It Was All A Dream About Tennessee

Dragon Theener

I’ve had the bike I’m riding now, my 1983 Honda GL650, since August of 2010. Her name: My Only One True Love. Ever since my dad rebuilt her for me and I bought a one-way ticket to Illinois and rode her back to Staten Island, I’ve been wanting to get down to Tennessee and explore the epic riding there. A couple weeks ago, my plan came together and I finally got to do all that. I drove over 3000 miles, got wet a lot, had a wreck, ate BBQ at every opportunity, and I would do it all over again for sure. Here are the highlights.

1. I got my shit together and left. That’s no mean feat. I always feel a little barfy the morning I leave on a big ride, and this was going to be the biggest one that I had done so farBike leaving Continue reading

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Birthday Ride To Bear Mountain!

 

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Last Saturday, on a lovely cool morning, We gathered to celebrate Miss-Fire Amanda’s birthday, and what an amazing day it was. Happy Birthday darling from all of us!

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We met at Tar Pit Cafe (owned by Miss-Fire Kerry), for early morning coffee.

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It was pretty clear right off the bat that it was going to be a magical day…

10492132_10204212004037377_2749304013105666398_nThe Birthday girl presented with a custom made gift from Miss-Fire Rachel Quinn Jewelry!

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tough guys…

10562970_10152338694449608_354921372504867898_nDirections…

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The route…

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Group photo. Ready to ride!

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Scenic Overlook from the Palisades.

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View from the chase truck.

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We made it!

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birthday cake river surprise!

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Crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge to find some much needed food and beer after a long day…

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such fun.

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Perfect sunset skyline as we return happy and tired to the big city. a perfect day in every way.

 

Corinna Mantlo

1971 Yamaha At1 125, 1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1962 Ford Ranchero, 1971 BSA Victor 250 desert sled race bike.

Harley Davidson: Project Live Wire

 

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Some of The Miss-Fires that attended the Project Live Wire unveiling party at Harley Davidson NYC. Leeft to right: Rachael, Corinna, Suzanne, Valerie, Robyn, Melissa, and Shillae.

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Recently, several members of The Miss-Fires were invited to be among the first to view and ride the first HD built prototype electric motorcycle, Project Live Wire. We attended the party at their new, show room store in Soho, where we were able to try the bike out on a stationary rig that allowed you to feel the bikes 0-60 in under 4 second potential. It was a great night of wine and discussion about the future of motorcycling with the men and women behind the concept bike. It left us all itching to get home, rest up and head back over the next day to try the bikes out on a street test ride. Here are 4 very different riders thoughts on Project Live Wire…

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Heidi Hackemer

You know how everyone is running around talking about “the future”? This watch is the future or this phone is the future or this stupid dating app is the future. I work with a lot of tech companies so I hear this shit a lot. So when this bike came around, I was definitely curious, but I also was internally rolling my eyes a bit at the “future” hype. I love Harley, but feared that the brand was buying into it’s own bullshit with this talk.

But despite my future hype jadedness, I WAS really looking forward to getting on this bike. I’m a Wisconsin native and grew up about an hour away from Harley headquarters. People from home bleed Harley. It’s religion. And when it came time to get my proper bike, even though I flirted with other makes, at the end of the day there really was no question for me. It was always going to be a Harley. I ride a 48 Sportster and I’m really in love with my bike. She’s a rumbling brute and I love being a part of the Harley gang.

So I was psyched to get on it and hoping that it was as futuristic as they were saying, as I’m always rooting for Harley to win.

I got on the night my test ride at the party and my first reaction to the bike was shock at how light it felt. I was tipping that thing pretty hard side to side and I felt like I was playing with a toy.

The next day was the test ride. I have to admit, it felt a little odd to hop on a Harley, hit the power button and essentially hear nothing. I always, regardless if I’m just going on a short trip, love that moment when I start my bike and it roars to life. It always feels like it’s time to play. So to see a touch-screen light up instead was a bit odd, but also kinda charming in a weird way.

