April 5-6Chuck SunThe historic town of Jefferson lies on the fingers of the Louisiana bayous. Steam boats paddled up from New Orleans to deliver goods to the Port of Jefferson that was the pride of Texas in the late 1800′s as the 2nd largest town in the “Don’t Mess with Texas State”. Word has it that engineers messed with some dams and lowered the water level, that would in turn not allow the mighty stern wheelers to get through, virtually killing the town’s economy. Travelers come to hang out and enjoy the wealth of the past at incredibly restored 100+ year old estates that now serve as B&B’s. I was assigned the Hale House that was occupied by a couple of BMW riders passing through on a Rally.Innkeepers embraced the Vintage Motocrosser’s and even put up with the stained white towels with the famous Texas Black soil. Friday’s rain soaked the track, but not the enthusiasm of the cross country riders, led by Legend Jack Penton enjoying the ride with his son. In vintage days, MX tracks were layed out through forests and hill sides on the grass with the moist rich top soil underneath waiting to be churned into deep peg dragging berms.Host Don Rainey’s course looked more like a golf course. In fact it was the stage for a charity Hole in One contest that offered $50,000 to the lucky one. I cannot stress the fun factor! Line selection, laying the bike over and great race action! If you have access to property with grass, lay out a track! More riders would come into our sport and sponsors would be very happy.Factory Maico and Suzuki rider Steve Stackable was the honored legend, but while preparing to come out for some fun suffered a collar bone injury and was unable to attend. Check Steve out in some recently discovered footage in “One Chance to Win” http://www.onechancetowin.com
.A special treat for everyone was the Women Pioneers of Motocross that was sponsored by Dr. Terry Gerber, a long time rider herself. Some of the girls still ride but even though Sue Fish had not raced for 30 years, Sue had a brief share of the lead before exercising caution. First moto winner Dee Wood had her hands full with happily married Mercedes Gonzalez who bagged the overall when Wood’s RJ replica Yamaha started smoking as she tried to real in the Spanish goddess. Tami Rice, Bonnie Warch, Nadine Holbert along with WMA President Miki Keller rode well keeping the girls honest up front.Brad Lackey and mechanic Steve Stasiefski were giving me tips on my upcoming FIM World MX debut in Spain April 20. “If you push them hard they will fold like a deck of cards” Steve told me. I’m not quite so cocky, but am ready to push hard to bring back a title to the US. Marty Tripes got back on a bike and showed some of his brilliance by luring Lackey to a water puddle and proceeded to drench him! Donnie Hansen’s school got rained out but Donnie enjoyed hanging out taking in the Vintage action. Former NASCAR manager Steve Johnson pulled out his Jeff Ward factory 125 Kawasaki for 2 motos on a break from his teaching at the university in North Carolina. Doug Gagnon gave me the hook up to Gary Davis who offered me his 360 Bultaco Pursang. It was very exciting shifting on the right side. Gary said if in doubt just push down on both levers! Didn’t matter much as the rear brake didn’t work anyway! Gary cooked up a pot of Gumbo that was a huge hit in the evening party. On Sunday I was back on the Ohlins ’81 250 Maico to do battle with former national rider Trey Jorski. I was stretching the throttle cable in an effort to get around the Suzuki rider, but in the end Jorski got the nod. Racing is the very best way to prepare for a major motocross event. Even though it was on a Vintage bike, Diamond Don’s Vintage National provided a fun tough course that made for some great racing. Some of the best things in life are not the latest technology but the jewels from the past, whether it be a 100 year B&B or a 30 year old vintage dirt bike. Life is Good!