"I see that we meet again...hmmm." - Jimi Hendrix
My, my, how can it be that the 2009 edition of Unadilla will run on the exact day that Woodstock took place 40 years ago? Each round has held its own special identity and vibe. Not that Unadilla needed any help in the vibe or history category. The home of the "Gravity Cavity" has always held its own special place in motocross history. From the majestic USGP's, to the triumphant 1987 MXdN, to the always exciting outdoor national events, Unadilla is it's own beautiful animal. There must be magic dust in the dirt in that area of upstate New York. 40 years ago, the area hosted the largest gathering of people the modern world had ever seen. Around 500,000 people showed up for three days of mud, and music. 1969 was a tumultuous time in American history and nobody had to strain for a reason to let loose. So they let loose. 40 years later, well, it ain't exactly roses and daises around here is it? So, let's all load up the cooler and head to Unadilla, shall we?
Unadilla to host round nine. What a time to reward the Hill People with what could be the most exciting 4 motos they've seen since the glory days. And on the 8th day God created Bob "Hurricane" Hannah. That was a banner that used to hang in Hill People territory. How many of you have seen footage of Bob riding Unadilla? 30 years ago he would ride wide open with his feet off the pegs, rarely hitting the same line twice. Long blond hair, kind of scrawny, but ripped up and cagy. Not much unlike the kid we'll see putting whiskey throttle to the #151. And that is just the beginning of the excitement...
Fittingly, Unadilla is going with a retro theme. We're going to see some really cool gear and all kinds of old school action on and off the track. Speaking of retro - how long has it been since we've seen Kevin Windham ride a black number plate? That would be 1996 I believe. This weekend Kevin is going to go out and play with the 250 class and see what he can do against the youth gone wild. Kevin rides Unadilla as good as anyone ever has. His 1-1 over Ricky Carmichael there cements that. How much will he have for the boys? Who cares it's awesome anyways.
The real fight is between Ryan Dungey and Christophe Pourcel. I'm going to pull out my best Larry Maiers here and hope, "that American can beat that communist!" Haha, ole Larry was cool back then. Of course Pourcel is French, and not a Communist -- only the Russians were back in Larry's day (though he appeared to think anyone who lived east of Nova Scotia was a Commie), and it's going to be scary to see what he does with the diverse Unadilla race track. His "crafty" style will be beautiful to watch. Dungey has won the last couple OA's, but the points are still tied. Four rounds to go. We could see one of them break away this weekend. And with the right set of eyes we'll be able to see a whole lot more this weekend.
The Who, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and others played music on Saturday, August 15, 1969 on land just a stone's throw from Unadilla Valley Sports Center. It won't exactly be three days of love, peace, and music this weekend. But the four motos of motocross coming our way should be pretty damn groovy.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.