Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pinball Run and my 100th Post! Pics and Video!

So this is my 100th post on my blog! I'm stoked that I've updated my blog this may times. Im glad I havent lost steam yet and I dont see it happening anytime soon. To everyone that regularly updates a blog, I really think its great and hope everyone keeps it up. 

So this is a special update about the first ever Pinball Run that we participated in. The idea was conceived by Rob Burrito of the Human Beans and Shawn Lukitsch of Blk Blk East. The idea was racing mopeds from Portland Maine to Key West, Florida in 9 days. In the beginning, everyone doubted anyone could do it or that any moped would make it. Sure mopeds have gone cross country before but in most cases it was stock mopeds going 20-30 mph with no real time restraints or certain amount of miles to ride per day.  We were pushing bikes harder and further everyday than any of the previous cross country riders. 

The East coast was chosen for the first pinball and the route was:
Miami → Key West

The main rules: 3 people can be on a team and all work on and ride 1 bike. They can switch out and rotate riders as they please. No moped can be loaded or moved by anything other than moped or the rider.  Mopeds must be true OEM mopeds by manufacturer. Read the more in-depth rules here

 Anyways lets look at the teams and what they chose to ride.

The Teams.

Team Denver: Rick Courage (Blk Blk), Josh Gill (Puddle Cutters Denver) and Derek Stahl (Blk Blk). This team was awesome and took full advantage of working together and rotating riders. The bike they brought was a Puch Cobra with E50. The engine setup was 64cc treats reed kit, 19mm phbg, Simonini pipe, and Micro HPI. They averaged around 51-53 mph while racing. 

Team Burnt Pizza: Me (Blk Blk), Thom Suzumoto (HNRZ), Wesley Kim (HNRZ), Matt Sourmilk (HNRZ) and Travas Machel (Peddy Cash). We all came on our own bikes and planned to ride the entire ride on our own bikes but as a team. The bikes we brought were My 1988 Derbi Variant all stock except for 16:16 Dellorto Sha and a Ninja pipe. Thom  2012 Tomos ST with Treats pipe, Regear, and upjet. Matt - 50cc and 70cc pug engines on a 103 with 16:16 sha and Simonini Circuit. Wes - Honda Hobbit 70cc DR and 50cc stock cylinder, stock carb, and proma circuit. Travas - E50 with 64cc Polini Cylinder and 64cc treats reed kit backup cylinder, Micro Hpi, 

Team Blk Blk East: Shawn Lukisch (Blk Blk), Matt Cornell (Blk Blk) and Andrew Grasso (Blk Blk). Another Team that all rode their own bikes. Shawn Rode a Safari with Minarelli V1, 80cc Polini, MAtt rode a Chopper Pinto with E50, 50cc refresher kit ported, 15mm Bing, and Techno Circuit. Andrew rode a Franken Derbi with 50cc Gila kit, 19mm PHBG, and Doppler Pipe.

Team Peace Worriers: Sabat (PW!), Mars (PW!) and Tyler (PW!). Sabat Rode a Peugeot 103 with DR Kit, Stock transmission, Puch coil on stock 2 coil ignition, Proma Circuit hackjob pipe, and 14:12 Sha. Mars rode a Newer Tomos St with Estoril pipe, upjet and regear. Tyler rode a Blanco with a Minarelli V1.

Team Burrito: Rob Burrito (Human Beans) and FIFE. Rob rode a Stock Puch Condor. FIFE rode a 70cc Tomos A3 with Estoril Pipe

Team Cranks: Alex Groh (Cream City Cranks) HE rode his Custom Honda Hobbit. It had watercooled 70cc Malsossi kit, MLM Side Bleed and all the bells and whistles.

Team Rando AKA Milk Crates. Puch Maxi with a Kit, not sure of anything else but he was rocking 3 BIG ASS MILKCRATES.

All these setups are not 100% correct but as well as I could remember them.

So Ill tell the tale as the pics unravel, there were a lot of spots I didnt take photos because I was racing and didnt have much time.

Day 1.
We packed up to leave Chicago and of course that took us 6 or so odd hours. We rented a van and rigged a roof rack for peds and luggage. We had 8 people and 3 dogs riding with us hahah.
                                       Otis gets a belly cut before we head out.                                   
Looks secure... 5 bikes and tons of luggage on the roof.
Cuddle or die.
Morale @ 100%
Somewhere in in New York, pit stop.
Day 2. 
Still driving.
Nap time.
We drove all night and got to Portland Maine at around 7 pm the next day. We camped in the parking lot of the Maine Moped Factory, it was to be the starting line the next day.

