MOFO Cruise 5/10/99
MOFO Cruise 5/10/99

Article by Kelvin Dietz - republished with permission

Once again we gathered together, in the immortal words of somebody, a passel of "little shitboxes" (AKA, a "Roll of Dimes") and cruised our way to a great time on 5/10 Day, 1999.

Ms Dottie and The Smurf.  A study in contrast. Six cars left my house in Eugene at 5:40pm (5:10 never works) and we picked up a seventh at the local gas station. Our destination, Philomath, approximately 45 miles to the North, where we would meet Bluebird List members Aaron "My car got mashed by a Jeep, but now it's pretty" Suchy and Michael "What you wanna know about Datsuns?" Spreadbury.

Along the way, many an exciting thing occurred. We lost one guy who probably decided that he'd underestimated the "enthusiasm" with which we would be . . . uh . . .cruising. (No hard feelings, Roger? I though you knew!) and we almost lost another to the local highway "predator".

I was leading the pack on a windy, farm-country backroad and was stuck behind a LUV pickup doing MAYBE 60mph. Hell, he saw all the traffic on his bumper and probably had it floored. All of a sudden I notice the telltale sign of the Highway Predator. Roof lights! About the time I'd poised my foot over the middle pedal, the detector screamed full blast. There's no way I was going faster then 60, but old habits die hard. The other guys, however were closing a little faster and he blasted the whole lot of us. Unfortunately List member Sean Funk, who'd driven two hours down from Portland, was bringing up the tail. He did have plenty of time to get slowed though, and knew he wasn't going over 55mph. But Johnny Law had to bust SOMEBODY, and the rest of us had already hightailed it for the hills with a hard left. (You know those nature documentaries where the wildebeest is dragged down by the lions and all the other wildebeests stand around going, "Man, that really sucks, but hey, it wasn't ME, so let's go eat some more grass". Well, that's kinda how we felt.)

Sean and newest bill. But Sean DIDN'T get a ticket for speeding. No, that would have gone to ME, if The Man had a chance. ("Just be glad you weren't the guy in front," says Officer Bob to Sean. "He was doing 74!". Seventy-four, my ass! I was stuck behind a LUV pickup, bless his little weenie-motored heart. 60mph, tops! (He lamented, preachin' to the choir.) Still, I'm glad I didn't have to try and talk my way out of that one. Better that the last wildebeest gets eaten than the leader, no?)

No, Sean gets written up for $107 for FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE! Y'all get that? Following too close! $107 for cruising with your buds. If the cop had just given him MY ticket for doing 74 in a 55 it might have been cheaper and I probably would have felt guilty and paid the fine for him. (Yeah. Right.) For what it's worth, Sean, this is the first ticket on a MOFO 5/10 cruise. You have now joined an elite group. Gary, the only "off", Me, the only flying hood, and now Sean, the only ticket. Heck, it's almost worth it, no? Sean?

Well, as we all waited a few miles away, hoping Sean would ask directions from Officer Bob (since it seems like he's never been out of Portland) on how to get to Philomath, ("Straight that-away, kid") Jason, a friend of Sean's who'd driven down with him, started to get nervous. "I just got a ticket three weeks ago and I can't stay here. Where do I go?" I told him to head straight up the road until it "T'd" into the main highway and turn right. Keep and eye out for Michael and Aaron.

That's the last we ever saw of Jason. Probably stumbled into a water hole and was eaten by crocodiles. Who knows. He missed one hell of a cruise, though. Could be he'd already seen enough?

Whatever. Let's go eat some more grass.

Pretty soon the rest of us (five cars, now) started milling about and getting nervous and decided Sean was on his own. We headed into Philomath (straight, take a right, look for Michael and Aaron.) and found Michael and Aaron right were they were supposed to be. No sign of Sean or Jason, but what the heck, there was still lots of grass . . .

Since we had a few minute to kill, I decided to rotate my tires. Really! Before the cruise I'd moved the backs to the front and vis-a-versa and it was plain scary. (Note to self: Tires that have worn in on the back DO NOT belong on the front!) Time to put them back the other way, so Aaron and I broke out our jacks and lugs wrenches and did a quick pitstop right there. Two tires on the right, two tires on the left and 20 minutes later I was ready for the track. Then I killed it leaving the pits . . . no, just kidding. Sean DID show up during my pitstop and regaled us with his brush with the Highway Predator and his narrow escape (he did lose a bite out of the wallet, though).

So now we were eight cars strong (assuming you can call Ms Dottie, Michael's 33,333.9 mile original, on bias ply tires, near perfect, but amazingly stock, [read: slow], "strong") She kept up well, but those "howling dog" tires must have been fun. Mary's Peak, the tallest mountain in the Oregon Coast Range, was calling. Actually, the call was from the two miles of perfectly banked, 20-30mph sweepers just below the turn-off to the Peak. You've probably heard me wax eloquent about this stretch of road before, but I defy anyone to show me a better stretch of curves anywhere. Imagine 2 miles of "The Corkscrew" at Laguna. Not quiet as steep and not nearly as dangerous, but they just keep coming! Pure bliss, I tell ya. Unless, of course, you have to drive it in a 33,333.9 mile original. Missing that Turbo, Michael? Just a little?

