Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Neat

Looks like I haven't made a blog (public diary) post since the first EMRA round. I've also silently passed 10,000 views, which calls for a post.

So with regards to motorcycle racing, the 2013 season went great. I missed a couple races while I was visiting Taiwan, so my overall points standing ended up a little weak, but I made some huge strides in my performance, which I am really proud of.

I had an great result in the second last race of the season, with a 4th place finish. This gave me enough of a points boost in the overall ranking to move me up a row in the starting grid. This was huge, because I have always struggled with making passes on guys who aren't much slower than me. Starting closer to the front meant I could avoid the slower traffic and really stretch my legs with the top guys. In the final race, I shot out into 3rd right off the start, and pulled off a clean pass to finish 2nd. My first career podium in the intermediate class.





So now, looking forward to next season, I had to make a difficult choice.

The track I raced at, Stratotech, closed at the end of the 2013 season. With it's closing, Alberta is left with only one other race track - Castrol Raceway. Fees are expected to be significantly greater at the new track, which will make it too difficult to afford. Money restraints, combined with the questionable safety margin at the new track, as led to my decision to take a break from competitive road racing.

So the plan is to take up Motocross Racing. I've purchased a beater of a '01 KX250, which isn't pretty, but it gets me started, so I can decide if it's something I want to invest in further.

The race bike, a GSXR600, is making it's slow and steady transition to the street. It's a little sad, given that it is such a pimp piece of machinery, purpose built for the race track.


2014's motorized fun makers. Currently naked, and getting ready for a glorious summer.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

EMRA 2013 - Round 1

Got off to a good start this year racing motorcycles.

I wasn't able to take advantage of the pre-race practice days, so it was a jump on the bike and hope for the best kind of thing. It actually worked out great.

Red #43
I loaded up my truck the night before, and headed up the morning of, leaving Calgary at 05:30 in order to arrive in time for registration and the rider's meeting. Barely made it, too! The tires had maybe 20 minutes on the warmers before I was headed out for the warm up laps.

First race of the day (and year for me) was Open Sportbike. Got off to a good start, but my technique was definitely rusty. I didn't trust the shagged tires yet, so I was very timid with the throttle and entry speeds. Ended up finishing 12th out of 19. Not very good.


Lots of traffic in the first corner
Next up was 600SS, the class I am keen to do well in. Same rules as Open Sportbike, but engines are restricted to 620cc or less. Makes the field more dependant on the rider when everyone is close in terms of power. In this race I started to get a lot more aggressive. On the brakes later, and on the throttle sooner. Pulled off a last minute pass on the brakes into Corner 2 to finish 5th out of 17,






Last of the day was the Superbike race. This class is completely unrestricted in terms of modifications. It was a good race to practice, and I though I fought very hard for 3rd, I ended up 4th.

Overall a great weekend. I am extremely excited for the next round. I'm aiming for a podium finish, with fresh tires and a little bit more practice under my belt.





Can't wait for the next round!
It's like Race Tire christmas!
Danger Ranger makes an appearance
I also got a little lost on the drive home. Pulled over for some relief, and realized the exit I took had no ramp to get back onto the highway! Ended up on a really nice little piece of country. All the rain recently has definitely made things green.





Friday, March 8, 2013

Loooong winter

It's insane how fast time flies. It's March already, last post I made was almost 4 months ago, and I remember it like yesterday.

So, I've been working pretty much non-stop. No lies, work sucks. I think everyone knows that. However, it's allowed me to achieve some goals that were previously unattainable. All associated with money, of course, so in that light I guess an Oil & Gas job is perfectly suited.

The biggest one was the purchase of my car;
A 2008 Subaru WRX STI.

All cleaned up. Looks weird to me.

The STI has been a dream car of mine since I started driving. And it's everything I could have hoped for. This car is awesome. Gobs of power, and All-Wheel Drive to make sure you can use it.


