Thursday, July 30, 2009

Industry Speedway July 29

The Weather actually cooled down a little yesterday but to offset that the traffic got worse. I might be able to ride my push-bike to the fixture quicker if I could get somebody to take the JAWA out there for me. There wasn't any accidents on the freeway just 40 miles of stop and glue and with the state's budget being cut I am sure the CHP and Caltran will work harder for less.

After bumping the wall last Friday night I had to mend the bike with a new shaft that holds the right peg and spend some time at Kasier getting X-rays. Nothing broken but the new word for the day is Plantar Fasciitis.

Ron Mongenel went down in front of me in one race and didn't bounce back up. Let's hope his injury isn't serious and he gets well quick.

In my main Brad Moreau went down and the reg flag came out but the race didn't restart and I wound up with my usual second place finish. If the race would have gone two more laps I am sure the leader would have eventually fallen and I would have been victorious. There are several mains: The Crash Maim (which I ride in), the Second Division main, where the Over the Hill Gang battles the teenagers, and the First Division Main where the fast riders are.

Last week at Auburn the North vs South was won by the South and the flag was passed over after the riders parade.

I don't have a golf cart and I don't play golf but when I get to Leisure World I might start (driving one).

The schedule is have way through the season with nine nights remaining at Industry and as riders are injured other will heal and reappear. Gary Hicks was back last night after a shoulder injury and was in great form.

Each week I get to meet new faces and talk to another reader that have seemed to enjoy my blog. I would have to estimate that 98 percent of those who read this blog are successful, intelligent, well mannered and don't blow their nose on their own sleeve. The other two percent Googled here by mistake. The last two pictures were sent to me via e-mail last night. This alert cameraman (Aaron Kaikko) with a very expensive lens and micro second shutter was able to capture two riders at high speed and in this juxtapose one can obviously see the shortcoming of the rider on the left and straight line (quicker to the finish line) style of the rider on the right.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

IMS July 24

It was going to be another hot day in 909 area code Friday with temperatures close too the century mark but as I passed a sign just before turning on to the street where the track is the sign read 92 degrees. In spite of the heat there was a little breeze and it wasn't really that bad or maybe I was just glad to get there after witnessing a flipped over double trailer rig at the 60 interchange.

Everybody had to go around the big rig driver that had flipped over on his side after taking the corner to hot. This should have been a sufficient precursor of a what was going to happen later in the evening when eight third division riders were put together in the enlarged bull ring to make me do a u-turn on the freeway and head back home.

Shawn and his crew had been working all week on the track and the outside cushion wasn't there and as the night progressed the track became dusty specially down the front straight and a blue groove developed.

The rider count was low as three riders were in New York at Jason's other tracks showing the folks back east how we do it in California. Friday night the fixture in Auburn (approximately 400 miles north and a terrible drive) was running the North vs South which took another dent in the roster.

The race program is put together several days before race night and is taken from those riders that sign up on the board the previous week plus any additional call-ins. Six third division riders were signed up. Typically there will be two separate races of four or more and splitting six riders into two races of three each isn't practical.

One of the thing that is exciting about speedway is that how close the riders get to each other in a race and it almost becomes a contact sport. That is true with experienced first division racers. They know how close to get and how well the other rider can control there machine. They know how to lay the bike down to avoid hitting a fallen rider.

Last night there were so many new faces in third division it looked like the welcome wagon had arrived. In the first race half the field was set on the ten yard line and after that we were moved back to the twenty. Possibly the rational is that when they fall down in the first corner the rest of the field has time to avoid them but if the second line is farther back by the time they reach their fallen comrades they will be going much faster and some couldn't lay a bike down if the track was full of banana peels. Nobody holds a gun to my head and forces me to do this stuff. Maybe someone should take my truck keys away so I have to stay home where I belong. As I type this my son's crutches are leaning next to the desk by my laptop. He is so kind to let me use them though they needed to be adjusted as he has used them for a couple of inches. My second race was much similar to racing in a minefield as you never knew when the next explosion was going to take place. In turn two two riders went down right in front of me and I went to the right and jammed my peg into the crash wall. The wall did not give but my foot did. They red flagged the race and I rode over to the exit gate where Steve Murray who is helping me asked me if I was all right. I got off the bike and when I placed my foot on the ground I fell down as my foot wouldn't hold me up any more. Now I know after watching Any Sunday a zillion times is that after you hurt yourself you get back up and saddle up again cowboy. After the restart there was another crash in turn four right in front of me. The only way to miss flying riders and metal was to just stay in the pits. After that fiasco concluded when I returned to our slot in the pits Steve asked me if I was all right and I said "no" but we need to drop a couple of teeth in the rear to go faster.

