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Saturday, December 27, 2008

t-shirts



I like the t-shirts at races. This is at a hillclimb in Freemansburg, PA.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Savior South Cycles Racing

So you're in college in the the '80s, down in South Carolina. Not much money to spend but between you and your roommate, maybe enough to start a drag racing team. Especially if a worn but inexplicably reliable H2 shows up in the classifieds for the right price. Well some of the details may be lost to history, but here are some cool reminders of a time before they became mortal. This is Savior South Cycle teammates Bill Clarke and Steve Jackson. Their simple but profound credo, "Save one for me".

Starting with Bill testing the limits of rear tire sidewall strength...in the parking lot. You can see most of his nice haircut in this photo. Helmet? What?



Once they gained some experience at the track, they decided wheelie bars might be a good thing. And team shirts.







The results don't lie...1/8 mile time slips. On the back of the 8.03 slip it say's "beat Alvin's Honda by .02 sec, ran down A's wicked hole shot"
On the back of the 7.94 slip.."cut some Nighthawk ass, no contest"

As I say, the details are a little vague but if memory serves, I think the team changed the plugs, bought a Goodyear Eagle slick, and fabbed up the wheelie bar. Raced it for a season and moved on.

Hell of a show dudes, there's a cold one in the fridge for ya.

Monday, December 15, 2008

'08 Christmas Bird Count





This past Sunday I once again participated in the Burlington Vermont Christmas Bird Count, an annual event run by the Audubon Society. I've been doing the count with a few friends for about 15 years, and from the beginning we've been responsible for covering the Burlington waterfront along Lake Champlain. This year was made a little more challenging than usual with strong winds off the lake out of the southwest blowing directly into our faces (and binoculars) . Fortunately the temps were relatively mild, around mid 20's F, so even with the wind chill it was bearable.

The first bird of the day was an immature Snowy Owl. A great way to start your day. Other raptor highlights were a light morph Rough Legged Hawk, a Sharp Shinned Hawk, and 2 Bald Eagles. We saw a total of 40 species and counted well over 1000 individual birds in our sector. The total species count for the count circle was 71, which was 2 species off the record of 73, set in 2006.

I couldn't take any decent photos, so while I was browsing for images, I remembered these smokes. Heed the Surgeon General Warning!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Harrington shot


Not the greatest resolution so I couldn't read the name on the leathers, but if I had to guess, I'd say this is Bubba Shobert stylin' down the back straight...
Thanks to Sandy for the color correction

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Heroes at Harrington 1/2 mile, 1984





Here are some slides I shot at the Harrington 1/2 mile, June of '84. It was the first time I'd seen a flattrack race, but I'd been reading about 'em, so I knew some names to watch out for. Jimmy Felice was a rookie that year (I think), Randy Goss was the defending champ (obviously), Springer and Graham were at their peak, and Honda was a real threat to win the championship. My wife and I paid for general admission tickets and stood by the fence coming out of T2 onto the back straight. I was hooked, but it took a looong time before I got around to racing or watching the pros go at it again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Making noise without engines...



This weekend we went to the farm for some fun with guns. My family plus some friends and Uncle John, shooting clays till we ran out. It may turn into a Thanksgiving tradition.

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Middletown, NY aka Thunderdome

Boy, I was just looking for some photos I shot this weekend, and found some videos on the same card, shot about 4 years ago at the Middletown Indoor series. They're short, but you do get a little flava of the place, in fact you can almost smell the race gas/exhaust/hot tires...
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Bikes


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Quads

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

XL600 Street tracker


Here's one of my fav's. It's an '86 Honda XL600. When I got it, it was completely stock. I rode it that way for a season, on the road and in the woods a bit, but it always felt a bit tall and heavy in the woods. I finally took a fall on it, broke my clavicle, and decided it needed a new life as a 'tracker.
I had a friend, Rich Beauregard, do the work. Omar's tank, custom seat, exhaust, suspension and controls, and a great paint job, all by Rich.
My son and I have raced this on several half miles as well as some shorttracks. I've also done a season of Supermotard with it. Fun.
In this pic it has ice tires on it. We were just having fun hacking around, no fenders or tether kill switch...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ice chipper...



The business end of an outlaw Canadian ice tire. Best advice, treat with respect...that dog will bite.

Bill's Trackmaster



'80s Trackmaster frame with a late '80s KX125, DG pipe, Flanders bars, Grimeca brake, quick change rear wheel, WP shocks. Custom Pinstripe.
A gem.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More of the same

Here's some vid from the same day at Arrowhead. Me on my 300, Matt on his 450, Mike on his CR250 and Seamus on the XR500. You'll see Matt take an ice sample just when things are getting interesting. You'll also see Matt's son bombing around the road course on his annoyingly loud KTM 65. "Annoyingly loud" isn't really fair when you consider what we're riding, but when you're standing around, trying to catch your breathe after a bunch of laps, helmet off, and the boy is still out there doing lap after lap...well you may get annoyed with something..


