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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

91st Annual Loudon Classic – Bike Week 2014

Kevin, his friend Jeremy, and I headed out at 8:30AM for the 91st Loudon Classic motorcycle races.  I bought infield passes and drove through the infield tunnel to find a place to park.  I backed up to the fence so we could sit in the back of the truck if we wanted to. 

I brought my grill, hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, plenty of Gatorade and water, and chairs so we could tailgate once we got hungry.

Kevin brought a ripstik and Jeremy a long board so they didn’t have to walk.  They were off to check out the motorcycles as soon we parked.  I did a lot of walking through the garage area, all over the infield to different turns, through the tunnel to turns outside the track, back to the truck, etc.  It was much easier for Kevin and Jeremy to get around. 

I grabbed my camera and headed for the garage area.  There were some nice looking bikes.  The riders and crews were friendly making it fun for me to walk around and take pictures. 

There were 13 races scheduled with all different classes of bikes.  Last year there were thunderstorms in the area so they cut the length of the races down to try to fit them in before it got wet.  This year it was a perfect day for racing.  Clouds here and there but dry. 

Something new so I did a second blog post this year called “Car Drifting at the Track”.  Drifting was fun to watch and the course for them was near one of the track corners where I like taking pictures.  I watched the cars drifting between the motorcycle races.

Just after noon I fired up the grill and started cooking.  I was pretty much finished with the burgers and dogs when a security truck pulled up.  They said the eye in the sky spotted me grilling … normally not a big deal except that I was close to a brick structure where gas and oil waste is stored.  HMM … I DIDN”T KNOW THAT !!  They said as long as I was more than 10 feet from the building (I was 30 feet away) it wasn’t a problem.  They have cameras all over the infield to monitor track events most of which use high octane fuels and oils.    Next year I’ll tailgate a bit further away from that building ...

The vintage and modern sidecar races were fun to watch.  It would be fun being the second person constantly moving around the platform hanging over the sides.  Several sidecar motorcycles went so fast into the corners they slide sideways.  One slid off a corner into the gravel and came to a stop before hitting the tires.  The track guys were frantically waiving at them to stay put but the pair quickly charged back onto the course to continue racing.  When they did all the gravel that covered the platform was deposited on the track which is what the track guys wanted to prevent.  When the race ended a big street sweeper was brought out to clear the track before the next race. 

There was lots of action on the track.  Scott Greenwood on the #4 won the 91st Loudon Classic 20 lap race which was a fun race to watch.  I like the Motard Cup race bikes.  They look like motocross/off road bikes with street tires. 

We headed home late in the day.  Had a great time again this year and will be back next year.

Go to the search bar at the top of my blog and type in Loudon Classic to see past posts.

91st Annual Loudon Classic - Car Drifting at the Track

The 91st Annual Loudon Classic had some great motorcycle races.  Unfortunately the day we went the motorcycle stunt riders had already gone.  I was told it was a mistake and they were only booked for one day.  By the  time the track realized it most of the stunt riders had departed.  They were fun to watch last year so I was disappointed.

As I was walking around the infield looking at the bikes Kevin said I needed to come check something out.  They had a drifting track set up with cars running the course.  I thought it would be interesting so I headed over. 

What do I know about drifting? … nothing … I did read up a bit on it and one person put it this way: "The concept of drifting is to hold a slide through a series of opposing turns without regaining traction."

This is what I saw.

Cars entered and lined up at a starting line.  Cement barriers were used on one side of the course for spectator safety.  On this course the cars would accelerate straight for a couple hundred yards.  The driver would then break the back tires free by turning the steering wheel sharply, hit the emergency brake, or a combination of the two.  This would start the car sliding into a left hand corner. 

If the car couldn’t stay on course the driver could cut right to a right hand drift loop.  If staying on course, they would continue a left hand drift to a short straight then continuing left for 180 degrees.  Continuing to another small straight then a hard shift to a right turn 180 degrees eventually straightening out to the exit.

If this was a drift competition the drivers would be judged on 3 things: LINE (the ideal drift path a vehicle must take on course and is marked by inner clipping points and outer clipping zones dictated by the judges).  ANGLE (the maximum drift angle at which a driver can maintain and control his/her vehicle throughout the marked course).  STYLE.  (this is a drivers personal style, is subjective, and includes speed, aggressive flicks, closeness to walls, extreme angle, degree of difficulty, fluidity and extreme proximity to the lead vehicle (in case of head-to-head competitions)).  Going off course, spinning out, losing the drift, and contact with another car results in low scores or a zero score.  Typically 2 runs taking the drivers best score for the final results.

Low gears and high rpms kept the car drifting.  Smoke … rubber chunks hitting you as cars went by … noise ... skid marks … it was all there.  Special drift tires, lots of horsepower, and some great driving made it fun to watch. We watched some drift the whole course from that first left turn which was impressive and required some pretty good speed. 

We also saw some not make the corner and do the extra right loop, spin outs, and one car that missed a fence by less than a foot.  It was a good save.  

Later in the day they had drift races with multiple cars on the course at the same time.  Being behind the car in front with the tire smoke must make it hard to see. 

Throughout the day some cars lost parts like bumpers and molding.  Others had dents and dings.  It must be part of the game as they didn’t seem to mind.

It was fun to watch.  Wonder what it would feel like to be a passenger …

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in Loudon Classic to see past posts.

Loudon Classic “In the Infield”

I have enjoyed going to Loudon Classic Motorcycle week to watch and take pictures at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  I usually arrive before the races start to figure out where I may want to take pictures.

I also make it a point to check out some of the motorcycles in the infield before they head for the track

I have put a few of my infield pictures on previous blog posts for that event but thought I would make a blog post specifically with the motorcycles in the infield from the years I attended.  These pictures are from the Loudon Classic on June 22, 2014.  Click on the pictures to enlarge. 

Go to: "Search This Blog" at the top of my page and type in Loudon Classic to see past posts.