& Tongs Series canceled, end of 2011
the concrete reasons
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
of resignation to the Pacific NW Riders
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.
tests, racer reports, etc.