First motorcycle race preparation: Excited and nervous as race 1 approaches

First motorcycle race preparation: Mechanical misadventures

If you read the last blog post, you’re probably wondering how repairs went particularly as we approach the end of the first motorcycle race preparation. On much closer inspection, it turned out I didn’t blow a head gasket, nor did I crack a cylinder head. A hose clamp had failed in a place I couldn’t see, and it was leaking onto the hot cylinder, which is why I couldn’t find the lost coolant. This issue probably could have been fixed trackside if I could have found it, but live and learn. I found it, fixed it, and took a test ride around my neighborhood. We seem to be ready to rock and roll.

First motorcycle race preparation is over. Rear view mirror shot of the racing motorcycle in the trailer behind the Kia

First motorcycle race preparation: All dressed up with someplace to go.

The trailer and Kia are loaded up and ready to go. We will be leaving for the first race weekend of the season at Talladega GP in just under an hour. This will be the first time I’ve raced in 15 years or more.

I’m excited and nervous, as you might imagine. I was talking to a friend this morning and he asked what I expected for results. I told him my only expectation was to race. A successful race meant that we got to race, nobody got hurt, and we can use the motorcycle again. Other than that I’m trying to learn how to do this again – all the little processes that become second nature after a while.

A great but unusual thing is that my girlfriend, Suzanne, will be accompanying me to the track. Racing and track days are not really her cup of tea. Her complaint is that she’s pretty much sitting around all day waiting for me to hit the track for 15 minutes. She’s not entirely wrong. That also means we’re getting a hotel, since the tent is rather tight for two people, and she’s not really the camping type. My daughter has said that she’s probably going to drive out to the track on Sunday for the second race.

Also fun stuff – Suzanne had T-shirts made with the F.I.W.O.P. Racing logo on the front and my rider logo on the back. I’d put up a pic, but they’ve already been packed.

First motorcycle race preparation: One journey ends, another begins

Wow, what a journey this has been! While the critical decision was made on my 50th birthday, it started even before that. I had mentioned it several years ago to Steve Cappelli that I wanted to go back to racing, and then watched as he did exactly that. I wish I had started then so I could have had the opportunity to race against him, and with him. I miss you, my brother.

Then came the ultimate midlife crisis decision point on my 50th birthday, when I decided to go back to racing. Then finding, buying, and building the motorcycle. Discovering that I had to go back to race school and get licensed all over again. Getting delayed by the pandemic, since I didn’t want to deal with cancellations and postponements and all that for my comeback season. Doing a a year of track days to see if I remembered how to go fast. Blowing an engine before we even started racing, and spending innumerable hours in the garage.

It’s all coming to a head this weekend. This is the moment of truth, the moment for which I’ve spent the last two years preparing.

If you want to see how we’ve done, you can go to Race Monitor and search for my name. If no results come up, we haven’t raced yet.

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