"The Imre Baka Album"

(In his own words)

I am Imre Baka and I operated the Tobacco Trail Cycle bike shop out of Rockville Maryland. It was late in life when the racing bug bit me. In 1968, I was about to turn 25. That's when I met the late Bobby Warner, I went to work at the same VW dealer he worked at, and saw his Triumph on the back of his pickup truck. I asked around about him, and was told that he has been racing for years. I found him to be friendly and outgoing, and we became friends. By that time I was operating my bike shop part time. Worked on everything from AJS's to ZÜNDAPP's, I think that covers the whole spectrum. I asked Bobby, that he should bring his Triumph over to my shop for a Tune Up. He looked at me as if I was crazy, and I don't blame him. He asked me if I would like to go with him to Elkton on Sunday, of course I did. To say that I was amazed at how he handled his Triumph on Sookie Ulmer's oily track.That would be an understatement. I thought that he was deranged, and had a death wish. I met Billy Heygster and and the late Terry Arnold there. Months earlier I sold my Harley Chopper, and now I was bitten by the racing bug. I was scared to death of a big bike, like a Triumph or a BSA. I wanted to start on something small, but Bobby told me, that would be a mistake. So I bought a wrecked Triumph, Bobby gave me some used TT pipes, and two weeks later I was falling on my butt at Elkton, Waldorf, and Elmont. Through Bobby I met a lot of great people, like Earl Myers, Wayne Cook, Gary Nixon, Gary Bunting, Billy Worthington, and others. Guys started to come to the shop, and hung around until late at night. I thought we should form a racing team, and Bobby agreed. Bobby and I were the first two members of TT CYCLE RACING TEAM from Rockville, Maryland. He in the Open Expert, and me in the Open amateur class. During the season others wanted to join us. That is how it all got started, by '69 a whole convoy was leaving from the shop on Saturday to go to Green's or Gratz. When National Capital MC gave up the track at Winchester Bobby Warner and I approached Gene Grove to see if we could rent the track,since we were not an AMA Club. Old Gene said,"You guys can have it for $500.00 bucks for 24 hours, and I don't care who you are, but you must have Insurance coverage. We put forth the idea to the team members, and everyone was in favor us putting on a race. The girls made flags, friends came to flag the corners. I arranged for insurance through Lloyds of London for $500.00 for 24 hours which had to be paid up front. The weather was kind to us on race day, we paid a $500.00 purse, and the event was a success.

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