Thursday, January 22, 2015

Just like everyone else

The internet is chock full of people apologizing for not updating their blogs.

Most people have nearly 4 people and a cat that would read the blog to begin with, and only then after they're done reading comments on their favorite news site just to gauge how far society has fallen since the previous day.

I managed to get my old blown gearbox out of the car around Christmas of 2013, pulled the engine shortly thereafter with the intention of blowing through the conversion to the 02A, and getting back on stage.

Somewhere amidst all of this, I bought a new KTM 350.  It's pretty much what any rally car driving mountain biker wants in a dirt bike.  Light. Nimble. Immediate throttle response. A bit noisy. The summer weekends were spend riding trails, or going race, where I learned a new form of humiliation in the form of the 2 hour hare scramble.

In the hare scramble, beginning riders leave several minutes after the faster more experienced riders that will be lapping them the rest of the day.  For me, the lapping commences about the time I've lost feeling in one or both of my hands.  Overtaking riders have no horns, so they can either rev their engines, yell some kind of neo-Indian war cry, or just blast right by you, spraying you with gravel.

For those of you that spent your formative years learning which fork is which, this is called "Roosting".  If you are a chicken farmer, it has nothing to do with sleeping chickens, and everything to do with a spray of tiny rocks sandblasting your exposed skin.

Once I'd mastered the art of riding as fast as you can for 2 hours, a few of us headed out to try an Enduro.  Enduro is more like a rally, and depending on the format, is either similar to a TSD Rally, or a Performance Rally.  In either case, they're in the woods, through fields, and over dale.  I assume in other countries, Enduros would involve howler monkeys, but in the US, they're relatively monkey free, with the occasional fenced cow being about the only wildlife involved.

This went quite a lot better than the hare scramble, especially because we'd picked an event for beginners.  By Beginners, I mean 4 year old girls riding on the handlebars with their dads, and women riding through the woods with the 11 year old kids.  We crushed most of them.

In all this time, I think I was mostly walking past the rally car, the parts on the floor, the engine on the engine stand, and tripping over the airhose tangled up in the oil cooler lines.

The internet told me I needed to get a motorcycle trials bike, and since everything online is true, I did just that, with a mega-road trip down to Lexington, KY to pick up a pretty cherry Gas Gas 250.

A few more enduros and hare scrambles later, and I've found that it's winter.  The motorcycles are in the house resting and having run out of things I want to clean inside the house, I'm back in the garage doing some work on the engine.

2014 would have been our tenth season in rally and instead we took a vacation.  If I don't have the ambition and funding to compete, I feel at least motivated to get all the parts pushed back into a working, drivable car that can leave the garage under it's own power.

That should be easy enough, at least until the snow melts...