Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dan Holmes tells Bonneville story on disks

You can experience Royal Enfield's record-setting visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats in a video and a slide show of still pictures, both now available as a package from Dan Holmes, the man who led the campaign.

I've viewed my copies and was impressed by the quality of the video and still photos, and by the sit-down interviews with Holmes and other participants.

A nice touch is that Holmes put his autograph on the video disk, just as he left his mark on the team effort that took Royal Enfield to the Salt Flats. And it was a team effort, Holmes emphasizes again and again on screen, as he thanks the people who supported, built and drove the Royal Enfield racing motorcycles.

You might have expected that. But you also get more than you bargained for, including a view from the side hack on the run that set a record for fastest Cozy sidecar. Needless to say, that one was pulled by a Triumph, not a Royal Enfield Bullet.

Holmes gives us a brief tour of Wendover, Utah and its famous former airbase, and shows us around the Salt Flats themselves, surely one of the strangest places on earth. Mere men and machines seem lonely in this vastness, even when surrounded by competitors and officials.

The still pictures are stunning, the video is high quality. It is all excellent material; there is just too much of it. I lost count of the number of gorgeous sunset pictures in the slideshow and the video runs about an hour, much of it backed only with music. Some images are repeated, stretching the show past what most people will want to see. Here's a tip: You can easily set either disk on fast forward and still hear the narration. In fact it's kind of fun to get an impressionistic understanding of the event that way.

The best parts are the interviews with Holmes and others describing what it was like and the video shots of motorcycles and people in motion.

The production does not answer the question of whether or not Holmes will go back to Bonneville this year. Looking at the high quality effort he ran in 2008, it's hard to imagine pulling that together two years in a row.

The video and photo disks come with a donation of $30, with shipping. The video comes at the $20 level plus $5 shipping. Previous donors to the Bonneville effort are being offered the photo slideshow at no additional charge if they order the video. If you are entitled to it, be sure to ask for the bonus slideshow. You can donate through your PayPal account to

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/13/2009

    Dan seems to be doing rather well for a fellow who needed a heart transplant.


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