This is a letter from my friend Alx, He's been a diehard racer for the 20 years or so. Several trips to the Isle of Man TT, and recently won the 600 class at the Argentine TT. We've all lost someone, somewhere, sometime. I think this is a great idea. Who's in?
Motorcyclist Remembrance Day
As I sit at Bender’s watching Mad Max having a pint Jenny walks in and reminds me of our great friend Sean Crane’s passing, we have a shot and reminisce. Sean was a great racer and even crazier rider.
It’s 1998 and I am riding my mountain bike up 17th Street at the end of Market, a very steep hill. As I stop halfway up I hear a motorcycle coming down, the funny thing was it was at full wheelie and controlled gracefully, the rider had one hand on the throttle and the other on his chest holding a small dog in his leather jacket. Later at Zeitgeist I hear the name Sean Crane, apparently he is a badass on a bike and the brave dog is Felipe the Chihuahua. Cool.
I am at Thunder Hill it is hotter than hell and it’s a crash fest type of day. I was on my new 1999 R1, a real fun and fast bike. So here we are in an AFM Open GP Race, since the R1 was new we didn’t really know any of the competitors as I ran a FZR400 previously. I was on the second row as the green flag dropped and 6th going into turn 1. At the Cyclone (turn5-5a) a steep down hill right hand turn, the racers in front of me seem to part as if in a flower opening, then I was moving all over the place…oil, shit! One racer went down, we survived and gassed it trying to not lose the pack. I was wary of a possible slip when turn 6 came up, though no one was letting off, ruthless. One lap down and I’m warming up, looser, head down, a fast train down the front straight. We hit the Cyclone and guess what…de ja vu, another rider down, I practice my staying alive skills and we make it, wow. Seems no one spotted the oil, what now? No one is letting off so we scream up the hill to turn 9, Red Flag, whew.
There are four of us left out of the original seven, did I mention it’s hotter than hell, I need a beer! As we wait we are allowed to take our helmets off, I look to the left and see the Muzzy Raptor that always flies by me at mach speed during the second lap…he starts from the back of the grid. A helmet comes off and a big smile appears, “hi I’m Sean Crane”. We shake hands and recall what just happened, wow. So we call the turn worker over and ask if they are cleaning up the oil at the Cyclone…”What oil?” “Jesus didn’t you notice everyone crashing there”, nope. Seems there is a bike on fire in turn 15, we look and see a plume of smoke, ok then. “Well why don’t you guys look into it”, they did. I always believed cones do not belong on a race track, another rider down and the day was done. No real lap times but met a cool dude and survived to race another day.
Sean and I became great pals, he was always a pleasure to be with. His parties and feats were legendary. Many in the riding community knew him and there isn’t a day that goes by he isn’t missed. A smile goes along way to make you feel better and he smiled alot. Godspeed Sean.
As our years of riding go by we all know fellow riders who have fallen and didn’t come back. It would be great to have a Motorcyclist Remembrance Day to remind us of our pals and bring awareness to just how many have gone before us. October10th 2010 will be the first annual Motorcyclist Remembrance Day. Wear a blue armband and ride with your pals. Take a picture and send it to us at [email protected]
as I plan on having a Motorcyclist Memorial Site. Tell everyone you know! Let’s not forget our pals and have a ride for them that day. Cheers Alx