Tech inspection before Rally-X. Since it's on a frozen lake,
the tarp is to reduce the risk of contaminating a body of
water. Although, my car is awesome and never leaks
Within the first month of ownership, I took it to a Rally-X event on a frozen lake. While the stud-less winter tires were somewhat lacking on the frozen ice, the car performed as well as you would expect. Lots of fun.

All dirty, because racecar.
The car saw lots of action around Canmore. The hatchback makes it easy to throw in a couple pairs of skis and all your stuff. Beyond that, it's a car. Absolutely overkill for a ski bum. But at least the clutch isn't too sensitive to be driven in ski boots.







Covered in snow/camouflage. 

Then, this past weekend I travelled to Hinton, AB for the Alberta Biathlon Championships. This was where the car really shined. Heavy snowfall meant for some pretty gnarly roads, and the STI performed like a champ. No concerns about available traction while accelerating to pass heavy trucks on the highway. And while other vehicles were getting stuck in the parking lots, I felt like I could go anywhere. Very, very cool, and completely new experience.




So with that purchase made, do I even need to work anymore?

Oh yea, motorcycle race season is coming up fast. Gotta pay for those tires somehow!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Driving Tired

When I almost drove off the road while trying to decide whether a fart was wet or dry, it occurred to me that my mental capacity might be suffering.

Light at the end of the tunnel
(Actually a cloudy night and light pollution from an oil rig)
This was interesting to me, as my self-perceived level of fatigue was rather low, and I was not suffering any hints of drowsiness. I continued to think about this, but almost drove off the road again, so I saved this self inflection for a later time.

It was nearing the end of a 15 hour marathon drive. With darkness encroaching, and a deadline looming, I decided napping was not an option. So I made the pre-emptive switch to Plan B - caffeine. In this case, drinking the equivalent of 8 cups of coffee worth of sugar-free energy drinks over the final leg of the journey. I was primed.

As a side story, Plan B was developed early in life. Countless nights had been spent playing CS:S ladder games at 3am, and fatigue was not an acceptable excuse when you failed to disarm the bomb, losing precious rank in teh s3rvr.

Back to inflection; I suspect that while caffeine can improve alertness, it can't save your slow firing neurons. While I was able to react to wildlife (Reflex, like sick headshots at 3am), I doubt whether or not I would be able to accurately assess a situation should things get complicated. If I did slide off the road, I'd probably be all delirious and wander off into the forest.

Moral of this story - you should consider adopting a homeless pet before buying from a breeder. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Have more animations. They're prime for hits.

Everyone in my field is fat. Fact of sitting on your butt for 12 hours. You end up snacking all day out of boredom, which leads to packing on the pounds. I fell for that right off the bat, but now I'm wiser. With an adjusted diet and a little discipline, it's actually pretty damn easy to lose or at least maintain your current bodyweight.



Pro Tips for being sedentary;

  1. Be cheap. Junk food has a poor cost-to-sustenance ratio. Bang for buck is my motivator.
  2. Drink coffee. Reduces hunger and makes you happy. Just don't add cream and sugar. Drink it black.
  3. Eat dead animal. Forget fancy sauces and breading. Protein makes you a man, carbs make you soft.
  4. Hate yourself. The Dark Side of the force is more powerful - self-loathing should keep you thin.
  5. Move. Even if it's just to go look longingly in your empty fridge.
  6. Broccoli. Eat lots. Raw. It makes you poop.

Trust me here. My most popular blog post of all time is basically a picture of me shirtless. Diet blogs and stuff link to it. I'll use that empirical evidence as a positive reference. 


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Camp life

I'm living in "Camp".

It's basically just rows of portable accommodations where people who work in the petroleum industry eat, sleep and recreate. 

The corridors of rooms have paper thin walls and hollow floors.

So I get off my shift about an hour before another crew. I eat, shower, and get all snuggled in for a nice sleep when these guys come thundering in. It's like a freaking stompocalypse in my dreams.

They're all;
STOMPSTOMPSTOMP

And I'm all;
I'm gonna choke a bitch

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I look like a reserve dog

My face when I'm told I look like a reserve dog.

"You're nothing but balls and a ribcage."

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