Monster Trucks and Quad Wars

We hadn’t even made it halfway to the Cape last weekend before we already had plans for the next weekend.  And I tell people we’re boring…  Luke got a call from a friend who organizes the teams of quad riders to run Quad Wars in between the Monster Truck events at most local Monster Truck shows and he needed riders.  A few more calls were made, a loaner quad had been located, and we were set to head up to Albany for Quad Wars.

Even though all of the guys racing quads are friends and carpooled to the arena (from Connecticut) they were split into two teams: New York (in the blue) and New Jersey (in red), and the story was that they hated each other.

This was hilarious as friends fake fought and I was “shoved” at one point by a New York team member because I was there with a New Jersey team member.  Everyone had fun, no one got hurt (badly) and everyone ended the show by signing autographs for the fans.  The adorable young fans were the best part of the whole weekend.  One super-psyched young fan even got his forehead signed by three New Jersey team members.

Saturday we had free time in Albany until 4:00pm so we walked around and explored the city on one of the most gorgeous days I’ve seen lately.  We joked about the apocalypse happening while we were sleeping, or perhaps a large population of zombies in Albany because the city was clean and beautiful and absolutely, completely deserted.

The city also has a strange mix of immaculate, historical buildings,

and dilapidated, deserted, and partially torn down buildings.

Several deserted blocks later, we figured out where all of Albany was — and no, it wasn’t the zombies.  It was a street fair.  The mother of all street fairs.  We were on the street, shoulder to sweaty shoulder with the crowds when I looked up and said “holy crap”.  I held the camera over my head to take this picture, and if you click here to see the picture full size, you will see that there are crowds as far as the eye can see.

We walked past vendors galore, food stands, restaurants, crafters, crazies, and at least five stages with different bands playing live music.  It was amazing.  We barely saw a quarter of it when we started to feel claustrophobic and decided to head out.

Heading back to the arena after the street air, no only did we have to wait while a Latin parade passed by, we also walked past another festival going on unrelated to the mobbed street fair.  Albany was in a celebrating mood!  And so were we, because it was time for the PIT PARTY!

The Monster Trucks and the quads were set out on the arena floor and the most adorable crowd of excited kids came in to talk to the riders, have their pictures taken, and collect autographs.  It was just too cute to see all of the kids and watch them hand their checkered flags over, wide-eyed to the quad riders, completely enthralled.  After the pit party, it was time to race.  I went up to the stands and got ready for a great show.

And not just from the quads.  Seriously, look at this — these trucks weigh 10,000 pounds.  How about his one:

The dad sitting next to us kept flinching to shield his son.  It was a small arena and even I wondered what I should do in case of emergency.  Hope was all I could come up with because seriously, what can you do when a five-foot tall tire is flying your way?  But anyhow, back to the quads…

The quad riders were fired up and riding on concrete for the second night and they pulled out all the stops.  There was sliding and tumbling, one quad with handlebars bent the wrong way, and one quad that tumbled forward and rolled over its rider.

“Surprisingly” the New York team won again on Saturday night, here is the team captain celebrating.

And here is my favorite action shot of Luke — completely unintentional but totally cool.

It was another great weekend with friends and I can’t thank Christine and Joe enough for lending Luke a quad and experiencing all of Albany with us.  You guys are the best!


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