Chasing a Passion
As far back as I can remember, motorcycles have been a part of my life.† I remember seeing pictures of me at 3 years old climbing all over my fathers motorcycles with my brother.† Anyhow, I think that is where it all began.
When I was in high school,† I wanted a Harley Davidson bike in the worst way.† The only way to acquire one, was to quit school, get a job, purchase my first bike, a HD 1971 XL 900cc Sportster.
Yeah, not the best choice I made in life but it all worked out.† I got married, had kids and sidelined my passion for the next 17 years.† After purchasing a 1999 HD Fatboy in 2001, I informed my wife I was returning to my passion and filed for divorce.† One of the hardest decisions I ever made.†
After the financial burden of the divorce, I picked up a 1979 CB 750 Honda and tried my hand at drag racing. It was kinda a disaster because the machine was just too old to compete.† I realized the only way to be competitive was to spend a lot of money, which I did not have, so my drag racing was cut short.
Two years later, my brother, who is also a motorcycle drag racing enthusiast, informed me of a good deal on a 1/4 mile bike at Maple Grove for sale. Afte purchasing a 1983 GSXR I was off and running.† The first thing was to get some guidance from a friend, Lonnie DeTurck from DRF Fabrication.† He informed me we would have to make some changes to be able to safely run this machine without consequences.† By consequences I mean without wheelie bars! So by removing the stock clutch and installing a lockup clutch, I was off to new experiences, and WOW what a thrill!
After that season with this machine, I knew what was necessary to become a contender.† That winter we lengthened the swing arm, installed some brackitry to mount some ballast over the front end and on to the next season.
2011 Dial-in Day at RMC I dominated the track, nobody was close to me.† Even though it seemed like a dream come true, I was shadowed by my fathers illness with cancer.† At this time he was loosing his 10 year battle.† Mayís opening day, due to his illness, my father missed seeing me run undefeated in two classes, Pro Mod and Unlimited.† What a day, it was one of the most gratifying days of my life.
My father was in a nursing home by Juneís event but I was able to secure a days pass and we got him to the track. I went undefeated in those classes again and dedicated this day to my dear old Dad.† That was the last time he made it to any events.† In September my Dad passed on and I miss him a lot.† However this brings us into the present.
Due to rotor cuff injuries throughout my roofing career, I was sidelined by a needed surgery.† At this time I began looking for a rider.† My first choice got us through the season and we were competitive the rest of the year, always going to the finals.† I kept my eyes open at the starting line watching and searching for my next rider.†
Introducing a girl to our pit mechanic caused a lot of controversy and he didnít agree and quit the team. I went with my gut feeling.† Carrie took us to 1st place in the Promod class, running undefeated at the Annual RMC Anniversary Bash.
Carrie then went on to race in what we call the quickest 8 for the King of the Valley title.† She finished 2nd loosing only one round all day to Rob Garcia, The King of the Valley winner.
My goal is to heal from surgery and return to my passion.† Thanks Dad, for the thrill of a lifetime.
Dean Shakespeare AKA Shakey
Thatís when I noticed Carrie Daigle.†
I knew of her, but never really observed the way she rode.† Seeing the lights she cut and her consistency, I said to myself, she is the next rider to run my bike!†
We began slowly in April of 2012 and made progress with each pass.†
Harmony Auto & Cycle Center
Dean Shakespeare AKA Shakey
Bob White AKA Whitey