years. My interest in bikes continues year after year, but I notice the official time piece of my favorite hobby stopped around the time I graduated from college. I have a long travel Husky XC and a long travel CZ 250 in my garage, while some guys I worked with, and occasionally rode with are riding new Japanese bikes. I just can’t seem to get interested in water cooled dirt bikes with radiators and disk brakes. I am okay with that, but most of the guys I am riding with, are not. My glorious steel tanked, drum braked and air-cooled machines are the subject of many a joke and ridicule on most rides. Until one winter day I was riding alone at the entrance of Sycamore Creek. I stopped to take a breather and this friendly looking guy rode up on a baby blue Yamaha TY trials machine. He introduced himself as Freedo, and began to tell me about a motocross racing organization for old guys riding old bikes. Wow! I thought...listening to more details, I couldn’t wait to get to that motorcycle salvage yard on Rio Salado that had the motorcycle hanging up in a tree...or maybe it was a pole. Hmmm... Either way, the following Monday I drove straight to the Arizona Motorcycle Sales shop right after work to sign up to race motocross...for the first time in my life.

 

Yup, you see I’d ridden about a zillion miles of trails in Massachusetts and Connecticut, rode a couple of NETRA (New England Trail Riding Association) Enduros and did pretty well riding my green tanked Honda MR 175. I even rode a Honda TL 125 trials bike in an enduro. I fitted it with knobby tires and motocross handlebars, my thinking was the Bultaco Alpina was basically a trials bike with a few changes, and they were quite successful in Northeastern enduros...so what the heck. I attended a few meetings and trail rides with the Knox Trail Riders. I rode one desert race on a KTM 350 and decided high speed coupled with zero visibility was definitely not for me...and I had worked all thru high-school and college at two different Honda dealerships. But...despite the fact I went to high school in Southwick, Massachusetts which has been the site of a National Motocross event since 1975 or so, my mom and dad refused to permit me to ride motocross. When you think about it, that is sort of funny. Go ahead kid, trail ride 60 miles from home, over blind hills, single track trails lined with trees and glacier strewn boulders, where backwoods landowners string cables across trails and shoot at you with rock-salt from a 12-gauge and drunk four wheelers careen around corners out of control, with no way of contacting anyone if you are hurt or killed...just don’t get on a motocross track where everyone is going the same direction and there is an ambulance close by, those motocrossers are a crazy bunch. Hey, they didn’t know...to the casual observer trail riding seems so tame and serene while MX seems like a vain attempt at controlling an explosion. I waited until I was over thirty years old to tell my folks a lot of the trail riding close-calls.

 

Anyway, my first motocross race and I am 35 years old...this outta’ be interesting.

 

I had been trail riding my long travel CZ 250 Model 513 for a couple of years by the time I lined up at a motocross gate for the first time. I was also married and had a very young son, named Zack. For my first race, I managed to talk Zack’s mother into taking the day off work so she could watch Zack while I raced. I anticipated she would want to come along and support her husband. Nope, she kept Zack home that weekend...but that wouldn’t last long. So after checking and rechecking my mighty CZ, signing up and paying my entry, I lined up at the Starting Gate at Thrasherland in Glendale, AZ. The Gate was much narrower than I expected. At Southwick, where I watched races as a kid, the Gate seemed 90 riders wide...whereas Thrasherland seemed it would only hold ten or twelve riders abreast. When the gate dropped, we rode about three yards then over a small whoop then an immediate right turn. About another ten yards past that turn I came into contact with another rider, I didn’t know him then...but it was Mark Pape, who is certainly one of the friendlier riders in the AVDRA. Navigating the first turn I was as focused as I had ever been, I didn’t know what place I was in and didn’t care. I was having a great time, riding the old bikes the my childhood hero’s rode with guys who also couldn’t take unnecessary risks because they had to get up and go to work tomorrow morning. This was great...and I was having the time of my life.

