You’re probably thinking “Sidewinder“, the really bad ’70s motocross flick with Marjoe Gortner. Gack! That was awful. But you’d be wrong. Yes, the worst motorcycle movie ever has to be “Torque“, which I just suffered through on FX.
It’s horrendous. Abysmal. So bad that it would have to get better just to suck. And not even in that Mystery Science Theatre way – but really, truly, hard-core miserable, lower-than-a-snake’s-belly kind of suck. Take a plot-line that was rejected by all the video game companies because it was so stupid; add in a bunch of blatant, pandering, overbearing product placements (which have to be the only reason they made this movie); pour in 5 cups of poorly staged sport biker stunts that defy not only the laws of physics but look like they’re riding on a merry-go-round , hideous special effects, and really bad acting. Now stir thoroughly with a final dose of cheesy dialog and you have Torque. Unless you’re under the age of 14 I can’t imagine you won’t be insulted by this movie. It’s just sloppy. Even if the stupid stuff were intentional – like it’s all supposed to be a big joke – it’s not funny. Just very, very sloppy and insulting. The kind of thing people should be ashamed to be associated with.
It was so bad I couldn’t watch more than about 5 minutes without having to flush my eyes, so I had to keep going to the bathroom. This movie sets some sort of new low, but I’m not sure what kind. It’s that bad. It might even rival Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space“.
CZ aficionado and webmaster over at CZechPoint, Reese Dengler, posted this reminder on the Cousin Weedy Yahoo list:
Check out Petr Trojan’s moto-cross art at the web page above. He’s added some new prints of some old Czech moto-heros.
Petr has very nice art of motocross, speedway, and rally car racing, including some charcoal renderings of modern MX riders. But I really like his ’60s and ’70s-era motocross and scrambles work. Very nice. He says he will have prints available soon. I hope he does.
I was reorganizing all my old motorcycle books and magazines today and came across this old book from one of my hometown racers – Kyle Kilgore. Kyle was a couple of years older than me but his brother Kevin and I were in the same HS class. Other than Gary Bailey and Carl Shipman’s 1974 “How to Win Motocross” it’s one of the few books I owned on racing technique from back in those days.
But Holeshot was a unique book (published 1982 by American Ventures Marketing.) It was all about the mental game. In fact, it’s completely about the mental game. The first chapter is titled “Mind Over Motorcycle”. I don’t know of any other book that ever took this approach to the sport. There’s one chapter on basic physical training, circa 1980, but the rest is all about the head game. Other chapters cover looking within yourself, finding internal drive, persistence, mental targeting, and training your mind to win. Looking back, it’s cool to see how far ahead this little “nobody” book really was.
Today, mental imaging is taken for granted but we call it visualization and sports psychology. Here’s a (dreadfully hard to read) paper from Vanderbilt University on the topic. It’s not talked about much among MX racers, but I’ll wager Eldon Baker (formerly Ricky Carmichael’s trainer and now working with James Stewart) knows plenty about it. It’s kinda cool to look back and realize one of my high school cohorts was this far ahead of the game.
Here’s a trivia question for you East Texas readers: Who’s the guy in these pics? I don’t know him. But he has to be from among our same motley crew of East Texas racers in the late-’70s to early-’80s. It’s not Kyle, and it’s not Kevin. So who can name this hard-training racer with all the trophies behind him? Post your answers in the comments and the first person to name him wins an all-expense paid dinner for one at Taco Bell. Click the photo for a bigger pic.
Progress requires compromise. Advancement requires sacrifice. These time-honored platitudes are ingrained in most of us from childhood. To reach any worthwhile goal you often have to give up things you hold dear. Achieving mainstream acceptance is a goal for the motocross community, and the pursuit of that goal has caused us to gradually give up more and more of what we once held to be inherent truths about our sport.
In her latest blog post Sarah Whitmore shares her distaste for the racier side of Supercross.
Speaking of Supercross I am getting a little annoyed at all of the “main event” board and “30 second” board girls. Not to mention every energy drink company is in some huge competition to see who can have the most scantily clad girls on display. Its bad enough when these girls are getting paid to dress like this but then there are fans walking around wearing less than what I wear to the beach.
As a twenty-something woman and one of the top female motocross racers in the country Sarah speaks with some authority on this issue. Unfortunately, she has made one flawed assumption – that Supercross is a family sport. It is not. I wish it were, but Supercross is our (the industry, the racers, the broader MX community) shot at hitting the big time. And because we are all slavishly in pursuit of that magical, mythical pinnacle of fame and fortune we have pretty much sacrificed any tie we had to our past legacy.
The racy aspect of Supercross is much more likely to increase than it is to regress to any family values approach. As I wrote a few weeks back regarding the Leticia Cline incident, hotties are a part of getting mainstreamed. Sex sells. In the 18-34 male demographic for which Supercross has been manufactured sex sells supremely. And selling is what LiveNation is all about.
There may be one, perhaps even two, people inside LiveNation who actually care about motocross and Supercross. They are likely the guys working directly in the sport, managing the ground-level operations. But let’s not make the mistake of thinking that there is any passion at all at the executive or Board levels. It’s about money. Period.
If you want to see one possible future for Supercross watch an episode of NOPI TunerVision, or go to a NOPI Nationals event. They have racing. It’s a backdrop to car shows, jello wrestling, soap suds dance orgies, and nearly-naked bikini contests. Not that I have a problem with any of these things. They just are. And if Sarah wants a glimpse of what her future may hold she can visit bikiniracer.com. Sex is what the 18-34 male demographic wants. Action sports and sex. It sells. Welcome to the mainstream.