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Actually, a modified dragstrip; the quarter-mile’s Armco gauntlet served as the main straight, the return road leading back to the pits formed the esses, and an impromptu chicane composed of hay bales and witch-hat pylons strategically placed on the asphalt slowed racers down before entering the quarter-mile’s grease-stained staging lanes that emptied into what we called the Tower Turn, ultimately leading back onto the main straight.

As its name suggests, that 180-degree turn looped around the dragstrip’s scorekeeper tower, which occupied its rightful place adjacent to the quarter-mile’s starting line.

We booked the tour with some trepidation because nobody we knew in Australia had previously travelled with Amber Road.

From the first day our uncertainty vanished as we knew we were in the hands of a very professional company and tour director, Aldo Valerio. From the cultural and particularly the historical perspective, brought to life by highly competent and enthusiastic local guides our small group interacted enthusiastically because of their many shared interests.

It is impossible to choose one location as a trip highlight as there was a constant stream of varied experiences and Aldo always seemed to produce some extra surprise.

His enthusiasm, sense of humour and love of Sicily gave us an insight we could not otherwise have attained.

The locations of the accommodation were well selected to allow maximum use of our spare time and the general standard of the hotels was good.

The shared restaurant meals maximised our local regional cuisine experiences and Aldo always gave appropriate suggestions for independent dining.

Not all travel companies place adequate emphasis on the importance of enjoying local cuisine; Amber Road fulfilled this aspect of the tour to our great delight.

We will certainly consider travelling with Amber Road again.

Then, as now, the AFM was considered America’s premier amateur roadrace club, and my little Suzook proved to be a worthy bike for the newbie racer that I was.

I finished second in that race, but if you scrounge a tattered issue of from that era, you’ll see that my brother Alan was credited in the race results column, not me.

I was underage and my parents were out of town, unavailable to sign the mandatory parental consent form for my AFM license.

41 Comments

  1. You call him by his real name instead of whatever nickname you were using just so your friends could remember who he is.

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