Here I am writing about the Quinte TT (Vintage Festival) at Shannonville last weekend and I didn’t even go. Sad, eh? I wanted to, but there was no way I could make the 3 hour drive with the back still in the state it’s in. Frankly, I’m still a mess. Can’t sit for long, can’t walk for long, can’t stand for long… All these landmines lying around and I can't even tap dance on 'em. I mean, thankfully there are still a few things I can do, but life this summer’s bound to be pretty dull, so I’ll be living it vicariously through customers and friends.
Before I forget; to all of you who sent wishes for my speedy recovery, sympathy, etc – thanks! I’ll get to writing replies out to you eventually (if I haven’t already)…
By all accounts, the Quinte TT was a great success, although Adam Bennett’s plans for one last race before chemotherapy went down the drain with a wayward gearbox main shaft bearing circlip. Quite the pucker moment I’m told, as the failure meant that he banged two gears at once at the end of the back straight – and the gearbox (and back wheel) locked solid. He had a few good sessions though and if the chemo doesn’t knock him down to badly, he plans to give it another try at Mid-Ohio. Tough Guy.
Sal Scebba’s son Stephano also completed the school on Sal’s 900SS Brutus, thereby ensuring that his Dad will have very little money left by the end of the season.
Dan Gosen had a brilliant weekend on the Euroclassic / loudbike 900SS that he and Tim have spent so munch time (and money) on this past winter. Dan flew – and picked up an impressive 4th in the P4 F1 main event.
As for my F1, it fared far better than I with a few bent bits and some cosmetic damage. Amazing really, considering where I went off. Looking at the bike and talking about the incident (is that what we’ll call it from now on?) with Fran, I’ve been able to piece together what happened. OK, so I was tired and stressed-out – and battling an infection. The temperature was in the high mid-thirties (that’s really friggin’ hot for you ‘Muricans) and Fran and I agreed on the hot pit that were both packing it in after the session as we were far to old and bagged for any more fun. We were just gonna play tag. What Fran and have been calling tag for the last decade involves running in pretty close formation at a 7/10s or 8/10s pace and setting each other up for interesting passes that we’d probably never get away with in real life. This is HUGE FUN and in fact has had an impressive effect on our ability to move through traffic and execute very cool passes when racing or otherwise screwing around at track days. The problem that weekend was that Fran had finally made the moves to slicks on his TT and was simply flying. What I had told him would happen with slicks had indeed happened: He had become INVINCIBLE (which is sort of what happened to me when I made the switch as well). Except that I was off my usual pace and feeling far less than invincible – in fact I was having to work to stay with him. Given that I’ve never been comfortable with Turn 8 (let alone making an inside pass on the entrance) and given the proximity and lack of room (relative to my fear factor) that I’d left myself, I’ve bought into the “spooked” theory and it plays back with reasonable clarity in my somewhat age-addled brain. So, I took the inside curb, lost control, gained control, rode through the gravel trap, survived the grass and hit the hay bales (according to the bike damage) upright and at a fairly low speed. Although it would seem that it was a high enough speed to pitch me over the bike, the bales, and the tires – and into the wall. It would seem that you don’t have to hit the wall too hard to get hurt.
So, once I examined the F1 I took it over to Jon Snaddon’s where he verified that nothing had made it into the top-end, stripped the bodywork, straightened the foot peg mounting plates, replaced the kill switch, straightened the front fairing mount and made a new upper fairing mount. The rear sub-frame (bent to the left in a low-side by a previous owner) was now straight. With no structural damage and the bike in perfect alignment, it’ll look better than it did pre-crash as the paintwork was starting to show its age. But of course I can’t friggin’ ride it – which sucks. I also don’t’ get to ride Neville’s horny RC51 SP1 until the Fall and that’s a disappointment ‘cause it’s getting pretty close to done and promises to be a hot looking, amazing ride.
So, with Andrew coming in most morning to act as my rented hands, I’m pickin’ away at the RC and about to start doing the same with Patrick’s bevel. Slow going, but better every day. With the new Metachex swing arm in hand and SBK forks a few days away, Marcus’ 900SS goes to Jon’s tomorrow so I can taunt him while he does the careful assembly over the next couple of weeks.
Content: 1987 Ducati 750 F1, loudbike, Steve Munro