Triangle M/C, in Harpster, is one of those small Ohio clubs that takes flat track right down to its grassroots beginning. The half-mile is clay (making it an anomaly among Buckeye half miles). The club plans to eventually bank the currently-flat turns, and add a pea gravel surface. However, for now, it's a favorite of cushion-raised riders who want to try honing their skills on clay.
Track prep is often a struggle, and there are times when the track can get slick and dusty. However, there are always plenty of dedicated and talented riders who are willing to take the challenge. The fact that the track has a wide flat runoff of grass around it, instead of the fences and walls we've come to expect at half miles, is a big bonus.
Inside the half mile is a short track, and a lengthy motocross/harescrambles course sits in the opposite field. At one end of the half mile, there is a pond. When it isn't being used for winter ice racing, it's a great spot for reeling in catfish after a day of racing.
Camping spots are plentiful, and the clubhouse (furnished from an older trailer) contains games, a stocked kitchen, a stereo, and a big TV (with PLENTY of racing videos).
After-race activities might include anything from a turkey shoot to a bonfire, with plenty of late-night benchracing for all skill levels.
I can't express how happy we were to see our buddy, Red, back at the track (albeit as a spectator), this weekend. Red is one of the sweetest, most soft-spoken guys, ever. Last year, he took an awful spill. I knew he had fractured his leg, and the bleeding from one ear had us pretty sure he had a concussion. What I was UNAWARE of, however, was a fracture to his C3 vertebrate. It left one of his arms paralyzed for about three months.
He had cut off most of his long hair, but there was no mistaking that great smile when he walked into the pits. I have no doubt that he'll be back on two wheels, before the season ends.
I spent a good deal of the first day talking to these folks.
They put out a free magazine, called "Road Hawk." The magazine, which is handed out in bike shops and biker hangouts throughout Kentucky, West Virginia, and Southern Ohio, has decided to include flat track-related articles! This one was about getting children involved in riding/racing.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate them for opening the doors and expanding or sport's exposure.
We spent a lot of time, this weekend, with Dylan Hodge and his Dad (Bryan). The duo... half of the Skull & Crossbones Racing Team... were gracious hosts, and kept us supplied with food drinks, shade, and (best of all) GREAT conversation, all weekend.
We first met Dylan last year, and we were amazed at how much he has honed and developed his racing style in such a short period. Quiet, polite, and EXTREMELY well-mannered, this young man has definitely won over a couple of Chewvillian fans.
Speaking of improved style and skill, how about that Ian Wolfe? This kid has come a LONG way in a short time! He only has a few years left until he enters the Pro circuit. Keep your eyes on him, folks.
The team of Mike Farmer and Paul Lyons are well known for their somewhat unusual travelling companions, Gus and Molly (this is Gus, with Chew). However, their affinity for Pit Pigs didn't stop them from dishing out some INCREDIBLE pulled pork sandwiches for everyone, after the first day! WHY didn't we bring our Carver's BBQ sauce???
They also played campfire host to a bunch of us, the first night. Lots of laughter, great racing stories, and some early-season speculation... talk about good times!!!
One of the guys we had the pleasure of visiting with, more, was Kirt Emerick. Kirt is not your typical flat tracker. He's a big guy. A bouncer, stuntman, and cage fighter, Kirt weighs in at over 300 pounds... and STILL FLIES. Not only that, he has one of the greatest senses of humor, ever. We are STILL laughing about one of his campfire stories!!!!
If you've never met this #37, PLEASE take the opportunity to do so... you WON'T regret it.
Two of our surprise appearance were those of Justin Zeigler (who FINALLY got his Expert plates, I hear) and Jamison Minor (who wowed fans by taking his first Pro GNC podium at the Springfield Mile, the previous week).