Hammer & Tongs Series canceled, end of 2011
the concrete reasons

For nine years H&T lasted as a successful Northwest VMX Series. Conferring with many many friends colleagues & riders on a daily basis, I molded it the way I thought it ought to be done. The crowning Jewels were enormous record-setting races at Washougal, and mind-blowing races at Boise. Of course there are piles of people to thank for the success - particularly Jim Conway, Dirk Williams, Tim Kennedy, Monty Price & Blake Landon.

But race promotion starts out with a blaze of glory and determination, and ends up an awful thankless job. For ten years (1998-2008) I ended up putting in four or five solid days after every single race, unpaid, just on the website. So a mania for graphics drove a racing series forward. And I have no one but myself to blame for squandering that time that others spent building a retirement and a future. I do not regret it. I am proud of the website.

But in 2010 I realized it was the point where you have to either break up, or get married. So I formed an LLC. Even discounting the days spent on results and galleries,a normal person would have looked at the business model for 17 seconds, wrinkled his brow, and quietly left the room.

Mid December 2011 I was approached and it was suggested that H&T become "a formalized club". I said that Hammer & Tongs was a business, and that I was not interested at all in going back to the bad old days when I was a volunteer.

Additionally I said that club = committee, and that clubs invariably seem to alienate riders, and committees seem to call things wrong for the wrong reasons. And anything creative is impossible. The best example I could think of was this: If you have a committee running a band you get We are the World. if you have a dictator running a band, you get Pink Floyd. And as you can see there is NO comparison. H&T had simply followed the VDR model- it was was run entirely by Monty Price.

Some few days later it came to light that six months earlier a competing club had indeed been formed in my absence. Furthermore a deal with the home track had been struck which took priority over Hammer & Tongs dates. This move would force my hand. I could not afford either other choice. Even if I chose to be stubborn and carry on, the smaller turnouts would deflate the point of competition- and the NW riders would lose.

So I canceled the Hammer & Tongs Series for 2012, probably forever. I encourage everyone to support the new clubs. Here, written on January 1st 2012, is a

letter of resignation to the Pacific NW Riders

Note that the VDR / Hammer & Tongs website is alive and well, easing into a magazine format featuring some cool bikes and some cool people - interviews- listing all Pacific NW races, now none of which are H&T. It will not necessarily show results or photo galleries. I may choose to cover events that merit the trouble. I am interested in featuring Cottage Industry Parts, and projects especially those by former sponsors.



Features Page tests, racer reports, etc. VDR Results

Editorial by Siege

Now that I am stepping aside -off stage left, so to speak, I'd like to reveal the workings of Hammer & Tongs. How we did what we did- what I kept as the goal, the style the insanity. When you spend ten thousand hours, and untold cups of coffee and rain days, summer nights, snippets of mid-day in April and August, for years on end, and then one day IT'S OVER.

That work I did, mostly alone, refining the job- just slips away. Why not share it? So this is partly a how-to guide, as imagined by a Northwesterner in his forties - to be the best balance of fair, cool, expedient & elegant - as I could make it.

Link here to Editorial

Sorting out the Results at Washougal in 2008 right before Trophy Presentation


All this & More....

VP Treasure Island, Spanish Main — Pirates attempting to seize the good ship USS Clutchplate were foiled yesterday in pirate-infested waters at the entrance to Sinclair Inlet in Puget Sound, a H&T / VDR spokesman said Saturday.

Story & Photos on Page 3

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