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Old 09-29-2008, 09:08 AM   #1
tomLSTD
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Looooong weekend!

I know this thing limits the amount of words, so I'll try to keep it brief!
We set out Thursday to head to Eagle's Canyon at about 15:30. VmaxGirl was riding up with me so we didn't spend $10000000 on fuel, and I was hauling my bud's toy hauler so there were no hotel expenses for me. Well, friggin' road construction and Ike decided that we didn't need to get out of Houston all that fast...

Sitting in traffic for an hour or more while you creep up to Huntsville from BW8 on I-45 let's you learn a lot about the passengers with you! I always knew Pam was a cool chick, but I found out she's tough as nails too! Shawn, you have your hands full!

Well, after 6 or so hours on the road, much of that in Houston, we finally arrived to the track (after a lead-in from Clyde- Thanks Clyde!) just under the wire from the gate closing! Our friends in the CMRA hooked Macman and I up with some parking space, which was cool, because parking is a rare commodity during CMRA race weekends, and more so at this track! I didn't get much chance to see the track since it was dark, but Walter and Ryan from the CMRA had done some extensive recon and had a good idea of how things were going to work ('cause they're good at that kind of stuff).

Friday morning brought the usual sounds of the race paddock. I get chills still after all these years when I hear race bikes warming up and smell the race gas and exhaust. The chill of the morning, the sounds of bikes warming up, smells of breakfast being cooked, generators running... good stuff.

I got on the pit bike and took a few spectator laps on the track to get the layout down and see what the corner workers could see. I'd gotten a bit of input from some of my friends at Ride Smart, and then took the advice of the CMRA officials to decide what our best plan was going to be for track safety. I was thinking the whole time about what some of the folks who had done track days here were saying, and the thing that stuck out was how many folks said it was a "point and shoot" or "straight/ brake/ turn/ straight/ brake/ turn" type of track. I was having a really hard time seeing that at all. This undulating and flowing track looked like anything but that. "Where the am I going to rest on this track?" I thought to myself.

Pam and I got the corner workers all checked in, and Pam hit the track for her sighting lap. She came back with "I don't think I'm going to ride today, this track is way too technical and I don't feel comfortable riding it." I called her a "girl" and went back to work

Everything ran to schedule, and we hit the track right on time I went out with the "street" group to see what's what. Diggler told me that the first session or two would be a bit sketchy with the sealer, but after that, traction would be juuust fine. He was right! The funny thing is, the sealer was very predictable, your tires would step out a bit, but it was controlled and not scary, and it was very brief- it didn't cause you to slide all the way across the turn or anything. Very ridable.

At a slower pace, those that said "it's a point and shoot" track are right. I'm not baggin' on anyone with this, so yall don't get your panties bunched up, but at a faster pace, it's anything but "point and shoot". As the pace goes up, the track becomes more flowing and smooth. "Long straights"??? BS! You get about .5 seconds to "rest" on the front straight, maybe! By the time you grab two gears coming out of the last hair pin turn, you're grabbing two down-shifts to come in to turn 1. NO rest, anywhere, any time, at this track. I jumped in with the Experts for several sessions, and by the end of the day, I got down to around the 2:00 mark, which I guess is OK. I think Ty runs 1:48's out there, and Clint Shobert was running 1:53's or so... so I feel pretty good about 2:01- 2:05. My lap timer was hit and miss all day, so I don't know how consistent my times were.

It's like riding Grand Sport Speedway 'cept with tons of elevation. I'll have a full track write up here: http://www.motohouston.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=152

The track day went very well! Only one stoppage during the very last session of the day. It was a hellacious wreck on the back part of the track between 6 & 7, one guy had a broken collar bone and a concussion, but the other two who were collected in it were fine... all things considered. The guy with the concussion had an HJC helmet, and it had a cracked shell with the inner styrofoam padding crushed! It did it's job, and he's fortunate to have had it on! Corner workers, outriders, and Pam at the grid, did a fantastic job of mitigating this incident in short order so we could finish out the day while we got everyone taken care of medically

Friday night, we snuck in to Decatur to find some mexican food. A local Decator-ite directed us to a place when we asked "what's the best mexican food in the City?". He was right, it was very good. The margaritas were fine too... I slept OK in the toy hauler that night

Saturday I woke at about 6am to the sounds and smells I love so much. Man I miss racing.

Stand by for part deux.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
It's like riding Grand Sport Speedway 'cept with tons of elevation.
Agreed. Even though there are lots of squared-off corners on the track map, in reality they flow as large double apex corners and ensure that you smoke through knee pucks; you're on your sides a lot on this track. It is not what I would call a technical layout even with all of its elevation changes, blind corners and camber changes. It most certainly isn't point and shoot.

I forget the official number, but I believe Ty Howard captured the track record with a 1:46.2X on Sunday. Zach Chapman ran a 1:46.3X, if memory serves.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:55 AM   #3
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Part Deux!

Friday night we did some great bench racing with some "old" friends at the track. A few of our friends are running the MotoST series, and we had some really lengthy discussions on the direction of the AMA and DMG. We talked tires, bikes, technology, Joe P and "Mad Dawg" dirt tracking... all the good stuff.

Well, Saturday morning and we were getting Nick ready for his Jr Motard practice and race. Nick got to ride Jr Motard practice on Friday for about 25 minutes during lunch, and he as rollin' perty good as he followed his Dad the Mac Man around. Nick keeps getting faster and faster, but he seems to only do that when he has someone either pushing him or when he's following. He'll get there I'm sure, the important thing is that he's having fun. He lights up when Mac Man brings out his bike and let's him start it up after he gets his gear on "by himself".

