Verploegen Racing (2002-2004)


I don't feel that I found racing as much as I feel that the racetrack found me.  The vessel it chose for me was a 1990 Honda VTR 250.  I rode it on the street for a month and was never comfortable with street riding.  Then I found a riding school that happened to be on a racetrack.  That day changed my life forever.


A motorcycle?




Passing Matt Lapham on the outside. (Photo by Speedy Pete)

Weekend 1
The build-up
Race School
First Race
New Bike
First 600 Race  
  First Crash

I love machines in a way that few understand.  I believe that the only way to truly appreciate a machine is to use it at the limits, and the only reasonable place to do this is on a racetrack.  That day at Grattan on the 250, I found my place.  Most that day told me I was a natural at riding a bike, but I'm starting to believe that the bike had little to do with it.  I had never ridden a street bike until a month before, and after that day, I never rode another mile on city streets.  A connection was made on the racetrack, and motorcycles allowed me to taste real racing for two years (racing on four wheels is far more than twice the cost).  A taste was enough to give me a true appreciation of a world I cannot afford in many ways.  It's a tremendous time and financial investment that can be as intense as rubbing tires with another bike while leaned over at 100 mph.  (That statement is approximately 75% true, which is another thing I learned about racing, ALL RACERS EXAGGERATE THEIR EXPERIENCES!)

With better than average skill, my budget allowed me to be mediocre at best.  Now all I can afford is to spend time on racetracks with a variety of vehicles, trying to figure out something that no one really understands.  It is as addictive a thing as about anything I can think of, and I walk a thin line between reality, and complete irresponsibility.  But it's one of the most intense hobbies I have ever experienced, and I will forever feel blessed to have been able to participate in it on any level.

The stories above are accounts written as much for myself as anyone, as I knew I had to document the experiences so that they would not be forgotten, (or later exaggerated!)  Enjoy!


Check out some of my other projects at TeamVerploegen.com

A closer look at the bike.

A sweet art print from sliderphoto