When two like-minded types find themselves interested in the same game, in the same lane: competition is bound to arise. So naturally, it was no stretch of any adventuring imagination when Chopper Charlie Weisel read my book 'American Road Runner' and… was ready to race. Our definition of this chopper racing thing is a little different than most, so let us step back a moment in time and figure out what it's all about.
American Road Runner - artwork by BOMONSTER
Many years ago: in a universe far, far away in a time before social media, known as the beginning of this twenty-first century, there was a chopper race called: The Stampede. Not for the faint of heart, mind, body or soul- it was THE cross country, west to east, no holds barred, winner takes all Chopper Race. Yes, you read that correctly: 'Chopper Race.' We, the Stampede competitors, would start on the left side of this great country of ours and end on the right, without stopping. Astride our custom-built, purpose-built, and slapped together chopped skoots, we would line up and take off at the same time on the same route. It all existed and was as real as a heart attack. I write all about in my book, including the rules, definitions, and qualifications of a chopper and all the good, the bad, and ugly that took place in this now distant memory of a race.
"Let's race Bob" is one of my favorite statements from another human being. Charlie and I decided to mix it up and try something new: starting from different locations at the same time and ending at the same location. Half of our route (500 miles) would be on the same road, but the first 500 would take place on a separate road.
It all fell under the umbrella of 'Ride 1 K In A Day' brought down from one Mr. Curtis Morgan in his attempt to give riders a challenge of self, for self and against self. We took the personal challenge on our righteous chopped skoots and here is what happened…
Chopper Charlie hails from Longmont, Colorado, so he headed north the day before to the town of Salt Lake City, Utah. He got a fancy hotel room to get a few hours of sleep before leaving at 4 a.m. for his 1000 miles challenge. Personally; I slept in my own bed and decided to head 40 or so miles northwest for my hometown of Riverside California to the town of Azusa and leave at the same time which meant: 3 a.m. for me but 4 a.m. in reality because of that whole timezone thing. Charlie left on time; I left 20 minutes late after losing a bag off my rigid chop on the way to my startline. As we would both be camping at the Orygun Run when we got there, all camping gear, clothing, tools, etc. were loaded on my classic Cop Chop #27 skoot that graces the cover of my book. Charlie did it better, shipping most of that gear ahead to the nearest post office and loading the rest on his wife's skoot, as she left a few days before us to meet up at the finish line. I have an extra 3-gallon fuel cell mounted on my skoot -- he mounted a 5-gallon fuel cell leaving him having to stop less for fuel refills. I am good wearing overalls and keeping pressure off my bladder -- Charlie wore a condom catheter. My route was full of mountain passes going over the Grapevine and Donner Pass -- he chose a better, somewhat flatter, yet windy road. Spoiler alert: Chopper Charlie spanked me! All of his raw determination to beat me ultimately paid off. He took all his many past experiences, read my book to educate himself on the topic, and just fucking killed it! Breaking no rules, he did everything he could to put himself at an advantage then, kept moving forward -- twisting the throttle and hard while working through every known personal discomfort imaginable. I tip my helmet to my friend Chopper Charlie. It is his story to tell, you can read all about it in his upcoming article in Cycle Source Magazine. My tips and tricks that worked for me are all laid out in my book but did not translate well for 1000 miles as that is now - EXTREMELY APPARENT. Things are about to be moved around for this Podcaster & Cross Country Chopper Racer as there is still much for me to learn in this world. It is all a reminder that I am but one of the many that enjoy this type of competition. I hope you, the reader, have a chance to know some of the greats as I have - #stampedefamily. Charlie came in at a time of 13 hrs, 16 min, leaving me in the dust at 16 hrs, 20 min.
The future is bright for this Chopper racing version of the Ride 1 K in a Day self-challenge. Curtis Morgan is planning something unique for us chopper types, and I see a lot of friendly competition in racing to the awesome events in our moto-community. Don't forget to check out the Ride 1 K in a Day website: follow the rules of emailing him start and stop time receipts and jump on your home-built, rebuilt, or underbuilt chop. Get someone to compete against or shoot me a message; I do love a little competition. Hear all about it on my Podcast that can be found on most major streaming platforms, or on my website. Enjoy your road, my fellows.
Sincerely, Bob Marshall
Author of American Road Runner - Website / Facebook / Instagram
Photos by Curtis Morgan / @rambleonphoto