I’m sure the other girls can evaluate the ride of the bike better as they’re way more experienced, but my short take on the specific handling is that it was really easy to manipulate and handled NYC bumps and bangs well. Also, the jump in acceleration was really nice. I felt like had I had the chance to open it up more I could have really gone.

The negatives? The braking is odd, so fast and absolute. I’m sure I would get used to how to work it, but the first time got some speed and then slowed down I felt like I was going to go over the handlebars. Missfire over! Oh my god I would have never lived that down. Ha!

I also do worry about the lack of sound. The sound that it makes is really cool – I felt like I was in Star Wars. But, as we all say, a loud bike is a safe bike and I definitely use my engine as a signal, especially in the city. This bike doesn’t have that sound and you can’t rev it to get some stupid driver or pedestrian who is texting to wake up. That worries me.

Finally, I’d love to Harley up the look a bit. I think they went more plastics in the body because the battery is heavy, but personally I’d like to be able to grunge, matte and/or blackout the bike.

My overall experience, however is this: you know when you’re going on a long ride and you get up into your high gears, sit back and get into the zone? Where you feel like you’re floating? This bike felt like that even at ten miles an hour. It feels otherworldly, like you’re on a cloud. That sense of float left such an impression on me. I wanted to ride it for an hour to see if the sensation held.

Overall, I think this is a great step forward for the brand. This bike isn’t competing with my 48 anytime soon. It’s just a different bike. And that’s totally cool.

Looking at it through my urban lens, I think there’s so much potential with this bike. I believe the charging infrastructure will exist in the cities, it’s light and easy to handle so men and women can get on board and I hope that the eventual price point gets it to mass accessibility.

When you consider that 75% of the world’s population is going to be urban by 2025, and cities are going to be crowded and difficult to transverse (check out the traffic issues in Sao Paulo or the public transport issues in Tokyo for a glimpse of that future), motorcycling seems to be a really smart transportation option of the future. And to think that Harley is making something that is environmentally friendly, city friendly, gender friendly… well, it makes this little Wisconsin girl proud.
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Melissa Diaz

I want one now! Loved riding the Harley Davidson LiveWire! The Future is here! Amazing piece of art and technology!

Just got to do some single block laps dreaming of being on the West Side Highway, but I’ll definitely take it on being allowed to ride a $200k prototype! Really crazy having no clutch and being in “drive” as soon as the motorcycle is on, even though it’s completely silent. And, letting this thing respond to put itself in neutral once you completely stop was interesting and then you just hit the throttle to take off. And, once I got to open her up, take off indeed. No problem speeding well the heck up. A caution that as soon as you let up on throttle the bike completely slows to stop, so you gotta tap the brake so others behind you know you’re stopping. Sure, one guy who rides an HD White Glide did say it sounded like he was riding a vacuum cleaner (though 5 minutes later he was really into the ride) but I seriously dig the futuristic sound and feeling like I’m borrowing one of Tom Cruise’s Oblivion or Mission Impossible Motorcycles!

I couldn’t love electric and innovation more, plus the thought of no more wars/battles guarding oil fields/rigs or depleting our planet’s natural resources. The cost of the electric for the same 100 mile charge that my monster goes with also be somewhere around a 10th of the price!

I’d like to think I may have to be first in line once this bike is released (and a full figure is dropped to make it (hopefully low) 5 figures to obtained). I’m definitely smitten!

Your turn next Ducati!

 

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Valerie Figarella (MotorGrrl)

And, a mega thanks to Megan Baldock and Harley’s COO Matt Levatich for personally inviting my staff and I to this event.  I’d also like to give props to  The Miss-Fires,  for spreading the word.  Truly this group of ladies and my staff is like no other, whom I couldn’t be prouder to ride with and who’ve already given me so many amazing experiences but today’s prototype riding lunch break will surely be one of my best ever!

