© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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In spite of ambient temperatures in the 90s and a heat index
over 100 degrees, eight members of the Birmingham, Alabama media came out to
Barber Motorsports Park Friday, June 20 to get a glimpse of motorcycle road racing from
the passenger seat of Pro Superbike racer Chris Ulrich’s two-seat GEICO Honda
Ulrich’s team working in conjunction with Zoom Motorsports,
the exclusive event promoter at Barber Motorsports Park, hosted four TV
reporters, three radio personalities and a reporter from Alabama’s largest newspaper.
Ulrich’s guests included: Kyle Burger, a sports anchor/reporter for WVTM 13,
the NBC affiliate in Birmingham; Dwight Crossfield and Ashley Daniel, on-air
personalities for 95.7 FM “Jamz;” Scott Griffin, a sports anchor/reporter for
WBRC Fox 6 and the operator of his own website, www.finditbham.com; Jason Mack, an on-air
talent at 103.1 FM “The Vulcan;” Lauren Sisler, a sports anchor/reporter for
WIAT 42, the CBS affiliate in Birmingham; Jeff Speegle, the weekend sports
anchor for WBMA 33/40, the ABC affiliate in Birmingham; Cheryl Wray, a sport
reporter for the Birmingham News newspaper and al.com, the website for the
Birmingham News’ parent media company.
“It was awesome,” said Crossfield, who had never been on a
motorcycle before Friday. “There’s nothing you can do to prepare yourself for
the speed. Thank goodness for the handle, because I don’t know how else I would
have been able to hold on. I just have so much respect for the rider, because
there’s no words to explain what type of skill is needed to operate that
vehicle at these speeds. It’s just amazing.
“I’ve never seen this sport before. I’ve always wanted to.
This is actually my first time at Barber Motorsports Park period. I’m
definitely a fan now, instant fan. This is awesome.”
Crossfield and Daniel did a live radio show from Barber
Motorsports Park Friday; Mack posted video from his ride on his station's website at http://www.1031thevulcan.com/onair/jason-mack-49534/the-fastest-4-minutes-of-my-12486864/; all four TV networks covered their rides on their news
broadcasts Friday evening, including multiple segments on some stations; Griffin
also immediately posted video of his ride onto his website (http://finditbham.com/a-summer-ride-around-barbers-motorsports-park/),
and Wray posted her story and video at http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/06/whats_it_like_to_race_a_motorc.html#incart_more_sports
“It’s always a pleasure to work with the people at Zoom
Motorsports and Barber Motorsports Park,” said Ulrich. “They did a great job getting the media activated and out to the race to experience the GEICO Honda
Superbike. We had a really good turnout. We had eight riders on a very hot day.
A couple of them were repeat customers, and that goes to show how exciting
riding on the back of a Superbike is. It’s great to work with people who want
to promote the sport, and it’s great to have such enthusiastic people come out
and ride. I really enjoyed the day and look forward to giving more rides to the
media at future events.”
For over a decade, Ulrich and his team have
offered rides on two-seat racebikes to reporters, celebrities and fans to help
promote road racing events and motorcycling in general. Ulrich has given more
than 750 two-seat race bike rides since 2003.