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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brain Freeze




Well, the flattrack season ended quietly. I haven't raced since the Jolly Roger event.
Instead, I've been getting as much seat time as possible on my KTM in the woods. Mainly local rides at Matt's in Milton or Fred's in Westford. It's been great, but now I need to perform some maintenance on the bike in preparation for the upcoming Ice season.
Here are some images from earlier this year, for inspiration. Top is Matt on his 450, middle is Seamus on his '82 XR500, and bottom is Mike on his '82 CR250. All at Lake Arrowhead in Milton, Feb 26.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Results and info...

Don't know why the links didn't work, so here they are again;

http://www.amaflattrack.com


http://www.motogp.com


Check out some of the photo's on the AMA Flattrack site, there are some shots from the Springfield Mile and Shorttrack that are just incredible.









Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Indy!

Bill and I made our way to Indianapolis for the inaugural MotoGP and the Indy Mile. We caught some great racing at both venues.

The MotoGP racing had it's ups and downs, the bikes/riders/sounds were great, the track was OK as half-tracks go, probably better than most but I still prefer a complete road course. Here's a clip of the front straight, we just sat down in front of the paddock when the first bikes came down the straight. You'll hear the riders down-shifting to set up for turn one, and as you'll see, we were enjoying the reverb in the covered grandstand...
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The Indy Mile was what made the weekend for us. The weather turned out great for the evening, the racing was epic, we saw some great interviews with "King" Kenny Roberts, Jay "The Gunslinger" Springsteen and other legends. The race announcer did some of the interviews, he had a great voice, Bill and I were imitating him the rest of the weekend till our throats were sore. We checked out the track and pits after the show. Here's a shot of the groove heading into turn one...


Since the weather forecast for the Mile was sketchy, they dropped the Semi's from the program and just had 4 heats with the top 5 transferring to the Main. That did help move the program along. They also ran the Expert Twins Class and that turned out to be a great battle at the front with James Rispoli on a Lloyd Brothers RXV550 Aprilia sandwiched between a pair of Kawasaki 650's tuned by Bill Werner and ridden by Brock Schwarzenbacher and Chase Sconyers. These bikes and riders are the future of the sport and they are fast!

While we were in the Mile pits we caught up with some friends from Caferacer.net and some of the racers. It's always friendly in the Flattrack pits!

For Flattrack results and photo's go to;


For MotoGP results go to;


Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tough racin' at JRM

Hey, it's been a long time since I've updated, sorry for the gap. I've been to Jolly Roger Motorsports Park twice this summer, once in July and again at the end of August.
July 19th my daughter Hannah volunteered to be my pit crew, which was awesome and I did put her to good use. I opted to race the Vintage class as well as Senior "B". The Vintage class looked promising, I won my heat race even though I was in company with an expert on another TT500. He passed me on the beginning of the second lap and I didn't think I'd be able to repass him, but he took a higher line on the white flag lap and I took him pretty easily. Turned out his brake line had come off so he had no binders.
The Senior B class was a little tougher match, with 4 other guys on modern stuff, 450's and Rotax's. I think I took a 4th in that heat.
The Vintage feature race came up and I felt pretty confident, had an OK start but my competition on the TT500 did too. We quickly gapped the rest of the field, and he built a pretty good lead on me, so I was just looking to finish a safe 2nd. Had it in the bag until turn 4 of the last lap. The track was pretty rough by that time and the exits out of turns 2 and 4 were pot-holed and bumpy. I miss timed the last bump coming off of turn 4, got on the gas too early and the bike went out from under me before I could react. I watched the rest of the field race around and over my bike, thankfully missing me, as my leg was kind of trapped under the seat.
The last guy to come around ran over the rear wheel and muffler, which spun the bike off of me.
This was when Hannah came to the rescue, helping me push the bike back up the hill to the pits, gathering up the parts and handing me the stuff I needed to get the bike ready for the Senior B feature.
We had just enough time for me to make it to the start line. That feature didn't go as well, I was pretty well used up by the time I started the race so I didn't have a lot of energy left to race. Got off in 4th, held it till the last lap and got passed, finished last.
Not my finest performance.

On to August, the 30th of, to be precise. This was to be a night of racin' followed by a round of golf the following day at Newport Golf Course with my best man, Bill, and brothers John and Mark.
Bill brought his super cool Trackmaster KX125 for it's debut under him and the night lights of JRMP. I had spotted the bike for him this winter, picked it up for him and he took it home and put the shine on it, so we were looking forward to seeing it in action.
I signed up for Vintage and Senior B class, and Bill signed up for Senior B.
Once again I went out and had the Vintage heat covered, as my main competition on the TT500 had been put in a different heat. In fact there was a big turnout in Vintage, requiring 3 heat races to sort the field.
The Senior B heat was about the same as the last time with me struggling to keep up with the modern bikes and Bill hopelessly out powered. He felt like he'd brought a Pea-shooter to a knife fight. I had to concur.