The Big Buzz Electric motorcycles,  I think everyone we know has friend or knows a friend of  friend doing a prototype on electric cycles.  Zero so far has been the leader in with the most per mile per charger factor.   Harley Davidson is no cupcake when it come to R&D. From the risk with Buell to now, the electric trend.

Not letting pride and tradition get in their way to keep up with Jones’.  It’s  great to see Harley step outside it’s comfort zone from big burly loud traditional American motorcycles to  it’s counterpart:  “Project Live Wire” – a sport bike with quick braking that’s super quite (uber quite) and Star Trekky futuristic display,  their electric prototype.

HD is sure challenging it’s customers and potential customer.  Their prototype “Project Live Wire” is automatic has a  mono shock and a front floating rotor still leaves me with some questions .  Though I didn’t have the opportunity to open the throttle, I did get the  gist of its lightness, cornering, maneuverability, and quick braking power (especially upon deceleration) .   The word on the street is people( including myself) miss the loud heart pounding  rumble of a Harley.  I think it’s great to see Harley break through barriers and try different things and continue to be a force in this industry.  But I think, they need to make a loud electric bike.  I will always love and treasure our American Beauty: an old school Harley Davidson; it will never get old.

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Corinna Mantlo

I can honesty say I have no idea why I got an 8am phone call on a saturday morning from Harley Davidson in Florida, inviting me to test ride their newest creation, as i’m generally the only weirdo at a HD event on vintage british iron, and though i giggled to myself for days about the spectacle I’d make arriving for the test ride on my 1968 BSA Lightning hotrod, and having to ask where the kickstart is on this new fangled future thing, I was thrilled to have been selected and truly excited to ride the bike.

I am in complete support of the engineering pioneers building the future of motorcycles. Electric motorcycles even now, with their limited 70 mile range fill perfectly a need for fuel conserving, planet conscious commuting conveyances for over crowded urban environments, and with 74 hp and 52 lb-ft of torque, they also have amazing potential on the track if you can hack the electronically restricted top speed of 92 mph.

The test ride was done in heavy traffic in downtown manhattan. Not ideal conditions at all to really test the potential of the bike, or technical handling in tight turns, but I found it very interesting as like I said I think of these as the perfect mode of transport for urban commuters. For this application, the light and nibble feel of the bike was perfectly suited. The automatic transmission freed me up from my constant battle of up shifting and downshifting at ever stop light which can be maddening, and I immediately felt right at home with the smooth automatic acceleration and deceleration and the bikes unique sound. by the second time around the block I was having a blast. The bike leaned and turned around cars and corners and the suspension handled our NYC potholes well. The read out display and sound design make the future feel like Tron (1982) which I think is perfectly appropriate. It is a future bike. It shouldn’t look like it’s dressed up like a classic Harley, though I give props to the design team for styling the uber modern bike to have a unique look that still completely fits into the traditional HD branding.

I am honored to have been able to ride one of only 33 built and though Harley has no plans to release the bike for sale, it is a step in the right direction and it’s great to see Harley (who is no longer known as a company pushing the envelope to develop new bike technology) making strides for the rest of the industry to follow.

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Video Recap of Project Livewire

 

 

I wanna RIDE!

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It has been 25 years since I last drove a motorcycle. I felt like it is well over due, I needed to get riding once again. Being that it has been so long, I figured I would do the responsible thing and go and take a class. I started from the beginning. Even though I rode in the past, I wanted to make sure I approached this with patience and caution. I was anxious to get riding. I see all my gal pals ripping it up,having a blast as we all go out on weekend Rides and such. Being a Miss-fire would be a lot more fun if I had a motorcycle and not just my classic car. So instead of asking one of my friends to help me learn or refresh my memory, I figured I would go to the professionals. I signed up for an introduction to motorcycle. If I was starting over, why not start off with the proper know how of this powerful machine. I always feel like anything that has that much power deserves respect.
So it wasn’t the nicest day. Gloomy.. Almost rainy. I have heard that if you learn on a rainy day it may be better for you since you are learning in more difficult conditions.
I was excited! Just like a kid going to Disneyland. Again I told myself to focus and listen.
I was greeted with a big smile. I met Adam Wood.(Yowza!!) A very knowledgeable    instructor at MSS. We went into it right away. Even if I felt like I already knew some of the things we were reviewing, I knew it was important to take it all in. I know a focused rider is a smart rider.

