> By John Bowler
A stampede, due April 21 to 22, doesn't involve cattle, cowboys or horses. Instead, riders astride vintage 1950/1970 motorcycles will compete for prizes during a two-day event of "Observed Trials" on Saturday and a "Scramble" on Sunday.
There won't be a cow within sight of the Stampede venue adjacent to the Crooked River Ranch ball diamond just across from the Trading Post on the Ranch's lower level.
Similar events were put on in past years outside Madras by Pete Fisher and Troy Neimann for the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association.
For 2007, Fisher has joined forces with several CRR organizations: the Chamber of Commerce, Homeowner's Association and Volunteer Fire Association. The latter will receive any funds collected and left over after expenses have been paid.
Fisher moved his firm, 40-year-old Powroll Motor Performance, a motorcycle parts manufacturer, from Redmond to CRR's Commercial Loop in 2005.
He thought the fields behind his plant and adjacent to the CRR ball diamond ideally suited for such an event and started the ball rolling a year ago to make it happen.
The CRR Homeowner's Association, which owns the land, agreed to let him use it providing he stayed within agreed upon operational and safety guidelines. Offering to donate the monetary proceeds to the CRR Volunteer Fire Association assured their support and CRR Chamber executives considered it an event worth backing.
Up to 150 contestants, from throughout the West, all AHRMA members, will begin arriving Friday and will be pretty well cleared out by Monday morning. Saturday's Observed Trial will begin around 10 a.m. and last until it's over by approximately by 1 p.m.
Riders will cover eight different sections at relatively low speeds due to the curves and obstacles they will be required to negotiate while staying on their "steed" -- without putting their feet down. Their performances will be graded on how skillfully they do that.
The Sunday Scramble will start at 9 a.m. and end about 4 p.m. Similar bikes will be grouped in heats and run twice, with the prize for each class awarded to riders with the best combined scores.
Unlike modern tracks, the Steel Stampede version is on natural terrain, the kind commonly used in off-road motorcycle competition.
The track has a pedigree, as it was laid out in person by Dick Mann, Motor Cycle Hall of Fame member, two-time American Motorcycle Association Grand National Champion and double winner of the Daytona 200, the AMA version of NASCAR's Daytona 500.
He was assisted on site by former AMA Expert Randy Skiver and longtime AHRMA Northwest regional assistant coordinator Ed Parsons.
Although the Stampede is staged primarily for AHRMA member participation, spectators are encouraged and welcome. In addition to watching the two contests they can view the venerable vintage machines involved, which will be informally displayed by their owners, who will be on hand to discuss them.
Admission each day is $10 for nonresidents of the Ranch. Volunteers are needed to help run the event and will gain admission free of charge. Call Pete Fisher at 923-1290, if you are interested in being a volunteer.
More details about the Stampede are available at www.100megs free3.com/ahrmanw/index.htm. Click on "Calendar" and scroll down to "2007 Novation Lumberjack Vintage MX Series."