It was 1972, at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
I wasn’t old enough to drive. But my friend was. We all piled into his dad’s Mercedes. There was five of us total. My ‘job’ as we drove the 125 miles north to Los Angeles? Sit in the backseat, with binoculars, looking at the freeway behind us – specifically looking for California Highway Patrol : )
Why? Because we left El Cajon around 5pm, and it’s about a 3 hour drive up Highway 5 to the Los Angeles Coliseum. And we did drive. Fast. Like between 100 – 110 mph. Now that I look back, what a ridiculous site! I was in the back seat, with binoculars, looking for cops or Highway Patrol officers! I was the ‘lookout’.
We made it in time for that very first supercross. We didn’t get pulled over (like Amanda did for the 2007 Motocross of Nations : )
The race was won by Marty Tripes. At the end of the night, we all thought it was kinda’ cool though that we actually had a ‘regular’ seat to watch the entire night’s action. And they had vendors coming thru the isles selling peanuts, popcorn, hot dogs, and Cokes.
We didn’t really think that it was that different from a regular motocross. In fact, we gave no thought to that it would be anything different except that it’s another motocross. Little did any of us know what the sport of supercross would grow into in the years following.
I’m still friends with all of the guys that went to that race in 1972 – Ken (with his dad’s Mercedes), another friend named Ken, and, in fact, two more friends named John. We all rode and raced at the time – but we weren’t very good.
Ken (that drove) got married, and has a successful doctor’s office and a beautiful family. Still lives in El Cajon!
The other Ken moved to Colorado for a few years to go to college. Then he got married and moved back to … El Cajon, and has a successful real estate business and a beautiful family.
John also moved to Colorado to go to college. He moved back to …. El Cajon! He got married, has a beautiful family, and is a school teacher.
The other John met a girl from Sweden, got married, has five beautiful kids, and moved to Atlanta – he has a successful architecture consulting business there.
Me? I’m still driving up HWY 5 going to a lot of supercross races, …. but I don’t drive very fast and threw away those binoculars.