image(So focus Lori, focus!) We started with what is the proper gear and which helmets, pants, jacket and gloves were best for riding.(Damn! my pin-up polkadot dress and flower will have to stay at home :/) Adam made us all think about what kind of rider we were going to be so we could start thinking about the proper bike for us. I couldn’t get Grease’s “cool rider” out of my head. He helped us understand why certain gears were better, not in a fashion sense but in a “how it is made” and how durable they will be in an accident scenario. You really don’t want to talk about accidents before you get on such a powerful machine, but like I said, you must respect every aspect of riding, safety and all. Being properly prepared is where I needed to start.image

After we went through the basics of getting to know a bike like what goes where we moved onto the proper way to orchestrate them all together. That is a good word to use, Orchestrate. That’s how it should all be. All the main controls working together like an orchestra. When used in the right way you will smoothly coast out of first gear and into second like a beautiful song. If used wrongly, you will most likely stall out and need to start up again.
The introduction to motorcycle truly allowed us to get to know the bike (introduction to motorcycle..ehh..it’s in the title)
We covered all the things you need to do to start and take that first ride. After spending a few hours getting to know my bike, I feel like I am more properly prepared to start my next phase – get off of the back seat and finally start riding! I am READY!!
Bitch no more!
I will keep you posted!….image    THANKS MSS !
❤ Lori Erlitz

Black Bear Bar Sunday!

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It’s that time again…Scoot on over to Black Bear Bar this Sunday to party with The Miss-Fires!

Bike curious? Not a member yet? Just want to make some new friends of the vehicular persuasion? Black Bear Bar Sunday is a perfect time to meet the ladies and community friends to talk motorbikes, classic cars, mopeds and racing over a cold beer.

Rides not required for this monthly gathering and everyone is welcome.

See you there!

 

 

 

The Shakedown Show

 

10415675_10152222944364608_8915303835415840769_nLady Jay’s

We were stoked that our good friends,  The Shakedown Show asked us to lead a pack of 40+ bikes from Brooklyn out to The Railroad Inn in Valley Stream for their first annual parking lot show. So, bright and early Saturday morning, we scooted over to Lady Jay’s for coffee and bagels.

10300707_10152222933419608_2749035841962508269_nLady Jay’s

Lady Jay’s is the home of my weekly vehicular movie night, Cine Meccanica and an organizer of The Shakedown Show. Needless to say it’s an establishment that caters to motorcyclists, but it was pretty impressive to see the turn out and to get to hang with a bunch of friends before hitting the road.

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Scottie and Jack…serious coffee motobike talk in the backyard at Lady Jay’s

10308084_10152222956089608_6328802523100598687_nThe Miss-Fires (left to right): Rachael Q, Amanda, Suzanne, Kim

Miss-Fires Suzanne led the ride on her Ducati Monster and though we ride together on the regular, it was a blast being up front with her on my vintage Beezer for the quick but fun 20 mile ride to the show.

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Miss-Fires (left to right): Corinna (me) and Kim

photo (1)Miss-Fire Melissa and her Ducati Monster

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Miss-Fires Rachael I. and Leslie were on hand in Leslie’s rad 1964 Chevy C20 pickup with her 1966 Honda Superhawk “DUMMY” in the back to showcase their custom leather goods; travel bags, gas can holsters, blanket straps, and custom Makeup and tool rolls. Can’t wait to get my custom gear!

Check out these badass moto accessories on their website DOOMED Darlings.

