I was lucky enough to go to Unadilla for the 1992 250 USGP MX. It was a very special time in motocross. The top European World Championship riders would come over for the American round of the World Motocross Championship Series.
The track itself – it is the world famous Unadilla circuit – the hills …. the loamy dirt ….. the lush green grass, the track’s storied history … it felt great to be there. Always!
When I got the track on Saturday morning, it felt like I was going to motocross heaven. I picked up my credential for the weekend. Then I started videotaping right away – all the top riders in the world, as their rear tires started to dig up the green grass, exposing some of the best looking dirt for racing on a dirt bike.
That evening, as Saturday’s practice sessions were over, I ran into a group of guys (five of them) from Boston that had traveled to NY for the race. They were fans. Hard core fans!
We talked for a while, … they told me they were on a budget … and asked if they could sleep on the floor of my hotel room. I thought since they were honest enough to tell the truth and ask about sleeping somewhere, and also seemed like a nice group of guys, I said ‘Yes’.
We all went out to dinner, talked about moto – it was all good.
One guy was really interested in looking at my credential when we got back to the hotel in Utica, New York – about 35 minutes away from the track. As as matter of fact – he keep asking to look at it – a lot. I didn’t think much of it.
The next morning we all left my room early to get to the track. They went their way. I went my way. Nice meeting you. Maybe see you at the races!
I get to the track, park my car, start walking towards the track, and I see one of my new ‘friends’ from Boston. He says ‘Hey, come look at this!’
He’s got a photo credential! Wow – good for him!
Then he tells me: He looked at my credential all night. He then went to an arts & crafts store, bought all kinds of different colored paper, scissors, glue, plastic, colored pens …. and he had made his own credential! I was shocked! I told him to trash it. He said ‘No way. I made ’em for me and all my friends’. I told him he violated my trust, and I didn’t want to have anything to do with him or his friends any more. Period.
Practice was starting, and it’s what I lived for at the time – being at an outdoor motocross, and in this case, one of the best motocross tracks in the world. I left, heading out to do my job.
Well, around 11:45am, as practice and timed training was winding down, I decided to walk back to my car, get some water out of my cooler ….. and what did I see? My five ‘friends’ from Boston. Surrounded by the deputies and police that work there. And my five friends were in a group. Handcuffed. All together. And as I watched, they were getting a free ride to jail too. They were being arrested – for having forged and fabricated credentials into the race! Awesome!
The moral of my story? Do stupid things, pay the consequences. Don’t do stupid things!