Bill Grubin #92P • seen here giving the editor a sound thrashing on his awesome CR250R-
look at that suspension compress!

Eugene • VDR Editor's Report
trip to Eugene 6/29-30/02

Each year I go to a number of non-VDR Races, and one of my faves is the Race in Eugene Oregon. It's
not really in Eugene- it's really up the road from Cheshire, which is an intersection with a general store which is open early on a Sunday morning if you forgot coffee. The race track is in rolling country and the track is red earth. So on a Saturday in late June thoroughly satisfied with everything I rolled the window down and drove. I'd been on the road since 7am, and I was now past Portland. The sun was shining, and the tunes were cranking. It really didn't take that long to get to Eugene. Soon I was there. It was about 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon. I parked next to my friend George Eadie and immediately I began to wander about and hand out VDR Posters. Really it's an excuse to say hi to many- lots of California riders I only see a few times a year-

Late afternoon faded to evening, and to dusk. I stood and talked to one old friend after another, and when it got totally dark I realized I hadn't put my tent up- I set it up in the dark, and it seemed as though everyone suddenly had turned in- George Eadie helped me set up my tent. I slept.

There is that experience where you get up to pee at 4am, and you walk quietly across the ground to the can. The moon is shining, and the blue light is on race bikes here and there- quiet dark Maicos and Elsinores, and you make your way through them. No one is anywhere, and it's like a science fiction movie, where you've beamed down to a planet long since deserted by aliens whose machinery is still sitting there gleaming in the light of some distant moon. Who were these people? you think- and what were they doing? Why did they leave all their things here? Strange light, no sound except the zipper on your tent which is as loud as gunfire when you climb back into your spacecraft to sleep some more...

Up at 6. coffee on the new stove. I cooked breakfast, but all of a sudden it was time to be at tech. I WAS the tech for Evolution Bikes, and also the rep- so I needed to be in 8 places at once. There was a question about some Husky or other- and Tom Bentley (thanks man!) was doing all the tech- even the Evo bikes which was my job- so I was running about trying to find a rulebook- of course I forgot to bring mine- (thanks to Arloa Cole, who had one)

Practice again contained that maddening and useless concept that Evolution bikes have their own practice, which is waste of good time- you do NOT need a separate practice. If you have two bikes of course you're out of luck. When the practice happened I took out the 250.

Although (as the Ahrma Post Vintage Rep) I specifically asked for the Evolution classes to be spaced evenly throughout the order, the promoter put them exactly in the same order- at the end, so for those of us with two Evo bikes, I had to get off one, and almost straight onto the other one. We still have our separate drinking fountain I guess.

So there was a lengthy time to wait for the motos to come up as they were at the end of the order- and I wandered about taking pictures. Back at the truck I saw the my annoyance that the swingarm was halfway out of the YZ250! The nut had come off the end, and the swingarm axle was halfway out the side of the frame. Luckily I had safety wired it, so the nut was hanging there in space! I rethreaded it and tightened it down, and resafety wired it all.

While I was doing this there was an announcement over the loudspeaker that it had come to their attention that someone had yelled and cursed at a flagger. She went on the say that the flaggers were not here for fun (?) and that if she heard that anyone had yelled at her flaggers that they'd have her to deal with.

Hmmmm. this next bit is difficult, but I can't see not including it here- I think it's important Lets say you are wandering along the track, and you see a Bultaco rider land sideways off that double, and crash hard.

As he is trying to get up you see various bikes that can't see him at all sailing over the jump. Lets say you then see a flagger leaning a whole foot out of her chair and holding the flag out 6 inches off the ground where it can't be seen by a rider until he is mid-air and off to the right side. Lets say the flagger is almost crouching along the ground. The Bultaco man is trying to get out of the way - four or five bikes make hard landings narrowly missing him. Lets say you run exasperated across the track and say WAVE THE FLAG! to the flagger. Lets say she stays right where she is- you say WAVE THE FLAG! UP HERE!!! But no one is going to tell her how to wave the flag. Lets say you grip the flag and yank it out of her hands, and wave it, until the Bultaco man gets off safely. Now the flagger lady is furious at you and said gimme the $%&ç¯ flag- and you yell at her "ya gotta stand up and wave the flag! where riders can $%&ç¯ see you!"

No one likes to be yelled at - I understand that I thought, as I rewound safety wire on the axle. I wondered wryly to myself if the bones in the spine could be replaced by some modern artificial plastic? would you be able to walk again? even speak? nevermind go back to work... imagine a Maico skidplate weighing 400 pounds falling from the air and crushing the downed rider's spine right behind his helmet. Imagine the scene: the doctor having to tell the anxious family that he wasn't going to make it, and them crying out and falling to the carpeted floor of some hospital somewhere in the middle of a beautiful sunny afternoon in Oregon ALL BECAUSE the next rider along the course wasn't AWARE that there was a rider who'd fallen. But that's not the issue- No. Instead the real issue is the flagger's feelings.

Ya know- what do you do? There isn't time to report something to the authorities and hope that someone says something to the flagger person. It only takes a SPLIT SECOND for someone to get hurt- and then we all have to wait for medics come ... obviously we're grateful for the flaggers to be there. But someone being hurt isn't worth being nice or mild.....

My own races • Gran Prix 250 Intermediate was heat #14. For some idiotic reason my YZ250 crept forward and I bumped into the gate, and I had to back up and then go. Incredibly everyone on the grid got a terrible start and in turn one I was still right there with everyone. Ahead of me was Bill Grubin on his CR250R. I chased him for a lap before slipping by, and I set out after #533 who was WAAAY faster than me. I pulled away from Bill, but couldn't even see the leader. This gave me 2nd. It was to be the theme of the day. I came back and sat on George's chair and breathed and drank some Gatorade®.
Race 2 • Open Historic heat • Uncontested Race: again 2nd of the entire gate I chase Blake Landon on the Sonic 500 CanAm. He pulls away slowly.

Race 3 • 250 Sportsman main • This was a replay of heat race, except I didn't run into the gate this time. But Bill made a violent start, and I chased him hard for 3 or 4 laps before making a pass stick down into the last corner before the flag. THEN I pulled a bit. But all credit to him- the man has speed, and I had to work for it- I'd whoop at him in the corners to keep him aware that I was right there the whole time.

Race 4 • Open Age (+30) main Exactly like the heat race, except with me imagining that Blake had pulled a distance and that the distance was staying the same...

I'd like to thank Terry Bentley, Sam Tipton, and Gabi Hinovineau very kindly for taking photos for me. You guys rock.

Also a sincere thanks to Marlis Moats, the promoter of Eugene, all the flaggers and workers and everyone who made it all possible. Thanks so much- we'll be back next year !


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all code and images ©2001 Siege • this page last updated on September 4th 2002 •