Pacific Northwest Vintage MX Series, Final Round
September 29th, 2018
How do you define success? That’s a big question. A lot can ride on the answer. Success can provide fame and fortune, and the lack thereof anonymity and poverty. Most people will start with the numbers. That’s the easy thing to do. If someone were to call Ricky Carmichael “unsuccessful” at motocross you would laugh out loud, as would I. For a race promoter it is ALL ABOUT the numbers. If nobody shows up to your race, it won’t be much of a race.
The Pacific Northwest Vintage Motocross organization held the final round of their 2018 series at Riverdale Raceway this past Saturday. By all measures it would appear to be a success. Being able to gather hundreds of vintage mx enthusiasts, and their spectacular collection of archaic machinery, together over a six month time period at seven different locations is quite impressive.
Of course, we could expound on the numbers and dig deeper. Are they up, down, or sideways? What percentage of racers are racing in more than one class? What is the percentage of female participation, and is it increasing or decreasing? How about the age groups? How are they changing? We could analyze data until the cows come home and come to certain conclusions, conclusions that usually support our hypothesis.
But I submit that we need to take a different approach here. Was the 2018 PNW Vintage MX Series a success? Here are the criteria I would examine:
- New Friends
I have been to many motocross races. Thursday Night MX at PIR, for example. I don’t recall making any new friends there, although you’d think I would while waiting in line for 15 minutes for a corn dog. Fortunately, I cannot say the same for the Vintage MX series. Remember that scene from “Tombstone” where Kurt Russell says to Val Kilmer “I have lots of friends”? And then Doc Holiday says back to Wyatt Earp “Well, I don’t”. Well, that’s me, Doc, not Wyatt. However, I have made more friends just going to a few vintage races, let alone racing in them, than I could have possibly imagined. And EVERYBODY is so nice.
- Smiles Per Minute
We all know that racing is supposed to be FUN. Unless maybe it is your job. But even then, every time I ever saw Magoo, Schultz, Zahrt, or Pomeroy it sure seemed like they were having a good time to me. And, as they say, if it’s not fun you must be doing it wrong. I had way, way, WAY too much fun at this event. I was unprepared for the sudden rush of joy and satisfaction.
- Selfless Acts of Kindness
If you ever read a story that starts with “In the cut-throat, ultra-competitive world of Vintage Motocross…” you can rest assured that the author is a moron and has no idea what he/she is talking about. I either observed or was a recipient of some very nice acts of kindness by total strangers. So what is the source of all this goodwill and kindness? Is it Amway, or some religious “cult”? No. Perhaps it is contagious. Yes, I am sure it is. And I DO think it is a cult. The Cult of Vintage MX. I am glad to say that I am all in and hope to earn my status as a member in good standing very soon.
If you add it all up, I would have to say that this series was an enormous success. Since I am so new, it would be hard for me to really know all the names to thank for making all this happen. But better than words of thanks, let me say that I hope to contribute A LOT to the community in the future and get involved in growing the sport.
So now we’re back to numbers. How should the club grow? It is much more than just about adding more bodies, at least to me. It is about adding the RIGHT people. People who would rather come in second than knock down a fellow racer. People who would offer you anything they had with them if you needed it, even their bike, as long as you brought it back. People who will offer support, a smile, and cheers to the slowest racer in the slowest race not because they “should”, but because that’s just the kind of people they are. And THOSE are the kind of numbers I can really get behind!