Sunday, October 30, 2016


On Sept. 9th, a week after I flew to Salt Lake City for the AHRMA Bonneville Vintage GP, I drove north to Calabogie.  This was the VRRA's first event at Calabogie, near Ottawa, and it was excellent.  The track is really challenging with 20 corners, many of them decreasing radius, double apex and/or blind, 3.14miles long and in excellent condition with good traction and not a single bump.  It was a lot to learn and I only got 2 laps on a bicycle Fri. afternoon.
Fri evening, I rode my '68 TC 200 Suzuki into town to get something to eat.  While I was waiting for my order to arrive, three racers who were pitted near me showed up and joined me.  Andy D'Ornellas, who is from Guyana and rides a very clean CB350 Honda, Paddy Fitzgerald, who is from Ireland and rides a Norton Atlas, and Colin Paul, who sounded American but assured me he was Canadian and who rides a RZ350 Yamaha.  They are a great bunch and represent part of what I love about Canada: it's diversity.  We had a good chance to get to know each other as the service was very slow and it was a long time until we got served.
Andy D'Ornellas' CB 350 Honda, one of my competitors in P1-350
Paddy Fitzgerald with his 750 Norton Atlas
Colin Paul heads out on his P-4 F3 Yamaha
Then, Sat. morning, the ERTT didn't want to start.  after futzing with the points for about 40 minutes, I finally got it running but had missed my one and only practice by then.  So they let me go out in 'fast' practice on my P-1 350 with all the vintage superbikes, not knowing where I was going.
I'm #71 in the VRRA
One guy showed me around for a lap, then my face shield came adrift.  We had been warned that there was a strict noise ordinance at this track and I had fitted a different megaphone and pop riveted a silencer on the back with a hanger from the frame.
I lashed on a silencer for Calabogie
 But, the pop rivets were aluminum and they broke on the 3rd lap and the muffler dragged on the track while hanging from  the frame.  I got in 1 more lap and had a vague idea where I was going.
As it turned out, no one was tested or hassled about sound.  I got some steel pop rivets from Rodger McHardy and, after dollying the end of the silencer that had dragged, replaced it and I had no further problems with it.
The silencer replaced with steel pop rivets after dollying the leading edge
When I started the bike for the P-1 350 heat, I knew right away that I had a clutch problem, but had no time to do anything about it.  By the end of the first lap it was slipping badly, but I stayed out because I needed the practice.  Back in June at Rd. Am., my shift linkage came apart while in 4th gear and I severely abused the clutch finishing the race.  After I fixed the linkage, the clutch seemed fine.  But, at Mosport, one of the friction plates delaminated and I replace it with a NOS plate and, again, it seemed fine.  I should have replaced all of the friction plates after the event, but didn't and one failed at Calabogie.  Luckily, Dick Miles had given me a whole set of used friction plates at NJMP, so I put them all in at Calabogie with the help of Gary McCaw, who wasn't racing.
So the bike worked well in the heat for the bump up class, P-2 Lightweight and I got a 3rd in the (wet)heat, definitely still learning.
This is probably from the P-2 LW heat on Sat., probably turn #16  Tim Voyer 840 leading Dave Mascioli 103 and Stan Nicholson 70 with just my helmet showing.  I got by Stan and finished 3rd. Norm Voyer photo
exiting the last turn.  When I see photos on me on the bike, I always think that I look so big and the bike so small, but it doesn't feel that way when I'm riding it.  Nev Miller photo
After Sun. practice, I geared it up and won the p-1 350 final and was 2nd to Tim Voyer's well ridden, fast CB350 in the P-2 LW.  The motor does stumble on the exits of hard cornering, which I figure has to be related to the remote float and I've tried to stabilize it and various float heights, but without success and I just ride around it.
As near as I can figure, Calabogie represents the 116th race track I've ridden on and it probably rates in the top five along with VIR north circuit, The Ridge, and Mid-Ohio (in the dry).
another view of Paddy Fitzgerald's Atlas
The flowers add a homey touch to this sidecar pit.
A nice original G-80 Matchless
A beautiful Seeley G-50 that didn't get to race because the magneto failed in practice

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