Sunday, June 30, 2013

Call your Cunados - VW Bus Video

Well done video about some pals sharing interests in old school VW buses, surfing and camping.  I've never owned one, but have always dug this old buses.  Cool stuff...

Backfire Moto Motorcycle Night

I hit the monthly Backfire gig recently for the first time - had the day off work, good weather - excuse to take a few pics and gawk at bikes. Event reminiscent of the monthly VME shindig on Roosevelt Ave I'd hit regularly a few years ago, when my garage held a few motorcycles of my own - including my '97 Triumph Speed Triple, that I still miss.  I'll weep silently in the corner.

Backfire Moto held in a Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, good location for such festivities.  Semi light industrial area, yet with places to grab some food and beverages.  Talked to some cool folks and checked over interesting bikes.  This scene focused on cafe racers, vintage iron, and the occasional rat bike.

Actual photo proof...

Hot rod Harley.

Appears to be a modified Yamaha SR500.  Pretty cool.

Interesting vintage Moto Guzzi, first time I've seen this model.

Very clean Norton Commando, one a few spotted at the event.

Trick looking modified Moto Guzzi.

Well done small Honda cafe racer, not sure what model it's based on, but looks great.

Anvil and hammer required.

Yamaha RD400, circa '76, nicely modded.  I super dig these bikes, owned a '73 and '75 RD350 in the early '80s.  I still like to own a RD350 or RD400 today.

Old Honda CBs never die, thanks to the hipster cafe scene.

Plated and street legal KTM looking very orange 'n' dirty.

Careful, bikes can bite...

Yet another Norton.  See?  Says so right on the tank...

Insanely modified Alfa Romeo cruising the area.  Only caught it turning around, would have liked to grab a closer look.

Immortalized in Ballard.

Mark your calenders...

My favorite bike of the night, hence the many pics - very modified Honda CBX.  Old school six cylinder sport bike, mated with modern Ducati single sided swingarm, modern fork and wheels/brakes.  Who knows what this thing actually handles like - looks fantastic anyway.

Funky, yet cool looking BMW.

Classic Norton soaking up the scene.

Who said motorcycles are dangerous?...

Super clean Kawasaki KZ900.

Yes please, pristine Yamaha RZ350.  I almost bought one new in '85 and used in '91.  Should have...

Early BMW GS rests comfortably on center stand, chats with Triumph on the right.  I'd take one of these over a new GS.  Sized for actual humans and missing about 100 pounds of "technology".

Not a bad way to spend a few hours milling around gawking and gabbing about motorcycles.  Even ran into some old mountain bike/motorcycle pals doing the exact same thing.  Two wheels are two wheels.  Over and out...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Washington Student League - Final Chapter for 2013

We now officially conclude our Washington Student League team - Northshore Middle School Composite - for the season.  Well, as of a few weeks ago, call me late to the blogging party.  The "Northshore Knobbies" now shelved until 2014.

We Rode 'N' Raced from March into June, it all went pretty well.  Good group of kids, parents, and adult volunteers.  

Before we pulled the plug, squeezed in a few more outings...

Trail work party on our home trails of Saint Edward - Big Finn Hill.  We had a great turnout, pic missing a few folks who also pitched in.  Pic and work party organization courtesy of Tom Fitzpatrick, who's very involved with keeping mountain bikers welcome on our local trails.  Tom also assisted us on team rides and his grandson was on the team.

Then another team outing to Duthie Hill mountain bike park.  This place always a hit with the kids, young and old...

Ian, that be my son, launches off a practice jump - while Jack watches from below.

Ian, Zane, and Steve hit the berms on Bootcamp - that even makes old school me feel like the flowmaster.  Steve is dad to Jack, and happens to own Recycled Cycles in Seattle.

Andy going with the flow.

Jack shows off his levitation skills.

Ian with a little pre-load jump action.

Dylan brought his DH bike to festivities and showed off his jumping skills.

Only place to go is up.  Old school XC me - no thanks...

