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Waconia Vintage Ride-In 2012


(1/31/2012)

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

I took my annual trip-back-in-time this past weekend: the Waconia (Minn.) Vintage Ride-In. As is always the case, it was a weekend worth its weight in Tillotsons.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

If you want it, chances are you'll find it at the Saturday Swap Meet. Prices here seem a little higher than most other events, but it makes sense considering the ol' supply-vs.-demand ratio.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

While the swap is humming along, hundreds of sleds are buzzing along on Lake Waconia. It's a beautiful sight, explosive sound and an olfactory delight.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

A steady-stream of trucks with trailers pours into the place until after Noon. Aside from a few of the grass drag events and a handful of winter races, Waconia appears to my eyes one of the largest events in the entire sport of snowmobiling. I'm sure it's the biggest ride-in event.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

The sheer number of sleds, brands, colors and people really makes it feel like a trip back to the 1970s.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

And there's a little "lawlessness" that defines the weekend, as people are riding sleds amongst the crowd, a Loudest Pipes Contest causes mass ear-bleeding, and other throwback moments serve as a nice contrast to so many other events that can seem under the guidance of teams of liability lawyers.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Lots to see and smell. In fact, if there's a knock on the whole event, it's that it's so dang BIG that it feels impossible to fully experience everything.

 

Vintage Arctic Cat Puma Mod by arcticinsider.com

Speaking of experiencing something...after seeing a couple Puma Mods, I REALLY want to experience having one of these in my collection.

 

Vintage Arctic Cat Puma Mod by arcticinsider.com

See what I mean!?!

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Lots of leopard print for those with restoration projects in mind.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.comw

To my eyes, there's something pure, simple and beautiful about most of the snowmobiles from the 1970s. The same can be said of the gear. Interestingly, just as the 1970s sleds are dimensionally smaller than their modern counterparts, so too is the gear.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

 See what I'm saying about size difference? I wonder if there had been 10-plus-10-in. handlebar risers in 1972, might we have seen the invention of freestyle and energy drinks 30 years earlier?

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

One element of the old sleds I'd prefer was never invented was the cleated track. I've personally had some hellacious crashes in my youth as a result of this near-death-trap (and spent every extra dollar buying replacement windshields because of it).

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

But as regular readers of this site know, I'm a sucker for old patches. This dude had lots to show.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Anyone looking for a '77 Arctic Cat Z powered by a Speedwerx-massaged 800 twin? You could have purchased this one.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

That better not be a pyramidal chassis underneath that hood, otherwise the owner of this rig will be hearing from some lawyers.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Speaking of lawyers, I wonder if Yamaha's are aware that this guy is driving around on a prototype 1989 SRV?

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

I also wonder if this is considered rider-forward?

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Lots of sleds with a crusty layer of snow on them, evidence of having been pulled out from behind the barn and thrown on the trailer for their trip to the swap.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Man, I've always loved Sno Jets. Such a cool, distinctive color. And a great name.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

That'll pass the 2012 EPA Evaporation Test.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Gotta love the work-in-progress sales approach that some bring to the swap meet.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Really, can you ever have enough recoils?

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Cat Girl was there, looking all leopard-like.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

And so was Boss Hogg.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Proof.

 

Tom Rowland from Thomas Sno Sports

Tom Rowland from Thomas Sno Sports is a Boss Hogg in his own sort of way. What exactly I mean by that, I'm not sure.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

The Scorpion Squadron was out in full-force.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

The local HOG Chapter was also there and looking to do some high-mile saddlebag touring.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Color (and lots of it).

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Due to the lame-o winter we're having, the WOBLE crew was unable to host its 7th Annual ride to Waconia, but many past participants still came to Waconia. From left: Pat Bourgeois, Tim Erickson, Charles Plueddeman and Pete Schow.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Last year's WOBLE Trophy winner Jason MacDonald poses with the traveling prize. Since there was no WOBLE this year, Jason will care for this rugged trophy for another year.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

As a vintage event, Waconia sees more than its fair share of opened hoods amid demands for "more ether." Lots of sleds that "run on spray."

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

If you're going to ride a contraption like this, you better wear a John Deere snow suit.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Similarily, if you're going to ride a Larven (and represent ArcticInsider), you gotta wear a classic piece of Cat fur. (Thanks to the aforementioned Charles Plueddeman for this most wonderful piece of vintage clothing!)

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.comw

Turns out I wasn't the only one walking around Waconia in a furry-purple-haze.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

A few antique sleds are always part of the Waconia experience.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Ditto for ATVs and a handful of modern sleds.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

I saw Paul's amazing sled, but I didn't see Paul.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

I also saw this Model 100 for sale.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Along with this Grass Cat.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

But judging from the crowd a few minutes later, the Grass Cat was going to find a new home.

 

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

I do too!

 

Arctic Restoration photo by arcticinsider.com

Arctic Restoration Specialties was there, selling high-quality repop parts. I think it's awesome that such parts are available to those doing resto projects.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

A principle organizer of the Waconia Ride-In is this guy, John Zeglin. John is also the defacto Elvis impersonator of the group, and here he's belting out a tearful rendition of "Love Me Tender."

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

Chaparral was the featured brand this year at Waconia, and inside the ballroom was an excellent diplay of stuff.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

For those looking to jump on the Chappy bandwagon, there were plenty of buy-in opportunities.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

This guy thought that Waconia was a vintage VW Ride-In.

 

Waconia Vintage 2012 photo by arcticinsider.com

And these guys thought that Waconia would be a great place to sell garbage bags full of contraband.

I hope you enjoyed my pix from Waconia. Thanks for reading.



Comments (8):

Mike F says:
1/31/2012 6:45:00 PM

Wow! That really looks like fun! Gotta make it down there one of these years.
Tom Ische says:
1/31/2012 6:50:00 PM

John, does Rodger Janssen have a Sno Jet jacket on standing next to that 3cyl Puma?
Scott says:
1/31/2012 6:55:00 PM

Awesome pictures!!!!!!!!!! Looks like i may have to make a trip and add something new(or old) to the collection!!! 13 Arctic Cats are just not enough!!!!!!!!
John Sandberg says:
1/31/2012 7:20:00 PM

Tom: You have a sharp eye. Indeed that's Janssen, but I did the microscope inspection of the high-res image and it doesn't appear to be a Sno Jet jacket. He's wearing the Waconia button on the left chest.

John Deere hat.
Stephen Knox says:
2/1/2012 1:50:00 AM

Hey Sandberg, if you are going for "old school" you have to ditch the Gore-Tex jacket that's under your fur.
John Sandberg says:
2/1/2012 7:37:00 AM

Stephen: I know it's bad form to mix Gore-Tex with Cat fur. I compensated by wearing Munsingwear-brand wool long-underwear. Old, non-brushed wool that felt similar to fiberglass against my skin.
Tom Rowland says:
2/1/2012 5:10:00 PM

Great recap of a fun event John. One correlation between myself and Boss Hog on that day was the number of grilled pork chops that I consumed in a 6 hour period...man they are good!
Joe Rainville says:
2/6/2012 9:30:00 PM

John,

Thanks for posting a great story for those of use that were "stuck" working in southern Cali that weekend:>) So it the Larven your secret weapon for the Vintage Challenge or the cure to your I-500 crank woes? While I would make fun of you in the internet, I would totally respect you for doing a 150 mile ride using your feet as ski's...

-Joe Rainville

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