Here in the upper left of the United States, it’s the end of the world as we know it.
It started with an idyllic Labor Day as clear Pacific Northwest air stirred blue skies, a stiff warm breeze playing in the trees. Then the world caught fire.
Author: Ted Edwards
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…Read More
The Ridge Motorsports Park opened to the MotoAmerica road racing series this past weekend, a first for both. Teams rolled in early last week to familiarize themselves with the track, which only a handful of racers had ever ridden on. And it showed. Numerous riders crashed and crunched up their bikes, before even the first green flag on Saturday. The problem wasn’t so much the track itself, which the majority of racers and MotoAmerica personnel said they loved, but their unfamiliarity with it. At 2.47 miles in length, 16 dramatic turns and over 300 feet of elevation change across the track, including a 50 foot plunge down the Ridge Complex of switchbacks, a lap on the Ridge tarmac is filled with high speed straights, sweeping turns, huge compressions, weightless crests and hard esses that challenge and exhaust racers like few tracks in the States.Read More
Residents of the Pacific Northwest live in a blissful stupor, either unaware of or ignoring the alluring assassins surrounding them. Going directly down the heart of Washington State like a slashing knife wound bleeding lava is a line of volcanoes, part of the Pacific Ring Of Fire called the Cascade Volcanic Arc.Read More
It’s Independence Day, a Saturday, and students are in school. But the four students attending summer school were not lackluster performers or behavior problems, nor are they being forced to attend against their will.
Quite the opposite. They paid to come here, some traveling thousands of miles to attend. Even more unusual, the curriculum at this school involves clutch control, lofting the front wheel and monkey lifts. All of them, including the instructor and her support staff, are female.
Welcome to Skool of Moto.
Recently, Road Dirt’s owner, senior editor, chief cook and bottle washer Rob Brooks flew 3,000 miles from his Georgia home to Wenatchee, Washington to join me and eight others on our annual seven day, 1,500+ mile tour of the upper left. I promised him blue Pacific Northwest skies, great food and a memorable experience. One out of three isn’t bad.Read More
Disclaimer: I am not my father.
It was inevitable that one day I would end up on a motorcycle like my brother, our father, and his father before him. We’ve always been more comfortable on wheels than in houses. Structures are fixed, and they eliminate the possibility that something exhilarating lies just beyond the next hill crest. Fate works in funny ways; from it you may run, but you can never hide.
Close your eyes and visualize Oregon. What does your mind see? Picturesque lighthouses standing watch on jagged coastlines? Liberal urbanites of Portland? Westward expansion along the Oregon Trail? Tall timber forests full of battling loggers and protesters?No matter what your mind’s eye sees, you are both right and wrong. True, Oregon is all of those things but there is, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.Read More
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