Day 3.
The first race day.
Portland, Maine to Providence RI. Woke up at the Maine Moped Factory and got interviewed by a few dudes. We were all pretty stoked and I for one was kind of nervous not knowing what to expect. As you can tell by our bikes we all went out not knowing what to expect. Most people left with gas cans, tools, and parts.

Travas gets his Camelback ready.
Maine Moped Factory.
Starting Line.
On the way out of town in a pack, FEELING GOOD.
Shawn looking comfy on his Safari.

At this point in the race, we formed this organic little group that all seemed to be going the same speed. (40-50mph). This was our first ever gas stop:)! as you can see, we have 5 rolling together from different teams.

We arrived in Providence to stay with Liz and Aaron from the Metal Ponies (thanks for the tent Aaron!!). The first day was long and we were glad to have made it. Alot of people DNF on the first day,including 2 of our team members. Even though they DNFed alot of them kept riding like they were still racing which was awesome. Team Denver came in first by 45 mins the first day and everyone else arrived within a few hours of that.

Metal Ponies workshop.
Day 4 Leaving Lancaster.

Not pictured is Brooklyn. The day's finish was at Second Stroke! LOVE those dudes. We had a pack of 5 + pepole because we decided it was better to stick together in NY. Riding through little towns all day and then hitting New York was hell. We had just rode 8+ hours and then when we hit the city it was super difficult trying to navigate. It got dark and half our riders didnt have headlights but we split lanes through all the taxis and made it safe.

This is what the pinball makes you feel like.

Day 5 - From Brooklyn to Lancaster, Thom and I started developing a strategy of drifting each other. The stock flatreed and stock a55 were really well matched and we used it to our advantage. We rode through some wicked thunder storms and it was great to see the bikes made it through the water. I had started to notice a certain lag with my bike and I was brainstorming what it could be. I assumed it was a fatigued Contra-spring or my variator weights were getting stuck out. It was fun blasting by Amish folk, reminded me of back home.

Tired face with Thom.
Arrived in Lancaster PA after some intense country ripping. The finish line for the day was at RobBurrito's burrito shop and it was sweeeet to eat a burrito after 9 hours of riding. 
Toni is feeling great.
Day 6 - Next stop was Shred Shed East in Richmond VA. The shop is owned and operated by Shawn in BLK BLK. The ride from Lancaster to RVA was really long, it seemed to be the longest day yet and my body was feeling it. Its a cozy shop and did us well for the night because I hid all the fans in the room we slept in, oh yes. We left RVA the next day for Wilmington NC! It was an all out race out of RVA and we all ran every red light. In the next small town over, about 10 of us split lanes all through and construction zone and ran from police, it was fun.

You earned it babe.

Day 7 -Not pictured is Wilmington NC To Savannah Georgia. My derbi Seized after being started for 5 mins right before we left. I slapped a kit on it but couldnt get it dialed in to go faster than 30mph. That wasnt cutting it on freeways and I was working together with Thom on his 45mph stock tomos. My bike wasnt broken but since I had no GPS or smart phone, I decided to take one for the team and load my bike up. I didnt want to hold Thom up, he was still making good time. I later figured out that the banjo on my carb had been clogged so the lag I felt in my bike for states and states was just it leaning out and in the end destroyed my piston. So I joined the chase and took over navigation.

Day 8 - This is us getting ready to leave Savannah for Datona Beach. 

At this point in the race, all of our team had been DNF except Thom. In the rules though you can have up to 3 people ride one bike so Travas was super ready to ride and he took over for the day on the Tomos. This was the first day the Tomos needed any maintenance, the run light had burned out and we had no replacements. So I rigged the brake light to always be on and it was fixed super easy. Also the Treats pipe had developed a crack in the header. We welded it back up and it seemed to be sealing fine. I originally put the pipe on and I made sure to mod the header and rear pipe mount to be a perfect match. The reason it cracked was because the rear mount had become loose. It's really interesting to see the things that can happen when you put 1000+ miles on a bike in a week. To rant some more on that subject.... Matt Cornhole on the BLK BLK East team was riding a Chopper Puch with a Techno Circuit pipe. He had a TON of issues with it cracking, breaking, and falling off. He welded it up at every stop we made and it kept breaking.  So say you buy a Techno Circuit or any pipe for that matter and ride to and from work 5 miles a day. Well its going to take you 200 days to hit 1000 miles on that pipe and say its got a few cracks in it. In your head you think "well it was a 80 dollar pipe and hey it lasted me like more than half a year". But to us it was a shock to see some things fail in days. But for the record, I saw every type of pipe fail, Proma, Techno, MLM, Treats, Doppler, etc. Just make sure your pipe is always tight dudes!
Such a weird diagonal crack, solved for the time being.