Pacific Northwest trees and sunny skies.

Dylan hits the wall ride.

Finally, to cap off the season, team ride at Tiger Mountain.  Tiger is a local classic, 3+ mile steep dirt road climb - then miles of twisty, rooty, rocky, singletrack.  About 14 miles total, the real deal - including the new section at the very top - new school berms and rollers, mixing with existing rough XC trail.  All good fun and fun for all.  Followed by a team meal in Issaquah, nice way to end the season.

Crappy iPhone video of Andy and Ian hitting a section at Tiger.  Better then nothing...

And with that - we're done!  Quickly worded conclusion to it all.  I've never run anything like this before, so learned a lot.  I was extremely lucky and had some cool folks assist with team, couldn't have done this alone.  The kids seemed to enjoy it, they certainly got faster as the weeks progressed.  Parent comments were positive, so all around, think it went okay.

Adios 2013 season, see you in 2014...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Washington Student League - Race # 4

Gather 'round kids, to hear about the final race of the Washington Student League series.  The fourth and final gig held at Washougal Motocross Park, located strangely enough in Washougal, Washington.  Being about a 4 hour drive, all of the team elected to head down a day early, grabbing nearby hotel rooms.  Kudos to the supporting parents who put the time and expense into this race adventure.  I'd also be on that list, Ian and I heading down early for a father/son road trip.

We arrived Saturday afternoon at the track, our first trip ever to Washougal.  Being the ex motocross guy, I was looking forward to checking the place out.  Turned out to be the beautiful plot of land and race course, cool set up.  During the Saturday pre-ride and hanging out with the team, track sound system blasting classic rock.  Time warp for me, place reminiscent of tracks I raced at in Pennsylvania during the late '70s, Led Zeppelin booming across the green grass and brown dirt.  Except now, 30 years later on bicycles and a son of my own.  Time flies.

After the Saturday pre-ride and memory lane throw back, we headed to the hotel to change and grab some dinner.  Most of the team staying at the same place, we assembled for a team dinner in town.  Well, sorta.  No place big enough to seat us all, so we broke into a few groups and split in different locations.  So, more like team walk followed by dinner.  Close enough.

After a cloudy and wet Saturday, race day Sunday was sunny and perfect.  Yes please.  We now switch from rambling dialog to photos complete with rambling comments...

Junior high boys ready to roll.  My "Northshore Knobbies" blinding all in yellow.

Off they go up the semi-steep pavement start. 

Ian leads the team up the start hill.  Go team go... 

Fast high school girl - number 1 plate as proof. 

Andy grabs some air at speed.

Matt bombs the downhill.  Last race of the series, but first race ever for Matt.  Nice job. 

Jack goes with the flow.  Funny, likable kid - fun to have on the team.

Andy pulls off a 6th place finish, best on our team for the day.  Great job! 

Sean out on the Rough 'N' Bumpy course.  None of it on the actual motocross track, but cut across it at times - looping into nearby woods and meadows.  Tough but fun course.

Zane sprints hard across the finish line.  Doesn't matter what place he's in, goes all out.  Great stuff. 

Ian at speed, despite droopy knee warmers... 

Most scenic venue of the series was a motocross track.  Who knew? 

Ian powers over the finish line.  After a fast start, faded towards the back.  I'm still proud of him, mountain bike racing ain't easy... 

Some high school boys looking pro.

Traffic in the S curve.  Film at eleven.

The finishing climb. 

A few of the kids who hung around for the awards ceremony.  Cool, eh? 

After the dust cleared, my team scored second overall for the series.  Fantastic way to end the season.  I'm proud of 'em all.

Great weekend to cap off the series.  Oh yeah, I also raced in the "Coach's Race" held to celebrate the end of it all.  Two painful laps around the bumpy and hilly course.  Ill prepared I was, cruising in for DFL.  Ouch, but still had fun.  Cool way to end the season.

The racing may be over, but we still had a few rides and events on the team agenda.  More to follow...