not bending the rules for anyone

Being the boss, deciding the rules, sticking to them, and being the referee is often not a popular position. Someone has to do it, or the scene isn't equitable.

First it means not fashioning the rules to suit yourself. That would be pitiful, and I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do it. It means being impartial, comitting to dividing lines in a grey areas, being an even handed social referee as well. Friends and colleagues got good and cross with me on a regular basis for refusing to bend the rules or change race dates for them. Or be emotional when they were fired up about another rider's comments. A good friend said sullenly that I had just "shut him down" when I said I wouldn't change a race date so he could race somewhere else.

But to lead, one has to be single-mindedly focused on the big long term picture. I consulted with colleagues on most decisions, especially if one was a hard call.

CLASSIC EXAMPLE #1 Including Linkage A million times I was asked to change the cutoff line, or add a class. Riders used to come up looking dismayed and in anguish and ask me to change the Evo Age Class rules, which (for an example) allow any stock Yamaha from 1975 up to the linkage model.

Q: WHY can't we allow the 82 when the 81 is exactly the same?
(the question itself is the problem: it assumes the incorrect context)

The real question is :
Q: HOW is it fair that a 75 race against an 81?

A: IT ISN'T FAIR, But is is the best compromise we have.
That's why we aren't messing with a good thing.


Q: A few of the guys have 80s and 90s bikes -
if you run a spare class for them it really shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

(again it is the Question itself that is the problem)

The sticky word is FEW. If there are a few 80s/90s bikes, no problem – but if you start getting even 12 to 15 guys on what essentially are modern bikes before you know it you have Vintage guys sitting around waiting for their motos, nothing interesting to see – and beginning to not want to be there anymore. I know that I glaze over when I see even mid-80s bikes. I don’t see them. Nothing to do with the rider. So the day isn’t simply opportunity for the rider. It is also the spectators.

That's why we aren't messing with a good thing.

CLASSIC EXAMPLE #3 the Chat Group Oh my GOD~! Such & such said something on the chat group that was infuriating / out of line / in bad taste / a veiled threat. CJ you gotta DO something~! Kick him off the group and out of the club~! they cried.

First of all FREE SPEECH is a bitch, because anyone here is afforded the right to say anything he feels like. And even if it was a personal attack, I didn't see dramatic heavy-handed justice as the first option. I would always have a brief quiet come-to-Jesus talk with the individual and it was fixed.

Hilariously, the unnecessary drama that often followed was from a friend rather than the offending party, because there hadn't been the expected public hanging.

"All of us are stronger than any one of us..." as Ray Kroc said. And our Vintage Scene is always going to be better undivided. And that's why....


CHEATING The most marvelously audacious incident happened one year at Goldendale in the Gran Prix. The course was 7 miles to a lap, and Grayson Hart (right) was setting the fast times, and is the yardstick to which almost everyone falls short. Another rider was setting some very good times - not quite as fast as Grayson. Then to everyone's amazement the chasing rider poured on the coals like madman and sliced THREE MINUTES off his lap time- far faster than old #72 there~!

He had done the impossible. But in an even more amazing turn of events, rather than keep it up he went back to his regular lap times. A curious and complicated strategy for winning the race.

It was almost as if he'd cut the course on a lap. And the pro photographer who saw him slipping off the course and down an access road even captured the moment for posterity. Good Stuff.


SANDBAGGERS "you've got my wife against me" sobbed the rider on the other end of the phone. I said "CMon Man, you should be happy -you're now what we all aspire to be - you're an expert " In the background his wife was saying be proud, and other similar encouraging things. All because I moved him up. Most riders, informed that they would be moving up , would smile self consciously, and say yeah yeah I know. But a few try the old taken-aback-and-deeply-dismayed routine. One rider said flatly hat he'd have to quit racing. He didn't.

Some riders forgot that they were experts, and entered Intermediate again. Some would take a year off and return as amateurs, claiming breezily that they'd taken a great deal of time off. This was of course its own science experiment to see how fast they could remember to ride at the expert level. About half a lap or so was the conclusion.

The tearful rider who on the phone wasn't too terribly scarred, because he went on to win an expert championship, and THEN forgot and has been racing Amateur at the Farm for the past three years, running away by a hundred miles, and getting away with it.

Grayson Hart, Northwest Vintage Star
the Real fastest Man around the Goldendale Course

©2012 SIEGE