10359411_10152222985854608_3725459896913875315_nDOOMED Darlings (left to right) Rachael I and Leslie on their Harley Sportsters

10350639_10152222989234608_3893020467236261345_nDenim and Feathers…DOOMED Darlings (left to right) Leslie and Rachael

10307237_10152222997044608_2555169194877844131_nMiss-Fires (left to right): Kim and Suzanne

photo 1It was an amazing day of bikes and classic cars under the welcome shade of the railroad station, just opposite the home of The Shakedown Show at The Railroad Inn. Suntanned, tired and happy, we hit the road back to Brooklyn to party late into the night back at Lady Jay’s where there was cold beer and free BBQ and the Sailor Jerry airstream waiting for us. What more could you want out of a Memorial Day Sunday!

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The Miss-Fires (top row): Corinna (me), Kim, Leslie, Val, (bottom row): Nikki, Suzanne, Amanda, Rachael, Jack (friend of the Miss-Fires), Robyn…and the best photo bomber EVER.

photo 2The Shakedown Show

Huge thanks to Billy, Myles, Nikki, Devin, Railroad Inn, and Lady Jay’s for pulling off a great show and see you next year!

Corinna Mantlo

1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1971 BSA Victor 250, 1971 Yamaha AT1 125, 1962 Ford Ranchero

Get In The Van

1622837_10152059945019608_1522239630_nat Mid Carolina Speedway for practice laps

A bunch of my vintage motorcycle friends race vintage Flat Track in the AMA circuit, and I’ve wanted to try it for years. They’re a great group of guys, and every time I asked about how a beginner might get into it, the answer was always the same, ‘just get in the van.”

1901555_10152065324234608_1295608601_nThe ‘Factory Wars’ class 

This answer was always genuine and heartfelt, and I love all the guys and the sport in general for the inclusive, supportive vibe, but…as a girl it just wasn’t that easy. I don’t wear a size 11 boot or big boy leathers. I didn’t have a bike to race and I was too nervous to borrow one of the beautiful vintage bikes that the fellas race because if I broke it, I’d have felt awful…and they’d be out a race bike.

524758_10150765774306797_452777550_nMiss-Fires me (left), Erika (top) & Valerie (bottom center) and friends Beth & Renee 

Racing can be expensive if you have to buy a pair of boots, a steel shoe, leathers and get your hands on a bike…all before you know whether you are even going to like it or not, so when I heard about American Supercamp two years ago, I signed up, got in the van and headed to Delaware.

535667_10150765774556797_1920378463_nLearning the basics

Danny Walker, the man behind Supercamp provided us with full gear, a fleet of bikes that they dared us to break and best of all, hands on instruction by race legends Chris Carr, E. Bostrom, Edwards, and more. The weekend was a blast and I knew I was hooked, but it wasn’t until I met my now friend and fellow Miss-Fires member Kara, who races AMA Vintage in the Brakeless 250 class. that it started to become a real possibility.

1451585_10152059846834608_1818992037_nMiss-Fires member Kara, of Five & Dime Racing (now on MotoLady.com)

Kara and I wear the same size leathers and the same size shoe so when she told me about the first races of the season down south earlier this month, and said the same old line to me of ‘just get in the van” I think i literally jumped for joy.

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With full gear sorted,  the last piece was what bike I would ride. The deal was sealed when I met her team mechanic, and fearless leader Jeff Davis. in trade for a custom seat (which i make for a living as Via Meccanica) for the team’s 1965 BSA 250 brakeless bike, Jeff set me up with a Honda 175, lovingly referred to as The Dung Beetle.

1798871_10152059927659608_484285421_nI have a special place in my heart for ‘The Dung Beetle”

So, after 4 years, I was finally off to the races. We got in the van and drove 3 people, 3 bikes and a ton of gear down to Neeces, South Carolina. There, at the Mid Carolina Speedway, we were able to do practice laps all day on a 1/4 mile track. This was my first time ever on a track, and Kara led me around, showing me ‘the line’. I was slow and stiff but with each lap I got better, faster and more confident. I got the feel for sliding into the turns (where that size 8 steel shoe comes in handy) and started rolling on the throttle more and more. I didn’t touch the brakes once and though i’m sure my laps were slow as molasses to watch, I felt like Speed Racer.

