Practice on the hill last week went great for me. At least until Thursday morning. This is when things turned around for my companion Carl. His bike was finally tuned and taking throttle for the first time all practice week and the early practice weekend before. The red headed italian bitch of a bike was finally letting him ride with out sputtering and fart burping like a drunk having an epileptic seizure. Carl was all smiles as usual when he put his helmet on. I was fumbling with my ear plugs and he got the jump on me to practice line. I watched him launch and grab gears like a pouncing tiger. On that practice run near the top of the mountain I ran wide in one corner. "OH SHIT!" I said as I neared the slippery white paint line on the edge. A few corners later and I saw a photographer waiving something. Awaiting to come backdown as a group the word went out that number 217 went off... Who is that I thought as if my brain was trying to keep it from me. It registered. On the way down there was an ambulance and flagging on the out side of Cog Cut, a blind apex corner that had become so bumpy bikes were jumping through like a mx whoop section. We sat at our pit waiting for the ambulance to pass us and head down the mountain. It never did. My retarded brain finally computed what the flagging was laid down for and why I would never again hear Carl's laugh. See his ear to ear grin and listen to him teach me about getting off the seat, looking through the corner and keeping my god damned feet on the pegs.
Friday morning I qualified P 2 less than two seconds of pole.
Saturday we rode our street legal bikes up with normal traffic. Nearing the summit I stopped where Carl flew off. There were bumps. Big greasy fat marmot whistle pigs hanging out like Nascar fans. A culvert and many jagged boulders. My wife squeezed me and I knew she did not care to stop and see. She wanted to keep moving. Keep moving forward. On ward and upward.
Sunday morning I felt solid. I had a real team around me making sure everything was ready. My Love and friends were all supporting me. I hugged Carl's widow and then turned to my Love and gave her an embrace and then swung a leg over the super machine. The flag waived and I gave it the beans. All week the bike launching from starts was the talk of the pits. Every time it launched it spun, crouched and wheelied as I feathered the clutch. This time it nearly shit the bed. Starting on a cold engine was not a good idea. after a mile of throttle massaging it finally started to rev. Then she revved to hard and to much exiting a hard corner. Ass end gone. I was tossed out of the seat holding on to the bars and twisting that fucking thing for dear life, somehow my lower body founds its position. Whew! The back was total grease on the gas. Nothing I did to accelerate could keep it from stepping out. In one long horse shoe corner I felt it start to go, without thinking I stood it up and rode it into the drainage ditch. I kept it pinned and rode out never missing a beat. Up through the double u switch backs sliding every corner. Near the Devil's Playground as I approached my cheering fan section the bike went into limp mode. Over heated and probably as angry at me as I was at it the thing went retard and limped all the way past the downhill of Bottomless Pit. It finally cooled down and regained full power. I lofted the front wheel in every shift and made my way to Carl's Corner. It took everything I had to not completely let off the gas. Two corners left. Everything I had was given. I crossed the line. The last dirt on the mountain is in the summit parking lot. I pitched that thing sideways to celebrate but this beast has no steering. I hit the locks and dumped it over the highside. The camera crew interviewing the HRC honda who finished a mer 14 seconds in front of me for 1st caught it all. I did not know whether to laugh or cry. Feel ashamed or honored. All I know is I am learning the way every day and from hear on it is on my shoulders to do my best every time I line up. No matter what that line is. I will keep charging forward. 2015 2nd place Heavy weight and 2nd motorcycle and 10th overall vehicle with a time of 10:18. Good bye Pikes Peak. It has been amazing. R.I.P. 217.