Monthly Archives: August 2008

A friend needs help


Good morning,
Frank Scurria, a great gentleman and a very important part of Ducati’s racing history needs everyones help. Prior to the MotoGP at Laguna Seca last month was a great event, The Moto Giro America, a multi day tour around the Monterey Peninsula area culminating at Laguna Seca Raceway. During the event Frank was very seriously injured in a much too close encounter with a car.

Multiple broken bones, internal injuries and a number of surgeries later, Frank is still in an induced coma in the hospital. This is a very sad situation and our friend needs help.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity, the privilege, of spending time with Frank talking about his racing history with Ducati. He was so much fun to talk with. He gets so excited talking about those times. You can listen to that interview on the motoworld podcast, www.themotoworld.com

To learn more about Frank Scurria, go to www.bevelheaven.com there you’ll find pictures of Frank in his racing days, hangin’ out with his old racing buddies Paul Smart and Paul Ritter and the updates on his current condition. There are also links you can access for sending cards and donations to help Frank.http://www.bevelheaven.com/~BB/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1534 We all know that insurance only covers so much and injuries like this can easily shoot past insurance coverage. So, if you have a love of Ducati racing..take a few moments and a few dollars to help out one of the influential riders in Ducati’s racing history. And a few prayers wouldn’t hurt either.

Off Topic, and I wish I had a REALLY BIG screen TV

Motorcycle racing is quite a spectacle. Motocross, Flattrack, Roadracing, Speedway, it doesn’t matter. Each of them are beautiful ballets powered by a lot of horsepower.

However, the other night on TV we all witnessed the greatest Ballet I think any of us has ever seen. The opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics.

I get up at 4:30 in the morning on Saturdays and Sundays to watch Formula One and all IT”S pageantry and the racing, I can get up, make another cup of tea, let the dogs out and it’s OK. But…the opening ceremony was absolutely mesmerizing. Thanks to DVR, I can blaze through the commercials (they’re never as good as Superbowl commercials anyway)and be right back at the show. The Chinese did an amazing job of putting a real show. I hope you all watched it.

And…with MotoGP on vacation…what else ya gonna watch??

This one hurt

I stopped roadracing a while back, just how life goes. I still travel, sometimes at some pretty quick speeds, it’s that right wrist thing I guess.

Motorcycles have been part of my life since I was 15 years old. Riding my dads Honda 160 in the parking lot, to my step dads Yamaha 100 dirt bike all around his parents property. Then on to a Bultaco Matador, racing in the desert. After a pretty nasty get off in the Barstow to Vegas race… desert racing was out of the question. A few years later, 1981 to be exact, the racing bug hit again so roadracing looked like fun. A day at Keith Codes California Superbike School and I was into roadracing. From that day to the third weekend in December 2003 I lived for roadracing. I even got my son into it…poor kid. I think that one got me a one way ticket to the ‘Bad Dad Farm’.

Today I parted with my old roadracer. A 1982 Honda FT500. Yeah, I know there are bikes that are a lot faster and better handling (I have had them) but they aren’t as much fun as this little ‘ol Ascot. Taking a little 22HP motor and pumping it up to 52HP is cool (not cheap, but cool), making it kinda handle (going through turn 2 at Willow Springs side by side with another Ascot racer and watching his front wheel bouncing up and down so much that you can see daylight underneath it and realizing that yours is doing the same thing!!) and as my son put it one day “listening to you guys is like hearing someone farting their way around the track”. Thanks Kelly. Paybacks are a B..ch. I put him on an Ascot too!! Parental revenge.

Anyway, today my old Ascot went to a new home. A friend of mine just got his ticket to ‘The Bad Dad Farm’. He bought his son my old racebike. It was sad to see it go into the back of someone else’s truck and leave my driveway. But, I know it’s going to a good home and I’ll get to hear some good stories and that little ‘ol Ascot will be back on the track where it belongs. Good bye my old friend, take care of Sean like you took care of me.

The Parade Mentality

Here I am on my soapbox again…

I just got home from a great road trip in the Sierra’s…criss crossing the passes…Sonora, Ebbitts, Monitor, Carson…what fun. Great roads, scenery, camping, weather, you couldn’t ask for more.

But…here’s the soapbox stuff…Groups of riders that are parading instead of riding. We have all seen this phenomenon. There is a certain segment of the motorcycling population that like to go for group rides, compare chrome goodies on their motorcycles, see if they have enough fringe, is their ‘helmet’ small enough and do they have a black and orange t-shirt from a dealer in some other state (which you get by mail order, you don’t have to actually have ridden there). Oh, and the most important part..can you ride slow and loud enough so that everyone knows you’re there?

Disclaimer here…not everyone who rides this particular brand/style of motorcycle falls into this category. However, if you do, you know who you are.

Now, back to the reason for this Soapbox post. While enjoying a fun ride up and over the Sonora pass, my friends and I stopped for the obligatory pictures at the summit. During this break a group (about 20 or so) riders come over the hill. Friendly waves and smiles, down the hill they go. A bit later my riding friends and I head down as well. In a very minutes we catch up to a traffic jam. No kidding..we are now at a snails pace. We start picking off cars one at a time (about 20 of them) until we get to the cause of the slow down. The parade of loud, slow motorcycles and..get this..their chase vehicle??!! Passing cars that are going slow is one thing but weaving in and out of a group of motorcycles just doesn’t work. For one thing, it’s not safe, it’s not courteous and it’s just plain hard to do. So there we are, stuck going 15-20 miles an hour where a posted speed limit is at least 35-45. This lasted for miles. When this ‘parade’ finally pulled into a roadside stop, even the cars were honking their appreciation for them getting off the road.

Riding with friends is always fun. If you have a parade, someone should be looking in the mirrors to see if they are holding up traffic and if they are, pull over..there are turnouts and wide spaces in the road all the time. USE THEM! I know you like to be seen and heard, but, be courteous, pay attention and if you need a chase vehicle…well, I don’t know what to say.

An addendum to this…over on Carson Pass, we had stopped to take a picture or two and a couple went by on a nice ‘bagger’, again waves and smiles. We pulled away from the vista point and fell in behind the couple on the ‘bagger’. Thinking we would get by at the next opportunity we just kept their pace. Their pace was really good, I mean really good. There was no reason to try to pass, we were all having fun. When they turned off, waves were waved and we had a an admiration of this guys skills.

Moral of the story… it’s not the bike you ride, it’s the way you ride it.