 

At the lunch break the Club handed out “finishing plates” from the previous event. The plates were small stick-on brass plates that were later attached to a plaque with the riders name on it; the idea was to keep the costs down compared to handing out traditional trophies for top finishers. The 2nd race was just like the first...just as fun, no idea how I was doing and wish it wouldn’t end. At the end of the day I loaded up the CZ, nodded at a few of the friendlier looking faces and headed home. I could hardly wait until the next race. A few days later, I called Tom Rogers, the Club Points Keeper to find out where I finished. I was shocked to hear I came in 2nd. Were their only two people in the class...possibly. But like any experienced racer knows, if someone asks you, always reply...”I dunno, the gate looked full.”

 

But I had a problem. My charming spouse was a nurse and worked most Saturdays and Sundays. And I had a small son, so how was I going to attend a race and watch my son at the same time. It didn’t seem like I would be doing much racing. However, when I started to tell some friends about the AVDRA and the vintage bikes, they had to come and check it out. So I asked if they attended, would they mind watching Zack while I raced. By this time the guys mentioned earlier riding modern Jap bikes had moved on to golf or fishing, and the friends I was trail riding with thought my CZ and Husky were cool...and they remain friends today. These guys were glad to keep an eye on Zack for two five lap motos, check out the cool bikes and digress to the 1970’s moto-scene for a few hours. So, I think I rode four of five events that first year. And I still appreciate the guys who watched Zack so I could do so... Those first few seasons were basically the same, Zack was getting older...and he now had a brother named Mitch. I was still riding the CZ, although it was beginning to get unreliable. It seemed no matter what I did to prepare for an event, the CZ would suffer catastrophic failures of some type. I also added a Yamaha DTMX2 to my stable. A guy I worked with heard I liked old bikes and offered the bike and many parts for $50. So the boys and I picked up the bikes a few nights later. Upon our arrival the guys’ wife came running out of the house and must have thanked me a thousand times for “taking away all that junk.” She gave the boys cookies and kept muttering something about “tripping over those damn things for the last 25 years”.

 

So now I had two machines, to race in two classes...but my problem remained that my two little sons were still too young to leave alone. My ever-so-charming wife was completely unsupportive of motorcycle riding so if I couldn’t talk a friend into coming to the track with me, I was outta’ luck. But, I was starting to get to know some of the Club Members that had children. For a few of the early years, the kids and I used to park near Jimmy Sutton and his family. Jimmy rode vintage, and if I was just riding the CZ in what was then called “Evolution”. We were in different practices and different races...so I kept an eye on his two kids during his races, and he watched my kids when I was on the track. The kids played well together, would chase around the pits or bring their bicycles and ride around the ravine where we routinely parked at the East end, of what is now the Speedworld National Track. I also recall a very rainy event, attendance was poor in general...and Jimmy didn’t make the event. So I parked just to the West of the Starting Gate so they would be visible to me and anyone that knew that those kids are with # 87. I told both boys, to stay inside the truck since it was raining and don’t open the door until I get back. Kathy and Coy McKibben were parked nearby and heard me instructing the boys to stay put...Kathy said “go ahead and go, we’ll watch them”. I said thanks and rode off to practice. When I returned, both Coy and Kathy were darn near on the ground laughing. The boys had taken the box of Wheat Thins they were eating and started throwing them at each other...inside the cab of the truck. The more the McKibbins laughed, the funnier the boys thought it was...and the more rambunctious they became; they were having a heck of a good time. The cab was a mess. The water and the mud mixed with crushed Wheat Thins. I sold that truck to a friend whose daughter drives it today in Vegas. I have to wonder if every time she cleans it she thinks “where did all these crumbs come from...?”

 

So Zack and Mitch were my Pit Crew for years. Most babies first word is “daddy” (because it’s easier to say than mommy). I think Mitch’s first word was “Montesa”. When the kids were young I sold off the CZ, or CZZ as they would call it...and raced the Yamaha DTMX2 for a season. I then sold that in favor of a Montesa. My Spanish ride was not a true VR, but a combination of motocrosser and enduro models that I pieced together with the help of Jared Bates of Southwest Montesa in Glendale. The Montesa was very cool. It had the 54M lower end so it had a very wide transmission that was quite suitable for my ability and the National track that we typically raced on, it also had a VR top end and a powder coated VR frame. I ran the Bing carburetor in lieu of the Amal, but the best part of that bike...electronic ignition. Once I had PVL re-magnetize the flywheel, my Montesa started by the 3rd kick every time for the three seasons I rode it...and it was fast too. I found I was getting much better starts on it than I ever hoped for on the CZ or Yamaha. The bike performed equally as well on the uphill start at the Cottonwood event the Club held, which was always blazing hot for some reason. And it did pretty well the few times the group raced at Pima Motorsports Park in Tucson, which was flat with man-made bumps much like ET Motorsports Park in Mesa is today.

