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Alan Spears (Scootermeister)

Joined 2 years ago from 3rd Salton Sea T.T.

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Based on my belief that the spoken word dissipates, and the written word becomes gospel, I’ll elaborate briefly on my race credentials in the hope they’ll be preserved for posterity. It occurs to me they, together with decades of competition, lend credence to my collection of short articles entitled Scootermeister's Anthologies, a work-in-progress.

My first ride, at age 5, was a two-wheeled contrivance called a Doodle-Bug. It resembled a miniature motor-scooter and, like the current generation of constant velocity automatic scoots, had a centrifugal clutch attached to a Briggs-Stratton flat-head lawnmower engine. I rode it mostly on the neighborhood sidewalks, occasionally venturing in to the street. Never with adult supervision! This was the beginning of my fascination with two wheelers. My next ride was an LS125 Lambretta.

As an adolescent, I graduated to 50cc motorcycles. First a new Honda C110 Cub that I crashed on California Highway #189 in the San Bernardino National Forest, and later to a 50cc Tohatsu. The Tohatsu led to dirt track T.T. racing, and eventually to grand prix road racing. Thanks to my friends Jim and Dave Damron, founders of Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, CA, I acquired two factory racing Tohatsus, thus launching my road racing career. Perseverance paid off, the learning curve flattened out, and the trophy collection began. I even gleeped a ride on an ex-works Honda CR110, winning 1st Place at the Fifth Annual United States Grand Prix!

Aggressive riding, coupled with self-perceived marketing skills, landed me two factory sponsored rides – Kawasaki and Bultaco – and the trophy collection grew geometrically.

In the late sixties I rode three endurance races. Two at Willow Springs International Raceway, Rosemond, CA, and one on the scratch course at Carlsbad Raceway. I won both events at Willow, riding a factory-sponsored Kawasaki 175cc Bushwacker in a 6-hour, and a dealer-sponsored Suzuki 125cc in a 24-hour.

The 6-hour at Carlsbad was a catastrophe. Half way through the race I got center-punched at the end of the quarter-mile straightaway, sending me into the armco exploding my leathers! These enduros held a certain fascination for me because they required extraordinary stamina, and preparation of bike and mind. Crew logistics and fuel management also weighed heavily in to the equation of team racing.

A long hiatus during college and law school didn’t diminish my love of the sport. I returned to the track in the late seventies with a highly competitive Harley factory sponsored grand prix sidecar, and resumed collecting brass. During nearly four years of three-wheeling, I proudly displayed a coveted No. “1” plate in Southern California club racing, and made a respectable showing in FIM International and AMA Winston Pro events.

From 1981 until 2006 I pursued other interests. After a decades long hiatus and, at the ripe old age of sixty-two, I returned to racing. This time on motor-scooters. My as yet untested theory is that by comparison to crotch-rockets, scooters go barely fast enough to get hurt on and if, God forbid, you do come unstuck, you don’t have far to fall.

Alan Spears, Scootermeister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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