They rolled in, the faithful, the hopeful, in singles, doubles and in droves from all corners of the country. Washington, Toronto, New Orleans, Calgary, New York City, Cleveland, Milwaukee and points between. By Friday activities were in full swing-tuning motors, changing gearing, checking equipment and spares-yea, you guessed it, the 1935 National Jack Pine was on. Part of the thrill of this contest is the excitement in preparing for it. It is the show-off of what progress the alley engineers have made and a style show of what first-class Jack Pine equipment will wear this season. A new timer that guarantees a 1000 point return, foot boards that laugh at rocks and stumps, hand-guards that brush away the brush, sidecars with rear entrance for a quick exit and gumbo guards are almost standard on all outfits. You would be surprised how this has developed in the last few years and just goes to show the keen interest that many of the boys have taken in this run. Riders kept coming in right up to starting time. It does our old heart good to see the old faces show up again each year, and then to see the new blood coming in too for their first taste of Jack Pine. It really makes us feel our efforts are worth while.
Everybody signed up and ready for the drawing for position by 10 o’clock Saturday night. No trading of numbers this year-you ride the number you draw-and like it. “A” riders take even and “B” take odd. You give a cheer if you draw low and a sigh if you pull a high one, but what’s the difference ? Only some of the boys like to gang-up. Anyway, high numbers can sleep longer in the morning. We all get our route cards, machine numbers, maps and the souvenir cow-bell and then hit the hay for a few hours’ sleep. What a break the “A” riders get this year! The “B’s” must check out a n hour earlier-first man 5:30. Slower schedule, you know, the first half day so that at the noon control we all check in rotation and are on equal terms from then on. Good idea, as it brings everybody in at the night control in order.
All out bright and early Sunday morning and it looks like a swell day and we like this, remembering the rain from last year. Hopes run high and all are anxious to be on their way. All the “B’s” are gone now and Ted Konecny of Saginaw, the first of the “A’s” is up there ready to check out and start trailing the “B” gang. Our lady entries, we have two this year, are given a big hand as they roll up to the starting line. Katherine Terry is up from Ottawa, Ill., for her first try and Dorothy Robinson of Saginaw was up last year and is considered an old-timer. She has to ride “A” this year. Where are all these male “cream-puffs” that are always crying about the Jack Pine being too tough? Right now we are even considering a ladies’ class for next year and will try and arrange to have the girls let you softies enter their class.