On the quarter-mile strips of the nation, Canadians always put on a great show.
Support your local drag racer
We occasionally get called out for not doing enough to continue Canadian Biker’s long-standing tradition of covering the national drag racing scene. In fairness to those who are doing the calling-out, we probably haven’t. But that’s not because we don’t have utmost respect for the men and women who show tremendous skill and courage on the quarter-mile strips across the country—we most certainly do. Time and again Canada’s pro and amateur drag racers have proven that they are world class, establishing sport records or even just making highly respectable showings against the deep-pocketed teams from other countries.
Of course many long-time CB readers will recall that this magazine’s founder, the legendary Len Creed, was keenly aware of the often under-rated excellence of Canadian riders, and had many friends in the drag race community. Len had as much respect for the first-time amateurs who showed up on Saturday to test themselves and their stock motorcycles against the Christmas tree, as he did for Top Fuelers with international reputations such as Ron Houniet, Ken Kent, and Dave O’Hara. For these reasons he had always insisted on regular reporting from the strip, no matter what. There’s been a real changing of the guard since then, with many of the competitors from Len’s day now having moved into retirement, into race team management, or to just cheering from the grandstands. But the action remains just as intense as ever.
The Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association has had an exceptionally busy calendar in 2014, and as the series was winding down when we went to press with this issue, there was a serious logjam at the top of several classes, including Top Fuel where Len’s old pal Al “Hi-Per” Miles of Edmonton was hanging tough in his bid to retain the crown he earned last year.
When Patrick Lambie of the CMDRA reported to us in early September, a round of rain-shortened prairie Nationals had set the stage for the 2014 season finals, scheduled to run in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Sept. 27-28.
Mr. Lambie wrote:
“Wet weather prevented the CMDRA from completing the elimination rounds of this weekend’s Blackjacks Roadhouse Prairie Nationals at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway, after Saturday’s warm dry conditions gave way to rain on Sunday. In accordance with CMDRA rules, the incomplete rounds will not be re-run at a later date, making the Season Finals in three weeks time the last opportunity for racers to accumulate points in their pursuit of championships.
“With titles in the majority of classes too close to call, front-runners and challengers will face intense pressure to put up flawless runs in the finals. “Among the 2014 championships to be awarded is the Screamin’ Eagle Pro Dragster class, where those looking to dethrone reigning title holder Al Miles and the FFR Racing team, have simply run out of time and now face a insurmountable points deficit, with Miles mathematically unreachable.
“Included in the championships that will remain undecided until the final elimination rounds of 2014 have been completed, is the BlackJacks Roadhouse Pro Mod division where despite being unbeatable during the previous two CMDRA events, Burke Forster of Fort St. John holds a narrow 27-point lead.
Meanwhile, in Pro Street, Ethan Barkley who ran a personal best quarter mile ET of 7.346 seconds in Edmonton, will need to have a perfect weekend in Medicine Hat if he wants to regain his title and add a 14th national championship to his resume.”
Results from the Prairie and Eastern Nationals, schedules, racer profiles, sponsorship opportunities, info about Race School and a whole bunch more about the world of drag racing are available on the CMDRA website: www.cmdra.com
If it’s too late to catch a round of CMDRA action this year, well, there’s always the 2015 season to think about.
AS YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY READ in ‘Letters’ this issue, Ernie Wilson of Enfield, Nova Scotia is one of Robert Smith’s biggest fans (“Virtues of the Virago”). He offers high praise for the elocution of our Vintage Motorcycles Editor and illustrates this by directing our attention to a recent editorial in which Robert made some interesting points about the otherwise humble and even banal side stand. Then, in a follow-up email, Ernie had a few ideas of his own to on improving kickstand technology. He shares them with you.
Mr. Wilson writes:
“Having your bike fall over in your buddy’s newly paved driveway on a hot day is both highly embarrassing (I know) as well as bad for friendship. Not only does it mar the finish of his new pavement it doesn’t do much for the finish on your ride either. The following is one idea that I made good use of during my riding days that I thought I might pass on to others.
“May I suggest that you trip on down to the electrical section of your local hardware store and pick up a blank cover for a four-inch octagon box?
“Slip it into your back pocket along with your wallet (after paying for it of course) and the next time you park on pavement or soft ground slip it back out and toss it down roughly where you want to plant the foot of your side stand. Lean the bike so that the stand’s foot ends up on the cover.
“Now you have a stable resting place for your bike that puts about the same pounds per square inch of pressure on the ground that a 200-pound guy might apply when he’s standing on the ball of one foot. Unless he is standing in very soft mud he won’t even leave a mark and neither will your bike.
“It is cheap, readily obtainable, effective, always handy, easy to stow and deploy, and if you want to be creative you can paint it any colour you desire or even have it chromed if chrome is your thing. After repeated uses it may take on a slight concave shape that fits your back pocket’s inner surface even better than your wallet. Very comfy. Happy parking.”
Thank you for all that Ernie Wilson. Between you and Robert, Canadian Biker has now done its bit to provide readers with in-depth coverage of the side stand issue.