One reason there is an excess of text as opposed to pictures is I could not walk much after I finished my main. My meeting with the crash wall occurred in my second race and although I could not stand or put any weight on it I was still able to sit on my trusty steed and ride two more races. If Buck Blair had not put my kit together and got my Nissan and trailer for me I would still be there. Imagine spending the night there if you choose.

One lesson for the reader: if you ever have to go to ER never (NEVER) tell the personnel your injury had anything to do with a motorcycle.

Once on the last lap while leading the main at Costa Mesa I was struck down from the rear by a infamous villain. The next morning while lying in ER everyone got to see the doctor before me even the drunk that had stabbed himself the night before. To get medical attention you tell them you slipped at the library while attending a poetry reading. (and always take your leathers off if you can)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Industry Speedway July 22

Another warm day in Southern California and for some reason the traffic sucks much more that the normal really sucks. Saturday I drove over to my boat in San Pedro and finally had to bail on the 405 freeway to surface streets, Sunday my son rode in a contest in San Diego and he said it was bumper to bumper all the way back and Monday when I returned the 405 was shut down again.
Wednesday afternoon on the way to the track I had to exit the freeway and take a detour through Brea Canyon to get to there.

As the season progresses the rider count suffers from the machine carnage and biological breakage. With the Harley, BSA and Triumph riders providing a try on the dirt oval the action in the show continued but ended earlier than the ten o'clock curfew.
In the second race I had Jones on my right so if he drove to the taco vendor I could make the turn but while waiting for the tape to go up after what seem to be a delay I backed down the rpm and the tape went up. So I spent several laps trying to get around others and when I tried a inside pass in turn two I hit the rear of Rick Huspek and wound up high siding and causing a red flag. Since I bounced on my head (that part of my body is no longer used) I would have thought that the starter would have called for a complete restart sending everybody else to the penalty line for getting in my way, but no, they ended the race.

In my next race I was able to figure out that the tapes do eventually go up and led the race to the finish. My estimation, since I have no rear mirror like the Harley riders (no turn signals either) was that I was way out in front until at the finish line where my giant lead changed to inches.

In my main, there was a restart. This was caused by Jones demonstrating his low level flying technique. According to Ryan Evan's report I actually led the restart but wound up in the end another bridesmaid.

After our division's main that there were the usual fast show-off riders.

My helmet will now need a decal or sticker to cover up the scratches and my jersey now has a hole in it but I am still intact (kinda). The blog is probably shorter than normal as my collar bone needs more duct tape.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday Night at IMS July 17

The weather man said it was around 98 degrees this afternoon in San Berdoo but the sun did hide a little bit and there was a breeze and we had a pop-up awning.

As I start this blog it is currently a little past two in the morning and I just have finished my eight plus hours of speedway so if some of these pictures lack enough information to figure out who is what you need to go the the races more often or if you are not local just ask me in the comments section. First person to ID the gentleman above will receive one of my used tires suitable for framing.

The track was wet after a lot of soaking and still was wet as the races started. Throughout the night the track was re-prepped and by my main it was much better than the two earlier rides.

After the races were over and the pit gates opened I had the pleasure of talking to a few blog readers that had no idea who #268 is and wanted to meet me. One very intelligent, well behaved gentlemen (who might have been drinking) said he liked that I am straight in my blog reporting. I feel that if I use this media as a soap box not everybody will agree with me so I try not to bitch here but I will take the opportunity here to make a couple of suggestions: First, pay the third division riders and second if a rider can't show up at the track with a decent number on their back or their correct riders number they need to sit the night out.

Billy Lyons broke a collar bone and Gary Hicks hurt his shoulder and did not compete in the main after a match race with Ricky Wells. Get well quick. I was riding last night with an injury but couldn't let my fearsome competition any knowledge for fear that they would take advantage of my trying to destroy myself in the garage with a loaded bungee cord.

Wells goes back to England tomorrow to resume riding for the Coventry Bees.

If putting your race number on upside down makes you go fast like Ricky everybody will start doing it.

Russell Green won the handicap main and Ricky Wells won the scratch.