Team Cramp 2006 Ride / Chili Cookoff

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Sorry it took so long to get this posted. I picked out a few bar photos from the hundreds I was sent! If you would like a CD of all photos let me know.


Monday, October 16, 2006 - In the immortal words of SRV, "there's floodin' down in Texas…" But not this past weekend! We really lucked out weatherwise this year. A perfect weekend for the reunion ride and party! Thanks to all who joined in the fun and made the Ninth Annual Reunion a great success!

First, special thanks to - Randy Heideman, Bill Blackburn, Paul Burnett, and Mark Watson for their generous donations for the dozer work and bar supplies; Cole, Pam, Megan and Shawn McDonough for the excellent trail prep and post-party cleanup; Mark Watson for organizing the golf outing; Terry McNally for once again donating the First Place Trophy; Ed Hixon, Mark Watson, Glyn Holland, Ron Munson, and Shannon Thompson for serving on this year's panel of judges; Anne LeMasurier for serving as this year's Secret Fashion Judge; Kirk Spencer and the rest of the Dallas MX Legends for the Team Cramp Reunion Cake; TC's own Master Bartender Mike Williams for stocking the Team Cramp Bar and for his creative libations and entertaining barwork; Jill Tinkham for her delicious JilloShotsâ and barback assistance; Brad Whitworth and Moto Extreme for sharing the new 2007 Kawasaki bikes and 4?wheeler; Dru Phelps for the delicious post-ride breakfast; all our family and friends who helped set up and clean up; and everyone for all the great food and good company!

Friday the Thirteenth dawned cool and dry and the Team Cramp Golf Team of Mark Watson, Bill Newkirk, Ed Hixon, Bill Evans, and Michael Keating enjoyed ideal weather for the golf outing. The incredible weather brought Crampers out in full force on Friday afternoon for pre-ride prep work. After some hard work on the track, we enjoyed a delicious fajita dinner on the Verandah and then relaxed around the bonfire. Later in the evening, some serious party prep took place in the meadow and all systems, including the bar, the beer, the bonfire, the Crown and the Coke, were fully tested before Saturday's Big Event.

Saturday morning came early and brought another perfect day with beautiful weather. The track was awesome and in perfect condition for a great ride. We had the privilege and the pleasure of riding with some of the greatest riders in Texas! The full Team Cramp Crew was present to throw some roost with Doughbaby's Death Row Moto Team of Kirk Spencer, Pete Bird, Steve Mulholland, Greg Mulholland, Mark Rakestraw, Kirk Dillon, and Ron King, Old Timers Paul Burnett, Buddy Byrnes, Tom Aylett, and David Lux, Flat Track Expert Randy Heideman, Ron Munson, Bob Millard, Roger Boisjolie, Rob Brandon, Dave-O Clack and the Moto Extreme Team, Shannon "Shan-Man" Thompson, Tibby Horvath, Gordon "Cuz" Niebergall, and, yes, Gary Goertzen on a refurbished Bultaco! And, as Lynn Nickerson would say, many others! What a great ride it was!!

After the ride, the organized chaos of the chili cook-off began. We had 18 entries in the competition this year and all were absolutely delicious! While the Judges complained of the lack of bribes, they nevertheless reached some tough decisions. In the Chili Category, Team Cramp's own Greg Schaefer took home the coveted First Place Trophy. Fellow Cramper, Jerry Dietsch, took 2nd place with Roger Boisjolie taking 3rd place. In the Beans Category, 1st place went to Dru Phelps, holder of many many previous awards, with 2nd place going to first-timer Frank Reaves. The Mystery Category was all over the place, causing a bit of confusion on the part of the judges, but after a few beers, the judges ultimately made a decision and awarded Desta Baldwin 1st place for her melt-in-your-mouth spicy pot roast. Leslie Holland took 2nd place with a wonderful gumbo and Jerry Dietsch (i.e., Karen Dietsch) took 3rd with a delicious potato salad. The infamous River Rats, Greg and Chad Mallett, received honorable mention for their delicious seafood gumbo.

In the hotly contested First on the Track competition, Buddy Byrnes snatched the trophy from 2004-2005 winner, Rob Brandon! Byrnes hopped out of bed and onto Hance's Moto Extreme Kawasaki while still in his boxers and hit the track early Saturday morning, slowing only to give Brandon a good roosting while busting the berms through camp. Brandon contested the award complaining that Byrnes' riding attire did not comply with TC Safety Regs. Kirk Spencer and Randy Heideman, Co-Chairs of the Team Cramp Safety Committee, duly considered Brandon's complaint but determined that (1) Rob should stop whining; (2) Buddy in his skivvies is not a pretty sight; and (3) Byrnes' boxers met the minimum safety standards for a Team Cramp ride.

In retaliation, Brandon pulled out all stops for the Best Dressed Award - long held by Buddy Byrnes - by donning his After Five "Little Black Dress" straight off the Paris runways. Brandon looked so good in the gown he had to slap off advances by Bill Blackburn, and several other amorous Crampers asked for his number. In an aside, fashion reporter Tara Niebergall noted that Rob seemed quite comfortable in the gown and wondered if it was a regular part of Rob's attire….

In the First Man Down Category, Mike Williams, Team Cramp's Official Barkeep and Master of Mixology, takes great pride in awarding this dubious honor to Shannon Thompson! In true Team Cramp form, Shannon hit the Team Cramp Bar hard and became well acquainted with Williams' close friend, Jaegermeister, as well as a myriad of other mixes from Williams' private collection. Shan Man did have some early opposition from Ron King. King, on his way from the Death Row Moto campsite on the hill above the pond, approximately 500 yards from the Team Cramp Bar, headed up the hill to see Mike Williams about a refill. About 30 minutes later, Kevin Powers, Bonfire Specialist, spotted King wandering through the campgrounds in the meadow searching unsuccessfully for the Team Cramp Bar. King apparently took a bit of a wrong turn on his trek up the hill to the Bar! Although initially in the running for the award, King concedes that he was merely lost, not down.

And new this year, in the Drama Category, first place goes to Master Thespian Randy Heideman! Sporting ripped leathers, shattered leg bone, and theatrical blood, Heideman, feigning shock and pain, was hauled past the crowd on Saturday afternoon by Bill Blackburn. A superb show by Heideman, despite the fact that no one noticed!

Sunday morning came way too soon but hard core Crampers were up early cooking breakfast on the Verandah and then hitting the trails for one last ride. As is the tradition, the rains came around noon as the last of the Crampers headed home, and Sweet Willy officially shut it down.

Bill Newkirk, Team Cramp's Official Spokesman, summed it all up nicely with a few well-chosen words:

"How much better can the reunion ride get? The great camaraderie, the fantastic bar libation creations, the "Buffet of Dirt," the blessing of great weather when everybody else in the state was miserable with rain, the chili, the breakfasts, the desserts (nice work Doughboy), the party, with a noticeable increase in civility, the "JilloShots," the history of Texas MX reviewed, the '07 KX's!, and new this year, a Team Cramp member CHILI CHAMP, the level of clean up after this craziness, the safety of all the riders, the diversity of people with MX and non backgrounds, the golf at Ravens Nest, and THE BERMS TO BUST - who else in this country gets to do this!"

Thanks for a great time with great friends! See you next year!