 

The first time the Club went to Tucson for an event was a milestone for me and my young kids. The boys and I made the trip the night before so we camped at the track. Their mother was absent...and we were used to that fact. I brought along my Montesa, and a bike that I built for Zack. I picked up two Yamaha JT-1 Mini-Enduro bikes in various states of disrepair, and combined them to make one bike. I had heard that Tucson had a “Beginner” riding area, flat with no obstacles, trees or cactuses...so each of my boys could get some seat time for a few hours after the racing was over. The weekend went well for me, I liked the Tucson track...for whatever reason, it worked well for me. I recall Jerry Morrison telling me later in the day “I can’t believe you passed me, you are never that fast...what happened?” I think it was supposed to be a compliment. Anyway, the boys also fought most of the weekend over who could sit on the Mini Enduro. Not who could ride the bike, but who could sit on it... The bike sat in the pit area, and I made it clear we weren’t going to ride it until I was done racing. So all weekend, it was an argument who could sit on the Mini Enduro. It drove me nuts then, but I wouldn’t trade the memory for anything.

 

Once the event was over, the kids and I finally made our way to the Beginner riding area. It was everything I hoped it would be...graded as flat as an airport runway, nothing to hit for a good 100 yards in any direction. Except my truck. So guess what...? Despite his vast experience riding in the developing Ahwatukee area and being the star of a home-made VHS movie of him riding his dirt bike, that he presented at his Kindergarten Show and Tell, Zack had an occasional crash. Today it was into the bumper of an F-150. While Zack rubbed his arm and fought back tears, Mitch said it was his turn to ride. This would be the first time Mitch swung a leg over an actual running machine. I explained a few things, got him going and ran along side for 30 or 40 yards, turned him around and did the same thing the other direction. We did this a few times, my soccer legs coming in handy. Then Mitch looks up at me, points to the West end of the park and says “I am ready to go ride over there now”. I look where he is pointing, and off in the distance are guys riding the supercross-style track...jumps that launch bike and rider 40 feet up and 70 feet out. As I am looking, Mitch says “I want to jump like that”. Holy geez.

 

Those years where the boys couldn’t wait to go to the races and where they were old enough to stay in the pits for a five lap race were some of my best memories as a dad. Not only did the three of us go to the races, but we made many trips to Jared Bates place for parts or advice too. I was really enjoying the racing and spending time with my two boys, and they were interested in the racing also. Of course, they needed to be kids too. I recall one event where I loaded everything in the truck and trailer before my last race and instructed the boys to be ready with the tie-downs and ramp when I pulled off the track. I pulled off, rolled the bike onto the trailer and started to drive away. Club Founding Father and Head Honcho in Charge, Dave Boydstun, yelled from the sign-up area “Hey, where are you going...?” My reply was “These guys have a birthday party to get to at 4PM, we gotta’ go”. We drove home, unloaded, got cleaned up and actually made it to Peter Piper Pizza before any festivities had started. The boys and I did everything together...

 

The 2000 -2001 race season was special for me...I was riding the Montesa, it was fast and reliable. I was racing the 250 Sportsman and 30+ classes and there were plenty of riders to race with in each class. I wasn’t the fastest guy on the track, but I was riding consistently and I showed up for all but one race. The last event of the season, would decide several championships. So there I was...Sunday, May 13, 2001. The last event of the season which would decide the Novice Sportsman 250 championship. And the closest I had ever come to winning darn near anything. It was pretty exciting. There were eight Novice entries that day and the Intermediates and Experts were at same gate. Moto 1: The gate drops and I am second to turn 1.I passed the leader Bob Bowden on the first lap and led all the way to the checkered flag... I had two challengers for a couple of laps each...first was Bob Bowden on a Honda then he was passed by a Ken Miles on a CZ who was behind me to

the finish.Neither made a serious attempt to pass...and I felt like I was on rails. The Montesa ran good, I felt good, it was a fast and fun win. Moto 2: Once again I am second to turn 1.Ken Miles on the CZ from moto 1 is leading and running away...I think I will let him go, get tired and then real him in over the last few laps.I am in pretty good shape from coaching the kids soccer and running all those drills, so this strategy has been working pretty well all season. Also Ken was obviously slowest over a really rutted straight with a slight right-left dog-leg turn with a sharp sandy left at the end of it... I caught him at the end of this straight and was able to pass him three turns later over the largest jump on the track...mid-air pass.Sha-wing!

