Tuesday, December 1, 2020

LA/Barstow to Vegas 2020

 


I have tried since 2014 to make the final hard section into Vegas through Redrock Canyon. The bike has always broke and left me to far behind but this year we did it and it was everything I had dreamed of. After riding nearly 500 miles my next roll chart note read: 3.8 small rock garden. I rounded a turn and there it was, hundreds of meters of boulders, good proper hard enduro bullshit. Modern bikes and bodies strewn everywhere. Percolating clouds of antifreeze, puddles of blood, tears, and engine innards on the aluminum scared rocks. I never slowed or even acknowledged the other riders waiting in line or conjuring up their courage. Spectators jumped to there feet as I took creative high lines and zig zagged around the carnage of smoking stuck tires and burnt auto clutch KTM being tugged on by the sweaty faced. My stock bouncing diaphragm carbs began to flood and load up the engine so I gave the engine a few revs to clear out the 750cc double pumper. I heard somebody yell: "YEAH TRIALS GUY!" and a few shocked riders jumped out of my way as I kept on chugging through the ledges and boulders and then it was just me and the trail again. Solo as it had been since the morning before, back in Palmdale where we started. Or very nearly never started at all. It was 5:30 AM and still dark when I unloaded Big Beasty to head to a gas station and then to the event start. It was below freezing and the bike was not wanting to run on both cylinders. I checked the new old breaker points that came out of one of my junk storage coffee cans a few days prior. I went through the carb. And just when I was about to admit defeat and unload the back up bike (a preparation advised by the wisdom of the wife this year). I finally tried a new spark plug... Yup two hours late to the start to diagnose a fouled spark plug. DOH! Off I went. hitting all the stop lights out of the city, everything seemed good and then she just died. Nothing. Blown fuse. Grip warmers, lights, ignition? Nope the Regulator/rectifier had shorted. Damn. Who needs a charging system with points ignition anyhoo so I un-plugged everything except the ignition and bought a spare battery from a Chinese scooter shop on my way out of the city. My first stint out into the desert my odometer stopped working. At the next trail intersection I caught up to the sweep riders and fixed my odometer cable. The sweep rider looked at my set up and questioned me using only the roll chart and odo to navigate as he watched me wrap my odo cable with black tape. "No GPS?!" I told him I was good. I even had a spare battery strapped to my chest to prove it. I told him I am going to take off in front of him into the big desert and I hope not to see him again. And I didn't from there on out ol Beasty was as reliable and as nimble as an ox. All the way on into Barstow and then to Vegas the next day. I never had time to open my tool bag to use my left handed cigarettes, PBR beer, or the spare battery that beat my rib cage to a purple pride felt carcass. No casinos, tiki lounges, or even omelet house this trip but instead just good quality vanning with Cookie and Layla. Glory.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Little Layla

 I got a reason to start wearing my seat belt again.



She was the runt of a liter of 7 (actually 9 but two died), her right front leg was paralyzed and she had worms. I gave her a worm pill and she shit giant wads of squirming spaghetti.  A day after shitting out the parasites she started using the paralyzed leg. We have been at each other's sides 24/7 for the past 16 days and life is good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Up to no good

I got pulled over on the SV last weekend. Actually, technically I got road blocked by a couple of federal officers. Something about speed, passing, and evading. After explaining that if I was evading I wouldn't be there sharing such lovely conversation dressed in my race leathers, so they dropped the evading charge at least but I get to go to federal court next month. I reckon the license plate comes back off, it didn't last long. But like the Irish road racers say: I'm here for a good time, not a long time.





Much love amigos!

 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

How to make people hate you; Buy a race car.

