*Life is Strange
*The Hellraisers Ball
by Juan Cheena
World Trials Come to Duluth
Minnesota will be in the world spotlight this June 1-2 as Spirit Mountain in Duluth hosts the 9th & 10th round of the World Championship Observed Trials of the FIM, Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (the global motorcycle competition sanctioning body). Roughly 40 competitors from Europe, Japan and North America will be coming to Duluth to take part in the first world round Observed Trials to take place in Minnesota. Spirit Mountain with its craggy rocks and waterfalls has gained the respect and admiration of US trials riders who used it in 1998 and 2000 for a stop in the US Trials Championship and twice voted it the best trials site. For those of you unfamiliar with observed trials it is the ultimate test of fineness and control as riders try to negotiate their bikes over, through and across a variety of obstacles including logs, rocks, cliffs, streams and ledges without putting a foot down or crashing. The beauty of the sport for fans is that you can be mere feet from the competitors as they go through each section. Also instead of being confined to one area of the competition you move from section to section at will allowing you to follow a favorite rider or simply take in all areas of the trials. The gates will open both days at 8 am with the trials to begin at 11 am on Saturday and 10:30 am Sunday. Tickets are available in advance for $20 for one day or $30 for both. For more information and direction go to www.worldroundusa.com and for more information on observed trials in general go to www.trials.net.
The reigning 250cc Supercross champ, Ricky Carmicheal took his third victory of the season at the Metrodome during the 7th round of Supercross Feb. 16th. Chad Reed took his second career win in the 125cc class. The win by Carmicheal narrows the gap between him and series point leader David Vuillemin. Look for a full report of the race in the next issue of MMM.
Life is Strange
From our big wacky world file comes these three stories: First, Mexico City has begun a new campaign to help drivers deal with the huge traffic problem on the streets of the capital city. They have hired a troupe of mimes that will team with four special traffic officers to perform street theater sketches that will encourage better driving. They will be stationed at the cities most dangerous intersections and their routine will include such favorites as “Buckle up”, “Put down that cell phone”, “Obey all traffic laws” and my favorite “Hey, why are you trying to hit me with your car?” This latest move by Mexican officials was in response to it’s last failed traffic control measure, re-assigning all citation writing from Mexico City’s 900 traffic cops to 64 female officers that officials felt would be less likely to accept bribes. Since that move in 1999 traffic problems have soared.
Second, as reported by Reuters news service a Finnish motorcyclist, Anssi Vanjoki, has been hit with what is undoubtedly the world’s largest fine for speeding. Vanjoki was clocked going 75 kph in 50 kph zone in the city of Helsinki (essentially the equivalent of doing 45 mph in a 30 mph). His fine for this flagrant disrespect for the law was equivalent to $103,638 US dollars. Why so much? In the European “utopia” that is Finland your fine for speeding is determined by the level of your salary. Vanjoki happened to be a high-level executive for the Nokia and therefore the fine was set to the “level of his means”. Vanjoki has refused to discuss the incident. But I imagine Vanjoki will declare himself unemployed if ever stopped for speeding again.
Finally, a Belgian undertaker, Rene Wiegman, has a new service to take the deceased for one last ride. Wiegman has developed a hearse per se out of a Harley Electra-Glide that has a special platform for the coffin on a sidecar outrigger. According to Wiegman the last ride service has become extremely popular with local bikers and in his words, “It’s the most beautiful service I know.” We at MMM would like to see the addition of a sportbike funeral where a special coffin trailer is towed around the decease’s favorite racetrack by possibly a YZF-R1 or RC-51.
The Hellsraisers Ball
Life sometimes imitates movies. In Plainview, New York 60 people were taken in to custody after a large fight broke out at a motorcycle and tattoo expo called, ironically enough, “The Hellraiser Ball”. Four people were shot, one fatally, and others injured when the fight erupted between rival gangs, the Hell’s Angels and the Pagans. Apparently, the fight started when 100 Pagans arrived at the expo which was sponsored by the Long Island chapter of the Hell’s Angels. Among the items confiscated by the police from the combatants were numerous knives, baseball bats and even an Uzi submachine gun. Police officials stated that the event was under surveillance but was not expected to be violent.