Rolling into Dayton.
Nat mooning Travas, he didnt notice, he was IN THE GAME BABY.
"OH hey Travas, you did the fastest day yet... YOU'RE GETTING ICED"
He was proud of rolling in at 4:20.
Shawn heads alone to Margarittaville.

Easy day of 6 hours and 20 mins of riding, time to relax.

Day 9 - Daytona Beach, FL to Miami FL. Travas rode again and it was a long day. The pipe fixed ultimately failed about 100 miles outside of Dayton. What happened was one of the studds holding the pipe in had snapped off and wasnt able to be extracted. Due to the weird pipe crack, the only other stud left was just holding a little part of the pipe that cracked off.... AKA we had a broken header with no backup pipe and had 300+ miles to go. We fashioned a pop can, gasket paper, tie down, and bungee cord for to hold the header as close to the cylinder as possible. The coast ride was hell and was all stop and go. So riders were jumping onto the highway to make up time. I devised a freeway route that would save us a ton of time. Travas was way ahead of us and was actually stopping to pay tolls, lol. Eventually about 10 miles from the day's finish line, Travas got pulled over.  Which is fine because the Tomos was the only 100% legal bike we brought. We caught up 10 mins later and the Highway Patrol officer was convinced that the plate we had on the Tomos was registered to a Lincoln towncar.... I guess in florida they dont teach officers about plate sizing. How could he even think that? We even showed him the registration but he didnt care. He ordered us to load it up. We didnt load it up and just got on side roads. We still came in second for the day and got to hang at the Conte's house. They ruled!

Pinball welcome Starflight!!
 The Conte's... They were such generous hosts! Thanks!

 TW Hansen getting footage!
Home Alone.

Alex was a bit tuckered out...

Everyone crowds around the T.V. for a second of normalcy. 

Everyone suited up for the last day ride even if they were DNF. It was only 110~ miles and we were all feeling great. Of course it was raining when we left and half of us broke down before reaching the Last Stop Saloon on the edge of town.

Really all that mattered at this time was Thom finishing the race. He was in 2nd and would have to totally break down or be broken down for 2 hours to miss out on second. So he is cruising on the 7 mile bridge and breaks down. He is no newb so he tries all the obvious stuff, gas, compression, plug, etc. He calls me up and explains the deal, all I can think is that he blew a seal. We are still 30 miles behind him and brainstorming. In the rules it states that the moped cannot be moved by any other means than moped power, this means he can be towed by a moped. As we got closer we got some news on the groupme app that Sabat had stopped and was now pushing Thom for the last 18 miles of the race! WOOOO!!! Crisis averted. What a good sport of Sabat. Rob Burrito also cruised in with them as support.
As everyone arrived at the finish line, all the stress ended. We were there to have a good time.

Team BPR came in a weird second. It's all in the pit crew.
Matt Cornhole who had been in a wreck states back, posted his forks up on the Mile 0 marker.
Team Moped Denver BlkBlk/Cutters came in 1st! Followed by BPR in 2nd and Rob Burrtio in 3rd.
We won $500 and got a hotel room and gas with the money. 8 people and 2 dogs in a hotel room was pretty funny!
End of the trip was great. We spear fished, caught lobsters, laid around, got no-seeyums (Hated those), and got rained on. While walking a mile back to the van in a tropical downpour, I thought about how it was all worth it and cant wait to do it again. Support you local pinballer! They are breaking their bikes and backs to further the moped quest of who-knows-what.

WATCH VIDEO HERE!!!! -------> Pinball Run 2013


  1. Awesome blog post, as usual. I always enjoy reading these-- keep it up, Biery!

  2. Great Pinball blog post! It was a crazy race last summer. i was glad to be a part of it, and i'm stoked for the west coast highway 101 race hopefully in 2015.