New Region Quite apart from the whole V vs. PV house of cards issue was the Region's size. For Northwest Riders (WA & OR) eight of the eleven races were a thousand miles away. That means a 2000 mile round trip. Think about it: for a Seattle or Portland Rider to reasonably contest the Series meant having to drive six times back & forth to California or Nevada; two thirds of the way around the Earth in one summer. This is supposed to be an everyman's sport, but as it currently stands it becomes only for the few: independently wealthy & successful retired persons.
For years you had to explain to people that for their $40 they got two or three races. So it was reasonable to form a new region- I just never expected to see it my lifetime. And I certainly didn't expect to be asked to part of it. We were told that were supposed to write a Proposal to form our own region, and present it at the Board of Director's Meeting at the Farm in August.. The region would be Washington Oregon & Idaho.
the Meeting I asked the Team to look sharp. I want the trustees to know we aren't some bush league outfit. I was honored to meet the trustees. But the meeting itself was three hours long and baffling. Dirk stood & spoke, reading off notes about the proposal, and the questions began.
But the tone of things were not about anything we were planning, or working on, and soon it descended into a miserable spiral of he said she said. The nut at the center evidently was how it came that the Klamath Falls Race fell by the wayside. And the useless arguing began about who said what last year, and several years ago.
Even we were in a board meeting, rather than talk about ANYTHING constructive, two hours were spent trying to call Dirk on the carpet. Ed, then Dick grilled him about phone conversations, and whether he remembered what he said on this or that day.
I was sweating like a pig in my suit.
Was it the tree situation or personal reasons that the race had been called off? They went round & round, saying that because it was the Trials coordinator who called Dirk to offer him the final date, rather than Ed or Dick, that somehow it was Dirk's fault.
I find this Shell Game approach to race organization rather peculiar, and I really wanted to say uh... IS ANYONE STEERING THE SHIP? Their argument struck me like saying It's not the Captain's fault, because when the ship ran aground he wasn't at the wheel!
Finally I had the floor. With "growing Ahrma" as a goal I was prepared to explore Hammer & Tongs becoming an Ahrma Series. My idea was that the Sport would be strong united, each crowd getting a richer mix- and since H&T already has a following we'd be able to introduce that to the mix, and actually get something done for AHRMA. But we barely talked about it.
Instead I was questioned about about the Hammer & Tongs tracks being unfriendly for both Vintage and Evolution, (Port Angeles) and I said that I alone would accept responsibility for that.
At some point partway through the meeting Dick became angry and pounded on the table with his fist. He said I'm gonna say something and this is the most important thing anyone's gonna say at this meeting, and after this nothing anyone is going to say is going to mean anything. And he went on to insist that PV bikes drive away Vintage bikes.
The meeting was out of time. We went back to the track. I sat in a lawn chair quietly disillusioned outside Charlie's camper and stared at the grass. I was expecting some decorum I guess.
It was now Friday Night. The National at the Farm was that weekend. I really didn't feel much like racing. In fact I didn't feel like doing anything except leaving. I skipped it and drove up to the mountains with Marla .
Six weeks later it was decided that the Post Vintage Region would be divided but not Vintage, and that was assigned to the A-Team, with Dirk as the Coordinator.
reflection Not that I wanted to disagree with a Racing Legend in front of a crowd. But Dick had asked Dirk pointedly HOW MANY new members did we pick up during the Hammer & Tongs races to date that summer? How many entrants did we have? Two races had happened, and we'd had 22 and 24 entrants, with 14 new persons applying for Ahrma licenses. And Dick said angrily you can't run a new region on tiny numbers like that.
And I agree. So how on earth could we have a stand-alone series? It's a sure failure.
The Team would be trying to sell something they didn't believe in to people who didn't want it. And afterwards we would be blamed for failing. What a weird system. None of it makes any sense. LONG VERSION NEXT PAGE
or use this map
things fell apart for Post Vintage
the Actual Percentage