Thursday, June 18, 2009

Industry Speedway, June 17

A little warmer last night as June gloom may be in retreat. The VW van was the choice of transportation to the track as the Nissan was required by my teenage mutant as his VW decided to have its fuel pump go on strike. Speedway bikes don't have fuel pumps, fuel injection, computer chips (well not that I know of) and good old gravity gets the job done unless you forget to turn the fuel on which I saw happen at least once last night.

The motorcycle manufacturers make various sizes of bikes for kids but the majority of the ones used for the smaller speedway rider are homebrew and have various types of motors and displacements.

When my son raced speedway at the age of eleven ,which would be six years ago, he started on a 85cc 2 stroke Honda motor and later added a 250 cc Jawa laydown. Not all tracks then or now have the same requirements for junior (or youth) riders which makes entry more complicated than really is necessary. We once showed up with the 250 and he was not allowed to ride because he had not reached the age of twelve yet so he went out and won the main on his smaller two stroke.

And not all tracks will allow younger riders to ride any thing larger than 200cc and some of these older motors are a lot older than their riders which makes maintenance a lot more costly for the parents or grandparents than what should be.

Speedway is a great family sport, I have raced against Shaun Harmatiuk's father and Shaun's younger brother also rides. There were two Faria's on the track tonight and two Ramirez's also. I have also raced against Austin Novratil's dad before. Austin and Joey Holt are getting lot of great experience at The Grand riding 500's where they would be limited to an ancient 200 elsewhere. Hugh Randolph is the oldest rider here and he can ride any size he wants to.

I have not grown up yet myself either and sometimes I do yell encouragements, specially at Buck Blair, who calls me Uncle DeWayne. Buck made the main, the hard way, last night by winning the last chance.

Every night there are surprises ( I won my first heat) and some one's kill switch failed to shut the motor down after the rider fell and the engine kept on screaming while several brave souls reached in trying to stop it. I know my kill switch works: Last week I had Bill Cody replace the noisy bearing in my clutch basket with a new one and when I put it back together I twice tried to bump start it by rolling down my driveway before I realized the wrist lanyard was in the tool box.

The last surprise of the evening was trying to find the freeway to head home. The freaking freeway on-ramp was closed so I headed south. A couple years ago something similar to this happen and I knew that if I drove parallel to the freeway headed east I would run into something familar. After a few minutes going east I suddenly discovered I had gone to far east and from the signs on the building I was lost somewhere in China. My cell phone doesn't have any GPS or street mapping , just some old duct tape holding it together but then I saw an In-and-Out so I pulled over to call my son to tell him I was still alive but somewhat lost in the far east. And where was he at when he picked up the call, of course , at another In-and Out.

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