Well, I was informed last Tuesday that the 2015 SCTA World Finals was cancelled. The loss of basically every event this year on the salt flats is a good indication of the state of affairs of the environmental health of a world treasure. This has been entrusted to the Federal Bureau of Land Management, who has evidently been bought and paid for by the mining companies. The continuing degradation of the salt flats over the last 5 decades is all the evidence even an idiot needs.
From a 2 ½ foot salt crust in the 1940’s to the barely 1 ½ inches now, it is incontrovertible evidence of mismanagement by companies who have had too much free reign around the Salt.
Becoming a member of “Save the Salt” was the most immediate act I could think of and something I did before we even made our first trip west. It is something you all can do to put up some type of resistance to the destruction of this natural wonder. Simply being on the flats at any time of day is an amazing experience and can bring you to your knees when you realize the senseless destruction being wrought.
It has now been three years that we have had our event cancelled by rain and this year even the August event was lost due to the condition of the salt itself. With mere inches of salt on the ground, the level of the water table has a much more dramatic effect on the salt stability. When there was 1 foot or more of a salt crust, the water table would have to come up an additional six or eight inches to affect the salt in a way that an inch is all that is needed now. All that is under the salt is mud. That is one reason that there was only three August SCTA events lost in the last 60 years up until three years ago, and this year nearly all the events are wiped.
The loss of this year’s event is a huge letdown to all of us. We now need to determine what our future course of action will be. The Bonneville land speed efforts are a big part of our identity and mean a lot to all of us. While we will discuss among the riders and crew what comes next, I personally will continue the conditioning and working out needed to maintain the strength and stamina to ride the long bike. If anyone wants to come along for that workout, let me know and we can meet at 5:30 in the morning three days a week (M,W,F) and bike 6 miles and spend an hour in “Morning Movement Mayhem” http://traintoplay.com/programs/morning-mayhem.html (check it out) with Steve Myrland. It is a huge part of what I feel is needed to maintain the ability to perform at the level I expect (fatigue errors and not falling off for a start) and give our crew and sponsors their due. I am willing to go that distance because Bonneville, the crew and our sponsors mean that much to me. Plus it’s a great way to start the day.
The trips to Byron Dragway with the Hayabusa also help to keep the feel of 150mph alive as well.
Due to the upset at Valdosta last fall, Nick is not yet up to the acceleration the drag racing imparts, which is certainly understandable. For the Manufacturer’s Cup race at Valdosta GA, the last big go of the year, plans are leaning towards hopefully working for Sam Wills again or at the very least helping from a distance.
As soon as our 2016 plans are firmed up I will let everyone know. Thank you very much for sticking with us for these past three years instead of the originally planned one season go, and I thank you all!
We still have unfinished business out there.