Friday, October 22, 2010

Flat Track Racing, Show, and Swap meet in Lebanon, TN this Sunday

This Sunday, October 24th, there is a big day of Vintage Flat Track Racing set for the James Ward Fairgrounds, 945 Baddour Pkwy, in Lebanon, TN. Looking at their website, there are going to be lots of different classes, so the racing should be cool to watch. They are also having an Antique Bike Show, and a Swap meet. I spoke with Doris, the promoter, and she said that the phone has rung off the hook, and she is expecting a big turnout. Spectator gates open at 10:00 CST
Admission is only $15, and the weather is suppose to be great on Sunday. Perfect reason to make a little ride to Middle Tennessee. For more info go to , and click on upcoming events.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The 555 guys ride again

For those of you who like a good story, a story that will make you laugh, stand dazed with wonder, or simply doubt the limits of human stupidity and adventure, you need to check out the current adventure of the 555 guys.
 Here is a brief rundown. A few years ago this group of guys from Knoxville decided to set off to Oregon on bikes that had a total investment of less than $500, were less than 500cc's, and were 1975 or older. Hence the name, 555.

They made it, (and got an article in Cycle World about their adventures). Well, the guys they met up with in Oregon duplicated the trip the next year. Now my details may be fuzzy at this point, but the way I understand it, the Knoxville 555 took some ribbing from the West Coast boys about how they got here sooner. So, the plan was laid to beat their time, by driving non-stop in homemade side car rigs! One guy rides, one sleeps. To quote my favorite old Guiness beer commercial, Brilliant!!, (or maybe stupid, you be the judge).

The best part is you can follow the 555 guys on their blog . It's a great blog, with some hilarious video and photos.The last time I checked they had already blown and rebuilt one engine, and were now flying through Oklahoma! They have to get across the Rocky's before the snows hit.

By the way, their rigs were officially unveiled at the Happy Holllerpalooza Vintage show, and one won the rat bike class. Let's hope that Cycleblend Trophy brings them some luck!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vintage Show Report.- Great Time! - Great Turnout!

The first ever sponsored event was even bigger than I hoped it would be. I would have been happy with 50 bikes, somebody told me we would be lucky to get 20. We had 71 great old Vintage Bikes on display, great weather, and really good crowd. No doubt the great weather helped a lot. 
The voting for the 5 different classes came down to the wire. In fact the Best Japanese class was locked in a three way tie, and both the Old Dirt and Best American classes had bikes within 2 votes of each other with just minutes to go before the voting closed.

The best American class was won by Ted Bortner's 1946 Indian Chief (which I wasn't able to get a picture of. Send me one Ted!). He narrowly edged out Claudia Linse and her 1960 Harley Servi-car (seen in the cool bikes section of who tied for second with a 1957 Harley 165 Hummer who's owner never gave me his name.
The Best European class was brutal, with lots of really, nice bikes. It was won by Richard Webb's immaculate 1956 Ariel Square Four. Second Place went to George Brown's 1973 Laverda 750SS, which was 1 vote ahead of a tie for third between Bill Tylers 1950 Vincent, and Mark Waraksa's 82 BMW R100. 

In the last minutes the tie for the lead in he Best Japanese class was broken, with Bob Long's recently finished 1977 Yamaha XS-650 bringing home the coveted Sprocket Trophy. Second place (only 2 votes behind the winner) ended in a tie between Chris Cutaia's 1978 Kawasaki KZ1000 and Kent's 1973 Suzuki GT-750. Bob's winning Yamaha is the black and yellow one in the front of the following picture.

Best Dirt went to David Rhinehardt and his green and white 1971 OSSA trials bike.Right on his heels was Von Smiths 1977 Honda CR125. Rick Terry's 1974 Husky, and Gary Pugh's 1980 Honda CR125 tied for third. I want to give a special thanks to Rick and Joe Terry, and Gary Pugh, for bringing out a great collection of cool Old Dirt, many of which that they actively race.

I decided to add the Rat Bike Class  due to the number of these special built bikes in the Knoxville area, and the fact that everyone seems to be fascinated (or maybe scared) by the display of shade tree engineering. The Class was hugely popular with participant voters, and was won by the 1974 Suzuki Side Car rig built and owned by Glenn Costadina (thats Glenn and Tim from Cycle Stop accepting the trophy). Second place was Mike Fairman's 1970 CB350 Side Car rig.

And finally, in a runaway vote, the Peoples Choice Award went to the 1957 (I need to verify that) Allstate Moped owned by Bones.  Totally disproving the theory that the person with the most friends would win! (Just kidding there Bone's). This little jewel is completely original, and is even equipped with crash bars that could be ordered out of the Sear's catalog I can't help but think that it's sort of ironic that a master painter wins with a bike that has never been touched! There is no telling how many people got their first taste of two wheels with a bike like this.

I have a whole lot of people to thank for making this show such a success. I know I'll leave some people out, so don't get your feelings hurt if I forget to mention you. Lets start with The members of the Time Warp Vintage Club, Dan Moriarty and Martin Shafer for helping with the Sprocket Trophies, Volunteer Riders John Letsinger and Wendel Cooper for helping me with the scoring, my wife for helping with the photography, Thermocopy for designing and donating the Peoples Choice ballots, all of the people who brought out such great bikes bikes, and everyone who visited the show and voted on their favorite. We've already got some suggestions to make it better for next year. Hope you can make it!