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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming:
"WOW, what a ride !!!"

Rick Doughty's Top Ten

The Best and Worst

Here are a couple of Top Ten lists that will no doubt be controversial.

Before I get into them let me start by stating for the record that these are my opinions and they are based on nearly twenty years of living this sport on a day-to-day basis. My experiences are not the same as everyone else’s so my inclusions and exclusions can really only be construed as my take on the world of vintage racing as I see it.

My picks also only include public or prominent figures that in one way or another have put themselves in the public eye.

There is no ranking from best to worst rather just a Top Ten in the order that they came to me.

The Top Ten Best People for the sport of Vintage Motocross:

  1. Woody Graves- Florida Vintage Motocross
    Why: Woody runs the Florida Vintage Motocross club and is one of the independent organizations that is keeping vintage racing simple and fun, with a focus on providing a positive experience for the riders of his club.
  2. Michael Shelby- Texas Vintage Racing Club
    Why: Michael is a Texas version of Woody and so many others around the country, He heads up an independent club that keeps it real and keeps it fun. Plus he makes the best Armadillo chili this side of the Rio Grande.
  3. Mike Johnstone- American Retrocross
    Why: After 20,000 miles and nearly as many dollars, Mike is a newly crowned AHRMA champion. In the process he has seen the value in the local/regional programs and works diligently with Bret Bonham and myself to make vintage racing in So Cal a reality.
  4. Curtis Harper- Missouri Vintage Motocross
    Why: Curtis Harper runs one of the most family friendly series in the US. His races are 25% swap meet, family reunion, outdoor picnic and oh yeah, vintage motocross.
  5. Tom France- American Classic Racing
    Why: Tom is a roll-n-roller that is also passionate about vintage moto. Tom has been the guiding light in the northeast for more than a decade and someone who knows when to draw a line and when to look the other way. He is also very innovative with a class structure that fits his rider composition.
  6. Dirk Williams & Siege- Washougal vintage and Hammer & Tongs series promoters Dirk and Siege have been ardent AHRMA supporters even when it wasn’t popular. Unfortunately their loyalty was not repaid like in kind and they still have the tire marks on their back from being thrown under the bus. Instead of giving up the ghost as many would they have soldiered on promoting the sport regardless.
  7. Mitch Winder- Midwest Vintage Racing
    Why: Mitch was the Midwest motocross coordinator for AHRMA until the heavy-handed tactics from the Ivory Tower became too much. Like Dirk, he is a man of strong conviction and refused to ignore the needs of his region so he seceded from the AHRMA fold and is carrying on independently much to his riders’ appreciation.
  8. Ric Tipton- Nor Cal post-vintage coordinator
    Why: Because he has endured years of being treated like a second-class citizen because he was trying to fight for the rights of AHRMA members with post-74 model bikes.
  9. Tim Kennedy- Inter Am series
    Why: Because he and Scott Wallenberg got together up in Boise Idaho and hatched the plan to put on what they are calling the Inter Am series in an area that before now had nothing for vintage racers.
  10. Michael McCook- Vintage MX website owner
    Why: Because what Michael has created is a credible outlet for global discussion of the sport we all love. Much more than a message board where anonymous hackers spew lies and venom. This is a forum much needed and hugely under-rated.

The Top Ten Worst People for the sport of vintage motocross:
(OK I won’t mention them by name but most of you know who the culprits are)

  1. The guy that started it all.
    Why: Because even though he deserves credit for starting the sport, he is the biggest obstacle in its growth and overall well-being.
  2. The guy that waged war with membership money.
    Why: Because his arrogance has done more to harm the sport and AHRMA coffers than any single person. It is true that the board of directors had to approve it but it simply wouldn’t have happened without his temperament being what it is.
  3. The guy that is starting his own vintage racing organization.
    Why: Because he is ego driven and out to re-create an AHRMA like organization in his own image. Don’t we already have that? Do we really need a clone with all the warts the original one has? I think not. Something new and open minded, sign me up. Same ol, some ol’? Been there done that.
  4. The sponsors in AHRMA that think there should be no other sponsors.
    Why: Their short sightedness shortchanges the organization and ultimately the membership. The sponsorship of AHRMA’s motocross program is woefully lacking and those that stand in the way of its expansion might as well be against the sport and its participants.
  5. The guy that thinks he is all things Maico
    Why: Anyone that thinks that they are the world authority on any particular brand shows just how ignorant they are. Anyone that thinks that they should be the only person on the planet to sell or make parts to keep any brand out on the race track does not have the best interest of this sport at heart. They have profit and ego in mind and little more.
  6. The guy that encourages a well established club to fragment.
    Why: Because vintage racing is a small percentage of the sport and when you start cutting up the pie just because you don't like one person or another, then the sport and its riders suffer. That is exactly what happened in Southern California six or seven years ago and it has taken this long to start the healing process. Stupid thing was this doofuss didn't even go to the races, instead just sat back and watched the damage while he sold Husky parts from his garage.
  7. The guy that rides with reckless abandon.
    Why: Because he puts us all at risk. It may be forgivable when you are low on skill and high on enthusiasm but that excuse ends at about age14. When you are 40 or 50 and an ex-pro racer you should ride with your head or stay in Oklahoma.
  8. The guy that sells a pile of parts disguised as a motorcycle for a pile of money on eBay or anywhere.
    Why: These profiteers do serious damage to the newbie’s coming into the sport. If your first buying experience in the world of vintage racing were something like your first night with cellmate Bubba, would you stick around? The guys that do a “new bike in a can” restoration and then pawn it off to some wide-eyed unsuspecting dude too new to know the difference, should spend a night, make that lots of nights in a jail cell with Bubba, Trevor and implements of mass destruction.
  9. The next guy that thinks we don’t have enough rules in vintage racing.
    Why: Because he is going to either run for a position within the organization so he can implement more hair splitting rules or he will vote for someone that will. Either way, the weight of unnecessary regulation bogs down the sport. Less rules = more fun!
  10. This is where it gets fun…
    You get to name number 10 by e-mailing me the Who and the Why. We won’t use the name so you can be as candid as you want. Turn the knob to “full vent” and tell us whom you think is the Worst Person for the sport of vintage motocross is.

Enjoy!
Rick

***


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