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2Nd Endurance Race


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I had so many good comments about the first installment I decided to write about the 2nd adventure. This one begins with me trying to get the endurance bike ready the day before we leave for Talladega GP. The engine had to be taken apart twice because of head gasket issues but it finally came together and was installed in the bike at 2:00 a.m. of the day we left. I had to go to work at 6:00 a.m. and drive 5 hours to Tally after I got off work.

I arrived at the track and secured a parking spot where my buddies helped unload everything. We stayed up way to late "visiting". I awoke about 7:00 to the sounds of a motorcycle trying to crank. I was told that it was making some wierd noise and wouldn't start. If I had been up I would have told them not to keep trying so as not to damage the engine further but it was to late. The damage was done.

I had friends that wanted to pull the engine but I thought it was futile being that we didn't have the proper tools or gaskets we needed. We thought we would not be racing, until. Until a close friend decided we should use his bike as a back up. Wow! what a great guy! How many times does someone loan you there bike to be beaten into submission in a 4 hour endurance race! What a guy! I tried not to act to excited and told him we needed to think about it. Of course, if he loaned us the bike he would have to ride. We went out in race practice the next day and started tuning the suspension. Our friend took the bike out and rode in Novice practice and preceeded to run off the track multiple times.....He was freaking out! We had a talk with him and thought his riding in the endurance race was a bad idea. He agreed.

You have to stake your territory on the pit wall before the race. This means putting your canopy and gear where you want it before everyone else does. a good position is close enough out of the last turn to see the pit board but not to close. We ended up about two thirds down the track making it hard to see the pit board before it was necessary to put your eyes on the entry to the first turn.

I would start the race. The strategy we discussed was to ride as long as we could or until the fuel light came on. I made it 45 laps. I tried to go as far as I could. I was on the way until I had a hard time clearing my eyes. My vents were open and were so good that the air blowing down over my eye brows was causing my eyes to dry out. I had a hard time seeing in to a couple of corners so I decided to come in. More later.

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...Until a close friend decided we should use his bike as a back up. Wow! what a great guy! How many times does someone loan you there bike to be beaten into submission in a 4 hour endurance race! What a guy!...

 

That is a great friend, all that effort to get there and not even start would be heart breaking. Hopefully you can do him a good turn one day. I'm looking forward to reading how it all turned out.

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As fast as that track looks and small as it is, it's hard to believe it takes a minute to get around it. Looks fun though. Can't wait to hear how everything went. I would LOVE to do endurance racing. I'm good at just getting on the bike and going. Not fast but consistent and can ride till it's out of gas.

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Next chpt....Stuck a leg out and headed for pit lane. There is a very interesting fact about speeding on pit lane during an endurance race, "don't kill anybody". I mean, there is no speed limit coming in or going out. So, if you walk across pit lane to the track wall, you should definitely look before you make a step. You come down pit lane as fast as you can to your pit area. We used duct tape on the pavment for the stop line. Thanks to the team next to us for giving us the idea. I came in, killed it and got off. It felt great to be still. A teammate turned to me after I sat down and said "You are not even f'ing sweating!". Just a Sunday ride buddy.

Another team rider took over and preceeded to put in more laps. Then another taking their turn. The only wife to show up was one of our team riders. She ran the show. She had the stop watch and recorded every lap and lap time. Recording laps is necessary just in case of a red flag or the stoppage of a race. She yeld to us that the teammate was pointing to the rear tire and was coming in. The pointing meant we would have to change the rear tire.What a pain in the arse that was! No quick change on this bike! From the time you get the signal the rider is coming in, you have two laps. This gives you time to get ready in the pits. more later

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...Just a Sunday ride buddy....

 

Hard core Fossil. That made me laugh out loud!

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Next Chapter...We changed the tire and filled the gas...THe nice thing about a bike set up for endurance is quick tire change and quick fueling. On the primary bike we could do a pit stop in 18 seconds. The secondary bike took an eternity. The mistakes that take seconds seem like hours during a pit stop.

Our ace rider took off and immediately started running some great lap times. RED FLAG! All the riders come in and put their bikes near the pit wall. The bikes cannot be touched during a red flag. Three bikes were down in turn two. There shouldn't be an accident like that in an endurance race. Unfortunately, our rider was involved. Everybody walked away. Two of the bikes came back to the pits but ours did not. The race was over. We loaded all our equipment up and headed back to the paddock. The second race in a row that we did not finish...

At some point the need to get ready for the next race becomes an arduous undertaking. The fun is gone. The mental fatigue overtakes. Most of the preparation and traveling with the bike was left up to me and another teammate. We were responsible for getting it ready, buying the parts, fixing broken parts and body work. It takes a lot of time. The yard doesn't get mowed. The dogs don't get walked. The wife feels neglected.

We will do another race or two when the bike is fixed. I refuse to walk away with out riding this bike in a complete race. I will write another chapter when that happens.

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Damn the bad luck. And I'm with Jasonzilla, if it becomes too much like work then you have to reevaluate...but if you are like me, after a little time goes (most of it stuck at the day job) that kind of work starts to sound like fun again.

 

Good luck on the next race. We are pulling for you.

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Well, at least thanks for sharing your adventure with us. The disappointment must be REALLY frustrating!

 

Dude, have read any of the writeups on armyofdarkness.com? Sounds like so much of what you're saying is the definition of endurance racers. The endurance isn't as much required for the race as it is the process as a whole! The commitment is huge and the demands (especially if not divided equally) seem to suck the life blood out of people.

 

Sure sounds like fun. :blink:

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Well, at least thanks for sharing your adventure with us. The disappointment must be REALLY frustrating!

 

Dude, have read any of the writeups on armyofdarkness.com? Sounds like so much of what you're saying is the definition of endurance racers. The endurance isn't as much required for the race as it is the process as a whole! The commitment is huge and the demands (especially if not divided equally) seem to suck the life blood out of people.

 

Sure sounds like fun. :blink:

 

You are so right! It is the whole process and it does suck the life blood out of you if things go wrong.

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