Siege & his A -Team : defeated before
they could upset the Apple Cart....
Much of the Northwest dynamic was set up by the origins of H&T. To gloss over a now boring story: our series was borne directly out of exasperation with Ahrma. But after some years I realized gradually how their reasoning & approach in fact made perfect sense.
It all started in 2003 when I wandered foolishly into a tremendously heated and ongoing war of words with Ahma Officials and die-hards about those running the Northwest Region not including PV (Evolution) Classes with the Vintage Bikes. VDR had always had Vintage and Evo bikes running on the same day, and thats what so many of the Pacific NW Riders were used to and expected. And evidently it was not an issue at Ahrma Races in any other region in the USA.
There followed an almighty struggle, wasting a preposterous amount of time and spanning two years - with Ahrmas left arm inviting us to be a part of organizing NW races, but Ahrmas right arm desperately fighting to keep us out. It was as though the conservative camp thought that Evo bikes would somehow ruin the flavor. WTF? we cried, and threw our hands in the air. So I ran Hammer & Tongs our way for nine years, just like VDR, which had set the tone. Part of it was I was determined to show that I wasnt kidding, and was prepared to go the distance.
However...... during that time, with a grim chuckle now and again, found myself sliding inexorably toward that same position. Within a few years I was saying NO to various energetic suggestions that we extend the cutoff, and introduce classes for 80s, then 90s bikes. I realized that what mattered was preserving the balance between Vintage and Evo. And that, oddly, after all the shouting was over, is how I ended up in the Ahrma philosophy Camp. When you have a good thing leave it alone.
The only difference between Ahrma's set idea and ours was a generation. As said- you remember what was cool when you were about twelve and THAT is what you end up really loving. And promoting. Their focus was on 50s/ 60s bikes. We were all jazzed by 70s / 80s bikes.
Bill Grubin, founder of Hammer & Tongs
To get anything done in Vintage Motocross promotion you have to be a hard-headed son of a gun. If you look around the USA you can find that each leader is cut from the same piece of wood. Some sort of American hardwood. Bill Grubin, Dirk Williams, Curtis Harper in Missouri, Larry Stahl in Georgia, Tom France in the Northeast, Dave Boydston, Dick Mann.
As a colleague said once : "there are no sheep; it's all wolves." It's why we constantly snarl & growl with one another, but it's also why we get anything done.
letting it rip on the Mabton Course