Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

… Riding through the tunnel into the paddock I definitely had that first time feeling. (part 2)

Riding into the paddock Saturday was like riding into a bee hive buzzing with sound, movement, people and motorcycles.  It took me a bit of slow motoring before I decided where to park – I had been told you just park anywhere. That seemed true if you could find a spot.
This was the Vintage Road Racing Association Festival weekend at Canadian Tire Motosport Park. It was a three day event with an endurance race Friday, 5 lap heat races Saturday and 8 lap final races on Sunday. It was my first time at a Vintage (or any kind) of race.
The race bikes - all 40s to 80s (many classes): the riders and crews just as widely varied.
I felt an overwhelming sense of casual community; spectators and participants alike all with one thing in common. I left with an understanding of how it is friendships made through this community might last over the decades. Oh, and I watched a couple of the heat races too!
A few highlights from Saturday morning.
Riders gather for the start of the first 5 lap heat on Saturday



 





  




I measured this one on the sound meter - 90 db idling!
 

PS: Special thank you to Don for letting me know about the event (I don't think I caught you on film though.) Thanks to Ken and Phil for the crash course in the event, the facilities and the best corners and to Ron for the personal, guided tour Friday afternoon (and all of the fine details you tried to cram into my head about vintage road racing ... that have all sadly, already, mostly leaked back out.)

30 comments:

  1. Seems you missed the opportunity to ride/buy that blue BMW sidecar outfit. Do they let people test ride up in your area?

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    1. Ah, the Da(side)kar - to quote my friend Ron. That one caught my eye for a number of reasons. That day it was sleeping in the shade on a hill by the side of the track.
      Test rides are hit and miss ... I certainly test road the Star before I purchased but then motorcycle sales had slumped to an all time low and I made it clear if I didn't test it I wouldn't buy it.

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  2. I like motorcycle racing, and I follow the MotoGP series whenever I can.

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    1. I don't usually follow any moto sports even though I have several friends who are former vintage racers. Figured it was about time to see what the whoop-la was all about and glad I did.

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  3. Some nice pics there. Looks like some of the racers were very serious about their rides.

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    1. Thanks Ed, it was hard to find suitable holes in the fences to take pictures. I'm pretty sure there are some serious racers and all for not but the glory and a sense of accomplishment. I think I understand.

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  4. I used to attend the VRRA events many, many years ago when friends were racing, but haven't for a very long time. They were always fun and interesting experiences. And a great community, as you said. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Canajun ... several of the friends I've made in the past decade(s) were part of the circuit in the 80s, long before I knew them. It was time I understood.

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  5. Was it really noisy or not bad? I liked that F650GS Dakar Sidecar rig.

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    1. Well Dom .... glad you asked. At first I thought it wasn't too bad then the Velocette fired up behind where I was sitting. By the time I had my cell phone out with my sound meter going they had stopped cranking the throttle. At idle the meter on my phone was reading 90+/- db. Heading out to the track to watch the endurance race after that put my head in a noise fog and I was glad I didn't have to ride the 230 km back home that night. Day two - I wore my ear plugs while I hiked around the track to get photos of the races (much better.)
      I liked the Da(side)kar myself.

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  6. John and I tried to attend some races earlier this spring, but we got 3 days of rain instead. It looks like it was cloudy but dry on your trip to the track..

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    1. Erik the weather guys had promised a pristine weekend. I doubted them as I rode toward dark clouds ... but not a drop. The wind seemed to blow the weather away, but it made for some great backgrounds. Saturday, as promised was a perfect day.
      Watch for this event next year ... unbeatable; with an online coupon, get this - the event and camping for $5. per day. Well worth a trip east.

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  7. Sounds like great fun. I love that red scooter with the brown case--very cool.

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    1. I loved the scooter's sticker, "Smarty Pants." Don't know what it meant ... but I loved it just the same.

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  8. Mmmmmmmm, bike porn...

    Love the old Rudge single!

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    1. I don't think I've ever seen a Rudge before. (Now I've seen 3)

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  9. I've never been to such an event (I don't follow racing of any kind), however I would want to visit a vintage racing event now. Such pretty bikes! You've caught some very nice objects with your lens. I like the vintage Ford truck, too. And I'd really want the Leather box on that red Vespa.

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    1. Sonja, I thought of you when I saw that nice shiny Vespa. I have no idea what her bumper sticker means though. I'd return to this event again for sure ... just for the people and the atmosphere.

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  10. Great post. Looks like a really cool event if you're a motorcycle enthusiast.

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    1. Thanks HighwayMan ... definitely lots to look at.

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  11. Looks like a really fun event. I enjoyed your photos.

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  12. I've never attended any races, but I think a vintage one would be the bees knees.

    Looks like you had fun. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. This was my first race event ... I did more people watching than race watching I think.

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  13. Wow Karen, you sold this event way better than I ever have our local version. Very obvious in your post that you had a good time and felt the magic. A very easy community to feel a part of, eh?

    So which class do you think you'll start in?? You'll have no trouble finding mentors, advice and help. :)

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  14. Ah Coop - I'm an active observer not participant ... still think they (all racers) are mad though they create wonderful photo ops! But I am getting wrapped up in the history of the event especially since I have some personal connections to the beginning of the VRRA here in Ontario. (Ideas are swirling around in my head for another post!)
    An amazing community for sure and I think we'll make a Canadian out of you yet eh?

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  15. Very cool Karen! I love going to look at vintage bikes, the stories they could tell would be pretty amazing I'm sure. Hey what app do you use to watermark your pictures?

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    1. Dar, for the watermark ... just upload the photos you want to share on Picasa (Google product, with watermark setting) I've gone back to using it so my photos will be watermarked. I'm sure there are many other ways to do it, but this is simple.

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  16. What caught my eye with the Vespa was the Wisconsin plate. It must have gotten there on a trailer because it doesn't seem equipped for touring.

    "Da(side)kar" is very funny!

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    1. Thought you'd like that Vespa David ... a lot of the rides were trailer-ed I think.

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