Monday, February 20, 2012

Arrowhead Lake Ice

We've been going out to Arrowhead Lake in Milton for the past three Sundays, to ride on the ice. I meant to post some video from that on here, but it seems it's no longer a blogger option to post video here. Sucks.

Anyway, the ice was really good yesterday, no plowing required. We set up an oval first, and rode the hell out of it all day. I brought some cones out to mark the insides of the turns so that we weren't just riding in a big circle. The bikes with Canadian screws tend to chew up the ice, and my AMA screws don't grip in the loose chips they create, so we just moved the cones on both ends to find fresh ice.

Then Rees and I took some of the cones and set up a road course further out on more more fresh ice. It's always a little tough getting a road course right, but after a couple adjustments we had a nice flowing course with some good high speed turns and a tight hairpin. Matt and Rees and I rode it counter-clockwise for awhile, then we reversed direction and rode it clockwise, which was actually more fun. I regret I didn't have my helmet cam for that 'cause we were having a ball, and it would have been good video fodder.

There were also a couple local guys on quads riding the oval, it was a little unnerving to be out with them, but they stayed in control and I actually had a good session with one of 'em when I was riding Matt's YZ250F.

Rees built his own tires, using a Pirelli MT44 Lagunacross that he shaved, with stainless Canadian screws. He had the most grip out there, and he was ripping.

This is Jeremy Armell, son of one of our techs at work.

Scott Armstrong was ready to offer his firstborn for a ride on someone's bike. We would've let him ride for free.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jolly Roger Motorsports Park

Here's a photo from JRM, taken around '02 or '03 by Scott Rounds. This is probably an Open Expert heat race with #22u Mike Beland, #1 Roger Durkee, #26b Lowell Carson, and #9u David Bettencourt.

This kind of marks an end of an era when the open classes were dominated by Rotax engined "framers", with a few guys racing big air-cooled Hondas or Yamahas, and a few guys racing the brand new CRF450R's. In a relatively short period, maybe 3-5 years, the dominant bike on the front row became the CRF450R.

Mike had his own powersports shop in Mass before he moved to Florida, called A-1. He'd shown up on the flattrack scene coming from a background of drag racing motorcycles. He's tough to beat off the line, despite this photo showing otherwise.

Roger was the local expert to beat. A former National number holder, he showed a lot of younger riders the fast way around any short track, and didn't lose too often.

Lowell is an expert that raced more in NY Dictrict 3, but would still show up at NEDTS events occasionally.

Dave was another of the local experts to beat, and I believe he was also a former National number holder. He held a few NEDTS titles. Sadly, he was taken by Leukemia a few years ago.

Speaking of National numbers, the way you earn one is to qualify for an AMA National feature race. To do that you must first accumulate enough points racing as a Pro-Sport rider to be eligible to enter a National event. At most of the National shorttrack or 1/2 mile events during the 90's and early 00's a typical entry list would often run 60 to 80 or more competitors, all trying to get into the 18 rider main event, so needless to say the competition in heat races was fierce.

The Pro-Sport plates are white with red numbers. The letter next to the number designates the district that a racer comes from, "u" is the designation for New England, and I'm guessing "b" is the Eastern NY district.

I'll miss the framers, 'cause they look and sound so badass. They're still showing up and occasionally winning races at some of the local tracks, but they're long gone from the National scene.

This is another photo from the same roll (remember film?) later in the program. Dave Bettencourt about to go around the outside of another rider entering turn 1. I can't remember who #31 is, this may have been a night with a lot of New York/New England riders trying for a big purse. Love the roost!