Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quick Update

Fatigue is setting in and we're starting to get jealous of all the other teams with six riders. Still holding strong in 22nd place and only 30 seconds behind 21st.


They are half way through the race. Still in 22nd place, plenty of time to catch up. Jon is out on his second lap in the dark, this time all lighting is in place and he's ready to catch up.

A few more night runs left and Eric asks, "Why, why do we do this...?"

14 hours to go... and our first setback

Just got back in from my third lap and scarfed down some dinner. I made the unfortunate error of not getting my night racing lights dialed in before starting that last lap. It was light out when I started.... and got dark within the first 20-30 minutes. This slowed my progress to a crawl as I could only see 10-20 feet in front of the front fender.

Due to this we lost two places are back at 22nd. This is a good example of how lack of preparation and constancy can be bad news.

Now we fight to gain those places back.

17 hours to go...

Scott just had a solid lap at 1:05. Looks like one of our competitors has turned up the heat. We are now in 20th place.

More passes with 18 hours to go

Eric turned out another fast lap, making 3... that right THREE passes. This puts us at 19th place. Now, we have to focus on riding smooth and consistent for the next 18 hours.

Just got back in from my second lap. I started out slow after lunch, but lit the fires on the second half of the lap. Luckily I was able to maintain our 19th.


This racing stuff can be somewhat dangerous. But, so is driving to church. In both cases it is best to take the proper precautions in the event that something goes wrong.
Just as you would use your seat belt driving to church we use a lot of safety gear (pads, helmets, etc). Due to a recent blog post by our friend Beka and Jared, I have recently acquired a new kind of safety gear that is designed to protect from neck breakage.
Basically it transfers force from the head to the shoulders in the event that the rider falls. Another way to think of it is that it limits head motion.
150$ well spent.. The only drawback is that it limits the riders ability to swivel the head around and look behind. This can be a little exciting when a pro rider is coming at you at a billion miles and hour and you can't turn and see what direction they are coming from.

Scott makes a pass!

Good news! Scott hammered out a 1:10 lap and made one more pass. We are now in 21st place.

21.5 hours to go...

Eric pounded out a nice first lap (~1 hour time). He had 4 crashes in the corners. No substantial damage to bike or body.

I just got back in after a ~1:10 lap (second overall lap for the team). The last part of the lap included a prolonged battle with another rider in our class (armature open). In the end, I prevailed.. but just barely. Great racing indeed. Overall I passed 2 teams in our class. We are in 22nd place.

After the race officials have logged my time, I head to our pit area and pass on the transponder to Scott. I am sure he'll have a great lap, he never disappoints.

AND WE'RE OFF!! 10:05am

The race has started! Eric was the lucky team member that got to do the start. Every year the race organizers do something goofy at the start. This year they made the racers face backwards on their seats.

When the green flag dropped the racers had to swing around and go!

Eric is 65A, orange bike, black gear.

Sound test passed

Scott and I just passed our sound tests. These tests are new this year. They have a dB meter and won't let anyone race whose bike is over 99dB.

Scott: 85dB @ 3870
Jon: 94dB @ 4600


We are rolling out of bed to find that their was a light rain last night. This is good news as the moisture will keep the dust down.

It is time for us to start our ritual of press-coffee and egg sandwichs (Moto-sandos).

Discussion is revolving around who will have the honors of starting the race.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ready for bed

Out pit space is setup, the heater in our rented RV is running, and the athletic drinks (Crown Royal neat) are going down smooth.

We are preparing for a good nights rest. We have already signed in and we have our transponder. The bikes are all running well, except for Eric's race light system. We will fix that tomorrow.

Tomorrow at 7am we have to report for sound testing. Our exhaust noise level must be at or below 99dB. Eric got here early today and was tested..... he passed with a stelar 99dB.

Almost 25 hours of Starvation Ridge

Welcome to Starvation Ridge

The Almost 25 hours of Starvation Ridge is an off road motorcycle race that lasts for almost 25 hours. Each team has 1-6 riders. It's essentially a relay race. The team with the most laps in 24 hours wins. Each rider does a lap then comes into the pits and passes a transponder off to the next rider.

My Team and I have done this for the last 3 years. It is possibly the most challenging thing that one can undertake in one weekend. It is extremely hard both physically and mentally.

For the next two days this blog will serve as the real time news feed for Team Freaky Deaky.
Check back every hour on the hour for updates... don't miss the action, the drama, and the triumph. It will be epic.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's about damn time

Back in the old days things like "beer-bong" or "beer pong" were considered excuse enough to enjoy some cold frosty sleepy soda. But, as I grow older I am always looking for ways to class up my inclination for zesty adult beverages. And in that vain our weekend all started with the purchase of this swwwwweet liquor cabinet (or "hutch" if you ask Tina).

We found this sweet little number at a local second hand store for ~600$ less than the new price at Pottery Barn.

Then, we decided that we should also find an entry table and try to finish it in to match. Our local furniture store had just the ticket... an unfinished entry table at a reasonable price. It's about damn time I learned the manly craft of finishing wood.

After picking up the table, we headed over to Daly's paint store to get some help on finishing this the table to match the "hutch". They lined us up with a berry aniline dye (water based dye for good penetration into dense woods), a "java bean" oil based stain, and a satin finish polyurethane. We also purchased expensive brushes since the PU can be hard to apply without brush marks if you use cheap ones.

The aniline would give us some red highlights, the java bean would give us the main brown tone, and the PU would make a good protective finish coat.

Okay, first things first. Ever had your rubber gloves come out of their box all pressed together like this:

Here is an innovative method to open fingers of the glove up. I'm either a genius, or I miss playing with balloons as a kid.

Okay, now that the hand prophylactics are in place, time to apply the aniline dye... wow, this stuff is really pretty!

Now, you have to let the aniline dye dry for 4 hours before applying the java bean stain. Lucky, I have a tip to achieve a "quick dry time". Only 6-7 of these and 4 hours only feels like 2.

Okay, let's kick that buzz into overdrive with some java bean oil based stain. This stuff stinks to high hell. Good to do it in a well ventilated work space (or in our case, the kitchen).

Okay, the stain is applied... time to wipe of the excess and let it dry completely before sealing with the PU.

So, Sunday rolls around and it is time to finish this project off. The rest should be easy right? Just a few coats of PU and "call'r dun".

So, I unwrap our fancy new brushes and start applying the PU. Wow.. this is not going well... there are tons and tons of bubbles in the PU coat. This stuff, right out of the can, is as thick as cold honey. Even after a second attempt, the surface dries very rough and ugly:

Click to enlarge and see the bumps in the reflection.

So... after trying everything, I still can't get the PU to cooperate. I ask everyone I know, that have worked with PU (thanks RWS!), and none of the tricks I learn seem to fix my ugly Polyurethane issue.

Long story short, it turned out to be a defect can of Polyurethane from Daly's. What beginners luck eh??

So, I sanded down the crappy surfaces as much as possible and finished the project with a can of Verathane. The results were spectacular.

Thanks to the defective PU product from Dalys, this project took over 4 days. Glad to finally have it finished.