This past Tuesday was my third track day and first at Laguna Seca this year. The day started off rainy but ended up sunny and the track sticky. I rode in B+ group not feeling like I was up for A group. I could drop a few more pounds from this past winter and my tires were marginal after five days on the track. B+ group was a ton of fun and actually very fast.
My focus now is my diet and spending a lot more time on my bicycle and spin bike. Hopefully in a another month I will be back in A group. Thanks to Keigwins for hosting the day and GotBlueMilk for the great pictures and Kawasaki for engineering such a wonderful superbike the ZX-10R.
Not sure how this happened but to be honest I have to admit, I do really, really love old, old, old American v8 1500 series trucks and vans. It is true they just don’t make them like they used too and I always have a ‘need’ for them. Total value of both a Yukon and RamVan together is only about $4,000. But the fun and utility they continue to provide is priceless.
It seems to me, that while most folks are still enamored with old Mustangs and Camero’s… I think the real ‘keepers’ of the 90’s are American trucks. My Yukon is a 97, and RamVan a 99… both with little over a 100,000 miles are still running strong and every day reliable vehicles.
I plan to keep them running for another 20 years, hopefully longer. Want to go on a road-trip?
Dodge RamVan 1500
About two years ago I started taking flying lessons….then I stopped after about 7 hours. Not sure why, I just could not get comfortable in the sky. But really I think it was because I had not accomplished what I had set out to do six years earlier to learn how to ride superbikes on racetracks. This past fall, I finally felt comfortable with my motorcycle goals (A-Group) and began to think about flying again.
This time, I felt totally different in the sky. I have been training in a low wing airplane and a new flight instructor, Jon Thornton and owner Chris Gularte who I really like at Specialized Helicopters in Watsonville, CA. After about 30 hours across 25 flights and 100+ landings I finally was ready to solo. And it was very scary/exciting. It also happened to be on a raining day, but calm, no other planes in the sky…no wonder. But it was a perfect day to go for it – and I am glad it is over-with.
One thing did stand out for me in that I was surprised that learning how to ride a race motorcycle on a grand prix track like Laguna Seca was 10X harder than learning how to fly and land a small airplane. My ZX10R motorcycle is actually faster on the track then my plane in the sky. 135mhp vs 110mph. But flying is also filled with regulations, communications and a soft touch on the yoke. Closer to sailing in the sky really.
But like the Wright brothers who started with two wheels as bicycle builders, you still have to ‘ride or fly’ the plane. So this concept carries over. Except with motorcycles its all adrenaline, aggression and some bravery. Flying is a soft touch, mostly how to ‘slow’ the plane down for landing, vs full-throttle on a bike whenever possible. A good deal.
130mph on Motorcycle
After not riding much last year I couldn’t resist signing up for a few days this spring with Keigwins at Laguna Seca Raceway. The weather was awesome and the track super grippy.
Thanks to Rick for capturing some video from an afternoon session. I’m on the green bike in front starting at the 3:30 mark for a few laps. I was averaging 2:03 lap times on my Kawasaki ZX-10R.
In preparation for an upcoming X2Engine software release in two weeks, Richard, Tony and I headed up the coast a few miles to make a short “About X2Engine” video. The idea was to hopefully capture both the spirit of X2Engine the software company but also our beautiful local Santa Cruz surroundings. Its a limited time, low budget, GoPro video project but I think it turned out alright.
A couple of GoPro videos at Laguna Seca Raceway this Saturday on my Kawasaki ZX-10R . Beautiful weather, great group of riders, super grippy track. I rode consistent 1:56 laps times which I was very happy about. This is as good as it gets for me.
It has been a long season, but finally yesterday everything started to click. I really wasn’t expecting it, but right out of the gate my lap-times dropped four seconds to 1:56.7, a solid B+ (intermediate/advanced) group time. Moving from being the fast guy in the slow group to the truly fast group, I was a little worried, but after a few laps I felt pretty much at home and happy to be able to keep pace with riders at this level.
Today though I was hit by another rider at 108mph at turn 1 which fortunately for me did not make me crash but I did run off the track and was shaken up a bit mentally. Can’t say the same about the other rider, but it was his mistake… After taking a big tumble in the dirt he was able to walk it off, but his bike was in bad shape – possibly totaled. After taking some time off to allow my nerves to settle down, I decided to call it a day and be content with yesterdays personal best lap time. To ride at these speeds you really do need to have a very clear mind and be-in-the-mood to go fast in order to have fun and be safe.