Editorial by Richard Myers/AHRMA Southwest
Courtesy of Tami Greenhill
JOSHUA TREE, CA, JUNE 11, 2015
With things getting off to a great start for AHRMA’s Southwest region, starting with a spectacular two-day VMX/PVMX National that included Trials at Cahuilla Creek in February, promoted by CALVMX, and a historic VMX/PVMX Regional event co-promoted by AHRMA’s Northwest and Southwest regions at the infamous Tulare track now known as DT1 MX Park in March, the future is looking bright for all involved. Thank you to the supporting clubs and track personnel at both rounds for the hard work and dedication to the sport. Without their support, it wouldn’t be as easy for the rest of us to go out and play the way we do. Stay tuned for round three of the five-round Southwest series, which will be taking place at Cahuilla Creek MX Park under the California Vintage Motocross umbrella on Sunday, July 19, 2015.
Southern California has a huge contingent of vintage race bikes just sitting around, along with large numbers of Vintage riders sitting around watching modern motocross or other sports, totally unaware that Vintage Motocross, as a racing discipline, exists. Fred Guidi touched on this in the May 2015 issue of Vintage Views. Of course, he is referencing a larger picture, but it applies to us all: We need to bring people back to the sport, to rejoin in the passion and the fun of it all. We need to get them back out there, and what follows is what I do to try to bring those folks back out.
How often have you been stopped at a gas station on your way to a race and had some guy come running up, asking questions about your bikes? First, you have to hear the story about when they used to race and on what. I’m always amused at how many champions there were. (Usually I’ve never heard of them, but that is okay – it’s all part of the deal.) The story is usually followed up with something along the lines of “Where do you race those things?” or “How do you get parts?” It is at that time that I bring out my Vintage Views or VMX magazine and let them look through it, and that really get things going.
I was going to Hollister one year, up the 101 Freeway, when I had a guy follow me from just past Ventura until I got off to get gas an hour or so later, just to ask about the Tri-BSA I had on the trailer. He was on my bumper for a long time, and he pulled close up behind me at the pumps when I got off the highway. When I got out of the car, I thought, ‘What did I do to get this guy mad at me?’ All that changed when the rapid-fire questions started. He was like a kid in a candy store – very amusing, to say the least.
My usual routine is to explain that AHRMA has regional events for those who don’t travel and National events that span across the country for those die-hards, points-chaser types. And if their eyes don’t glaze over at that point, I would then hand them a Vintage Views – and yes, I keep a stack of them in my car most of the time just for this occasion. It drives my wife crazy.
This is more than just a sport. It is more than a passion. It is a lifestyle, which some never left and many have returned to. We need to reach out and touch possible returnees, as they are the target audience of the sport. Many think that they are just too old; you are never too old to get started again.
My point in all this is, go out of your way to engage people. On weekends, I might load up one of the bikes on my trailer when I go out to breakfast, just to see who and what might show up. Sometimes it’s just good conversation; other times, it’s like “Wow! I had no idea! I have my old Bultaco in the back yard!” And that is what I want to hear. I even show up at some of our local hot-rod clubs’ events with two bikes to display. It is fun, and the stories that are generated are great.
In the end, I urge you to take your passion for this sport and go public with it. Why sit on the couch during an off weekend and watch reruns? Load up the bike or bikes and just do some trolling. It is the best way to get the word out about Vintage Motocross, and the stories you will hear are all part of the fun, and they are priceless…
For more information on the Southwest region and our events, please visit us at www.AHRMASouthwest.org today.