Saturday, April 14, 2018

Feeling the potential

Something I have not written about much is riding the Bott. It was a very special bike to ride with a big potential at Pikes Peak. Perhaps I have not written about it because I have found dismay in the potential of both the bike and myself getting along. I am able to find fault in me not riding the bike closer to it's intended limit. I also have respect for the builder of the bike. The builder's mechanics however, I have not.  I walked away form the ordeal with a respectable class win and 4th overall bike but I also walked away from countless mechanical failures. Maybe I am content to find it best to just leave it at that, an intact ass body and soul and all. Onward.
However, there was one brief early practice morning run made on the bike that was 2nd fastest of the day behind Chis Fillmore. The single run beckoned my holy feelings of touching potential. Speaking to the gods of speed. Maybe, it was just another near death experience. But on the top section of the mountain on the Thursday practice, the same day and section that we lost our dear beloved and much missed Hot Carl, I flogged the Bott. Of course that was one of the only runs that nobody turned on the GoPro. Other wise a pant shitting video of pushing the limits of man and machine would follow. The bike had been running like complete shit, popping, miss-firing and stuttering in the complete power band up until then. On more than a few occasions I have set people's Pikes Peak problems straight with the simple elixir of pump gas. Good old 91 octane straight out of the 7-11 all night fuel station. The high altitude will make even the most high compression engine find high octane race fuel more worthless than a limp dick at the gang bang party. (Sorry.)
The proud spanish mechanic finally let me try some fuel from the generator jug that usually feeds my lawn mower. The bike came alive. I think I only got 3 runs that morning and that was the run I remember. The bike launched, lifting the front wheel as I grabbed the first couple of gears I held it open as I approached the first blind sweeping corner with only sky beyond and below the outer edge. The motor kept pulling 5th as I swooped into The Bottomless Pit. I found a new respect in the bike if only briefly as I was able to feel smooth power delivery through the flawed throttle. The new crisp response was enough to break the back end loose more than a few times, usually exiting a corner with only doom as a fail safe. The speeds were unlike anything I had felt on the Ronin or my little 450. I came within inches of the edge of the tarmac. I remember cresting the summit at the finish line and then taking a big breath... And another.... and then swearing at the top of my lungs. When I came to a stop I was shaking too much to even hold the bike up. My muscles were quivering, my lungs gasping and my mind going completely frazled. That was the only time I ever came close to feeling the potential of such a bike.
There is no way I could put myself through that again. I am stoked to be on my trusty old 450cc machine this year. I imagine the Bott team will have a sorted effort this year and I actually hope to see them king of the hill. For me, I hope see some Lone Duck Campgound fun like we had back in 2008.
After all potential is only what we make it. Peace!

1 comment:

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