When Rog and I first met, I was green. He, with decades of riding experience already under his belt, talked to me about riding and racing. He gave me pointers on how to improve my skills. He had taken me under his motorcycling wing when I was just a pup.
In the summer of 1997, Rog introduced me to club racing as a spectator. He had a homegrown contingency program with a website called Kneedragon. He sold T-shirts and stickers and put the money into the pockets of the little guys who were duking it out on the track. He was ahead of his time then. He used to sit out there at the Bridge and broadcast club racing over the web using a cellular modem and a laptop. This was in the days when the average person on the internet hadn’t moved past ‘Welcome! You’ve got mail.’
My memories of Bridgehampton were entirely as a spectator. I remember being nervous about riding my bike through the sandy beach of a roadway into the paddock. One of my most vivid memories is being on a hill near the horseshoe with a view of the bay as the backdrop. Then there was of course, watching Penguin Racing School conducting classes. I also remember watching Donna Karan’s late husband Steve Weiss pull up with his trailer and unload his Ducati 916 and thinking ‘wow, I wish I could have one of those.’
I remember and yet, it all feels like a 1,000 years ago now. Just taking a quick tour around the web looking for information on Bridghampton, I’ve found that there are many people who have happy memories that still live on in their hearts. The Bridge was special to a lot of people. I guess I was lucky enough to experience it in it’s final hurrah. Now it is just a ghost of my past.