 

So...I won both motos, which clinched the Title.I am the 2000/2001 Sportsman 250 Novice Champion. But the best part was yet to come...at the days awards ceremony (which had changed from the next race, to the current race a few years back...) while Club Members enjoyed watermelon instead of the traditional pizza's supplied by Dave due to the heat of the last race of the season...Dave announced that I was the 250 Novice Champ and also I was the only double-winner for the day...clap, clap, clap. My oldest son Zack, who was 7 years old at the time, yelled out at the top of his little voice "Daddy Rocks!".It was definitely one of the finer moments of fatherhood and my racing career...if I may call it that. I was beaming for most of the summer.

 

I read somewhere that true champions are repeat champions. But that wasn’t going to be this time, as the following season Chris Reed took the Cup in the 250 Novice Class. I couldn’t hang with Chris if he was having a bad day and I was riding downhill with a tail wind. But seeing Chris beam at the end of the season was good enough...he was a good guy and rebuilt suspension for a lot of Club members. Unfortunately, he moved to Texas for a better job a few years ago.

 

A season or two later I took a year off. I had been putting off some personal business for a long time, and it was time to attend to it... It took one sentence from my oldest son Zack to put a plan into motion. Zack asked why I married his mom and why is she so mean...? Divorce is never pretty, and the price of freedom is never cheap. To keep my mind off the difficulties I focused on the boys, restoring a 1973 Husky 450CR and a gal named Karen.

 

The following year I was back...and I couldn’t believe how my skills had digressed. The first race was ugly. I was so off the pace it was embarrassing, even for a life-long Novice like myself. It took close to a year to get back in form...but hey, I was also forty-something and just been thru judicial combat for the last year. The high-light of the season occurred after Dave announced the dates for the years Rider Appreciation Day during a Riders Meeting. I tapped my son Zack on the back and said “Better listen, it’s your turn”. Zack turned and looked at me and asked “You mean it...?” Yes, the little boy that accompanied me to the races since he was barely two years old, and insisted we sing to his James and the Giant Peach CD on the way home, was going to have his first day on a motocross track. He had been riding his 1978 Yamaha YZ 80 and was ready...and more than willing. In addition to that, my girlfriend Karen had been riding a few times on a 1981 Yamaha DT 175 that I purchased, and was also interested in giving vintage racing a try. Karen had attended several races with us over the past few months, loved the old bikes and thought the people in the sport were great. As a pit-lady, she was hooked...now she wanted to ride.

 

Rider Appreciation Day permits the rider with no prior track experience, to ride on a motocross track in a race-like environment with little competitive pressure as every participant receives a 1st place trophy if they cross the Finish Line. Zack and Karen both did great. They had fun, received tons of applause and couldn’t wait for next time. Shortly thereafter, Dave introduced the Mini-15 class for kids riding minis and still under the age of fifteen years old. Zack rode his YZ 80 a few more times and outgrew it by the end of the season, handing the bumble-bee painted mount to younger brother Mitch. One night Karen and I drove to waaaay Northern Phoenix to look at a 1996 Suzuki RM 80 the owner couldn’t get started and wanted to sell. We bought the bike and gave to Zack for his 10th birthday. The next hurdle was where to find cheap riding gear for growing boys...thank goodness for the annual Motorcycle Expo at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, where dealers from around the Valley darn near give away motorcycle gear from the prior year to make room for the new styles for next year.

