God Speed And The Adrenaline Rush
Article By: Karen Hallman Photos By: Karen Hallman & Missi Shoemaker
Originally Published In Torque Performance Volume 1 Issue 2 – Winter 2021
Read The Whole Article At The Torque Performance The Website
Over the last couple of years, I have found myself much more interested and much more able to attend some of the non-traditional motorcycle events. What I mean by that is that many folks (including myself) attend Biketoberfest and Daytona Bike Week in Florida annually but how many really venture off the Main Street looking for something else to occupy their time? This fall, I had the opportunity to attend a motorcycle event like nothing I have seen before. As a former athlete who has experienced some success at a national level, I was amazed to witness an event that unleashed the emotions of competition and pure adrenaline yearning to be awakened within my soul. That event is Billy Lane’s Sons of Speed!
Just imagine standing trackside surrounded by people on all sides chanting and cheering for their favorite rider. Their echoes ring into your ears and stimulate your senses. Your heartbeat, pulse, and body temperature elevate as you study the competition, ready to battle it out right in front of you on the half-mile oval that is the New Smyrna Speedway.
Imagine trying to contain your focus as you line up, side-by-side with your competitor, feeling the adrenaline rush through your body, igniting pure excitement. The hairs on your arms tingle, traveling down your arms and spine as you position yourself in a stance that prepares you for a face-off against your opponent on a half-mile banked wall asphalt track.
Standing in the pits of the Sons of Speed vintage race at New Smyrna Speedway was something I had not experienced up until now. There was so much happening. In between heat races, the builders, crew members, and riders bustled around the pits while the sweltering heat radiated down on them while racers like Dan Toce and crew member Steve Broyles prepared their team’s early 20th century machines for some vintage racing. The smell of hot asphalt, exhaust [race gas], and burning rubber permeated throughout the pits. The sounds of the antique single cylinder and v-twin engines rumbled through the air as the riders raced down a curved track with elevated banks on bikes that have no brakes! That’s right, no brakes! You could feel the energy from the competition surrounding you as the riders sped down a paved track neck-and-neck / side-by-side instilling trust in themselves, their crew, and their vintage machines.
As someone that grew up around recreational vehicles, dirt bikes, and motorcycles my whole life, this was a visceral event. I found myself drawn to the motorcycles in the same manner that I would be drawn to a historical event. Each one of these vintage bikes seemed to have a piece of an early-century rider that brought forth a new-century mark in the arena of competitive racing.
As I stood there watching the racers push themselves and accelerate their machines at high speeds of up to 80+ MPH along the track, the adrenaline re-awakened and rushed through every inch of my body. I could feel the hairs on my arms stand straight up (once again) and travel down my spine. Fans in the stands stood and eagerly watched the motorcycles make their way around the track. Cheers echoed from all around as the checkered flag waved while some of the best riders competed against each other. Racers like Fast Freddie, Jody Perewitz, and eBay Jake were crowd favorites. At the same time, famed rocker Riki Rachtman announced the race progress! Even Cycle Source Editor-In-Chief Chris Callen took to the track on Tom Keefers’s vintage Harley twin.
If you want to witness history in motion that leaves you with an adrenaline rush, the Sons of Speed vintage motorcycle racing just might be what you need. A true modern-history event! Vintage bikes and pure speed! What an epic experience!