Month: September 2020

Sam, His Van, His Plan

Sam Verderico is a painter in my hometown of Wenatchee, Washington, a God-kissed land in the upper left of the United States snuggled into a valley between the Cascade Mountain Range and rolling wheat fields. The mighty Columbia River runs through the middle. Sam grew up here, but as pristine as this northwest haven is, his beginnings were anything but idyllic.
“When I was a kid, we were super poor, sometimes homeless. My dad watched AMA road racing on TV. It was his passion. We just watched Mike Tyson and motorcycle racing. That’s where I got my passion. My dad would say ‘Gosh, those guys are awesome’, and as I grew up thought, ‘You know, these guys are awesome. I want to do this.’”

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MotoAmerica at the Barber

Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Cameron Beaubier won his 13th race of the year on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, a day after winning his 12th of the season and the 50th of his stellar AMA Superbike career. Sunday’s victory was similar to his other 12 wins with Beaubier jumping out front off the line, storming away at an unmatchable pace, and then maintaining that lead to the finish.

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The Unstoppables

Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier leaves New Jersey Motorsports Park and heads to Barber Motorsports Park this week with a massive 84-point lead in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship after what was another walk-in-the-park victory for the four-time series champion. Over in Liqui Moly Junior Cup and Twins Cup, 15-year old “Boy Wonder” Rocco Landers dominated both classes, both days, with four wins across the weekend to claim the points lead in both.

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Road Dirt Remembers 9-11

Most of us over the age of 25 remember where we were, what we were doing, and who we were with, on that fateful day in early September, 2001. I had ridden my Yamaha Royal Star to the office that day, and after pouring up a cup of coffee, was at my desk going through the morning’s emails. A coworker send a staff wide message, stating a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. Soon, several of us were gathered in a conference room, watching the events unfold on screen. Thinking a freak accident had happened, and somehow a small plane had flown into the building, we were suddenly horrified to witness a second plane, a large jetliner, plow into the second tower, fire and debris exploding out from the impact. The first words out of my mouth, when I could finally find words to speak, were “We’re under attack.” I’ll go to my grave remembering the images and footage all day from New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. It was a defining moment in American history, and a defining moment in many of our lives.

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Anatomy of a Squid

Returning home from town the other day, I was witness to a “squid” couple on a blacked-out, swingarm stretched, and open-piped Yamaha R1. The “pilot” wore shredded, holey blue jeans with white sneakers, a grinning skull bandana covering his face, and a non-DOT spiked “Kaiser” helmet. His passenger, a rather rotund young lady, wore a good full-face helmet (admirable), but tight shorts, a tank top, and sandals (not admirable). They turned right at the light, and nearly lifting the front wheel off the pavement, he loudly rocketed away, his girl clinging for dear life. “Pair of squids,” I grumbled aloud.

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In The Paddock With MotoAmerica

When the MotoAmerica series came to my neck of the woods in the Upper Left, I knew a weekend at my “home track”, The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington would be a must for me. Beautiful weather, incredible views all around, the thrill of motorcycle racing, and the challenge of riding one of the most demanding racetracks in America, unfamiliar to all but a few in the MotoAmerica paddock. So that’s what I decided to capture, in photos and footage- the racers, their teams, their downtime, their prep rituals, their triumphs and tragedies. As we stated in our race report, The Ridge can eat bikes and riders, then spit them out broken and busted. And after being trackside and in the pits all weekend, and seeing that happen aplenty, it almost makes me want to slow down some at my next track day here. Almost…

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Long Way Up On LiveWires

The trailer for “Long Way Up,” the epic, new Apple Original series from stars Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman is now available. The first three episodes of the 11-part unscripted series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 18. New episodes will roll out weekly, every Friday.

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