1925155_10152064859199608_1061590697_nEarly morning at Ogelthorpe Speedway. Excited and terrified.

Next stop was Savannah, Georgia for the AMA Nationals, where Kara was scheduled to race the 250 BSA in Brakeless and I would race my first race in the 250 Hot Shoe class.

1620663_10152064835274608_1244314870_nGearing up. Not as easy as it looks.

Due to heavy rain, the races the night before were cancelled and the pits were packed with 70 classes of racers all scheduled to race in one day (about twice as many as generally scheduled). At the racers meeting, they explained that because of this, practice laps, heats and races would be shorter and that things would be rushing along all day to fit everyone in. Just my luck right? But, instead of it being chaotic and stressful, the day was simply filled with the same overwhelming camaraderie that I have always found in the Vintage motorcycle scene. I ran into long time friends from Sixth Street Racing, and made a whole batch of new friends. They were nothing but supportive not just of me, but of each other. parts were loaned, bikes were fixed, and ribbing jokes kept us all in good spirits even when ambulances had to take riders off the track throughout the day.

10013613_10152065135314608_471945085_nAt the starting line of my first race ever (2nd from the left)

Too quick to rethink this whole brilliant idea of flat track, my class was called and Kara and Jeff scurried me off to the starting line. They explained the rules, flag signals (none of which i think i heard from inside my helmet) and with big grins and a pat on the shoulder, i was off! My first real practice race…and I was SLOOOOWWW. I got lapped by everyone but didn’t care. I was confident on this much bigger 1/2 mile track and kept my line that Kara and Jeff had taught me at Mid Carolina. When I hit my last lap and slowed down to exit the track, i was greeted with nothing but cheers and hugs. no one cared i was slow, or stiff, or maybe in the way of the seasoned riders. They’d all bee there.

1982023_10152065384159608_504112490_nKara lining up on the BSA 250 Brakeless

In between my practice laps, heat and race, i got to hang out and watch Kara and the other ‘big kids’ do their thing. It is absolutely amazing to watch racers who know what the hell they’re doing slide around those corners at top speed.

1899890_10152065558009608_755597846_nWatching the Womens Class race

It was also great to see so many women race. Mostly teenagers, and all racing modern bikes. They were every level of experienced and I was excited to meet one at registration who was also about to do her first race that day. For the first time, there was even a ‘Women’s Class”. These girls rode hard with the fellas all day long and held their own to say the least, but watching all of them together on the track was definitely inspiring. In that race there was a very bad crash, and one of the girls was taken away on a stretcher (sadly we found later that she passed away). The race was paused for a few minutes while they cleared the track, and all I could think of was what must have been going through the head of the first time racer who had to go back out again after that just minutes later. But she did, and she didn’t give it any less than she had before. As Hugh Mackie of Sixth Street Racing said to me at the time, ‘its part of it. it happens to all of us sooner or later”. Its true and it’s serious but so is the feeling you get when you follow through with something you set your heart and mind to do. I may have been slow, but i did it. I pushed myself and got better each time I ran the track. I didn’t puss out and stay home. I got in the van and i loved every minute of it.

1972454_10152065595094608_850637459_nKara and Jeff of Five & Dime Racing

Kara went on to take 2nd place in her class that night (and then first several days later in Florida). Exhausted and Ecstatic, we climbed into the bleachers and drank beer in the freezing cold to watch the pros race late into the night. Chris Carr who was one of my instructors at American Supercamp was in those races, and watching him race, I realized how much had just come full circle for me on this trip. I am forever thankful for all of the people over the years who encouraged me to, and finally made me get in the van. Biggest thanks of all, of course to the amazing Speed Racer and my dear friend and fellow Miss-Fire, Kara.

Corinna Mantlo

1971 Yamaha At1 125, 1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1962 Ford Ranchero