Unrepentant Geek (matthew) wrote,
Unrepentant Geek

Awesome weekend

I managed to come down with some sort of cold of flu on Sunday and I'm just now getting over it. Even with that ending it was an awesome weekend.


crankygirlie, gordonmessmer and I went to orewaanpanman and adrinna's wedding reception. It was at a house on Lake Tapps and the weather was perfect. Bri baked a ton of oh so tasty morsels for the reception. The cupcakes were so pretty that no one wanted to touch them. I had no such qualms.

Afterwards, Julie and Gordon and I decided that we needed to make up for the lack of meat consumed at the reception. We decided to try out the BBQ place up the street. When we couldn't decide what we wanted to try they put together a huge combo for us. We had BBW beef ribs, fried gator (yes, as in alligator), fried catfish, sweet potato fries, pulled pork sandwich, fried pickles, fried peppers, potato salad and cornbread. I know that I ate way too much but it was just so good. The cornbread and gator were my favorite part, I'll have to go back for more one of these days.


Sunday was the Isle of Vashon TT. This is the one big event held by the VME every year. gordonmessmer and I got up bright and early and met at my place. We then rode over to West Seattle to jump on the ferry to Vashon. Normally motorcycles get to go on the front of the ferry. So what do you do when you have 12 cars and about 100 bikes? Gordon ended up in the middle of the boat while I was in the back on one side.

We got to Vashon and headed into town. We were definitely not the first to arrive as all of downtown was filled with bikes. We rode past about 1/2 mile of bikes before we found a place to pull over and park. We checked in and got our poker run card started and found a place to wait for my dad and get breakfast. Service was slow but we didn't care. My dad showed up not too long after and we got him checked in too. Then we set off on the poker run. A poker run is an excuse to ride the long way round. You run from checkpoint to checkpoint and at each pick up a new card which gets punched on your poker run card. It was a really enjoyable ride all around the island. There were families sitting out at the ends of their driveways to watch the impromptu parade of old motorcycles.

The poker run ended at the Sportsmen's Club in the middle of the island. We pulled in there and got our last cards (I got 2 pair, 10's and 2's.) The field was wall to wall motorcycles, probably 500 or so in total. There was burgers and brats for lunch at a very reasonable price and lots of bikes to look at and people to talk to. I met the owner of the R50 that recently set a new world speed record for a 1955 bike and got his card.

Then there were the field events. I had heard about these and decided to register. The events include:
  • Slow Race
  • Cones and Balls
  • Kickstart Competition
  • Monte Carlo
  • Australian Pursuit

The slow race is simple: ride as slowly as you can from start to finish without putting a foot down. I did alright but didn't win.

The cones and balls event has a set of cones set up for you to slalom through. Each cone gets you a point. You get an additional point if you can place a tennis ball on top of said cone. If you put your foot down you stop earning points. I only got 3 points :/

The kickstart competition seems pretty straightforward: kickstart your bike as many times as you can in 1 minute. My bike kickstarts just fine. It's the stopping that's the problem. The switch is tough to turn off and in a really awkward place. Also the flywheel on that engine is huge and keeps going for quite some time. The guy next to me in the competition gave me a bit of help though when he suggested I adjust my idle down so closing the throttle killed the engine. It worked! I managed 25 starts in 1 minute! This is apparently a record for a BMW but unfortunately not good enough to win. The guy who won managed 44 starts on his Honda. I hope the prize included an epsom soak for his leg afterwards.

I didn't participate in the last two events because I didn't want to destroy 1) my transmission 2) the rest of the bike. So I parked off to the side and just watched.

The Monte Carlo is hilarious to watch. The participants all line up on the finish line with their bikes at the starting line. They then have to crab-walk to their bikes (they're allowed to get up and run halfway there) and then use the kickstarter to move the bike to the finish. That is, not start the bike but rather jump up and down on the lever to get the bike to move. A guy named Bill always wins. Bill won.

The Australian Pursuit is likewise entertaining to watch but also a bit more dangerous. They line up the bikes end to end around a big circle and set them going. When a bike is overtaken it has to drop out. As bikes drop out the circle shrinks and grows. I managed to take video of this one (the actually race starts about half-way through)

full size video here.

After the field events a lot of people left. That meant that there was a better chance of winning the raffle for the rest of us. I stuck around and I'm glad that I did. I walked away with 2 t-shirts and $200 in gift certificates!

All in all, a profitable and enjoyable weekend.
Tags: bbq, motorcycles, r50, weddings

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