In yellow on the Spanish Montesa V75 I am chasing my friend Cole on his Elsinore. Photo taken 2005 in Eastern Washington

unleash Racing gets into your blood. You can't race and then quit and go do something else without it constantly tugging & pulling you gently back. What is it like? Here is a description I wrote in 1997.

The Race is about to start- I sit on the right end of the gate, revving the engine with my throttle hand, the fingers on my left hand twitch in anticipation of the start; a blitz to the first corner. The long day of racing is waning, and the sun is low. This is the last race- the Gran Prix. I am exhausted, dirty, but determined that THIS time there will be no prisoners taken. My bike is my trusty old yellow ‘77 YZ400

Sixty feet ahead of me stands a man with the 30 Second board; a square piece of white plywood with a large number 30 on it in black. The board turns, the gate opens- and KLONK- down it falls. I roar up the hill with the gang to my left, and see my brother Jonathan has gotten the holeshot on his 79 CR250R - and behind him Jon Morgan going great guns on his 74 MX250.

There were a few others in front of me, and I struggled by them one at a time using up my first lap - and then the chase is on. Jonathan and Jon have opened up a space- and I strive to cut it into ribbons. I’ve lost my fear of flying on the YZ. The jumps which had almost pitched me off in the morning, I now find myself going far faster than I had earlier- and I’m clearing them- and concentrating on not slowing- and I’m in the rhythm that I needed all day.

and everything slows down...

I retreat into a silent world.....


Fingers of dusty light and long shadows slit the grass blades at the sides of the track.

The sound has long since dimmed down into nothingness, and I fly along slowly through syrup, the monster beneath me growling to itself: now twitching, now bucking, stretching its muscles like a cat, with me holding on in a dream, at one with the machine

...I can see Jon Morgan ahead of me. I begin to reel him in- bit by bit, and suddenly I’m on him, and to my surprise he yields, waving me by- I’m almost disappointed- having caught him I wanted to take him in anger. I can now see Jonathan ahead. I am going so fast, that I am clearing the tabletop and sometimes landing in the corner itself and wondering if I was even going to make it.

I am now reeling Jonathan in, but not fast enough. At the very end my brother slows and we go over the finish line, his front wheel a foot ahead of mine . A fitting end to the day- I’m never sorry to lose to Jonathan. It feels as though we both won. I try to gasp out a howl of victory as we pulled off the track, but I have no voice or energy left, and it is lost..

Two Views 2007




© 2011 SIEGE

Halcyon Days: racing the Animal (CZ400) in the Steve McQueen Memorial Races .

The CZ is a Czechoslovakian Racing Motorcycle Photo taken 2003 outside Eugene Oregon