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.
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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