Random Thoughts

Frank Rant

I love to work on my race bike.  I will spend hours in the garage tweaking it to my hearts delight.  If I ride it more than ten minutes, I change the oil, replace the air filter, go over the nuts and bolts, lubricate everything that I can, wash, clean, move the stickers around, change plastic, replace the zip ties.  Whatever I can do to spend time in my garage.  Working on my race bike, is therapy to me.  After a day at work it is what I enjoy doing to unwind.  If I went to the gym as much as I work on my bike it would probably be much better for me, but I like to work on my bike.  It always amazes me when I see a racer who cannot change his own tires.  A couple of years ago, a young pro whose name you would recognize, left after practice because he got a flat rear tire that he could not change himself.  If he had asked, any number of novice racers would have helped him.  But, he was embarrassed at his lack of mechanical know how and split instead.  I can understand if you are a dentist, or surgeon, or any number of professionals who cannot take a chance on injuring their fingers.  But, lets face it most of us can change our own tires. It’s just easier to have someone else do it for us.  At one time I could not afford to have my suspension done, so I did it myself.  The same with splitting the cases and doing a bottom end on my 2 stroke, I couldn’t afford it so I did it myself.  You know it never mattered how careful I was there was always a handful of shims, washers, or whatever left over but it still worked better than before.  Of course now I don’t think I would attempt a bottom end on the four strokes, but if I did not have the money and it meant not riding I would probably try it.  I can just imagine the pile of left over parts I would have today.  It always amazes me the assholes in this industry that can always bamboozle a following.  I won’t mention names because there are a few of them, and they will always cause trouble when you call a spade a spade.  They never like criticism, but they love to be in the limelight.  These people love to be surrounded by ass kissers, love for you to think they are so doing it for the little guy.  In reality they have the same profile over and over, give me, give me, give me.  There are promoters, sponsors, racers, tracks, media, that fit this description.  There are a couple that stand out, but that will be for another rant.  A few years ago at what I think was Commotion by Ocean II a reporter from the local Carlsbad newspaper attended.  One of our favorite people of all time Gary Scott was seriously injured at the race, we had life flight land on the track to get Gary out as quickly as possible.  This reporter was way more interested in covering the negative aspects of motocross than any thing else.  He literally wanted to ask questions while we were attending to Gary.  Needless to say I was a little pissed.  In no uncertain terms I told him to get the F out of there.  He got me though, he put it in the newspaper what a piece of crap I was and how I pandered to the dangerous elements of this sport. He never really gave a shit about Gary, he never visited him in the hospital, or reported on his recovery.  Or the fact, that in less than a year Gary would race again.  Oh, by the way the life flight pilot who landed the copter on the track at Carlsbad Raceway was Gary Ogden.  Former pro racer, who lost his only National win because he stopped to let his mechanic jump on and rode across the finish line with him on the bike.  Without his intimate knowledge of the raceway Gary Scott might not be racing with us today.  The National is coming up.  Are you embarrassed by the behavior of some people that attend?  I know I am.  I enjoy a cold beer or a cocktail once in a while, but it is beyond me why some “race fans” have to be obnoxiously intoxicated to enjoy the event.  Passing out is not a good option at the motocross races.  Being left face up in the San Bernardino sun with no shirt on to roast for several hours may seem like fine entertainment but waking up feeling like a broiled lobster has to suck.  And heckling racers sucks.  Most of the racers are just kids, they are out there trying way harder than you or I ever tried.  To belittle someone’s efforts for whatever reason shows what a little person the hecklers are.  Race, manufacturer, place of origin, tattoos or hair color they are racers giving it their all.  If you think they are going slow, I dare any of you to beat them.  Bottom line is I love motocross just like you do.  I’m not going to get drunk and miss one second of the race.  Especially this one, as it sits right now 6 racers have a chance at 2 championships, someone told me it has been 20 years since this has gone down to the wire like this.  I am going to enjoy every second of the action that I can, I might be Chuck Minert’s age before it happens again.  See you at the National.