The paddock was buzzing, and both parking areas were packed! The CMRA always has a bit of attrition at the end of the season, and the endurance series is usually the best indicator of this. There were only about 25 teams for this race. My friend and team-mate Glenn was racing with Velocity Dyno on a 600RR since we weren't racing the SV. They ended up with a 2nd place finish, just behind LSTD Racing (well, 13 laps behind LSTD).

We ate some tasty bbQ that the folks at Eagle's Canyon cooked up, finished loading up the trailers, and headed out to College Station after Nick's Jr Motard race where he finished 2nd.

You know, the TXDOT has a weird way of scheduling construction. I think they were looking at my itinerary and scheduled stuff just to me off. As soon as we hit I35 from 287, it was bumper to bumper traffic that lasted until we got deep in to Fort Worth. I felt sorry for the folks that got in that earlier because it was backed up as far as I could see BEFORE 287 too. Good thing I have unlimited minutes, I just kept the speaker phone on and yakked with Mac Man while we were stuck there. He was only about 20' away from me, I could have just rolled down the window and talked to him face to face

We finally arrived to TWS (Texas World Speedway) to unhook and find some DOOF. As soon as we rolled in to the paddock, Mac Man's F250 started seriously over-heating. As I unhooked, we let his truck cool a bit and tried to re-fill it with water (as the reservoir was empty). We met with Dave Wonders and some of his staff as they were packing up after their track day to see how things went, it sounded like the track was in great shape and our day should be equally as fun with fantastic weather. The truck cooled and we didn't find any water leaks that were obvious, so we picked up Pam and David B and found Outback for some good food and drink!

Mac Man and I stayed in the toy hauler, the weather was sooo nice that we didn't even hook up the genny to run the A/C. We opened the windows and it was perfect sleeping weather. It's funny how different the track is at night when it's not a race weekend. Racers have loud azz generators and stay up late! The folks staying at TWS (Texas World Speedway) before the track day weren't like that at all. No gennys and all was quiet. Weird feeling.

Sunday morning came up fast. Too fast, I was not ready to get up. We got things set up for operations and instruction, and set up our pits for us to ride. I got "lucky" and was assigned to be a control rider in the "A" and "B" groups. I say lucky because I really wanted to test out these 003 Bridgestones, and it's hard to do that when you have a student to work with. Only sporadic sessions in the "A" or "B" group make it tough to have a good pace. Well, I wasn't disappointed! John said the 003 rear was the "star of the show" and he was right on. Sunday, I turned my fastest laps at TWS (Texas World Speedway), and these tires feel like slicks! Edge grip is hard to describe... just a very, very good tire! I ran 12 full sessions, and the mock race for the CMRA licensees, and the tires never disappointed or had any "moments" or spin-ups!

It was a great day Sunday, only two crashes, and one guy was taken to the ER for eval (later released with bumps and bruises). I was exhausted. Eagle's Canyon is not for the weak. You work the whole time you're out there! It was the most physically demanding track I've ridden- even more so than GSS. It was a treat to get to ride TWS (Texas World Speedway) after EC too because EC made TWS (Texas World Speedway) look like a 4 lane freeway!

Weather for this weekend couldn't have been better, the tracks were fantastic, we got to see a ton of our best friends in racing and track days... what more could you ask for?!
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:02 AM   #4
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Cool

Tom, you need to put your application in at Cycle News or sumpin. You are a great story teller.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:13 AM   #5
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I had a blast out there at ECR!!! Not too many Houston folks that I knew, but that did not matter. I'm gonna disagree though about the "resting part"...straights were long enough that if you were getting tired and didn't WOT down them you could catch a breath....However, if you're running "full speed" there is no rest...My favorite turns on this track were ALL of them, but especially the downhill T5 & T9, and uphill T10.

I'd also like to thank Tom for the excellent dice up session on the last "street session". I think he followed me for one or two laps before passing me and then "it was on" as far as I was concerned. LOL! He never did leave my sights and some Duc 1098 snuck in between us, but was keeping pace so I was okay with that. Definitely the best session of the day! Thanks Tom!

I followed that last session by begging and pleading with a LSTD staff person (who will remain anonymous ) to let me out with the Novice racers as I needed one last fix and the track was "thinning" out. Unfotunately I only got to turn 5 or 6 more laps before that last crash....it looked like a bad one....glad to hear everyone came out semi-ok. Thanks again LSTD!

and for those of you who haven't tried this track....shake the haters, this track was AWESOME!

Last edited by dbuck; 09-29-2008 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuck View Post
I'd also like to thank Tom for the excellent dice up session on the last "street session". I think he followed me for one or two laps before passing me and then "it was on" as far as I was concerned. LOL! He never did leave my sights and some Duc 1098 snuck in between us, but was keeping pace so I was okay with that. Definitely the best session of the day! Thanks Tom!
Any time! I have no idea how you can go that fast on your bike while your bootay never leaves the seat

It was a good session, I didn't know you hung in with me after that. I was watching you for a few laps and actually had to work to catch up with you! You were moving very well!

Should we feel sorry for Bean that we lapped him?


















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Old 09-29-2008, 11:04 AM   #7
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Should we feel sorry for Bean that we lapped him?

absolutely NOT!!! Every session I lapped him, but usually not until the second to last lap or so of the session. That particular session we still did 3 or 4 laps after we lapped him so I know that was my fastest session of the day or maybe his slowest He had a blast and for only having this year on the street and 4 trackdays under his belt now I think he is progressing relatively well.

I do need to get my off the seat more, but when you are constantly moving right, left, right left and trying to manuever 230 lbs it gets tiring.

Pam needs to post up them pics when she was in T5...I was eating folks up there...or at lest I felt like it I have seriously considered giving up the sportbike/track scene recently due to it's cost associated, but after this weekend I realized that was a fluke in my thinking.
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