This Olympus that I found has a panorama mode.
Last weekend we went out to PIR for a little bit of extreme racing. Bicycle racing, sure, but of a bit of a faster variety. We had just returned from the MotoGP in Austin, so it seemed like a good time to investigate what the homegrown variety felt like. I can safely say that it felt much, much faster. I fully understand that it is not, but when you can sidle up a little closer to the track, it all speeds up pretty rapidly. Our reason for being there? Well, our friend David Terry aka DT (Diamond Tough? Daredevil Terry?) was getting his laps in and we were there to witness the fury.
The grand scale at the Circuit of the America's in Austin, Texas was a fantastic place to witness the best of the best duke it out. However, having spent a considerable amount of time going bike racing speed (read:slowly) around PIR was an even better way to experience the ins and outs of what it means to hit the amateur circuit these days. We arrived in the afternoon, shortly after he had placed third in his category for the morning races. It was a fast paced, loud environment that was everything we hoped it would be.
There was a crash on the second lap of the race. Everyone rolled into their little pit area (we had no idea what was going on) and quickly put the bike (Suzuki 750 JSXR) up onto it's stand and installed the tire warmers to keep them track ready. The crash was cleared up pretty quickly so the warmers were only on for a few short minutes before they were stripped and DT was back on the track.
His Moto has a custom paint job that included two different colored wheels. I thought that this was a pretty novel idea, but our good friend Clint said that it is pretty standard practice. However, when DT was looking for inspiration for his bike he wandered into the shop and picked up a pair of our Cait Dooley specials — the You Got This model. Well, it spoke to him enough as a rider of extremes, that he decided to base his bike around that. Sure, there is a bit more flash, silver and whatnot, than the sock can contain, but it does a pretty good job of capturing the essence. In fact, if you were to stick a unicorn horn on the front of it, I wouldn't bat an eyelash at the site of Cait roaring off into the sunset on it. In fact I wouldn't look away for a second.
It also had the added benefit of being easily recognizable on the track in a sea of black and gold bikes. So, there's a few points to be won in the style department.
The ability to be this close to the race track was absolutely bonkers. I guess that is why they make you sign a waiver on the way in. It said something to the effect of "if a motorcycle jumps the barriers and mangles your face, it isn't our fault."
We tried to find out what DT eats when he races on the track. What sort of fluids he needs to take in to be out in the sun all day in a full on leather suit. Apparently the guys at the big races have some liquids that they can access in a sort of camelback sort of way. Here they do not so you suffer through those 30 or 40 minutes on the track.
Our racing is called OBRA, they call theirs OMRA. Makes sense to me. The crowd at first seemed a little different than a bike race, but then as we watched them mingle around the pit area the lines blurred beyond recognition. There were sandwiches and sport drinks. Bitching over gear and tires pressure and how well your suspension was set up. Seems like the same thing to me. Julie was interested in the comparison between this and mountain biking more than the road racing analogies that I was trying to press upon everyone. The sheer physicality of moving a couple hundred pound machine underneath you was, to her, more akin to that of her Ibis out at Sandy Ridge than anything on the road. The fact that she was sponsored by FOX Forks for a number of years probably helped as well.
The differences were very real though and that was apparent every time one of the bike whizzed by at 185 miles an hour down the finishing straight. The same straight where we push and strain our bodies to upwards of 35 miles an hour on any given Tuesday. If you're looking to spice up your life a bit, or at least have a reason to put in some of those cool earplugs that you're keeping from that High on Fire concert, this might be the place to do it.