Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bonneville: Passion, Endurance and Teamwork

It's not just fuel that propels riders into the record books at Bonneville. Breaking a land speed records requires passion, endurance and teamwork. These three tenants of racing are exemplified by Paul Friebus and Team American Cycle Fabrication in this video podcast.

Paul’s family, together with Crew Chief Albert Pepe, and team members Ron Amos and Bob Berry, set a new land speed record at Bonneville this year, on a 1937 Harley Davidson Flathead.

Paul’s parents came all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to be with Paul and the crew at Bonneville Speedweek. His father, Henry Friebus, took a ride down the salt for his 83rd birthday. Henry Friebus broke the existing record in the APS-VF 1000cc class setting a new record of 137.541mph. Henry Friebus said, "We reckon that it's been riding a Harley that's kept us so fit and healthy, because we ride them everyday."

Paul Friebus is a well known engine builder and rider. Paul was born in South Africa and moved to the United States 14 years ago. He and his wife Barbara run American Cycle Fabrication, located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. American Cycle Fabrication specializes in engine building and restorations.

Paul had his first ride on a Harley Davidson motorcycle when he was 10 days old, which seems to have instilled him with a passion for riding, racing and setting land speed records. Paul has built two other vintage motors at American Cycle Fabrication that have set Land Speed records at Bonneville. A 1938 Flathead currently holds six records in the 1350cc Vintage class, and a 1950 Panhead, owned by David Pilgrim, holds six records in the 1650cc Vintage class. These records can all be found under the name "Bonneville Bobber."

Paul Friebus can be contacted by visiting the American Cycle Fabrication website, or by calling 570-752-8715.

Friday, October 03, 2008

You Know What We Did This Summer...

The sound of rain pattering against the window reminds us that summer is over – especially for those of us living in Seattle. The next few months will be punctuated with a few storms, the absence of sun, and falling temperatures. Fortunately for Girl Wonder and me, we still have a few events to cover in warmer, and presumably sunnier venues.

2008 was a great summer for us at Sure, the price of gas catapulted to over four dollars a gallon, and travel costs made our video shoots a lot more expensive to produce. The good news is that more people are riding motorcycles, lots of old Hondas and Suzukis and Yamahas buried beneath sun-bleached blue tarps have been exhumed from their dusty resting places, and our travels took us to locatons we've never been before. On the latter point, we owe a lot of our success this summer to a friendship formed with Rod Falkner, and Paul and Becca Livingston, AKA Faulkner Livingston Racing.

We’ve been busy shooting story after story, about some of the most fascinating people – some of the most motivated people— we’ve ever met. You don’t win races or realize personal goals by sitting on the couch with a remote control in your hand, and these motorcyclists make it obvious. There have been so many stories to chase, in fact, we’ve fallen behind on our production schedule. Fortunately, with the rainy season upon us, we will have an opportunity to catch up. We expect to finish the year with twenty-four shows. We are currently in post production on a truly inspiring piece about Paul Friebus of American Cycle Fabrication, his family, and several of his loyal customers who all worked hard to set some notable land speed records this year. Trust us when we say it will be worth the wait.

Girl Wonder and I are off to the Bonneville Salt Flats next week to document more great moments in motorcycling history. This may further slow some of our planned vidcast releases, so we are posting this video short that highlights a few of the great riders we’ve been privileged to meet this summer (as well as one driver). The video is by no means an inclusive list of riders we've met this summer; there have been many great riders we've done shows with, and we’ve been inspired by every one of them.