Monday, June 12, 2017

AHRMA Road America 2017 - 3 Days Of

Highlights from the weekend.....

We were at the gate by 6:30, Steve showed up within a couple of minutes of my arrival.

 This can eventually happen when you get your kids the Deluxe Supreme Erector Set...... and yes, that front end is the best part of a Fiero.

We quickly picked out our usual spot and got set up.....

This one's for sale.....

 So what slides here on this horizontal Italian single?  An internal pushrod going through to the clutch plates on the other side?

The Britten was on display and since I've not been to Barber, this has been my only chance to see a real one.  I didn't touch it but I could have.....I could have touched it but never would.  It was incredible just to look at .....and to photograph.  If you don't know The Story, you'd be well served to learn more.  Eric, Steve and I learned more one cool wet Slimey Crud weekend in a Madison theater.

More on the Britten later.....

Year after year, my favorite Race Team....

Everything about these bikes, their pit location, tools, equipment, etc. was the pinnacle of organization and Good Order.  Even the tools were clean enough to eat from.

Electricity makes these go........

Mike and Rod's arrival, Ron stopped by to chat.....

Jeff arrived Friday afternoon......

The old ones in the group......(not Mike and Jeff).....the Guzzi and Peugeot.....

This year we went to a Bluegill place for dinner in  Sheboygan and then went out to the city's waterfront park for some very fresh air.

 I've been out to the red lighthouse but not this time....

Friday evening.....

Our early morning Coffee Station...

Finally, we've learned a great deal more about the Dead Cat Rock Pile which we camp adjacent too each and every year.

We met for breakfast in nearby Plymouth, this scooter parked in front of the cafe.

My brother joined us early in Plymouth and then had to get registered.

Part of the Rockerbox Bike Show event......

The Photographer out photographing......very soon entering retirement, we'll have to hope that he keeps his camera close and ready.

Quite the race-watching pair.....

Canada Corner (#12).....

We went back to the Pits to do some more looking around and discovered that the Britten was off the display stand.  From the look of things, something more fun might happen soon.

I apologize for the shaky video....wind, coffee, tourist jostling....and finally, "there's a bike coming in, make way, make way....."

This demo lap occurred Saturday afternoon.....Sunday the bike made a lap when the track was full of its peers.

The place we call the Carousel.

There were no storms this year...not a single drop of precipitation. No wall cloud, just constant, all day winds that still wreaked havoc and carnage on the Pop-Ups.  Numerous blue barrels were filled with chest-high waste.

Sunday morning's breakfast crew in a very rare, not-planned photo.  Rodney made sure to guarantee spontaneity.

For some odd reason when my brain initially connected with what my eyes were seeing, the input was Day Care Center.

Mr. Roper's tried and very true horizontal single......

His Mrs. requested that I Photoshop out his boxy catch-pan..."he's not proud of that and will be making changes, but very proud of the rest of it",  as well he should be.

We saw Pete but never spoke this weekend other than a quick wave and a "Hi."

There was just a bit more adventure to come.  Jeff, Rod and Mike had left (brother Kevin had left Saturday evening) so Steve and I were visiting corners and for my first time ever, a lunch time departure from the track was planned rather than my normal deep into the afternoon long drive home.  After watching (and listening) to the Britten make its way from Corner #14 up the straight, I was going to be crafty and take the switchback hill and bridge over Corner #6 back to our Home base.  The Honda sputtered a few times, I shook the lithe machine as we were coasting to a stop from 18mph, it coughed a couple of times more and then we made another 30 feet.

I knew or was quite sure that I knew that my assumed fuel consumption numbers had been altered by the ultra-high RPM's required all weekend to move at anything more than a walking speed.  A 72 tooth rear sprocket will do that to a mechanism.  I was ready to just pull over and park, then come down with 1 bike on the trailer and finish getting the little Honda loaded.

Steve had a nice length of cotton rope in his Big Ruckus' crate on the back.  I was more than a little reluctant to be towed but on balance, the light machine on non-public roads might work acceptably well.  Steve seemed more eager than I, encouraging me and probably himself as well.

It happened right where the Rockerbox main event happened; continuing on my planned route up the switchbacks didn't seem responsible or plausible, so that meant going through the Pit area and around that way. Things did start out well......

As we passed the area down on the flat adjacent to where the Stunt Riding demo's were being held, suddenly over the loudspeaker we heard, "Hey, look over there at the Tow Job....incredible....let's give it up for the guys....come on everyone, give them a hand.....this is Special."

I wondered if Steve was hearing them, it would have been nigh impossible to miss the announcement from a system that can talk over rev-limiters and smoking tires.  I was able to see Steve's subtle smile in his rearviews.  I really wanted to wave to the crowd but both of my hands were very busy at that point.  Just as both Steve and I were pleased with our good skill, 3/4 of the way up the steep hill in front of the food stand, the old cotton rope was overwhelmed with its job, snapping about midway between us.

No injuries resulted.

I coasted to a very quick stop, waddled my way off the road to a somewhat more level spot.  Again, I proposed the "leave it here and come back method of rescue."  Steve had the situation in control and reminded me, "Steep part is behind us, we can do this."  He was right and his Big Ruckus was an admirable tow machine.

We got over to the Sargento bridge, up and over, which was easily the hairiest part of the entire project; I'd have accepted one more hand and even an extra foot right about then; my own had almost too much to do.  At the 4-way stop, after getting stopped, I unwrapped the single loop around my handlebar, Steve coiled up the rope and from there, I coasted (fastest the little beast went all weekend....saw 29mph on the speedo) down the hill, up and over the Johnsonville Brats bridge, down around the hard left at the bottom, leaned over at a very aggressive angle and made it all the way to my trailer, ending up positioned perfectly for an easy loading.

Thank you Steve!!

About 280 miles on the big 250, almost 50 on the 55 and just about 485 on the minivan.  Our plans are to do this or something very similar again a year from now.


  1. Great pictures and post. How many more rallies this summer?

    1. Thanks Richard, appreciate that. 3 more rallies by my definition, would have been 4 but there's one normally attended that won't happen this year. Lots more activities coming up though; the next rally in two weeks. This coming weekend our annual show at the MN State Fairgrounds.

      We really do need more weekends.

  2. What a great weekend. I think I'd have died of embarrassment at the announcer but he was enjoying the view of the tow and you probably brought a lot of smiles to people's faces.

    My question would be "Did you see the ghost of Brian Redman's cat racing you as you were being towed?"

    1. We were smiling and I'd have taken more advantage if I could have. Normally I'd have waved and looked; doing either or both just would not have been wise.

      I didn't notice the ghost but I've got a feeling that it was nearby. We've gone for years not knowing the story, only the rock pile. I'm sure that from now on we'll be watching.