 

In one of the first races where both boys were on the track together, was a night race...and it rained, hard. Really hard. We were riding on the National Track and the practices and races preceding the kids race produced deep ruts; the track was more quagmire than the decomposed clay and granite that we typically ride. During that kids race, all parents and Corner Workers picked up kids and restarted bikes...sometimes several times in the same corner, for two motos. It was hard work, especially when my race was immediately before the kids race. During the Season Banquet at Jillies in Scottsdale, a slideshow of the Season was prepared and shown...someone took a photo of me pushing Mitch off the starting gate, I was still wearing my helmet, goggles and gloves and my Husky 450 was visible in the background leaning against the fence. Dave announced I was “the hardest working dad in motocross” during the show. Believe me, it felt like it at the time although I wouldn’t trade the memory for anything. And occasionally, Karen and the kids still call me that today...

 

That first year of the Mini-15 class was also memorable for the Warner family. Participants were few as word hadn’t yet spread of the class and the opportunity for lesser aggressive riders, or as parents saved to get their young rider set up to race. We attended almost every race; Mitch was still learning to stay upright...and Zack was finishing consistently on his RM 80. Zack’s arch-rival was Kawasaki mounted Garrett Tate. Garrett was a quicker rider, but didn’t attend as many races and sometimes had mechanical failures. The last event of the season was another night race. Zack led the points chase by two points. The first moto, Garrett was in top form and won by a huge margin...Zack was 3rd, with a Honda rider sandwiched in between the two rivals. It looked like Garrett was going to win the championship, and Zack was pretty upset in the Pits. The only way Zack could win, was if he finished right behind Garrett, but we both knew Garrett and the new Honda rider were faster than Zack. Zack would have to get around the Honda rider to win the Title. My parting words to Zack as we started his bike were it’s not over until the checkered flag. The 2nd moto went much like the 1st...Garrett was on fire, and left the Honda and Zack’s Suzuki behind. It was a somber mood as Karen and I stood at the center of the track watching the race and helping downed riders restart their machines. I felt if anyone needed to win something, it was Zack. He was in 5th grade and kids were being mean to him as he was gaining weight. I was concerned about his self-esteem and how he felt about motocross, and just plain getting out and doing things. Then on the last lap, Garrett’s Kawasaki came to a halt. A fouled plug cost this talented young rider a championship. The Honda rider took the checkered flag, Zack took 2nd place...passing Garrett with 3 turns to go, and becoming the first Mini-15 B Champion. I threw my arms in the air and darn near cried. It was an awesome experience for Zack. Then I learned Mitch had fallen after the Start / Finish Line and got so mad that nobody helped him up, because we were so thrilled with Zack’s win...that he came into the Pits and started hurling dirt clods at Zack. Yes, he is the spirited child.

 

For the last few years, Zack who grows so fast...has moved up to riding the Vintage 125 class on a 1973 Yamaha MX. He is a cautious rider like his dad...which is fine with me. I still give the boys the same “we are here to have fun, so ride smart” speech every time we pull into the Pit Area. Mitch has been riding the same ’96 RM 80 and looks very quick, except he falls a lot. Like any parent, I worry about both kids...

 

After Karen’s experience during Rider Appreciation Day she decided that she wanted to race in the AVDRA woman’s class. Looking back, it would have been a much better idea to get her more seat time before any racing. But at the time, I hated to rain on her enthusiasm. The Yamaha was not eligible for the Vintage class, as it was a 1981 model.

 

So we sold the Yammer and picked up a beautiful Husky 250 that needed some restoration. The good news was the bike was a money maker for us, the bad news was it was a 1970 frame with a very rare motor called The Rocket made in 1968. Thus it was difficult to find parts for and was difficult to keep running. Karen also had some bad luck off the track, taking a spill on a family bicycle ride, and broke her right hand. She had a few surgeries to repair the damaged hand and missed a few races. During this time, we sold the Husky and picked up a very nice 1972 Penton 175 Jackpiner with the black cased KTM motor. It was a beautiful bike; however Karen couldn’t come to terms with it due to her beginning rider skills. I trail rode it with the boys a few times, and really liked it. If you have never ridden a Penton, the handling is superb and the power delivery of the 175 Jackpiner is smooth. Anyway, there comes a time in every vintage bike owner’s life where the herd needs to be thinned. So once again, we sold the Penton and sought another bike. One that is easier to ride, preferably a four stroke machine, for Karen to ride and not get so frustrated while trying to navigate the track and hone her riding skills at the same time.

