Portland, Land of sky-water

 Saturday was dry, but obviously cold and damp.

We were able to practice on a dry but very green track, which made for interesting lots-of-grip-oh-hello-no-grip-at-all conditions.

Sarah dug the track, as it was fast, and fairly easy to learn.  All the regulars were there…  As well as some of the SRA-NorthWest division who was hosting the event.

Practice was decent, the track was green with the fresh asphalt still needing to break in. But things went well.

Odd thing… They sent us out -first- on Sunday morning, while the track was still pretty much soaked from the night before. I think the logic was, “Send out the sidecars, they’ll dry out the track for the motorcycles.

So here Sarah and I are flying around the track with puddles and standing water in places… on slicks. Trying to be gentle and get the tires up to operating heat range without flying off the track. We’re making good progress around the track. Fourth lap in we’re flying down the back straight, Sarah is going down through the gears on her brake marker and setting up for the fast left/right chicane of turn 7/8.

Sarah clips the rumble strips of 7 with the chair wheel at about 80 sending the whole rig into a counterclockwise spin. I drop down into the platform and clamp on for the ride and around we go. We 360 down the track clear to 8 ending up just on the outside left edge, still on the track. Sarah pops up, looks back, and asks if I’m ok… but I’m too busy laughing my ass off and screaming, “AGAIN!!! AGAIN!!!” She throws it back into gear and we pull off into the pits with me waving to the spectators and corner workers who at this point are cheering and giving us a standing ovation.

But, about an hour before our race the skies opened up and it hammered down. We figured we’d just end up running in the rain, even if it meant we’d be running a slow race, or a fast last-man-standing race. But, the plug was pulled on our race due to safety concerns, and we got our money back, so at least there was that.

Sarah’s mom lives about 15 minutes from the track, she came all the way out just to watch us race, bummer.  But that’s racing, and what can you do? We got in some good track time on PIR, which is a great track. Had loads of fun with the OMRRA folk and the SRA-NorthWest peeps who we don’t get to see enough of. And we got to work on traction control and smoothness in low/no traction wet-weather situations. This was our first wet-weather track experience on a F1 rig.

The video breakdown on Sunday afternoon practice before the rain rolled in.  Shot with my VholdR wearable Helmet Cam

I did end up giving Jerry SandsquidXX from Bay Area Riders Forum three E-Ticket level laps of PIR on the F1 before they finally flagged me off the track.  He’s a great sport for holding on during the experience, especially after how I left the hot pit and entered the track. =D

A good weekend overall, everybody who showed up to race got 5 points just for showing up despite the race being pulled, which puts us tied for 3rd place in the championship points standings right now with Streets of Willow two weeks away at Willow Springs Raceway.

My favorite shot from the weekend.

Thanks go out to the guys over on ADVRider for the additional photos and showing up to the track to support us, it was great having you there.


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