Curse No. 26 Staff
by Staff
Loyal MO reader, mscuddy, has delivered another tale of woe worthy of the Laurel and Hardy Sad Sack of the Year Award, were there such a thing, to MO's Inbox. Once again his vintage motorcycling exploits have presented him with seemingly insurmountable grief. Yet, mscuddy troops on! His tribulations often elicit empathy and "I'm laughing at you not with you" attitudes. I'm thinking of creating a special News Topic category called "Pathetic Matt."

Now dance for me little monkey! Dance!--Pete

Every year I try to race the Adelanto Grand Prix, and every year something unbelievably bad happens right before the race that puts me out of the action. This year was no different.

After conquering insurmountable odds in my bid to race the 26th annual Adelanto Grand Prix, it was finally coming together. There it was 4:30 am Sunday morning and I'm tooling down the 210 Freeway for the 1.5-hour drive to Adelanto.

As I drove through the early morning darkness I thought about all the BS and months of preparation that went into this year's race, and every year that I've tried to ride in the cursed event. I remembered all the pain and frustration of having it blow up in my face at the last minute. But it looked like I had beaten the curse again. In fact, there might not be a curse at all. Probably just a figment of my imagination. Curse, ha. Yea right.

I'd left home about an hour earlier than usual so I could take my time getting there, procure my numbers, unload the bike, and put on my gear without the usual panic induced heart-pounding confusion. Try and relax before my appointed 7:30 am start time. Goof around a little and take some pictures.

I rolled up Interstate 15 through the last part of the Cajon pass and ejected the Iron Butterfly tape (I never thought I'd hear the words: "Iron Butterfly tape" at this point in history.--Ed.
) I'd been listening to for the last hour and decided to tune in some news on the radio for a change. Pork and soybean futures were looking up, and the Fed was thinking of raising interest rates again, bla bla bla, same old stuff.

Oh yeah, and all northbound lanes of Interstate 15 past the 138 were closed until 8 am because of a traffic accident involving a CHP officer...What! Hold on, didn't I just pass the 138 exit?

Too late...There were no more off ramps and soon I was mired in a horrible mess of grid locked cars and giant semi-trucks.

That was around 5:30 am but I still had some time left. No problem, I thought they’d get the mess cleaned up and I'd be on my way again in no time at all. But after about an hour of moving only 15 feet things started to look grim. All around me were pickup trucks with clean vintage bikes in the back, all going to the AGP. Cars were overheating; in fact some people had stopped in the emergency lane, pulled over and gone to sleep. Not a good sign. Next to me was a Chevy pickup with a Penton in the back. I rolled down the window and yelled over “Looks like the vintage race is over for us…” He just nodded and stared straight ahead.

At about 6:55 things started moving again and we finally crested the Cajon summit. That’s when the Banzai run for Adelanto started. I tucked in behind some guy in an old yellow Ford camper special with a ’79 CR250 in the back. We weaved and lurched through the maze of Kenworths and Suburbans, and finally hit the I-395. I pulled a block-pass with the help of a Saturn and made it to the senior citizen’s center first with the Ford and the Chevy in hot pursuit. We all got out of our trucks and ran into sign-up together.

That was 7:20am and time was running out. I had exactly 10 minutes to get on my gear, put on my numbers and at the same time boogie over to the parking area next to the starting line and un-load the bike. But three hours of travel time and a gallon of coffee for breakfast made a porta-can stop mandatory. Naturally it was the longest whiz I ever took, and now I had about 7 minutes left.

I jumped into the Dodge and did my best Ivan Stewart imitation down a couple dirt roads and slid into a parking place right across from the start area. The guy with the Penton was parked next to me and had just finished putting on his gear. It was now 7:28 and you could see the vintage bikes lining up at the start. I didn’t have my boots on yet, so I decided, "Screw the leathers, just get the damn boots on and get to the start line!" It’s was now 7:30 and the Penton guy had left. I was in a desperate state, throwing gear all over the place, looking for my socks, my gloves when I heard the roar. My race had started without me.

I just sat there on the tailgate for a while, dumbfounded. A boot in one hand, a sock in the other. As the cloud of exhaust smoke from the vintage class slowly wafted over me I realized that all the preparation and perspiration on Earth couldn’t change Southern California traffic. I’d been beaten again. So I continued to put on my boots, maybe ride around a little, see some of the race and check out the action. But when I rolled the bike off the ramp the rear tire was flat. Cripes.

I didn’t have any strength left to assemble my portable cigarette lighter electric air pump so I pushed the DT1 back into the truck and went over to the grandstand area. On stage, microphone in hand was Jody what’s-his-face from Motocross Action making fun of the vintage class. Like it was comic relief or something. What a jerk. I eyeballed the detent-pin that held the stage together where Mr. Weasel was broadcasting from, but couldn’t pull it out. Needed some vice grips.

Right about then some poor bastard on a ’73 CR250 did a big tank slapper right in front of the stage and Jody W almost had an orgasm “Oh my God, did you see that! Ha ha ha, that guy’s going to need a truss, what a character! Reminds me of the time I passed Joel on that off-camber in ‘71 and…”

That was all I could take. The beer stands weren’t open yet, so I decided to buy some t-shirts. Some old guy who looked like Feets Minert after a bad night of boozing had just opened his stand. He could see I was perplexed about something.

Old T Shirt Vendor guy: “What’s wrong sonny?”

Me: “I should be out there racing, but I got stuck in traffic. This happens every year. I’m bummed.”

Old T Shirt Vendor guy: “Well, there’s always next year, that’ll be fifty eight dollars.”

Me: “Gee thanks mister!”

You know what? He’s right.

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