Peoria TT

The Peoria motorcycle club held the 58th running of the historic TT races Sunday August 20th, 2006.
I've been going to this races since about 1975. I've been to and watched a lot of professional motorcycle racing in my life, but the Peoria TT is by far my favorite.

This year I rode alone to the races----use to be a big crowd of riders from my hometown would ride to the races every year. It seems now I am the only one still going.
You can see my KTM starting to get buried in a sea of bikes riding to the event.



I thnk I was the only bike in the parking lot with knobby tires. On my way home I would need them as you'll see.




There are many unique things about this track---the most prominent being a huge jump after the 2nd turn in which the riders fly thru the air on a 90 mph jump in which they land about 120 ft. further down the track---while in the air they have to set up for a right hand turn--then left and over 100mph down the straight away. The rider in the air you see here is Chris Carr--National #1. Chris has won the TT 12 times.



Here is Chris coming back into the pits. Chris is getting close to retirement. He is still very competitive, but the TT is much more brutal on the body than any other races he does----it seems the younger guys are taking over.



Chris was riding a KTM 450. It's mostly Honda's and Yamaha's out there anymore---a few Suzuki's and one lone Husqvarna.
Anyway I flying my KTM hat today--as I was hopoing Chris could bag another win.
Someday I'll figure out what KTM stands for ?????



He is an inside the track view of the starting line and straight away to the finish line..
My second faborite thing about this track is the fact that the track is down in a bowl.
You sit in the grass and every seat is the best seat in the house.


Here's the winner-----3 years in a row now
Hammerin' Hank Weil on a Honda 450




The Peoria club always try to make each event special--this year it was the prescence of None other than racing legend Dick Mann.
Dick made a parade lap around the track on his 60's model BSA Goldstar. I think Dick is in his 70's.
He is one of the most famous dirt trackers of all time--it was an honor to meet him and shake his hand in the pits.
He has won the TT about 4 times and has been grand national champion several years.
I can't remember all of his accomplishment--but one was feat he accomplished is the "Grand Slam"---winning national races in several different forms of motorcycle racing.
Only 4 racers have accomplished this.
What a fne gentleman-----it brought a tear to my eye listening to him giving thanks to the crowd for all their support to him in his past years of racing.


This is the BSA Goldstar that Dick road around the track.
Although he kept a moderate pace around the track--he couldn't help but wack the throttle repeatedly.
Life has been good to Dick---thanks Dick for all the great years of racing.



Seems this guy never did get off the tit !!!!!
Back in my Harley years--it took me almost 2 days of riding (and other things) to get to the track.
I think one year we never made it. It's just a 200 mile ride.
Always involve lots of repairs---oil---maybe even a welder to keep things running.
No beverages involved I assure you !!!!
Years later it took about 3 1/2 hrs. on the beemer.
Well I guess I've come full circle---takes me 2 days again.....ridin' thru mudholes, farmers fences, old dirt roads, over hill, over dale!!!

Things change don' they


See those 2 Okahoma deputies on the horses ????
Seems they heard one of the Trans Am Trail hoodlums was in the area.
Something about----stopping up the main sewer lines in several National chain motels in Oklahoma
I kept a low profile !!!!



Being a Husqvarna owner myself---I was secretly cheering for this guy on a lone 450 Husky.
He rides out of the shop where I bought my bike----Hall's Cycle in springfield, Illinois
He was like me----------finished last !!!!




Smokin' Joe Kopp----#3
Joe is a past winner of this event.
They used to run 750 Harley's, triumphs, BSA's--I seen it all--yeh I'm that old.
Then some snot nosed kid showed up on a itty bitty 600cc rotax powered machine---the laughing stopped then he smoked everybody.
Then the next thing you know these little 450's were dominating the track----riders got piercings in their belly buttons, ear rings, and their underwear stickin' way up out of their pants------no more Harleys--they do dominate the parking lot tho.



This guy endoed his bike at high speed in the 4th turn.
I thought I was going to have to catch him for a split second
He landed almost at my feet.
There were many brutal crashes for the day-------all walked away.

Ok-------races over---I waited the usual 1 hour for all the drunks to exit.
Had the roads all to myself---ahhhhhhh it was nice and cool---couldn't be better.




I beat it too my sons house in Champaign, Illinois. Yep----he's a pretty good guy, I'm really proud of him.
He is vice president of something (can't remember his title) at Jimmy John's restaurant corporate office in Champaign.
He keeps the computers running at whiz---bang speed.
Marty had a bike when he was 3 and he was my best riding buddy untill he went off to college and got other interests.
He's a very good rider. His boss brought this brand new softail a week ago and told Marty to go pick it up at the Harley shop and break it in for him--keep it at the house and ride it.
OK---------what a deal. He won't get 3 blocks from his house and one of those cute little college girls in short shorts will magically appear on the back.
Yeah life is good for Marty. Yep--that's how ole' big dog picked up Marty's Mom. Lot's of chrome--a tattoo---a few blips of the throttle and it was true love.


I thought the new ones didn't vibrate ???????
Hell it's even got my KTM a vibratin'



Monday morning Marty was off to work.
I was in search of this lonely dirt road
Wich would hopefully lead to some breakfast and a Cafe
It did



Man it was nice out
About 70° and no humidity




My Knobbies were really getting bald--the mud worried me



I rode down one dirt road after another
Sometimes riding between some farmers field.
I found this old wooden bridge going over a railroad track




I was riding down a dirt road at the top of this hill
The road dead ended---but somebody had been going this way
Down the hill I went



The trail ended for me at these railroad tracks.
If I'd been on my KLR I'd have jumped the tracks-----------ahhhh........maybe not !!
If I'd been on my 610 Husky I'd have jumped the tracks for sure......uhhhhhhh......well......maybe not !!!
Well if I'd been 24 years old and on my old XR200 I'd have jumped those tracks for sure !!!!!

I had to turn the 950 around---I barely got that done and rode back up that hill--now that was a hoot !!




The sign should have said
"Road ends 500ft. before this sign !!!!!




After wallering around in this mud fiasco I promised to put new knobbies on when I got home !!!!!


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