End of the Road - 510s don't make good snowplows. Well, we all got through those turns just fine and began the ascent to the top of Mary's Peak. We've had a weird winter here in the Pacific Northwest and a friend of mine had been cross-country skiing on top of Mary's on Saturday! We were looking forward to finding snow on this hill in May. I haven't seen or heard of this in my 30 years in Oregon, so it was going to be interesting. Sure enough, we get up near the top and there it is. Snow banks. Great photo op, no? The first of many. We finally ended up stopping before we got to the top because the road was closed. Steve was going to give it a run, but he realized that a spook wasn't any better as a snowplow than it is as a possum catcher. We got some more great photos at this point and then headed back down the hill at a fairly quick pace. A quick stop at the bottom and then back into the Curves of Wonder, this time going downhill. A different set of turns this way, but still loads of fun.

A fairly slow (65ish) trip back into Corvallis for pizza and bench racing (until about 10pm) and then we all went our separate ways. Me, Steve and Aaron One (We had two of them. Sorry, Aaron II, but I knew Aaron One first) heading for Eugene, 45miles to the South, cruising at about 65mph. Unbeknownst to me, a little drama was unfolding behind. As I was passing a semi before we hit single lane road, Steve was being pulled over by one of Oregon's finest. According to the officer, Steve's Supertrapp was a bit too loud for 10pm on a Monday evening. Trying to avoid acquiring the second ticket on a MOFO cruise, Steve talked his way out of a excessive noise ticket. And out of not having the right insurance paperwork, too. Needless to say, Steve is on par with any Dimer when it comes to bullshitting.

Meanwhile, Aaron One and I (and I though Steve was there too, but . . . ) were driving through the hamlet of Monroe, Speed Trap of Benton County, when the my detector started screaming again. I was in the lead doing maybe 34 in a 30 zone. I didn't figure that would cause any problem, but the Highway Predator hadn't been sated yet. He whipped around, passed Aaron and was on me like a lion on . . . well, you get the picture. He followed me for a mile or so and then flipped on the lights. I pulled over (eventually) and he asked to see the usual stuff.

"How you doing tonight, Mr. Dietz?"

"Well, I was fine up 'til now, Officer Bob."

"The reason I pulled you over is because your license plate light seems to be burnt out and I couldn't read your plate."

("Right", I'm thinking. "You pulled me over 'cause you couldn't read my rear plate as you drove past me going the other way!? Besides, I don't HAVE a license plate light to BE burnt out, you moron.")

"Really Officer? Well I can sure fix that tomorrow. Sorry."

"You still live in Eugene?"


"Ok, drive safely"

"You betcha! Thanks man!"

And off I go. Aaron had left us both for dead at this point. Probably figuring he'd get our females or something, but I escaped the Predator.

Steve had obviously gotten back up to speed again (after thanking the Officer profusely, I'm sure.) and came upon the sleepy burg of Monroe, and got lit up AGAIN! (Speed-Trap of Benton County, I tell ya) Same cop that had pulled me over. He was going well within the speed limit so guess what he got asked about?

"Your license plate light is out, Mr Hatzantonis."

"Really, well I'll fix that as soon as I get home"

"There seem to be a lot of you guys out tonight, what the deal?"

"Well, it's a holiday, Officer. 510 day."

"Oh, well drive safely then."

"Sure. I'll do that Officer."

In case you're wondering how WE avoided tickets and Sean didn't, I have the answer. It's simple, really, and those of you who haven't figured it out will all get it eventually.

Just get older! I'm guessing that if Sean had been closer to 40 years old than to 20 he wouldn't have been chewed up and spit out for "following too close". What does the cop see? Hot, low car with shiny paint and wheels.

"A KID! Get 'em!"

When he gets to the car he sees Mr. Respectable and Son driving back from Grandmother's house. Now it's a "cool, restored old vehicle" and there's no point in citing Mr. Respectable for following too clo . . . uh . . no license plate light, is there? Of course not. Let's wait for the next KID!

And guess what? Steve is going on 40, too! I'm telling ya, it's the best way to get out of a ticket. All you guys who are over 21 need to get fake ID. Not to buy beer, obviously, but to avoid more hassles with the law.

"Hmm. You don't look 36, Mr. Funk. Oh well, drive safely."

Heh heh heh.

Later, Kelvin "Forty ain't so bad" Dietz

The Gang, from left, Aaron One, Michael, Sean, Terry, Kelvin, Aaron II, Steve, Neil, Greg, Andy