They say time flies when you’re having fun. I must be having a blast, it’s half passed February and I’m still looking for Christmas lights. My family got buried in three feet of snow just last week. My east coast roots keep telling me racing is months off yet, but AFM Round-1 is just a week and days away. How is this possible already? My body is in shock..
Full credit goes to the guys at the shop. They are on the ball this off-season, thankfully. While there was plenty of talk this off-season about what bike we would race in 2013, we’ve ended up right where we started.
…or have we.
Yes we will be on an RC8R again, but the only familiar part will be the spelling of it’s name. New bike. New motor. New suspension. New beginning.
I can be amazingly patient by now but don’t let that fool you, I still snap now and again. And while I never did snap over our chassis instability last season, it’s definitely been on my mind all winter. That wreck at Infineon left it’s mark on me too. I remember earlier that day chasing our chassis guy around the pits begging for help. We did get it eventually but it was abbreviated, made up of random parts from other bikes, and ultimately the effort only cost us. A LOT. I think I’m done with that approach. So is Mike, and so are Danny and Keith. This year WE will be our suspension guys. We will come to the track with our own springs, our own oil, our own seals. No more will we ask for direction. Instead we will forge our own path ahead. That’s change #1.
Change #2 is we are ditching our Penske shock and Ohlins forks. Not for the trash, mind you. Just for the shelf (in the trailer..). We will start this year with KTM’s first choice – WP suspension front and rear.
Change #3 is the races we run. Used to be we ran Open Twins and Formula Pacific only. Always we were fastest in the second race, whichever race that was. Obviously that means we need more race time. For 2013 we will bump our work-load from 2 to 4 races per weekend.
Change #4 is better prep, and better planning. This came naturally, thanks to Dannyboy, Keith and Mike Meissner. Our new RC8R has been on the lift for weeks now. In the past, with weeks to go still, our bikes were always in the back sleeping. Nobody’s sleeping now.
Change #5 is a personal one. Something life-altering happened to me last year. Turns out I wasn’t just robbed, thieves didn’t just steal my camera gear. Apparently they also threw my name into the ring of a heavyweight corporate bout with my insurance company. I never saw this coming, and I’m glad I didn’t. Picture me, my motorcycle racing carpentry self, sitting at a huge table surrounded by lawyers – all examining me and my life. Imagine the scrutiny, the pointing fingers, the piercing eyes and land-mind documents all carefully choreographed into a perfect symphony of intimidation. Their goal was to prove I am a professional videographer, when really all I am is a dreamer. To prove I am a professional photographer, when 9.5 times out of ten I mull over my images wishing I had gone to college, like everyone else did. One subject at a time they dissected me, all along hoping they would break me. If they broke me, from their perspective, my claim could be denied. If they broke me, from my perspective, I would effectively have been robbed, twice – only the second burglars would have robbed me straight in front of me. In the end they were both unsuccessful, and successful. They couldn’t prove I am a professional, because I am not. But never the less, they did break me. Just not the way they’d hoped. They convinced me I don’t make sense – “who would own this type of gear if they were not professional..” My answer was simple, my answer was honest. “I would.”
From this experience they all took their briefcases. I took a new perspective. That perspective, that view, is of myself. I believe now they are right, I don’t make sense. Ever since then I find myself thinking a lot more about the things that I do, and why. And sometimes now, like never before in my life, I choose not to do things that in the past I would. I am very curious to learn how this change in me will affect our racing. I am sure it will be for the better, we just won’t know what that better will be until we get there.
I can tell you right now springs both front and rear for our bike will be here Friday, one week before our race. To you that might seem late. To me, or to the old me, that’s about three and a half weeks early. So let’s see what all these changes bring in 2013. Personally, I look forward to change now for the fist time in my life.
Thanks for reading. More to come..
AFM 2012 Banquet