 

Almost as soon as the Penton sold, Rick and Becky Williams wanted to sell Becky’s Rickman framed Honda 125 motored machine. Having been somewhat familiar with the bike, we left work on Friday for Rick and Becky’s place and bought the bike. For the first time since riding the Yamaha, Karen really felt good about riding again. She rode two races on the bike and was thrilled with her new ride...then our luck changed once again. While practicing at Speedworld, the kick starter arm wouldn’t return after starting. Long story short, the Honda SL 125 requires the cases to be split to replace the kick starter return spring. So the motor came apart...and once again, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is the kick starter return spring is fine. Something else is hanging up the return of the kick starter...and at the time I write this I have no idea what or why. The good news is, it’s a damn good thing I split the cases as the right side case had an internal crack that was about to let go any second. Had I not split the cases, and that piece of aluminum separated from the case it would have surely spelled the end of one SL 125 motor. Since we first met, Karen rode a dirt bike for the first time, embraced the role as moto-mom for our family (although I refer to her fondly as my Pit-Tootsie...remember Pit-Tootsies...?) rode on a motocross track for the very first time, competed off and on despite injury and difficulties with learning to ride while on a track AND collected a following of young girls that cheer whenever she rides past the Start / Finish Line ever so slowly and cautiously. Naturally, a woman this wonderful needed to become a permanent member of the Warner Race Team...so on January 22nd 2005 we were married, while Zack and Mitch looked on as Groomsman.

 

This year Karen is going to be riding her Rickman Honda. Zack will be on his Yamaha MX 125 and Mitch will start the season on his Suzuki RM 80 and may switch to the Yamaha AT 125 sitting in the garage in the midst of restoration. Once again, we combined two Yamahas that we bought from Steve Prinke to make one running machine. So if Mitch can touch the ground anytime this season while sitting on the AT 125, he will move up to the Vintage 125 class. If not, maybe next year. I plan on starting the season on the “other” Penton 175 Jackpiner we now own. I plan to ride Vintage 250 for the first half of the season on the Penton, and will most likely switch to Post-Vintage the latter half of the season on the 1979 Husky 390.

 

Those of us sporting grey or no hair at all have belonged to our share of Clubs over the years. Some were merely an ID card or a sticker, others were well intended at the start, but the management of the Organization routinely failed. When I think about the Clubs I have joined in the past I realize how lucky we are as AVDRA Members. We all know we have an outstanding leader. If you have ever attended an AHRMA event outside the State you know that nobody does a better job at promoting and organizing an Event than Dave Boydstun and Nancy Ferguson. And if you attend any of the Saturday Night pre-race pot-lucks you also know that nobody cooks a better chicken fettuchini alfredo than Nancy Ferguson. We also have a Club filled with 150+ people sharing the same interest as ourselves and it doesn’t matter where we came from, how big a house we have or whether we wear a suit or overalls to work. What is important is the camaraderie, and the depth and breadth of camaraderie wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for a schedule of races that fills the calendar year and yet allows time in between for fixing machines and bench racing with other members. The Club has grown so much over the years. I can remember when it was still a group of guys that just wanted to ride their old bikes. Today we offer a family-friendly environment with a Class for every bike and every rider, that welcomes not only to the old bikes...but the newer machines and the younger riders too. The AVDRA gives our young riders a path to keep the old bikes we ride going...despite opposition from the National Organization. Without the AVDRA, what are the chances my two sons would ever swing a leg over a bike thirty years older than they are...? What are the chances they would even know what a CZ, a Bultaco or a Maico even were if it weren’t for the AVDRA...? And then there are the riders. My boys know Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart...but they also know the AVDRA riders and talk more of them than RC or Bubba. My boys know Ed Kavenaugh was this years Iron Man, they know Carl Osbourne is a nice guy because he stopped to help them during mini practice. They have known Jared Bates and Dave Boydstun since they could walk...and they know Jim Rike is one of the nicest guys they know.

 

It’s been said that happiness is a journey, not a destination. I have had one heck of a good time motorcycling for the last 30+ years...and thanks to the AVDRA, I am having the time of my life riding with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to another 30 years of being an old guy on an old bike.

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