"To achieve great things,
we must live as though we were never going to die.
"
Ė Vauvenargues.

TODAYíS ROUTE:
Park City, UT to Park City, UT: SR-224 to Kimball Junction to I-80 East to Silver Creek Junction to SR-40 South to SR-177 West to SR-248 to Park City. (
MAP)

THE DETAILS:
AHRMA, the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, is a group of some 5,000 people who like to race vintage motorcycles. The membership exists to celebrate competition motorcycles of the past as well as the legendary racers who made history on those machines. AHRMA offers national and regional road racing, motorcross, dirt track, observed trials, and more. The machines active in these events span a full 50 years, from the 1920s to the mid-70s. I think itís great that these folks actively use bikes that most people would keep in a museum.

This year, Park City is the site of four days of AHRMA competition. The event was held at Steamboat Springs for 18 years but the organizers switched locations after pressure from commercial and residential real estate concerns. The highlight of the event is road racing on a 1.8-mile public road circuit. These beautiful machines will be racing around town, and my hotel is right on the course. I canít believe how cool this is and that I was able to schedule this into my trip.

Motorcycle fans of all ages have turned out for Park City Motorcycle Week. And there is just about every make and model of machine. At BMW rallies Iíve seen a lot of motorcycles in one place, but this is something entirely different. Everywhere you look there are bikes. BMWs and Harleys are the most prevalent, but every kind of motorcycle is here including Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Triumph, Norton, Ducati, BSA, and more. A bunch of vendors and manufacturers have turned out as well with demo fleets available for test rides from BMW, Triumph, Buell, and Ducati.

Practice laps around the circuit start at 9:00 AM and by noon the racing begins. There are 11 different races of 8 laps each. The field is divided into classes based on engine size and vintage. Itís just wild to watch these awesome machines zip around the streets at full throttle. I could see myself getting involved in this stuff, especially on a vintage BMW. (Mom, that wasnít you who just fainted, was it?) The pits are open to anyone and you can walk around the machines, get a good close-up look, and talk to the participants. There must be a couple of hundred racers who have come from all over the country to partake in the fun.

The final race begins with the only crash of the day. A couple of riders bump into each other at the start and two guys go down. One walks away and the other gets carried off on a stretcher, but heís all right. At the end of the racing, Chuck and I say farewell as he heads back south. Weíve had a couple of good days riding and we make plans to ride together in Florida when IĎm there in November.

As the sun sets behind the mountain, I take a tour around the town. Park City is a nice ski town, with condos all over the place and a couple of golf courses. Itís also the setting for the Sundance Film Festival. In 2002, many of the Winter Olympic events will be held here. And you can bet that the AHRMA will be back again next year. The event was a huge success.

THE DAILY TAKE:
Miles Today: 23.3
Total Miles: 10,125
Time on Motorcycle: 34 Minutes
Average Speed: 40.6 MPH
States Visited today: 1 (UT)
Total States Visited: 25
National Park Service Passport Stamps: 0
NPS Stamp totals: 73 Stamps, 21 States
Weather: Another beautiful day in paradise.
Number of motorcycles owned by average AHRMA member: 13

SEEN ON THE ROAD:
"Better to be a racer for a moment than a spectator for a lifetime" Ė sticker on fender of 1959 Norton Motorcycle.

RANDOM PASSINGS:
This morning I went out to my bike to take the cover off and make sure it was still there. A guy walking by with his son notices my New York license plate and says, "Did you trailer your bike out here?" I get a great pride in telling him I rode out. I tell him that people with BMW motorcycles donít trailer their bikes. Maybe someone might transport an old vintage show bike to a rally or concours, but BMW riders ride their bikes. Thatís what theyíre made for.

Iíve seen plenty of Harleys and Hondas on the back of pickups or on trailers since Iíve hit the road. Chuck witnessed a flood of riders at Sturgis who had transported their Harleys out there. But Iíve never, ever seen a BMW being pulled around by a car. Whatís the point? Riding there is what the journey is all about.

 


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