 It is a hard thing to be excited about because friends and family do not know what to think of racing sickness. The worried family members think you must be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars while in reality I am just scrounging by on a few hundred, dumpsters, and compassionate fellow race junkies relinquishing bits that need a good home. I bought this 1979 Pontiac Grand Prix a month ago. Between the vibe of weird envy from some of my two wheeler friends and the fact that I don't care to publicize me personal life much on the damn instagram sham  (Not sure why I do here) I have not shared it but here and now I spill my guts; I am into race cars. I am currently reading no less than four books about Pikes Peak Hill Climb History, Eight back issues of Super Chevy, and numerous racing/ performance parts catalogues.  The car has an established history of Hill Climb racing in Colorado. The car was sold race ready.... ten years ago. To somebody who though they wanted to use it for circle track. They never did, thankfully but they did rob it's engine and transmission. Err.  I bought it for $1K even plus $175 in van gas to go pick it up with my super high quality low and light race car trailer. One of my customers then sold me a complete 350 engine and tranny combo for $150 and I am now in the process of figuring out how to build them for under $20K. Not! More like nothing or whatever hepatitis infested machine shop trash cans I have to dig through. Maybe I should just keep earning my spendings the best way I know how and that is fixing and pimping the shit out of motorbikes. My shop has been crazy fucking busy this year. Like three dicked dog busy. It is like my spring time rush has never ended. Make some hay while the sun shines and keep the consumer driven capitalist hamster wheel a spinning I shall. Living that American dream. Long tickle the dick Dick Trickle.











Sunday, October 4, 2020

Do somthing origonal, why don't ya!

 The ego tells me that I am a brave racer conquering uncharted frontier but while searching history of the PPHC I find Brian Hartung raced the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1981.



Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tame The Tall Mountain


1975 Documentary 

Click link below:

Tame The Tall Mountain

Monday, September 7, 2020

Learning to appreciate what we have

 It is a lot more easy to say than to actually truly appreciate. We often don't know how good "it" is until "it" is gone. I am trying. I have found that for me I often have to take risk to find appreciation and risk taking has it's drawbacks though I am shall I say lucky to not know much first hand of these drawbacks but only to know of them and that is something always weighing in on my calculated balance. I think risk taking is actually healthy. I think that learning how and when to take a risk is a survival skill that helps us evolve.

Pikes Peak practice 2017


After I raced the Bottpower at Pikes Peak in 2017 I was pretty disgusted with myself for taking such great risk and knowing ahead of time how deadly a machine I was throwing a leg over. I came away from that experience a bit shook but through years of reflection I now know what a rare lesson of life I had learned. That bike may have damaged me a bit but it also made me a stronger risk taker. Case in point, when I had to use my SV in practice with it's 650cc compared to the 1344cc Bott bike It was like comparing ditch weed to black tar heroin. I was hooked on adrenaline and needed a fix so I sold my little SV and bought Hot Carl's proper ZX10 superbike. I wanted to do the late great Carl proud but I found the bike very serious and something about following in Carl's footsteps may have also been rattling chains in the back of my mind so when I moved back to the western slope, 5 hrs away from any tarmac tracks I sold it to help pay mortgage while my new shop got it's feet on the ground.



A couple years later I was asked by an old Denver friend if I wanted to buy my old SV back. The friend had bought it from some person who had bought it from the person I had originally sold it to. I admit that the only reason I brought it back home was because of sentimental fondness of the bike and because that I had put so much work into building the thing. When I rolled it back into my shop it was a bit haggard and smashed up but not neglected. It is after all the perfect learner track bike and I cant say that I didn't lay her down a time or two. Now what? 


 

Since some lucky lessons learnt on my 1993 Katana 600 I owned when I was a teenager I have always been very opinionated about sport bikes not belonging on open public roads. Every time I test ride one I know that handcuffs or a body bag very near. Perhaps it is the lack of racing this season or a 37 year old's brain short circuiting; First I transferred the title into my name just for the fun of it as it was still in the name of the person I originally bought the bike from the first time. Then I wired the license plate on and rode it around the block. It was happy to lift the front wheel and made me giggle like a kid with fire crackers. Then I wired up some lights and put a charging system back on it. I loaded it up in the back of my new shop truck I took in trade for an engine build and went home and drank too much knowing full well I was about to do some dumb shit.



I awoke with a pounding dehydrated desert dust bowl headache.  I weezed on the burnt wildfire air while squeezing my beer gut into my custom fit leathers, a gift from Roland Sands,  my wife simply said to me "Be wise." My first side road or more like a canyon route,  Colorado State Highway 141, is a dream road for such riding. I am surrounded by literally some of the best twisty roads in the world. Much of this road was freshly paved. The first cager I came up on waved me around and I took this as a pass to not slow for another cager all day. Complete outlaw organ donor style. Naughty. That guy. Sorry. Not sorry.


