Thursday, June 14, 2018

Homeless, wealthy, reckless, and wild

Shortly after this wonderful photo was taken I set up my cot between bike and my tool chest. There I slept and dreamt. I sleep better in my somewhat self cooled brick building shop than compared to my camper that has been serving as my home for the last two weeks. Parked in a lovely junk yard out in Rocky Flats where the winds of radiation and nuclear waste blow freely through the screen caravan windows. Two weeks ago I moved out of my nice home. Not forced out by financial or marital problems (Cookie and I are tighter than Jacque Cousteau's deep sea butt checks) but rather for a change of direction in life. We are planning our evacuation of the ever overcrowding city and charting a course for a living situation that better suites both of our rural roots. The first part of the plan is getting my Cookie her MLS degree in Kansas and getting me more than one shower a week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Back on America's Mountain

Early tire test was last weekend and it went very well. Im up 20 lbs since the last 450 attack on the hill and since then have been accustomed to bikes with almost four times the power so the bike feels a bit slow. But looking back at my notes on gearing and set up, the bike is making more power than ever. Large in thanks to the Lectern carb and my development in engine building. The bike is running out of revs in 5th gear at the top so that is good. It sure is a lot of fun to be able to push the bike so hard and not be as scared as I was last year.  The Light Weight class is stacked with competition. Our times were all with in a few seconds every run so I will have my work cut out for me....

Sunday, June 10, 2018

#3



Sometimes traction is hard to find but hooking up is not always important; Keeping momentum and keeping the wheels turning is -Both life and racing.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The good stuff




Every once in a while I am able to stop chasing the tennis balls and sticks thrown for me and take a few days to relax and let the good stuff soak in. Happy to be alive and lucky to experience it shared with her.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Temple Canyon #1


When it is good, it is good. Wallace gets it, Baja gets it, and I try.

I think one of the things I like about Hill Climb racing is all the waiting. It sucks. Contradictions. The brief moments that demand fulfillment of potential. All day spent waiting for two 2 and a half minute runs. I try.

The Pikes Peak bike is running stronger than ever with new engine build and a Lectern carb that I have only great things to say about.  One more test race with some Supermoto this weekend and then...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Moments of clarity

Moments of clarity. They seem rare and precious but it was not always so. When I was a growing child (a younger one than I am now) everything was a revelation and something that struck chord on the consciousness of here and now. It seems the older I get the more meaningful these moments of clarity. Often times my meaningful moments are when the visor is down, body is attentive and all is revolving around what happens between a green flag and a checkered flag. They seem a window to a world that allows potential to fulfill a true and pure purpose. A quality is found.  So silly a game to an outside perspective but the inability for "normal" to fit into it is part of what makes it a quality, at least to me. I have had much on my plate lately. Much is up in the air in my current life's chapter. I am moving and moving is always a time of some stress. So today when I put on my race lid and did what I do between the green and checkered flag, I felt a relieve, a personal conquest of finding my way. I found my way right up to the edge where as my front tire broke traction, I looked over the edge at what all I had found my self perched upon. And then I did it again. And then pushed a bit harder. It is important to know where the edge is for me and that is one of my ways of getting shit done. In racing, in relationships, in my job, and as they are all one; in my life.
Yesterday I had a talk with a friend about being lucky and how it is possible for one to be lucky or the counter part. It is a basic truth that some have great luck while others seem to always come out of a barrel of loly-pops sucking their own thumb. How can the laws of nature be? Does what go around really come around... always? I believe so or do I just follow such ethics? I am not sure of any but I am sure that whatever happens happens and that is just the way it goes, Simple truth. Nature has no favorites beyond Darwinism But I do indulge questions to scratch an itch in my pondering; why am I so damn lucky, and will I always feel so? Totally stupid ponder but maybe I am just getting some shit off my chest. Maybe I want to shout it from  a rooftop that I am one lucky sumbitch. Or maybe - hell, any half brained racer knows that it is not even worth a bother to worry over. Be thankful for the good in life. Love what you love. Race the race. 747 soapbox over and out for now.
Wallace took great pics of the hill climb race today but they aint ready yet so here is one he took at Pikes Peak about a year ago. My SV650. In the following corner I lost the front and layed her down. Wallace being the true friend was more concerned about me than getting the shot. I like Wallace. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Good things gone bad

I knew the intake valve was wasted. It was so rusted that when I brushed the rust off, it had deep rotted pits. But I cut a fresh valve seat and face and ran it. At the last race of the season last year it held up. However on the first lap of the first race of this season it let go. This is how I do R&D. My dumb ass ruined a nice old Bruce Sass ported head. Damn it!




Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Seeing red

This Yamahammer would be a threat for Pike Peak

I have always wanted to build a XR650R tracker like this. I approve.

This little piece of eye candy makes me want to do some spiff to my Little Goose.

Friday, April 27, 2018

GATEKEEPER

Brilliant animation by the beloved Stevie Gee!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

project half liter skeeter eater

Believe it or not, I have put more into this bike than any other build I have done.
Customer brought a 2007 KX450F into my shop with stuck kick start. He let friends borrow it. The piston cam off with the head and the rod was in the transmission. I was about to take what you see in this picture to the scrapper when I had a light bulb go off in my head. Why not put a KX500 engine in this thing...

The most series mod was moving the font frame 'Y' up several inches to allow the two stroke header pipe to fit. I cut and re welded a CR500 pipe in several places to fit. And yes, I know I will crush this pipe....


I spent some coin on some wheels. I even went far more bling than I have ever dared with green nipples.

The pipe and water pipe fittings were tough.

Just waiting on some custom radiators and some cool guy stickers that Scott next door is doing up.  I am pretty stocked.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Life, Death, and the In-between.

How did I get here. Where have I been. Where am I going?
Onward and upward. Progressing Never stagnant.
Growing. Learning. Living.

Tomorrow I will go to a memorial service for a person who was very much responsible for my way of life. I Met Chris Johns when I was maybe 3 years old. My first memories of the then US Ski team mega athlete were of what he gave me. First generation black and white Oakley goggles and some day glow ski racing stickers. The gifts since have been many. From my treasured copy of  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to teaching me how to stick my foot into the front wheel of my BMX resulting in a "Polish wheelie". He built many bicycles for me, some I still own. He would trials ride his bicycle over a car, Wheelie for miles and miles with a huge charismatic smile infecting everyone around him with feel good go get it done attitude. He was the first to teach me how to go fast on a DIRTBIKE and ride a proper trail ride. A master mentor of shredding the gnar. My first job off of the family ranch was assembling new bicycles at his shop (WHEEELS) and with this came my attention to detail and proper set up when working on anything mechanical. After I graduated motorcycle mechanics school I got a job back at my local Honda dealership. Years passed and the dealership was bought out by a Texas multi car dealership owner who instilled my first distaste for corporate giant mega shops. Though I was the top producing tech I was unfairly laid off due to my out spoken opinions. That very day Chris Johns made room in his crowded bicycle shop for my tools and told me I could just fix motorcycles for people there; Easy as that! I could not imagine being able to make a living for myself but he kept telling me I could make it happen and by the end of that summer I realized he was right. He taught me the value in customer relations and the simple quality of a small shop with simple ways. I ended up going to work for a few more dealerships in order to focus on racing and 8 years later I made the jump to open up Newbold's Motorbike Shop. Despite everybody telling me I couldn't with what little I had, I knew I could. Thanks to Chris.
A few days before he succumbed to a sudden epileptic seizure at home alone, Johnsie made a surprise visit to my shop. The 51 year old mega athlete still in top physical form. I called him "Fast Guy" and he said he was grey and old and that he passed that torch to me a long time ago. He said that he had just enjoyed his first winter vacation in many years and his now super successful bicycle shop was finally on the winning end of all he had invested for so many years. He was just now finally able to not work 7 days a week and he could start to ride his XR650R on some long adventure rides. Time to enjoy life. That was our last conversation.

