Friday, June 14, 2013

Trip Recap Part One - Road America

Shaking things up a bit year to year, I decided to ride over to the race track this year.  Last year I trailered two bikes over, a method of travel that certainly has its advantages, a major one being able to take more provisions.  In my case, provisions included cooking equipment, food, a stove, firewood (and fire-ring), a canopy, etc.

The vehicle of choice this time was my trusty TW200 Yamaha, a machine that has seen some rough service, most of that by the previous owner though I in no way baby it.  I doubt very much Yamaha Corporate ever expected the fat-tired 200cc bike to spend as much time wide open on the highway with an adult of my mass.  It seems to thrive on the 'love' I show it though.

Making a race weekend into a week long vacation meant that I'd start my ride east on Thursday morning.  After a stop for breakfast in Alma, I headed south and took the park road through Perrot State Park just outside of Trempealeau, Wisconsin.

Mississippi backwaters and Trempealeau Mountain.

Minnesota bluffs in the distance, almost rain in the air but not quite.......

I rode through almost 80 miles of rain, then decided to leave Hwy 21 and take some quieter, roads that ran parallel.

Arriving in Fond du Lac, I checked into my MicroTel room and then went to the park in town that was preparing for the family weekend Walleye Festival.  It's a beautiful park and wonderful festival; I've attended more than once on race weekends.  Unfortunately it was Thursday and setup was underway, the festivities not starting until Friday afternoon.

Friday morning I was up early, riding the 30 miles to the race track to snag our campsite since they are available on a first-come basis.  The Road America race course is 4.0 miles long, has many elevation changes and is more park-like than anyone that hasn't been there could imagine.  The Road America track is just a tad over 300 miles from home.

Our campsite is in the Carousel (corners 9/10), an almost constant radius corner that makes just shy of 200 degrees of a circle.  Friend Don from Iowa showed up not long after I arrived, pulling his RD400 along.

Once I got my tent setup and some luggage removed, I headed for the Pits to check out the machinery.

I thought this was one of the prettiest SR500's I've ever seen.

There are more women racing each and every year; this woman sang the National Anthem before Sunday's races began and did an exquisite job.

No PhotoShop alterations here.......


The Monkey (standing on left) and her driver adjusting something.....

There was a separate Thruxton Class.......and Ruckii were everywhere.

My favorite New York couple........a husband and wife team that have been doing this a Long Time.

Coming down one of the Straight's....corner 7 in the distance, corner 8 in the foreground.

Jeff arrived with his Honda CRF230 in tow, both of our bikes just perfect for race watching from the many vantage points around the track.

J.P. arrived from the Twin Cities on his SV650.  The campsite is becoming a village.

Mike and Rodney arrive, the 450 Honda Police bike and a very nice XS650......I've become extremely tall, correcting my imperfect proportions.  Rick didn't make it from Iowa; his mom's health kept him home at the last minute.

Friday evening winding down.

Practice resumed early Saturday morning, so we ventured back into the Pits to check out more machinery.  Friend Chris was there with a couple of his racers, the rear end of this one caught my eye.  You should know  that this is about the last thing most racers see of Chris on the track.  This RD400 and rider Moves very well.

Mike (Polizei) and Jeff checking out a very pretty SR500.

Swap Meet.......

A beautiful mix of parts combined into a lovely machine......

Like the sign says....."Not Made In England"......

Mr. Dave Roper's Very Fast Aermacchi......he's got an amazing history of racing vintage motorcycles.  See more here

I love the patina of Dave's ramp......I'll bet it came over on the Mayflower.

The Sidecars getting ready to stage for their race.....spouses and/or significant others as teams.

Rod, Jeff, J.P., Mark, Tom watching a racer through the Carousel.

An Old, not J.P. the Harley Davidson WLA

Sunday morning.....

The Carousel Rest Rooms and Food Vendor......

Rob's Moto Guzzi Quota.....I'll see Rob at the Iowa Guzzi Rally in a few weeks.

Three Beemers from far away......

I thought this little 175 was set up nicely and provided inspiration for my Cafe Project.  The young, about to be married couple had all sorts of info and tips for me.

Rod and Mike getting theirs loaded up.....

I messed up and lost the video that I had of this club's Drifting event.  There were some cars that must have went through many tires, lots of gas and did I mention lots of tires??  It was incredible to watch and I'm disappointed that I don't have the video to prove it.  There was smoke all afternoon on the go-cart track.  Every make and description of car was there, from stock off the street to some very heavily modified and mean sounding Big V8's.

One of the Smoker's.........

Packing up, airing out the tent and ready to leave the racetrack.  Sunday evening about 5:30.


  1. Great collection of pictures. You have very long legs in one of them and I like the location of the smiley face on the side car rider.

    1. Thanks Erik, it is such a beautiful place, a fun mix of machinery, natural beauty and talent. I don't remember the sidecar couples being couples before and it was obvious this time that they were close on and off the bikes.

  2. Looks like it was a successful and entertaining event. I like the fact the sidecar riders are spouses or partners. There is something romantic about that.

    Good for you to actually ride your bike to the event. I bet it was a good way to mentally prepare for the race.

    1. David,
      The event is one of my summer highlights. I've gone with friends, alone, with my young wife and daughter and later with my son and father. The first time was in 1981 and it's all been good.