Foodie Pr0n (on a Racing Budget)

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Thought I’d snap a pic of some yummy dish I am being served in some awesome eatery I’m trying for the first time, eh? Wrong! Too many of THOSE kinda things already floating around on the Internetz. This is the other end of the spectrum… a how-to guide of turning a can of cat food into yummy pâté without anybody being the wiser. It’s vegetarian, I swear. Dinner’s served. Bon appétit! ;P Not quite… but almost.

The Essence of Ramen

Not Ramen noodles, AGAIN?!? Those things are deep fried and so unhealthy for you calorie-counting, carb-counting, fitness-junkie types. That means, they are really not fit for human consumption. But they are oh-so-yummy (for the first two months) and extremely versatile. The Swiss Army knife of your pantry. Cheap, too. In value and nutrition. They probably are carcinogenic…

They were the staple during my stint in the halls of higher learning. Food for the student budget.

Don’t cook them, just pound on the package with your fist, and they’ll serve your need for sustenance quite well during an all-night LAN party.

You make soup out of the packet the following afternoon, because you’re in too much of a hurry to get back online to PWN your Guild’s enemies in that MMORPG you’ve become addicted to three years ago. But you can quit anytime!

This stuff has a half-life instead of an expiration date. It stock-piles well, and was the main item on the shelves of the more militant amongst the Y2Kers.

I think you could launch an unopened, uncrushed pack and use it for skeet shootin’ practice.

You can’t just eat one pack, you have to make two at once.

WTF, over?!?

And now that I have been jettisoned by the minions of Corp America for being a cog in their plans for world domination, Ramen noodles are again on my menu. Food for the full-time amateur racer and freelance Pixel Pusher and whichever other skills of mine I can manage to apply for a little profit.

Oh, oh… I feel a sales pitch comin’ on… … … wait… THERE:

Wrecked your ride at the track and now you need corresponding accident evidence on the side of the road to get your insurance to foot the bill and are clueless as to how to stage the scene?!?

We’re here to help! Call 1-800-WAD-OOPS and let us lowside it for you. Our wadding specialists are fully certifiable and fully licensed. Just remember, you wrecked your shit because you  saw a deer… YOU SAW A DEER.

Call our wrecking crew now! Operators are standing by. When a bike falling out of the back of a speeding pickup truck just won’t do, because you done did that once already, we’re here for you. We can help. Call now. We’re at it 24/7 (closed on Saturday and Sundays and sometimes Fridays, that’s racing time; also we don’t crash nuthin’ on Mondays).

Other options are available, pricing varies by package chosen. Restrictions may apply. Not valid with any other offer. See fine print for details. Attorneys need not apply (even if they went to the track and wiped out on their Desmosedici in T1). Void where prohibited. Crash two, get one free. Harley Clubs: We specialize in multi-vehicle pile-ups.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was gonna cook something because I’m hungry…

Let creativity save the (tummy’s) day!

Recipe (for Disaster?) Tomato Bisque

1 family-sized can of generic no-taste condensed tomato soup, prepare as told on the side, but only use 75% of the H2O

1 can of crappy store-brand diced tomatoes

A truckload of various spices and dried herbs to taste in type and quantity

A decent amount of high-fructose corn syrup… I mean, ketchup; squeeze the bottle until your fingers ache.

The “Victory Lap” version also calls for

A fairly good amount of generic half & half, made from the milk of bored indoor cows and chlorinated pool water); use as much as you can afford or until the concoction turns a nice deep pink bisque color, whichever comes first

1 huge pile of kinda-ok generic sour cream, also made from the milk of those same unhappy cows

A good sprinkling of fresh green onions, to fool the senses into believing this crap is actually yummy

A toddler’s handful of crummy seasoned croutons

It’s freakin’ Synergy, baby!!! I’m gonna eat good for three days! I was so excited I just had to share.

Now, my soup’s cold. Damn!


Saved by RaceABS

I’m almost too ashamed to post this. But it needs to be said. Over and over again, until it’s second nature and not questionable by ill-conceived reason. Doubt has no place in going fast. Lack of confidence hasn’t a place there either and neither has the lackadaisical attitude I often exhibit when it comes to questionable situations of the “WTF?” variety. Instead of pulling over and investigating the cause for the “something’s off” warning light that goes off in my head, I make a “that must be it” excuse and keep going.

“Good gawd, I must have forgotten how to shift! I need retraining.”

