Let's say you are given a directive to "grow Ahrma" -- - as the A-Team had.
What sort of Philosophy should you have? Let's go over a few points.

FLEXIBILITY for the Promoter If anything is going to sink Ahrma it is inflexability. Because of the nature of Vintage Racing promotors need to be left alone to do the job, and not told HOW to do the job. All that does is breed resentment. And eventually the race becomes a non-Ahrma Race, or even a series as Hammer & Tongs is. And then Ahrma has to compete with it. take a look at the Unites States, and you find that so many of the pockets of resistance have turned into sucessful non-Ahrma outfits. And if Ahrma digs in its heels about "clamping down" they win the battle, lose the War. Wanna see a map of the US with all the holes where Ahrma lost the War? More about that later when I can put a map together.

If you keep track owners happy they are ready to have Ahrma back. This is what makes Hammer & Tongs easy to promote - we can have a one day race, or a full weekend, with racing on two days- can run a GP one time, have a relay race the next. We can have trials or flat tracking or ice racing or a tiddlywinks contest if we feel like it. You'd think a healthy flexibility for Ahrma would be a no-brainer.

I'm not going to choose to add a Modern Class at a Vintage Race because it changes the flavor of the event. We will not be running a modern class at Washougal. BUT I won't be supporting the FORCING of all Ahrma races to be the same with regards to support classes. It would be refreshing to see a mix- two day events, and single day events with V & PV. Each has pros and cons.

AFFORDABILITY for the Racer This aspect goes hand in hand with flexibility. One of the main things racers mention when I say why don't you race Ahrma? is the entry fees as compared to other organizations. If the promoter is happy financially the cost per entry doesn't need to be as high. Ahrma's tradition of natural terrain tracks is admirable, and cool, but it costs a great deal more than racing at a track which has all the elements in place already. Part of Ahrma's solution has been to rely on volunteers, but 5% of the people do 90% of the work, which leads to the revolving door of burnt out volunteers. And the entry fees don't come down. And Natural Terrain tracks are important to have- but all of these elements works into the mix, and need to be considered.

Approach to Criticism Over the last number of years that this whole unfolding drama with Ahrma has been going on there has been a growing impression. Members concerns and requests were ignored or blown off.

So the Pacific Northwest Ahrma Team agreed that we would go out of our way not only the LISTEN to riders comments, thoughts & concerns, but also to INVITE CRITICISM about any race we are involved in. Len Lowery in particular has made it a habit to post requests for feedback on chat groups and in personal one on one conversations in the pits.

Adding to the list of headaches for Ahrma members who are trying to include riders and solve problems are those on the same side of the fence whose online manner is contemptuous and disagreeable. Bulletin Boards & Chat Groups often bring the worst out in people, and words are often misinterpreted without the help of inflection. Add a few tough guys and a few primadonnas into the mix, and soon real issues are lost, and having a civilized discussion of is futile. Those people are few, but cause a lot of trouble, and I would once again plead for those persons to either behave like gentleman or be quiet.

KEEPING THE TRACKS SUITABLE FOR VINTAGE The notion that Vintage dies when PV come into the picture does have a thread of validity in it. But that thread is totally lost in the hype. Vintage entries WILL fall off IF the tracks get jumpy. Grown 200 lb. Men landing on 30+ year old bikes eventually means broken spokes, bent rims and it's simply too hard.

But the deciding factor is the TRACK, not the presence of PV Bikes. The thing that made Woodland (VDR's Home Track forever, before it closed) so agreeable was specifically that it was so flat and largely without technical jumps.

Jeff Osborn's YZ250 soaking up the landing in Spokane. This is a bit much for most riders, even those with some suspension to work with. Imagine this on a Vintage Bike.

Over the last decade I saw that the way things were is really not what Vintage Racing is about. We weren't trying to imitate period tracks, or re-create anything. We were just having fun racing old bikes. The track had few or no jumps. So Vintage Bikes could be raced hard. And the PV Bikes simply raced harder than that, until they were pushing the envelope. Everyone was happy- there was no griping that the track didn't accurately represent the era. Also as a side note motocross wasn't the same everywhere: check out footage of the 1979 FIM Season in Europe, and you'll notice that the only air the racers got was off hilltops- the courses are fast and relatively flat.

On top of that back in the day most racers were young. And there are ex-pros, ex World Champions who can handle a fierce track. But most people trying to enjoy Vintage Motocross don't have that skillset. We have to go to work on Monday. Lets keep it reasonable, and fun for everyone.

or use this map

1 the Legitimacy of Critics Keeping Regionals Alive

2 PACIFIC NW MESS - the Short Version

3 How things fell apart for Post Vintage Stats: the Actual Percentage
4 Graph of Northwest Entries Northwest Riders

5 Klamath Falls Race called off The Advent of the New PNW Region
6 the A-Team Ahrma at Hammer & Tongs
7 the Region the Big Meeting
8 Philosophy of Vintage Approach to Criticism
9 2006 races my own Responsibility
10 madness the last straw


©2007 SIEGE