Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Inauspicious Beginnings

Mid-March finds me at a rainy Roebling Road Raceway in Georgia.  This will be my first outing with both the EX500 and the FZR.  Expectations are high, but with the rain, so is trepidation.

I've got two morning practices to figure out the new to me track, dust off the winter cobwebs, re-learn the EX and learn, sort out and come to grips with the new FZR racebike.  It's a daunting task but I have come into this prepared for teething problems.  My mindset is to use the first weekend as a throwaway practice deal to get my act together.  Because the two lowest results from the season do not count, I won't have to put as much pressure to do well on the first weekend and focus on tuning the bikes and myself.

It ends up being the right plan, as a comedy of errors ensues.  The wind picks up to a terrible howl on Friday night.  Things are clanking around outside, moving and shifting under the strain.  My main concern is for the somewhat flimsy canopy covering the bikes.  It is certainly not designed for this type of sustained tornadic pressure, so in the middle of the night I hop out of bed to secure it better, only to find the front has collapsed and the rest is about to follow.

Running back to the van to grab duct tape and something rigid to splint the compound structure fracture, I arrive at the open passenger side door just as a 30 mph gust of wind catches it, slamming the steel door frame into my skull.  I stand there for a few moments, trying to convince myself not to pass out, wind whipping at me in my stagger, the torrent soaking my half-naked, barefoot body.

I succeed in remaining conscious, if not exactly lucid, duct taping my broom to the broken canopy frame in the hopes it will survive the night, grab some ice from the cooler for my head, hoping that I will too.

Unbeknownst to me, a new one of the$e was in my future.

No comments:

Post a Comment