Could just be that the shift rod assembly is working loose and shifting is getting less precise and when it is about to fall off you can’t even get into third without hitting a false neutral most of the time.

“Holy hell, I can’t get a proper start down anymore! I need to practice.”

Could just be that the clutch lever pivot bolt is over-torqued and slowly demolished its threads, and now your clutch is slipping like mad. Well, DOH!

What is wrong with this picture?!?

What is wrong with this picture?

“The front end feels funny. Sounds weird, and the feedback is strange. Must be the new brand of tires with a softer compound running a lower pressure.”

Could just be that you’ve forgotten to torque the caliper bolts on the right side.

Marked For Torque

Encounters of the Anal Retentive Kind: "Marked For Torque" Nm values next to the fasteners to speed up things at the track

And that is probably the main reason we have to safety wire all this junk! If the wire is undone you know you haven’t torqued the bolt. Safety wiring was not required at JenningsGP, so I was lazy and didn’t redo them when I was done. I did four laps on brake caliper bolts that were only finger tight, the upper bolt backed out and the only thing holding it in was the RaceABS sensor cable. So the BMW S1000RR’s tech saved my dumb ass again, but not the way you would have thought.

I would have to thank my friend and my new tires for negating some of the stress those bolts were under and nothing worse happening than weaker brakes. I had brand new tires and was taking it easy and half a lap into putting the screws back on, the session was red flagged due to someone trying to pass my friend Margie Lee in T2 screwing it up and taking her out with him. They are both fine, although Mr. Red Ducati was a little worse for wear. He couldn’t remember who or where he was and had a mangled shoulder, but he’s going to be OK. Margie got checked out at the hospital, got a clean bill of health and went to work the next day. Ovaries of steel. My kind of woman there. 🙂 I knew there was a reason we hit it off.

After coming in from the session, pretty much the last one to leave the track, and not seeing her nor her bike in her pit, I got worried and ended up running around trying to figure out if it was indeed her who was involved and when I was told that it was, my heart just sank. The ambulance was taking forever at the crash site and the waiting game began. After all that, I wasn’t in the mood anymore; I just wasn’t feeling it, so we packed up and went home. This girl knows when to fold ’em. I didn’t notice the caliper bolts until I was putting the Pirate back into her street clothes in my driveway the next day.

Don’t be a moron like Miss Busa. Don’t be lazy and safety wire things back up, even if it is not required at the track you are on. It’s also a good idea to mark your bolts once you’re done. If it’s not marked with your little dot, safety wired or silicone sealed, you might want to check it out, just to be sure.

Also, don’t ignore feedback. If it seems off, it most definitely is. The bike is talking to you. Do yourself a favor and LISTEN.


My Days Are Numbered

I’ve been riding around for a few days now, with those yellow and black WERA numbers on my bike, and I must say I feel pretty stupid playing in traffic with freaking race numbers plastered all over my bike. And what am I going to do when I have to bring the thing in for its now very-overdue 12K service? How am I going to explain that one? Dial *113 and tell me how you like my driving? Umm… no. I was in a creative kind of mood, wanted to know if I could do it; ran out and bought supplies and happily went about my business. Sometimes, I just don’t think stuff through. More often than not, I don’t think stuff through. I just get a wild idea and run with it.

I suppose I could take the offending pieces off and when my (newly recruited) BMW dealer asks where the hell the rest of my bike is, I tell them that I am glad they asked and that “the weirdest thing happened to me on the way up here. That is also why I’m late for my appointment. Anyway, I was hungry and pulled into this truck stop at Exit 114…”

The Pirate's Got A Brand New Tail

Nice Ass!

I need to rework this. With removable and reusable vinyl, so I can just slap them on in the pits the evening before race day. Yeah right! You can’t just “slap” stuff on with them angles on that tail piece. It took me over one whole hour to get the crap to follow the lines the first time around. My lowers are too small for regulation sized number plates… wait a minute… maybe there is a way. I need to go out and measure again.

I just can’t live with those fugly numbers on my bike. First off, yellow is so messing up the theme; secondly, my douche bag factor has increased exponentially (and riding a liter bike certainly doesn’t help there *grins*); and, for some unknown reason (but I could venture a guess), the incidences of cars wanting to race me has tripled in the past week. I’m tired of bruising the egos of those poor Schmucks in their muscle cars (albeit toying with rednecks in pickup trucks gives me a deep sense of pleasure)…

I need race bodywork. Stat!