2008 ~ A brief recap

 Welcome to 2009 for those that survived the holidays intact.

Let’s start with a quick wrap-up of 2008 before we crack open the new season.

As you know we wrapped up the shoot with Jesse James on his new show, “Jesse James is a Dead Man” for the Spike TV Network.  It will debut in May, we don’t have the exact details yet on when our episode will air, but it’s up high in the roster.

I thought my job was stressful… but of all the jobs on the planet I know I do not want, “Television Production Crew” now ranks high on the list.  They were going nuts in the wee hours of the morning when we arrived, and they were still running around like lunatics when we were pulling out of the pits in the dark.

Jesse James was amazingly cool.  If he was sitting down at the porch with the rest of the Vampires talking shit and drinking coffee you wouldn’t be able to tell him from the rest of us assholes wearing leathers.  Most of the time during the day when someone with a headset on wasn’t in his face telling him to stand somewhere look at something or do something he was just standing around with us with the same, “I have no idea what’s going on.” expression and shooting shit with us.

Here’s a few photos from the shoot.  Jesse’s rig might look familiar, he’s driving our old CSR.  We were out in our new 2008 Becker for the first time.  We’re going to look sloooooow on TV.

The 2008 Cycle World International Motorcycle Show

So I got a e-mail from a representative at the IMS stating, “If you can get your sidecar and display gear here we have a 10×20 booth for you, gratis.”  I’ve always wanted to have a sidecar racing booth at the IMS since it’s a huge event drawing a massive crowd, but even a 10×10 booth starts at over $1000 bucks.  So when I got the e-mail I jumped at the chance.

Barret and his father came over Thursday evening and lended a hand while I fabricated some body lifts for the new Becker rig.  When I display our sidecar I always like to lift the body about 14 inches above the chassis on risers for viewing purposes.  Given that the Becker body is a on piece unit like a Windle and not a three piece unit like a LCR I had to fabricate four risers total to get the body up in the air and rock-solid steady once it was up.  The last thing you want is someone at the show bumping the body and the whole display crashing down.

About 2AM I got wrapped up and finished packing.  Dimitry was able to meet me up at the show in San Mateo (around an 80 mile drive for me one way from Santa Cruz) to help unload the Becker, get it up on the jackstands, and then go through the process of popping the rims off and detailing every inch of the chassis with WD-40 and Windex.

For the show I had bought a large LCD monitor, my laptop with it’s Verizon wireless card, and a set of speakers.  I tucked the laptop and speakers into the cockpit and put the monitor up on the engine cowl behind the cockpit.  I cued up several of the full-length Supeside broadcast races from the 2006/2007 FIM series on Google Video and let those play at random during the three day event.  It was so much easier to have the races running with live footage and on board camera action going then trying to explain over and over what sidecar racing was, how it worked, and what the job of the person on the back was.

Attendees at the show loved the display.  Kids were wide-eyed at the sidecar, old guys stared at every weld and machined component, and everybody crowded around the monitor to watch the races.  I ended up giving away 250 business cards, every single sponsorship sticker and bit of schwag I had.  I’d also brought 50 printed color photos of Sarah and I on the track at Willow Springs just to give away but I ended up autographing every single one by request.  I’ve never autographed anything in my life, it was surreal.

I had a great time at the show, the staff at the IMS was great, and I hope they invite us back next year.  Here’s some photos.

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