Boy oh boy do I have a lot to catch you up on!
This spring has been super busy and super fun! Mike and Blake were asked to help put on Mini-GP demonstrations at four of the 9 MotoAmerica races. Mike’s responsibility was to be a liaison between MotoAmeria and the demonstration participants that Mike also was to help recruit. Blake was going to be one of the participants, which were kids between the ages of 5 & 12. (I had responsibilities too…to be Mike and Blake’s secretary and keep the driver, Mike, awake as we traveled, and Blake hydrated as he “demonstrated”.) The purpose of all of this is for MotoAmerica along with AXcess Racing, LLC to promote motorcycles to more of America, stressing you’re never too young to start riding.
So, on the road we went! In April, MotoAmerica’s first round was in Austin, TX at Circuit of the America’s. This was Blake’s favorite round just because MotoGP (the international race series) was there also. It was a long weekend, we left our house on a Monday set up Thursday and Blake and the other kids did demonstrations all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There were 160,000 people at that race! It was fun being around so many people who were excited to see some good racing! We got home in time for Blake to make it to school Tuesday morning for some standardized testing; that was a looong ride!
The next night we headed out to Road Atlanta to make Round 2 of MotoAmerica’s racing series. This time we shared our demo space with Aaron Twite who does stunt shows on motorcycles. The kids thought he was cool, especially when Aaron asked to use them in his show. Then, Roger Hayden and JD Beach, both pro riders, came up to our demo area and signed autographs and took pictures with the kids, giving the kids even greater memories of their time as a MotoAmerica “ambassador”. Blake’s favorite part was meeting the legendary Wayne Rainey; google him, he is amazing! A multi-world champion who despite life’s lemon’s has made lemonade by helping to revive MotoAmerica to a new generation! Another reason Blake really enjoyed this round was because a lot of our Herrin Compound family was there to cheer on Josh Herrin. so, we had a lot of friends to hang out with and after Josh won his race he drove up to the fence where were cheering to celebrate and show some love to his fans!
Round 3 was at New Jersey Motorsports Park. There is a a big club at that track that put on the demonstrations so there was no need for us to go. I must admit it was nice having the weekend off; we had done a lot of traveling in a short amount of time.
Round 4 was practically in our backyard, at our home track, Virginia International Raceway in Danville, VA. There was a huge group of our local friends there to watch races with and to hang out with. Mike and Blake camped every night that weekend with them. However, as many of you may or may not know I am not much of a camper so I went home every night and slept in my bed with my nice cool air
conditioner! The highlight for
Blake that weekend was that during the “Fan Walk” when MotoAmerica allows the fans to walk down the “hot pit lane” and get autographs from all of the riders, Blake sat with the AXcess Racing, LLC team and signed autographs as well. I asked if he felt like one of the pro’s signing autographs he said, “No, but I would if I could race with them.” I tell you, Blake has the racing bug bad!
Road America in Wisconsin hosted Round 5 and again another group organized that race. We didn’t participate because it was really far for us to travel.
This past weekend was Round 6 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL. It was our last round to take part in. Oh my word, it was so humid! Everyone was soaked in sweat and I felt so bad for the kids, and I guess the pros too, who had to wear their leathers in that weather. Barber wasn’t too far from the Herrin Compound so once again there were a lot of people to hang out with and even come down and cheer the “Kids @ MotoAmerica” on during their demonstrations.
I am sad this “tour” is over for us. Blake has gotten better at talking to people about his passion for motorcycles. We made new friends with the kids and their families that participated in the demonstrations. Our family had time to make lots of memories over the thousands of miles we traveled. I learned a lot more about motorcycle racing. Blake saw great sportsmanship among competitors, and our motorcycle “family” grew exponentially.
What an experience! Thank you MotoAmerica, thank you racers, and thank you to all the fans we were able to cheer alongside with. Good luck to you all on the last few races!