Since his passing this last month I have done a lot of deep searching. I realize that I am one of the most fortunate  assholes on this planet. I realize that I have near full control over piloting this ship. So many red blooded Americans in my shoes would capitalize on my overly busy shop. I could easily hire several mechanics and keep them busy with the amount of work I am turning away every day. I could stock the store front with expensive leather and overpriced outfits, coffee, trinkets, do-hickies, thing-mobobbers and such. I could probably make a bunch of money and then maybe someday pay off and live fat. I can't stay stagnant so I feel I must. The billboards at the bank tell me so. The city of Denver is exploding with economy. The traffic is jammed up like yesterday's cheddar cheese colon log. Huge billboards as far as the eye can see telling me to relish the life of such slavery. Buy, spend, inflate, consume, overpopulate, eat more, sleep less, work harder,  after all being a hard worker is something to aspire to right! Right? Is it really? Since when? Says who? Really....
There is the past to learn form.
The futur is uncertain, prepare if possible, or better yet just live it as it becomes the Now. 
The Now is the only thing that really matters or even truly exists.
Right Now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Hey kids, remember supermoto?!

Right after the turn of the century it was supposed to be the next big thing. It was actually pretty big here in the states for a few years before the AMA worked it's failing film flam ways of running a race series with it. Combining road racing, dirt sliding, and moto-battling; I like it a lot. I don't get to do it as much as I would like to but two years ago I did an AMA national and battled with the best in our land. (I came in near last place in the main but hey, I just having fun on my old pikes peak bike eh!) Later in 2016 I won the overall in the pro main at our local series finale race.
Any hoo, I have rebuilt my old 2005 CRFX framed 08 CRF450R engine Pikes Peak bike for a 450cc Come Back Attack on the hill. Yes, they accepted my entry this year! it must have been like swallowing a mouth of rotten earth worms for them to let me race my 10th race on the mountain in 11 years. This really may be my last race on the hill... I mean it, seriously! Well, I keep wandering off topic like a lost little puppy in the big scary city of shitty titty. Supermoto, ah yes, I went to a supremo race to test the new pikes engine build and new custom built Lectron carburetor. And it ripped. Lots of fun. I raced it to 2nd place in the asphalt class. Then, after lunch they ran the dirt supremo classes. The dust was as thick and intense as being buried in an avalanche. Having just re-welded my aluminum framed motor mounts I was not thrilled at how harshly I was bottoming out my 5" lowered suspension on both the jump landings and take-offs. As I was complaining about the thrashing my fresh pikes peak build was receiving a friendly near total stranger to me who helped build the original Ronin motorcycle project offered me his recently purchased proper supremo bike. It was a true former AMA pro bike from the glory days of American sumo. A near pristine 2004 CRF450 raced to 4th in the X games and then sat out many a day just sitting in a shed. I am always apprehensive to borrow other's rides and the law of borrowing bikes clearly states that something bad will happpen to bike when it is lent out. So the first thing I did was charge into the first corner and dump it. Luckily I absorbed most of the bike's fall with my head. It is good for something after all! I remounted and somehow won the moto. The fast guys were gentleman and gave them selves a handicap start. They would not do this in the 2 moto and I cam in 3rd. Well enough for some pay-out and a smile. I offered to bring the borrowed bike back to my shop for a little TLC and the pikes peak bike is ready to rip another trip up the hill. In the mean time I plan on testing another set of suspension on it in the next and final supremoto before June 25th, the day of the race to the clouds!
Damn, I look good!
The crash pic was found on facebook and sent to me, Wallace took the others.

I may have won the race but that helmet and suit will never be anywhere near new again.

I need to get a roost boost on

Jumping slick tires on dirt is a thrill. I dig it.

She aint no show pony. She aint no jacked up 4x4 mall crawler. She is my do-all and she makes me "Pink to Purple" every time!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sideburn lives

Sideburn has retired the blogspot but their website is full of action. Check out the stories section here.  I am super stoked to share some of my writings and blog posts there plus there are some more great pics from Wallace. While you are there pick up a copy of the new issue #32 that has a feature article I wrote about good old dirt hill climb racing. It was probably one of my most fun stories to write ever.

