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Is the winter slow or fast this year? January is in the rearview mirror, but I can’t tell if it went fast, like the hair falling out of my head. Or slow, like my body the next day after a 10:30 pm beer league hockey game. I suppose ether direction doesn’t matter, but the main thought is that our race season is only a little over two months away. I don’t follow the news; how did the groundhog deal work out?
So, last week’s edition of the FLOOD 2.0 was a sad/negative story but has led to some positive things in life. I figured I would continue the trend with some simply funny stories from my past. I’ve been watching tons of old moto (this is an everyday thing with me), so the mind has been kicking into memory lane, and a few popped in that made me chuckle to myself. I hope you get a laugh out of them too:
The year is 1999, and it’s fall time. Moto is epic everywhere, but there are few races or ways to make money racing. I have just come off my best racing year to date, so I was high with confidence and a decent bankroll. Partying, girls, spending money, and just living my best life was about the only thing happening. My buddy Jason Thorne was our leader as far as the party life went back then. He just finished making his tack super sick, so a group of us headed to his farm to ride with the intent to rage afterward in Peterborough, Ontario. Thorny and I, plus Doug Dehaan, Brent Thur, and the final clown in this shit show, “The Finn” Marco Riikonen (I’m sure I have that spelled wrong, but he’s changed his Facebook to Marco Finn, LOL). Now, this group was not about to go out together for the first time but what ended up happening was the first and last of that calibre of insanity.
We rode all day, having a blast, the beverages began to flow, and the shit-talking ensued to a higher degree than usual. At the time, Dehaan was working for Morgan Racing setting up these Wal-Mart deals. I can’t remember the exact reason for it, but he was in town doing this work, and it gave him a reason to bring his bike and drive the Morgan Racing race van. The significance of the vehicle is relevant to the rest of this story. Before we headed to Thorny’s apartment to get all dressed up for the bar, the shit talked ended with, “Whoever is the most inebriated has to ride their bike downtown Peterborough when the bar closes.” The Peterborough bar scene is made for this idea as there is just one main street, and all the bars are located very close to one another. Can you guess who was the most waxed by the time to step up? Well, it wasn’t me, but the FINN was the victim. The plan was ready to be put into motion.
We get back to Thornys place, and we are feeling no pain. We load up the Morgan Racing van with all of us, minus the FINN. He was pushing his YZ250 down the street. Thorny wanted him to not start the bike close to his house and draw attention, so he walked it a mile or so away. Finn starts the bike and begins to head downtown, popping a wheelie, which leads to him fully looping out and skidding through the first intersection we crossed, 25-feet into this trip. We followed all of this in the van and nearly went off the road laughing so hard. He picked himself up, with a bloodied elbow, shaved down footpeg and handlebars, and a snapped clutch perch. He gets back to the window of the van and shares, “I’m hurt, boys. I don’t think I can do this.” It’s safe to say we had zero concern for him but instead gave him a friendly (bullied) nudge to get this done. He felt the heartfelt push from us and got back on the horse. The show continues.
The Yamaha is now clicking gears and heading downtown Peterborough. We lose him because he’s flying down the street. It’s a solid 2-3 minutes; we’re all discussing the real bad that could come with this and question how are we getting away with this. But in the same breath sharing how awesome the FINN is and how he is “part of the team.” Like we were some cool gang, and this was his initiation. A small amount of panic set in because where the main streets go in town splits into two one-way streets. We get to a light where we can see the other street, about 200 yards away. Imagine the sound of a two-stroke clicking gears and boom, there he goes through his light on the other street going in the opposite way. We all fire up with a “Yaaa, let’s go!!” But, not far behind him are 5 cop cars in hot pursuit. The shit (so we thought) was about to hit the fan.
If you can believe this, as we turn to chase the FINN police pursuit, we get stuck at a light for what seems like forever. We once again lost the situation. Our worry skyrockets, and now the conversation turns to, “FINN is going to jail, boys. What are we going to do? We made him do this.” We get rolling again in the direction of the mayhem. We get to a bar, and the streets are full of people cheering loud. They could tell we were with this crazy man. We also cross through what looks like a burnout smoke screen. We continue and see cop cars lurking and searching. It gets quiet for a few minutes as we start to roll back to Thorny’s area. We’re unsure where the FINN is. Did he get caught? Is he back downtown in a chase with the cops? Our minds were racing. Suddenly, a random guy is walking down the street in a hoodie. As we get closer, we realize it’s the damn FINN. We open the side door of the van. He jumps in, and all of us are in shock. “What happened?!” we all asked. He says, “Well, I got chased by the cops. I was doing a burnout in front of the bar, and they pulled up. I gassed it, lost them, and ditched the bike in the backyard of some house down the road. I laid in the grass for a few minutes, then started walking down the road looking like some drunk guy who had just left downtown. Then, you guys picked me up.” The van was completely silent for the first time in the last 20-25 minutes. We were all blown away on the night, and now how FINN evaded the cops. Once we all knew we were in the clear it was like fireworks went off in the Morgan Racing van. We had gotten away with this crazy idea and are all free and clear to share it. To be there was simply unreal.
- Black dot is where it all started.
- Red line is the push on feet and loop out.
- Dark Blue line is the initial start to the fun.
- Green line is where the cops started to chase.
- Orange dot is where the burnout took place.
- Light Blue is where we lost the cops and found the FINN.
Now, in this story, I share partying, silly decisions, and doing some illegal stuff. I do not promote that, but back then, we were just kids with not much to care about in the world. No kids, wives, rules, etc. Just living in the moment creating memories with your friends. I don’t think anybody would attempt this in today’s world (or be allowed to since bars are closed). I think of these stories, and many more like it and look at how life has changed. Again, this is not me promoting these antics, but I sure as hell cannot deny that this shit was hilarious and fun. I haven’t even mentioned the best part: EVERY BIT OF THIS IS ON VIDEO!!!!