Brian Richardson’s Electric Bike Takes Unexpected Win In Birmingham

Birmingham, AL – Brian Richardson of Blue Grass and his battery-powered Norton motorcycle took Team Electra on the road in October for the last time in 2010. Their destination was Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama for the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association’s Barber Vintage Festival held October 9th and 10th. Brian talks about his plan for the event.

“The thing that I had always wanted to do was just compete head to head with gas powered bikes” says Richardson. “AHRMA had agreed to let us enter warmup and practice races, but we didn’t think we’d be able to race the [electric] bike against the gas bikes.”

During practice sessions on the track, Electra rider Thad Wolf shocked race officials by easily passing many of the gas-powered bikes.

“They decided because we did well during practice, to actually let us race” says Richardson.

Richardson says their bike started at the back of the pack and was knocked off the course at the beginning of the race by another gas bike. However, driver Thad Wolf was able to get the bike back in the race, and by the next lap, was in the middle of the pack.

The Electra’s surprising performance in the race continued.

“By the next lap, there’s Thad in third place” says Richardson. “The following lap, he was in second, and then in the white flag [last] lap, he was leading the race, and of course he took the checkered flag and won the race.”

Richardson says they were delighted with the win, but declined to accept the honor.

“What we wanted to show was that our bike could go out with the gas powered bikes and just hold its own” he says. “We got up on the podium to accept the first place prize and at that point in time we disqualified ourselves.”

Team Electra took this unusual step because they knew the other teams had been competing in this class all year around the country and they felt that it would be unfair to introduce the electric bike into the year-long racing points competition.

Stay tuned later this year to find out the next step for Brian Richardson and Team Electra.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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