Found this interesting link you may like.
Archive for March, 2010
March 31, 2010 – Noted Moto-Journalist Paul Carruthers will compete in the 114th running of the Boston Marathon on April 19, and has dedicated his efforts to raising funds for Rett Syndrome.
Carruthers is known nationwide among motorcycle enthusiasts due to his 25 years as a journalist, during which he has created a number of magazine titles. In addition to being the longtime editor of Cycle News, America’s Weekly Motorcycle Newspaper, he is also a highly respected, life-long industry insider and the son of 250cc GP World Champion Kel Carruthers.
Boston is the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon and part of the World Marathon Majors. Its maximum field of 25,000 participants is decided by qualifying times secured at a certified marathon in the prior year. Carruthers earned his entry by his performance in the San Diego Marathon last spring, running a 3:30 overall time. Carruthers and his son Kyle are both avid runners, with Kyle set to enter collegiate cross country next season on an athletic scholarship.
Carruthers has dedicated his running in the Boston Marathon to raise funds to find a cure for Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that is the most disabling of the autism spectrum disorders. Rett Syndrome often strikes just after girls have learned to walk and say a few words, and begins to drag their development backward. Rett Syndrome steals the girl’s speech, hand function and motor control, leaving its victims profoundly disabled and requiring total assistance with every aspect of daily living. There is no treatment beyond supportive measures such as feeding tubes, orthopedic surgeries and medications for seizures. First recognized 25 years ago, the prevalence of Rett Syndrome equals that of Cystic Fibrosis, Huntington’s and ALS, but its research is vastly under-funded in comparison to those disorders.
Carruthers first learned about Rett Syndrome after meeting Emma Foley, who turned 6-years old a few months ago. After hearing her story, he was inspired to act and has dedicated his race to running for Rett, running for Emma and all the girls with Rett Syndrome.
“After hearing of Emma’s story from her father, I thought there had to be something I could do to help,” Carruthers said. “When I qualified for Boston, I thought it was an event that was worthy enough to make an impact and raise some money for Emma, her family and all the families touched by Rett Syndrome.”
A fundraiser has been established where friends, associates and other dedicated individuals can pledge funds through Carruthers’ effort for research into finding a cure for Rett Syndrome. Please visit www.emmafoley.com to make a pledge in support of Carruthers’ race and Rett Syndrome research.
Mark Tanner (22) and Dave Schmidt (46) do battle in a WERA Regional race at Gateway International Raceway just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis in June of 1986. Tanner and Schmidt were two of the leading WERA North Central Region racers during the mid-1980s. Mark Tanner led major portions of the very first Suzuki GSXR Cup race in Talladega earlier in the season – a race Doug Polen eventually won. The idea of having a racetrack so close to downtown was great in theory; unfortunately they built the track next to a former landfill. In those days the place smelled very interesting to say the least.
Michael Mains (261) leads a group in a novice race in a WERA sprint race at Gateway International Raceway in June of 1986. Mains was always one of my favorite racers. The guy was happy all the time. He’d come by the table where Jackie and I were selling photos and buy every shot we had of him and just light up our day with his smile and cheery attitude. Michael’s dad was Gil Mains, a famous NFL football player for the Detroit Lions. Michael wanted to be a racer and to his dad’s credit he gave Michael the help he needed to chase the dream, but as I remember he gave his son a time limit on his support. Michael was a fast racer and he showed up at nearly every WERA race across the country regardless of region. Michael was a man on a mission. He wanted to get to the top of racing heap and I mean now. From what I recall he just pushed too hard too fast. I think he had the potential to become a very good racer, but it was like he expected to go from novice to factory racer in the course of a year and that just wasn’t realistic even for the best of the best. While he was around the sport Michael was definitely one of the guys you wanted to pit next to. He had a zest for life that was infectious.
Jeff James (5) and a group of other riders stage in the pits for a practice session during a WERA race weekend at Road Atlanta in May of 1986. James was one of the top B Production racers in WERA during the mid-1980s and he served as a rider’s school instructor as well. Later that summer James established a motorcycle track record at Watkins Glen which probably still stands since motorcycles haven’t raced there since. Also visible in the photo are Neil Barker (35), Buck Clemson (behind James) and Bob Englert (on the Pennzoil sponsored Yamaha).
The Houston TT and Short Track Nationals were the AMA Grand National season openers from 1968 through 1986. In its heyday Houston would pack in close to 60,000 fans inside the Astrodome to make it the best attended AMA Grand National event in the history of the series.
