The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is fast approaching. With all that has happend in my road racing this year, I haven’t dedicated too much thought to it. Many snags have come up and been sovled, but the logistics of the race and the actual race are veryt different. I was able to take my rookie passenger Giorgina Gottleib for 3 quick sessions during regular practice, but a road racing sidecar is quite different from a motorcross machine. The high speed did not seem to phase her in the slightest though, and that would have been the one thing we couldn’t work out during Pikes Peak. If your brain locks up at high speed, it takes a lot of work to overcome. Knowing that Gina will be okay with the pace of it all is a huge relief for me.
Remember that I have an entirely new machine to deal with myself. Having learned to road race on under-powered equipment in the past, I at least understand the need to keep the lines smooth and the motor revving, but the dynamics of this machine is very different. The chair has suspension but no brake, there is a large amount of suspension travel and skinny tires, a high center of gravity, and the passenger moves around in a very different way. Couple this all with the limited sight distance of the course, and I have my work cut out for me.
Practice time will be of great importance, especially in the dirt sections, one of which had a large amount of pavement added to it since last year. Fortunately we will again be sponsored by Bristol Brewery. I am “old school” in my racing approach; a cold one (or two) after practice is a GREAT way to decompress and review.
Other support comes from my road racing sponsors. Becker Moto Works, Sinful Flesh Clothing, and Victorville Motorcycle Center. The effort will remain a small one this year, but that’s not to say the effort level is low. Dave Hennessy has put in many hours to prepare my machine after the engine failed last year, and has lent me use of it for practically nothing. His own street-based machine had needed much attention too, and he has put both machines together while living the same life the rest of us mortals do; bills, jobs, worries, family… the whole enchilada.
I should have internet when I get to Colorado, so look here for updates during the Race To The Clouds. For more information, go to www.ppihc.com