Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maximum Motorcycle Weekend - Enduro Cross - Moto GP - ExtremeEnduro

Every now and then the stars line up, and plans come together. The weekend of August 26,27,28 was that weekend for me. During this three day period I was able to take in the AMA Geico Enduro Cross, The Moto GP Qualifying Day at Indianapolis, and the first ever Kenda Tire Tennessee Knock Out Extreme Enduro at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie. The plan was to also see the AMA  Indy Mile Flat Track race, but when it  was cancelled we instead visited the Motorcycles on Meridian gathering in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday night.
You may have seen Enduro Cross on TV, but you need to see it in person. It's sort of like seeing a boxing match, you know there are going to be some punches landed, you just don't know how hard they are going to be. 
There wasn't a single race that didn't have somebody go down in the first turn. In fact, it was rare when the race winner didn't have some sort of trouble. The track is just that tough. Taddy Blazusiak (#111), the winner of the last several Erzberg Enduros and Enduro Cross Events, won the event, followed closely by teammate, and East Tennessee's own Mike Brown (#311)

Early the next morning we found ourselves a few miles down the road at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I was there before in 2008, but it was still awesome to be back. It's one of those places you need to go to at least once in your life if you're into racing. It's just neat to look up and see the Pagoda Tower that you've seen on TV for all your life, and think about all the famous racers who have been there.


The atmosphere at a Moto GP race is like no other Road Race. It's amazing how passionate  the fans are that come from Europe to cheer their favorite riders, and there is just a feeling around the event that lets you know this is the pinnacle of the sport. The sound that the GP Bikes make at full song is like no other bike you've ever heard, simply because these bikes don't exist anywhere else. Cool doesn't come close to describing it.
 Since we didn't have the Flat Track to go to Saturday night, we walked a few blocks from the hotel to Meridian Street. we really didn't know what to expect, but found out that this event is HUGE!. 

The City of Indy closes off this downtown street for several blocks for motorcycle traffic only, and I can only guess how many bikes where there, but its easily in the thousands. The cool thing is it is all kinds of bikes, and all kinds of people, with probably a 60-40 split between Sportbikes and Cruisers. Not your typical all Harley black leather parade.
I left Indy at 5;30 the next morning and drove 6 hours to the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie Tennessee just in time to catch the first Pro Race of the Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro.
The top guys for the Enduro Cross I saw in Indy all came to compete for the $10,000 purse, and this time Mike Brown came out the winner. Blazusiak's bike broke in the first heat race, ending his day, but he was still out there on course cheering for his teammate Mike Brown. This was billed as an Extreme Enduro and it definitely was. Much of the terrain the pros raced over couldn't be ridden over by most good riders. It was impressive to see in person.

When it was all over and I finally made it back home to Knoxville I just had to sit for a minute and think about what all I was able to see over the weekend. I got to see the best riders in the world doing what they do best, at awesome venues, with great weather. I was so happy that I grabbed a beer and turned on the TV to watched the races I missed that my wife recorded for me. Can't get too much of a good thing!

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