It appears that storied Lake Whitney Cycle Park — the site of numerous National, International, and amateur motocross events since 1972 — has finally succumbed to economic pressures after years on life support.
This report is unconfirmed and based on this RacerX article. I also found this post from June 2006 and this LinkedIn profile for Bruce Whitehead.
Based on these sources the property on which the track sits is part of WB Ranch, a property owned by a limited partnership with Bruce Whitehead listed as General Partner.
Whitehead is a hunting enthusiast and investor and it appears the property is being converted into something that can make more money — a managed hunting preserve, corporate retreat, and housing development. Continue reading
This is jumping jumps. It’s not motocross. Don’t confuse the two.
If you want to jump jumps, fine. Go to it. This is cool, too. Focus on it. Try to be the best at it. But don’t get on the track and pretend you’re a racer. You’re not. You’ll just be a 2x loser, not good at either one.
What has happened to being ashamed of losing? This past weekend I worked track safety at the local MX park for an amateur race. I’ve done this a couple of times now, just to see what’s happening in the world of grass roots modern MX.
It’s a little sad, really. The local amateur ranks have always had a fair number of squids and spodes. Learning to go fast on a dirt bike isn’t easy, and some people just don’t have what it takes. And some of the guys are just getting started and will get better. But what I’ve seen lately is really disappointing.
What, specifically, is the problem? Scrubs. Continue reading
Here’s the spinal cord injury Public Service Announcement that Steve Bauer posted on Facebook. Click here or click the image to view. It’s an MP4 (Quicktime) video file.
This video was put together by some AZ vintage riders — Bill Ramsey of The Motorcycle Accessory Shop made the video, based on a technique he learned from Mark Smith. I struggle to start my old big-bore CZs, and have repeatedly ripped the buckles off my cool vintage Hi-Point MX boots. Not cool. Maybe this little trick will save my boots, until I crash and have to start it the old-fashioned way. Of course, this only works with bikes that have carburetors.
American motocross hero Danny “Magoo” Chandler, age 50, passed away last night at his home in Yuba City, CA. Danny reportedly died from complications associated with his paralysis. I do not have much to say here, as I never met Danny nor saw him ride in person. I just know his legend from the magazines of the day, and the occasional Wide World of Sports show. I do know something of his perseverance in the latter days of his life.
Here is a RacerX tribute article. Here is Jody Wiesel’s tribute. No doubt there will be many, many others. There are some good Magoo memories being posted over on the Cousin Weedy Y! forum in the Magoo RIP thread.
The picture is of Chandler (the little guy, obviously) at the age of 13 on his CZ in the first turn of the 250 novice class at a race at McGill Cycle park near Sacramento in July 1973. I do not know the source of the photo but it was posted online by John Putkey.
It has been a devastating few weeks for the dirt biking world — deaths, horrific injuries, and finally the beginnings of a growing public outcry that something be done to calm the sport down and reduce the risk. I know I am joined by many of my peers in hoping this movement gets traction and leads to serious change in the structure of the sport, both here and abroad. If not, I question the long-term future of dirt biking in general and motocross in particular.
It is time for change. Godspeed, Danny. May you have now the peaceful and pain-free existence that eluded you these past 24 years, and may your passing serve as motivation for all of us.
Update: Here is Danny’s obituary from the Sacramento Bee, and here is the Cycle News article on Danny’s passing. Steve Bauer of RacerX also posted a public service video for spinal cord injuries featuring Magoo that I will post separately as soon as I can download it.
Recently I had a brief email exchange with Ken Smith, editor of Australia-based VMX Magazine regarding the problems neck brace wearers have integrating other forms of protective gear. As Ken pointed out, everything from the bottom profile of your helmet to the shape of your chest protector/body armor can affect the way the neck brace works. Or doesn’t work.
Many of us who have opted to wear a neck device have had to hack up our body armor or settle for a skimpy chest protector. That’s a choice I don’t want to have to make. This morning I was browsing the magazine rack at the local Barnes & Noble store and just happened to pickup the 10APR2010 issue of UK-based MotoX magazine. While thumbing through the pages I saw a blurb about some new AlpineStars body armor designed specifically to integrate with the AlpineStars Bionic Neck Support (BNS) and other neck devices. Continue reading
John Nicholas of Project Two50 is working hard with his team to prepare a top-notch two-stroke 250cc bike to compete in six of the AMA outdoor Motocross Nationals this year.
Because the team got a late start on the project they missed the budget planning process for lots of potential sponsors, so they’re looking for support anywhere they can get it. John says they’ll have some t-shirts and other swag available for sale soon. So if you’re a two-stroke fan consider buying a shirt or two for a good cause.
If you’re a business that wants to reach race fans, two-stroke or otherwise, contact John directly via the site. You know the bike is going to get some attention at the races!
Steve Matthes interviewed Rick “Super Hunky” Sieman in the Super Hunky podcast back in January. The history of Dirt Bike magazine, four-strokes, Sierra Club, and other stuff.
Disclaimer: I only attended on Saturday. Anything here about events on Friday or Sunday was collected from various sources – from other attendees who posted on the Cousin Weedy Yahoo! group or people I spoke to at the event. Please post corrections and additions in the comments. Thanks – twf :end:
Have a look at my flickr album for a few more photos. Here are a few amateurish video clips.
Weather: The weather was excellent on Friday and most of Saturday. It was partly cloudy and breezy – got hot for about an hour on Friday, and about an hour Saturday morning, but otherwise it was great. Saturday afternoon the rain began to come in. Slight drizzle started about 3:30 or so Sat. The drizzle didn’t go well with the black-clay track surface and made for some slick racing for the last two motos of the day.
Attendance: I don’t have official attendance stats, but the camping areas were pretty full — as full as I’ve seen them in the 4 times I’ve been there. It was good to see so many folks camping and having a good time. The infield and entry-road camping was completely packed. There were still some open areas way in the back, across the train track, but it was really full. Continue reading