On to the features, after some typical JRMP shenanigans with generator/lights malfunctions, rain and track maintenance.
I was on the front row for Vintage, had a good start but was in 2nd behind another expert on a Bettencourt Honda (I think) with my TT500 competition behind me. He quickly moved up and passed me on the inside going into turn 3 on the 2nd lap. He had to get a little harder on the brake than I was expecting since he was carrying more speed going into the turn. I didn't anticipate this and found myself getting too close to him coming into the turn. I must've hit the brake a little too hard and the next thing I know I'm crashing.
I picked up the bike, it was still running, and got back into the race at the back of the pack. I was able to pick off about 3 or 4 bikes, but the race had been shortened to 6 laps, so I wasn't able to finish in the top 5.
Senior B race got cancelled due to time restraints because of the lights/rain episodes, with the finishing position in the heat race counting as your final result. At that point it was past 11:00 PM and I didn't feel like waiting around for a 4th place trophy, so we packed up and hit the road.

On a somewhat brighter note, I did win the golf round on Sunday, by one stroke under Bill. It was a good round for both of us considering it was only our 2nd round of the year, the first round played back in June at Lang Farm in Essex.

Pictures and video to follow...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dagostino Cup Vintage Race








This was my second run in the Dag Cup, 2005. I had run in the '03 Dag Cup in the Senior B class, got a 5th. Then came back in '05 to run in Vintage Light shown here. Won this race. I came back in '06 and won it again in Vintage Light. Missed it last year 'cause we went to watch the National in Monticello NY.


The Dagostino Cup will be running again at Electric City Riders Club near Schenectady, NY in September. Check 'em out at http://www.electriccityriders.com/















Another Mototown pic. This was last year on the small track, a 1st gear bullpen with surprisingly good traction.

Sunday, June 22, 2008






A couple photos from this winter, indoor shorttrack and outside on the lake..

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Canaan, N.H. 6/15/08 vid

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I'm in the white helmet coming out of T4 high and wide.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Canaan, N.H. 6/15/08

We finally got our first fix of summer flattrack racing at Canaan Speedway on Sunday. This was the 3rd race of a triple header weekend, Friday night Half-Mile at Rochester, Saturday night Shorttrack at Jolly Roger Motosports Park, and the 3/8 mile at Canaan.
We couldn't make either show Friday or Saturday but we were ready to race with our '79 XT500 Sunday when they opened the gates.
The newly resurfaced clay track had been watered down by the previous night's rain, and it was clear that it would take some type of surface prep along with a healthy dose of sun to make it rideable, never mind race-able.
So it was decided that the Quad racers would go out first and run their program start to finish. That was fine by us as the Quads generally do a decent job of creating a smooth racing surface, it's about all they're good for as far as I'm concerned. Well anyway, they did their best to amuse themselves and almost got through their whole program before two of 'em got together in T1 and had to be transported in separate ambulances. That put an end to their show.
When we walked the track after the Quad debacle we quickly discovered that the clay was coming up off the underlying dirt in huge sections through the turns. So much for the Quads.
The track grader was put to work and in about 45 minutes we had a fresh, smooth surface. On cue, the sun came out and we were ready to race.
I raced in the combined Senior A/B class, I'm a solid B (amateur) rider and in my heat race I managed to slide in behind the A rider and learn the fast line from him, which got me on the front row for my feature. My son was racing in Open Am and Vintage on the same bike. The Vintage class would be an all Yamaha affair with another TT500, a Knight framed radial head air-cooled DT25o and a sweet home-built XS650. Scott had them all covered though and was able to win his heat and feature with half a straight to spare.
The Open Am was another story with 4 other guys, all on modern 450's. Scott was still able to make 'em work for it though, with a decent start in his heat he was fighting for 2nd till he grabbed a little too much throttle and almost high-sided off T4. He collected it and resumed in 3rd to the end. His feature race went the same except for a poor start which prevented him from improving his 3rd position off the line.
My feature was exciting, at least from my view, an OK start had me in 3rd on the back straight behind an A rider and my B rival on his beautiful Wood/Rotax 670. Another A rider caught us going into T3 and we were three wide banging bars out of 4. So much fun. Well the other A rider and I had a few laps of trading lines, he got the better of it and I finished 4th overall, 2nd in class, but it was a tight group over the line.
So we put three trophies in the truck, which is OK, and we can't wait to do it again.
That's it for now.
Frank