From the Blog

Coincidences

In my Island Classic 2018 wrap-up, I mentioned Bruce Lind, (above) one of the American riders who came out from the states to race. I’ll cut and paste the excerpt so that you can read it because the reason for my doing so will soon become clear.

“POSTSCRIPT #2 There is always a “Quote of the weekend” prize awarded by me and for this year’s prize we needed to wait until late on Sunday afternoon. Team USA’s Bruce Lind’s old TZ had run pretty much flawlessly all weekend but, just as he went to go out for his last race of the weekend, it failed to fire. Time spent on the roller starters didn’t help at all and, with the field heading out on their warm-up lap, Bruce was forced to park the bike. As is so often the case in these situations, the reason became clear just a little too late. The petcock had been left on and the engine had flooded. Lorraine Crussell offered her condolences and Bruce, with typical American humour, smiled and said, “Well, sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.” Solid gold!!”

Now I had previously interviewed Bruce and you can hear the interview below. He is a true character as you will hear but the coincidence, and the reason for posting about him today is also fascinating.

On Facebook yesterday someone posted a YouTube video of the 1987 New Zealand sidecar Grand Prix. The preview said that it featured an American sidecar crew comprising Bruce Lind and Jack Hart. I twitched; surely that is too much of a coincidence. It wasn’t. I emailed Bruce last night and, sure enough, it IS him in the clip. I quote his reply..

“I’m sure I mentioned in our interview last January, that I had driven a Sidecar for six seasons. AMA USA National Championship in 1981, 1983, 1985 and runner up in 82 & 84. Big fish in a little pond!

I had already been racing Solo’s for 16 years.  Including the TZ750’s with the AMA. Got invited to attend the New Zealand International Series over Christmas.  In 84 & 85/86 The rig was a TZ750 (ne 700cc  using two TZ350G top ends)  in an English Windle chassis that was highly modified by the same local fabricator that did the mods to my ’75 TZ750 you saw in January. This video is of the final event of the 1985/86 series.   Manfield,  Pukekoe, Wanganui & Ruapuna.

The long wheel based rig with a 1000cc Suzuki in it was really hard to stay up with.  Our shorter wheel based unit wanted to lift (flip) going around the big  l/h sweepers.”

Anyway, enjoy the little video clip as shown here and listen to Bruce’s recollections of a long and colourful career racing in the good old Yew Ess of Aye!