 

Some hours into my loop and about as far from home as I would be the old trusty SV spat it's chain in the middle of a very, very desolate straight stretch of desert. No shade. No cell service. No tools. 100 plus degree temps. I walked down the road for a while and finally found my old 520 DID ditch snake. A cager past me that I had overtook in the middle of a hairpin corner some time back and they had a look on their face like a pompas judge on American Idle or whatever those talant twat twiddling shows are. Sitting in the shade of my clip on handlbars I began to wish I had packed a bigger water bottle or at least a pair of plies. buzzards began to circle overhead,  no shit.  Just when I started to think about taking a long hot walk somebody finally pulled over and asked if I needed help. "As a matter of fact...." He had to dump a load of trash and said he would return and he did. We chucked the bike into his work truck and he was glad to drive me into busy holiday weekend Moab some 45 minutes away refusing any compensation from me! Not all the world has gone to shit.  I then found out that both bike shops in town were closed. A very busy side by side (golf carts for assholes) rental shop had some friendly mechanics who scrounged up a chain for me. I believe the universe provides and keeping some some faith in fellow humankind may be our only hope.


 

 The Colorado River road out of Moab is a beautiful section of curving cliff wall perfection. It is also busy and it was at this point in my adventure that I took to embracing the risks and overtook cars like I was a Valentino Rossi slash Road Rage 3D video game demon. Knee down, hill crest jumping, full concentration, and zone engaged. The final stretch from Utah back into Colorado took me by my holy ground by the name of Sisco, a now re-awaking ghost town, where Vanishing Point was filmed. As I passed graffiti on a crumbled old filling station wall proclaiming: KOWALSKI LIVES!!  I felt alive. I felt awakened my self. I pondered these feelings all night and all day yesterday into another night and as I walked into my shop this morning I realized that I am very appreciative of what I have and I probably ought to take that license plate off and throw it away. But will I?



Thursday, September 3, 2020

Lost in the weeds

 Loosing the Cosmic Cowboy has been tough. Realizing how much somebody means to you after they are gone is a tough load of shit to swallow. Since the first of February when I put Baja dog down I have been depressed. I dream of her often and awake completely sad. Last spring some morning doves nested in the tree right out side of our bedroom window and for months they were the inspiration of my life. After the chicks left the nest I was again left feeling alone. My loving partner is very patient with me but with the Corona Crap forcing her to work from home I have been trying to make sure I don't weigh her down with my moody bullshit. So I took to growing plants. My babies. And of course my shop has been completely over booked with work since the outbreak. I have been more busy than a dog with three dicks in a fire hydrant factory. Good yes, but busy is not as good as some think when you own your own business and have a trouble with telling people "Nope".  Colorado had it's largest wild fire 10 miles from my shop and after over a month of awful air quality and snowing ash,  cooler weather and a bit of rain has cleared things out finally. I feel a lot better just being able to breath clean air and see our beautiful horizons.  Also on the sunny side I was able to take a 3rd overall at an endure a couple of weeks ago. The two enduros and two hill climb races look to be it for 2020 as the last hill climb was just cancelled.  I will keep wrenching and dialing in the race car for next year and pounding my dirtbike through the desert to stay fit. And of course reaping the fruits of my gardening. We'll see...



 

Friday, July 31, 2020

No Cigar

Last weekend was the annual local off road dirt bike race put on by our local club the Book Cliff Rattlers MC. It was an enduro format with 7 special tests totaling 83 miles of gnar singletrack. Every year I dream of winning the home town race. I have finished on the overall podium at least 6 times but never the top. I started the first test like a bottle rocket and within 5 minutes I was flying upside down, feet first over my handlebars. Some how I still won the over all on the test. I finished the next several tests in 3rd or 2nd without loosing more that a second or two of the leader. After test 4 I gassed up my 12 year old trusty CRF450X and ate a few caffeine electrolyte pills. I blitzed test 5 and felt great. After finishing test 6 I knew that nobody could match what kind of shit I had just done. It was like perfect poetry in motion. Very speedy motion. ( I later learned that I overalled the test by a considerable amount of time.) The last test was the big ten miler and I was ready to squeeze every bit out of it. It started with a couple miles of super steep downhill bob sled deep ditch rear brake locked trench warfare. One mistake would be a huge over the bars, After dropping what felt like thousands of feet the course turned to two track. Fast moister soaked sandy two track with sweeping corners and 5th gear water bar launch ramps. I was giving my tall desert gearing everything it had and loving it. Then the technical rocky climbs came. This was why the final test was for A class only. I made not one mistake. Feeling strong I could almost taste the overall trophy, a huge vintage snowshoe mounted with a trail sign placard. It would look perfect above the mantle... "FUCK!" - The first of many to come out of my mouth after my brake pedal grazed a slab-rock in the middle of the trail causing me to loose balance as my bike and I fell 15 or 20 feet down into a creek. I burned my hand on my rear brake rotor as I flopped my bike off of me. The brake pedal had punched a hole in my clutch cover and there was gear oil all over everything. The rocky creek bed was a rage of foot deep water cascading off one boulder to the next. everything was slicker than greased moose shit. There was a barb wire fence directly downstream so up and out was my only option. I knew my race was over but I knew I needed to get my self out of the shit hole. There were tree limbs and branches as big as my legs everywhere and my poor beat to shit clutch was rattling like some vintage Ducati. With some end over end bike flopping, clutch abuse(No, murder!), and a bunch more "FUCK!"s we got back on the trail ten minutes after ejecting from it, crossing the finish line only a half mile away. I finished the last test in 140th out of the 230 entries, 10 minutes off of the leader, 20th overall for the day. So close yet so far. Could always be worse. Much. And a finish is a finish regardless of position or engine oil quantity...
On the next episode of flogging Molly: will the old red head Honda get a trophy.....

