Monday, August 8, 2011

Lodi Digger Helm Night before the Sacto Mile

I had the pleasure of attending the Digger Helm,Night before the Mile Races at the Lodi Cycle Bowl. I'm from San Diego ,500 miles to the south and don't get to Lodi too often,so it was an absolute delight to be back in what is now the Epicenter of Flat Track on the West Coast.The Lodi MC have been active for many decades and are a large group of dedicated enthusiasts who work hard and put on incredible race meetings. This one was really special because the Sacramento Mile was the next day and a huge purse was arranged by Digger Helm to get the National Number Riders to show up and try and steal it right out from under the front wheels of the Lodi Hot Shoes. And it happened. Last years National No.1 Jared Mees had to work his butt off to beat Mikey Martin from right down the street, to the checkers. What a race from a whole field of super competitive riders. But Mees got out front and did some excellent Pole Putting to keep young Martin at bay. Martin tried everything he knew but couldn't quite get it done but, what a show. Mikey's got it and it was a thrill to watch. Thanks to the whole Lodi gang,that was some fun. These shots were taken during track prep and early practice. The majority of the program is under the lights at night.
Flag stand at the T.T. Jump.
From Turn 4.Lodi is a big 1/4 Short Track. We are lucky to have Three West Coast Clubs that have similar tracks and keep Flat Track growing again. Lodi would have to be the center of it all now that Ascot is long gone. The Mt.Saint Helens MC and their fabulous Castle Rock Track in the N.W. and the SCFTA with the incredible Perris 1/4 Mile in So Cal.
The Front Straight with the Stands elevated above,looking down on the racing.
Turn 1 during Hot Laps.
The Back Straight isn't really when they start honkin' on.