Sidecar racing

When he was very young, Warren Ryan had a re-occurring dream.

He remembered, "I used to dream about Bonneville. Back in 1948 I liked to ride my bicycle all around Burbank and when I'd see the "Speed Week" promotion pictures in the store windows - I was hooked."

Little did he know that someday he would hold the world's sidecar passenger speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Twenty-six years ago he met up with motorcycle racer Bob Bakker and Bob made that dream come true. Bakker built a really fast motorcycle sidecar with a 1,000 cc Kawasaki motor. He drove it at Bonneville, with Ryan alongside him. Back in 1988 they clocked their two-way average at 152 mph, a record that still holds today.

On Aug. 11, there was a "Super Cycle" weekend of racing at the Reno-Fernley Raceway. My husband and I spent the weekend there with Ryan and Bakker and it was great. Norbert has a long history in racing sidecars and he even earned the No. 1 plate in Southern California for sidehack racing, so you can see why he was so enthusiastic about this race. Bakker was the race director for the Super Side America Championship series. It was very exciting to watch two people on one three-wheeled motorcycle as it sped around the track at 160 mph with 180 horsepower. Oh, how those motorcycles roared.

The "monkey" (passenger) has to move his (or her) weight to compensate for each turn. The two racers must trust each other and work in unison, with a dash of sheer nerve. Ryan and Bakker have been racing sidecars together for 26 years and you can bet they've become very good, trust worthy friends. What's hard to believe is that I was Norbert's "monkey" before he turned pro.

n Spaghetti dinner/cance: Shine up your dancing boots - it's almost party time. Come on down and meet your neighbors at the corner of Fish Springs Road and Myers Drive. The Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating its 25th anniversary of service to the community. There'll be a scrumptious spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings including gourmet garlic green beans and your choice of delicious desserts, and also lots of auction and raffle prizes. If you're a newcomer to the area, this will be a good time to experience the down-home flavor of the Fish Springs community. The exciting Buffalo Country band will be playing their boot-stompin' country-rock music.

Should the time come when you need to call 911 for a medical emergency, accident or fire, and you live in the Fish Springs, East Valley or Pine Nut area, our Fish Springs volunteer firefighters and EMTs would be the first responders to your emergency situation. These folks are your neighbors and friends and they have spent many, many hours in specialized fire and EMS training. They will be there to help you. Please support them now at this only fundraiser of the year.

We would really appreciate any donations of desserts, like cookies, cupcakes, brownies or maybe even a pie. We know there are lots of great cooks around here and we hope to see you on Saturday, Sept. 9. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. and continues until midnight. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for kids under 12. Information, 782-2598.

n Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.


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