Chasing Silence


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Monarch Racer

CHCA round 2 on Monarch pass. A two mile section of mine road climbing thousands of feet just off of US Highway 50 and ending near timber line. Yes there are Monarch butterflies and yes I am lucky to race. I just received word that round 3, the Lands End hill climb has been cancelled. I am trying to find perspective but devastation is the only relative word I can find. I do live to race and though it is something I feel so strongly about I still can not explain why. Racing is just what has felt so sublime for me ever since I was a ten year old booger eater still shitting my pants on occasion. Racing is my savoir. Sphincter control and all. Amen. Anyhoo, the week before Monarch I received a call form the CHCA tech inspector who informed me the rally guys wanted me out of their class. Apparently they didn't like getting their asses kicked by a 1964 rusty slime green Herbie driven by a total rookie. After several failed protests on the rally rules I was supposed to be (and was) following I was allowed to stay entered in the Rally 2WD class and the bitching cry babies who have nice new proper modern race cars were told politely to shut the fuck up.  25 plus years of racing bikes of all sorts and never a protest or anything of the sorts and my first car race I was shown how very little some people hold the prestige of their racing morals. But meanwhile back to real racing; The motorcycle class at Monarch was the biggest class having 13 entries. That is double the most ever. And of course my epic, worthy, and welcome rival (who I cant help but mention races a 701cc and 650cc is the limit but I dont give a flying fuck!) who beat me at round 1 was ready to repeat along with two other riders who were nipping at my times every practice run. After Saturday I ended up in pole position in both motorcycle and Rally 2WD. On race day I ended up losing in my cager by less than a second to the offending protestor. Fair is fair, I'll beat him as I learn how to drive. The real racing action was on two wheels for me as I did not want to loose two of the dwindled four rounds (now 3 if we are lucky). I rode my 450 hill climb special with a fierce precision and won the class, setting a new record and finished 4th fastest vehicle of the day. And I drank a beer. And it was good!

The pit space up top at the mine site was primo, Especially with Marc and Andrew from the front rage there to help support me and my bulging hairy pepperoni titties ego.



I sure do appreciate being able to do this shit. I hope we as humans can somehow get more bonded together and stop bickering like a bunch of middle school cheerleaders all whacked out on laced pixie sticks and school spirit. PEACE!

Monday, June 22, 2020

The cabin fever pandemic takes me on a crazy train. A ghost train. The old Uintah Line... "The Crookedest Railway in the West".