Baja supervises as I test a big bore top end. Because 500cc is not enough?

Backing it into the first turn of 6 miles of twisty dirt. Read about it in the new Sideburn mag.

Jon Brapp_Snapps Wallace captures some essence.

Monday, March 26, 2018

"It is not about the bike". - Lance

Whenit came out, I enjoyed reading Lance Armstrong's book: It Is Not About The Bike. I think He went and later proved that point very well. Now I am not advocating dope or maybe I am but I am quickly wandering from what point I want to make. My red headed 2009 CRF450X is not a motocross purpose built bike but rather a toned down fat old man version of its fire breathing 'ARRGH' brother complete with electric start and lights. I like to race motocross on it and I really like to beat Monster Energy 'Bro's' with their brand new super tricked out over priced bike and fancy matching power ranger outfits. This bike is now ten years old and when I thought about upgrading to a new bike like before this one I would do every single season religiously, I thought not. We have grown a bond that is strong. This bike has won the over all in enduros and cross country hair scrambles, moto, and even been on the podium at pikes peak and flat tracked the Stockton half mile. Maybe it is about the bike. I love this bike. Much.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The year I drove a BMW

It was a $600 20 year old four door 317I with over 340k on the clock. I wanted to escape the small town trouble I was getting into and follow the national off road WORCS series. I found that my bike fit quit nice into the back seat after I removed the wheels, forks and handlebars. At 40 mpg the I wonder why I don’t still travel to races in such a fashion. I would arrive to a race pit swarmed with giant semi trucks and grey hound bus sized RV campers and easily find room for my bike stand. While I would assemble my bike with a special pride. Some people would strike up a conversation about how I was keeping the soul of the sport while most people would just stare. At round 3 of 12 such a conversation was struck with the Maxxis tire support truck and before I knew it I had a job spooning on 50-100 tires at every round of the series. At $10 a tire I was now paying my entry fee and some of the travel expense. By the halfway point of the season I was a known face at the WORCS races. The races were spread across the western USA; SoCal, Utah, Arizona and up to Washington state. Washougal MX was the first destination of many for my then 6 week old Border Collie pup Baja. I remember showing up to the locked front gate in the middles of the night and like always I slept out beside my car in my old mummy bag. I tied some nylon chord around my pup and held it in my hand but when I awoke to the procession of big rigs entering the gates my pup was gone. As soon as crawled out of my fart sack to the laughs of passer bys my little black and white buddy came leaping out of the dense forest to lick my face with the pungent stink only puppy kisses hold. I ended up taking a job in Seattle for a month and a half followed by two weeks working in Vegas on a big trade show while being put up in the now demolished Sahara casino. I returned home to Colorado a man that the boy I was could never have become but from following a dream. That summer I stuck that little Beemer axle deep in Pismo beach as the tide came in and filled my floor boards as the local Cali bros filled my pockets with hashish in admiration for my mode of travel. On a lonesome blistering hot stretch in Nevada I punched out my broken sunroof in a desperate rage to get cool air. Within a mile the pulsing wind made me turn around to retrieve my sunroof and duck tape it back into place. I would often pull off into truck stops, driveways, and vacant fields and dump out onto the ground to sleep only to awaken to a bustling California fruit stand or a lot lizard in a crack come down frenzy. Many a midnight songs were cranked through that CD player. Many friends were made at the races. Even a pit tootsie or two snuck some naughty in that little car. My hard sweating work on the tire truck changing tires between my races helped my push myself. My racing results were on par with some of the top racers. I was invited to eat diner with the best of people in the paddock from the everyday mom and pops to people like Destry Abbot. The late Nathan Woods once let me sleep inside the back of his toy hauler. I was pickep up by some sugar daddies to race for Team USA in an FIM Asia Enduro round in Thailand. Simply because of how I did things. By the final round of the year I won an amateur over all class championship. All this with no real source of finance. Just the desire to race. That winter I bought a van and since then I have chased my never ending dream. The adventure will always be whatever we make it to be…