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.
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.
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.
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:
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 →
Ryan Villopoto sent out a tweet earlier today saying he will be on Sunday’s (11APR2010) Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain for a live interview. I’m a big fan of Despain. Even though Wind Tunnel is 80% NASCAR, Despain does his best to get the moto guys on the show. As Dave said a couple of years ago… “Of course there’s too ?*^!$^% much NASCAR on the network. There’s too $!?*#&% many NASCAR fans. And whose fault is that? It sure as hell isn’t mine.”
Someone posted this classic picture on FaceBook — Joel Robert and Torsten Hallman duking it out in the mid-’60s. I looked all over for it but can’t find the thread to save my life. My friend Rick from SoCal sent me the photo.
I’m pretty sure it was either Vintage Factory or Classix50MX, both of whom have killer vintage MX photo collections, that posted it. But since I can’t find the thread I don’t know the date or location.
If you know when and where this photo was taken post it in the comments. Thanks.
There was no such thing as a “whip” back in the day, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any cool big air photos. Here’s a very cool CZ shot from sometime in the early ’70s. Photo found at CZ Motokros.
Mountain bikers have known about the ski slopes for years. The MTB discipline of Downhill started on the green summertime slopes of ski resorts. For people like me, who only want their snow on postcards, riding the slopes in summer is the only way to go.
Now we get this new video of a Jeremy McGrath-designed track on the slopes of Powder Mountain, just outside Salt Lake City, UT. There’s nothing cooler (hotter?) than massive elevation changes in a track. What better place to get those than a ski resort?
Maybe all the ski resorts should think about repurposing those gnarly hills for summer?