I have never seen as many people out and about on the trails as I have this spring. Tell people to stay home and watch what happens. I am just another moth flocking to the flame. But these trails have always been my party. I was supposed to go to the moto track with Lord Mick Sunday but instead I ate mushrooms Saturday night with my Cookie and managed to swap my oversized gas tank onto my trusty ol beloved 650. I awoke Sunday with a plan to explore the old abandoned Uintah Rail line and the ghost town on Dragon Utah, some 80 miles north from my shop. The first 10 miles of the rout are a common dirt bike riding place for me but I never thought much about the random old flat graded remnants of the Uintah rail line. One of Colorado's most infamous rail road lines that now less than 100 years later is almost unknown to all but hobby train nerds( I love them). Ghost towns are cool. I grew up in a western Colorado mining town and some of my early memories are poking around the many abandoned former establishments. Tommy Knockers where also usually included in my bed time stories. Any hoo, I tooled along to the first ruins just a mere 20 miles from my shop in the old forgotten town of Atchee. All that is left of the once busy little town are the walls of the machine shop that served the giant steam locomotives.
Next is the 7 percent plus grade Baxter pass, switch backing up the Book cliffs to 8500 feet elevation. How such heavy machines traversed the pass are beyond me. And how the fuck they were able to hold brake down the grade. My fuck! Awesome shit in my mind I tell you.
Storage tank on top of Baxter pass, I could walk up the stairs and look down into it's hollow echo innards 
I shut off engine and coasted all the way down the back side some seven miles never touching my brakes or picking up any speed, twisting through the Aspen and pines, and service berry bushes as they turned back to juniper and sage brush. As the rout flattened out into Utah it became rather wide, well graveled and begged for 4th and 5th gear feet on the peg slides in and out of the twisty Evacuation (named) creek. Just as I started to have thoughts about being lost, nowhere near where my mental map thought, and running out of gas I flew by a small wooded sign that read "Dragon Utah". A few miles past and I found the old cemetery right across from the Gilsonite mine.
The Gilsonite vein mined here was in the shape of a dragon hence the name "Black Dragon Mine" and the town of Dragon. I found some old dug out one room homes still in the hill side and ate my brat weenie lunch amongst some old cans, broken blue glass shards and an old cook oven.
I tried to imagine the once booming town, founded back in the late 1800's. It was once the end of the rail line and with three hotels, hundreds of residents and even a gas filling station near the late 1930's before the trucks shut down the rail line. Hard to believe that out in the middle of nowhere was once somewhere to a lot of people.
This was once the entrance to the depot and then a filling station. All that remains is a dug out behind.
I ruminated and smoked a joint. Then I got back on my stead and took off towards home in a marihuana Baja 1000 flash back flat out frenzy. I made it all the way back in about an hour. An average speed that would have blown the minds of the old rail road workers. Those determined, unbelievably tough and crazy sons of good ol bitches. https://www.abandonedrails.com/uintah-railway





Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Search - The Anatomy of Auto Racing (1973)

I find this film outstanding. It is always a challenge for me to put the essence of racing into words but there are some great words said here. It also makes me wonder how different motor sport has become with the invasion of computers. I am thankful that we still live in an age where we can manually open throttle valves and control our machines with analog inputs. Long live the essence of seeking perfection through speed.

Monday, June 8, 2020

RACING!!! -The cold spell has broke.

I have not had a hiatus from racing this long since I was in grade school. I was hurt'n for a throttle flirt'n real bad. After over a year building the race car I finally got a go at my four wheel racing debut. It was a dream weekend. I slapped some old take off knobbies on my old pikes peak bike and loaded up the van with my "fancy race car trailer" in tow. I showed up friday evening to near 100 degree temps and a shit ton of flesh hungry ear buzzing biting natts. And then came the rain, after months of drought here in western Colorado. I slept away all night in the back of my van listening to the sweet patter of drops beating down on my van's roof. The first run Saturday morning was a bit of a mess as I forgot my front fender but by the time I was out again so was the sun and the thirsty desert dirt had soaked up all the slop becoming total traction. Being a four wheel rookie I was actually nervous in the bug but after a few runs I was in P1 and set a new Rally 2WD class course record. I also set a new motorcycle class course record during Saturday's practice/qualifying. Sunday was total sunny day race day. The usually marbly gravel 4.5 mile road was becoming a giant blue groove and pikes peak 3rd generation royalty Codie Vahsholtz was on to something with his 17" supermoto rains. He ended up beating me by .04 seconds ending my 5 year perfect CHCA win streak. I also took bride's maid in the bug to a BMW proper rally car driven by a suave dude with a European accent. I reckon you really can't win 'em all... Fuck, I love racing!
I find a meaning quality in finding enjoyment in something new right now with all that has slipped away from me lately. Racing and loving company are the only two things I feel with such a pureness that doing them completely and passionately are all I feel obligated to do and involve myself with.


Call me Dick Trickle


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy

It is funny how one day just flows into another. Not unlike one generation flows into another, everything changes, only time's elusive passing is constant.
Trying to make the most of life.
Reflecting, ruminating, searching for the essence of it all.
Just living.