Unexpected Drag Race on a Saturday Ride

You know the best thing about riding a bike in the fall is the weather – it feels great, the leaves are changing and putting on a great show, and usually I run into some great new friends while I’m out on a cruise, even as an independent. Last weekend was a great version of that – I took the old Harley Sportster out and got north of the rain that was coming across South Georgia and took a ride up through Knoxville and then Sunday rolled back down through the Carolinas.

Gorgeous. Stunning. And just really fun. But the most memorable part had to be in Madisonville, Tennessee that Saturday afternoon.

Now, anybody that knows Madisonville knows it has been a speed trap forever. Four lanes coming through the town, limited access, and 35 miles per hour all the way through. Anyone who has driven that particular stretch also knows that you are very inclined to open it up as soon as you get through town – and while I was sitting on the side of the road at a gas station, I watched a young guy on a crotch rocket pull up to a stop light, rev up to 8,000 a few times, look around, and then hunker down and get ready to launch.

Neither he nor I noticed a primer black Chevy II, maybe a ’65, that was beside him.

Now, had our young crotch rocket rider opted for something bigger than a 600 cc motor, I don’t think this would be a story. But when the light turned green, lemme tell you, the guy in the Chevy dropped the clutch and unleashed something that had to be way past 400 horses and a lot of boost and absolutely smoked this guy on the bike.

Let’s go over that again. The car smoked the bike. Badly.

Now, I’m sure that we’ve all gotten shut down in something, but the idea of looking for a race and then getting outrun by something that didn’t even register as a race – that’s a bad feeling. This kid – and I’m sure he was a kid – got railroaded by the ultimate sleeper. Not a new supercar, not a ‘Vette. A primer black 50 year old Chevy with a lot of rocket fuel under it. I loved it.

I can’t condone it, but it was fun watching a real life David and Goliath beat it out for a streetlight drag race in broad daylight. No money, no talk, just mash the pedal and go. But getting nailed by a sleeper? Awesome.

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