Surprisingly only one rider was able to sweep both nights of Houston in the rich history of the event. It was Steve Eklund in 1978, who won the TT and came back to take victory in the short track the next night. This is Eklund riding to victory in the Houston TT on his Yamaha.
Photo enthusiasts will be interested to know that Kodak Ektachrome 400 was introduced in 1977 allowing photographers to shoot color indoors without flash by pushing the Ektachrome to 1600 ASA and having it specially processed. That’s how this color photo of Eklund was captured.
Eklund was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998. Here is his bio.
If you’re ever in Miami do yourself a favor and stop by Long’s Motorcycle Sales on the near northwest side of downtown Miami. It’s been 24 years since I was there, but John tells me it hasn’t changed much. The shop was opened in the late 1930s by John’s dad and I doubt you’ll see a more eclectic collection of motorcycles in a small shop. This is a photo I snapped of John in the shop when I was in Miami back in 1986. John had a local jazz station playing which gave the place even more atmosphere. If you come you might want to block out several hours. Around every corner is a historic racing machine.
He started racing AMA Superbikes 13 years ago and Sunday at Fontana was his 120th race in the championship, but Tommy Hayden finally broke through to earn his first victory this weekend.
“Man it feels really good,” said a clearly emotional Hayden after Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway. “It’s a bit of weight off my shoulders to get that out of the way, especially after yesterday. I was pretty discouraged last night. Hats off to the team for making the changes. I made some changes myself and came out today and did a lot better. Josh [Hayes] gave me all I could handle and I think letting him set the pace I was able to conserve my tire a little bit. I made my move and tried to make it happen and it worked out. It feels really good. It’s been a long time coming for me. We got this first one out of the way and hopefully they’ll get easier. We’ll see.”
It took Hayden longer than any other rider in the history of American Superbike to earn his first win. As far as I can figure Dale Quarterley previously held that honor. It took him 65 starts before he finally won his first.
Hayden has always had the talent, but racing in the era of Mladin and Spies made took the air out of the room for just about every other rider in the series. Tommy is one of the nicest riders in the series and almost everyone involved in the sport will be happy to that he finally scored his first win.
Jake Zemke leaves Fontana with the series lead with Hayden second, just 11 points down. This year is shaping up to be an exciting season in American Superbike. Congrats to Tommy. He’s added another great accomplishment to his already impressive racing career.
Jeffrey Brown does his best Randy Mamola imitation during a WERA race at Road Atlanta in 1986. Mamola was known for his extreme hang-off style of cornering. Brown is doing the same with his left boot barely making contact with the footpeg of his Yamaha FZ600.
Motorcycling has lost one of its most brilliant minds. We got word from Don Emde that Don Brown passed away last week. Brown was one of those behind-the-scenes movers and shakers of the industry. He knew the motorcycling industry better than anyone of his time. Anytime I had the chance to talk with Don I was blown away by his insights. He had his hand on the pulse of the industry like no other. Don forecasted the cruiser (Harley) boom of the 1990s and was early to recognize other trends in the industry.
While Don was generally acknowledged as the most knowledgeable source of the industry, he was human. When he worked for Triumph’s West Coast importer Johnson Motors in the late 1950s, he famously misread the scope of the coming invasion of the Japanese manufacturers, but that was one of his few miscues.
Don did so many innovate things in the industry it would take a book to cover them all. He started what might have been the first motorcycle radio show, he was an amateur cross country racing champion, he co-authored a popular off-road motorcycling book, he was editor at Cycle Magazine, he sold Steve McQueen his first motorcycle, he helped found the famous Checkers Motorcycle Club, he practically invented motorcycle sales forecasting, and he was instrumental in founding the Motorcycle Industry Council. He had so much enthusiasm for motorcycling and so many great ideas on how to make motorcycling more popular and accepted. Plus he had the drive and the know how to put his ideas into action.
To me Don was easily one of the most influential persons in the first century of motorcycling in America. His contributions to motorcycling helped shape the industry as we know it today.
Here are a couple of excerpts from a 2003 interview I did with Don Brown.
Don talks about getting his first motorcycle while he was in the Army.
Brown clip 1
On the formation of the Checkers Motorcycle Club.
Brown clip 2
On launching the first weekly radio show devoted to motorcycling.
Brown clip 3
On selling Steve McQueen his first motorcycle.
Brown clip 4