Well it’s time for that most favorite of tasks…loading up.
This is a project best undertaken at night or on a Sunday when things are quiet. The written list is one that is five pages, single-spaced without even taking the tools into consideration. This photo pf the cart is only one side, with the other stacked just as high.
One of the unique aspects of Bonneville is that is a bit like heading out on the Oregon Trail. Granted the air conditioning in the transport helps, but you have to be ready, willing and able to confront and overcome any number of obstacles during the expedition. There is the 24 hour drive there that is done in one stretch due to the size of the group (10 people this year) and the extra time and expense a two-day trip would entail (motels and time off work). This involves a trip over the Rockies with a very heavy trailer and five people in each vehicle. On the way out the mountains are generally encountered at night, reducing the stress on the cooling systems and tires, but is still a 6,000 foot climb up and down.
This year looks to be a bit different as Sam Wills is joining us as the primary rider on the bikes and he plans to meet us in York NE to allow us to hand our trailer off to him. He uses a converted semi to haul his Top Fuel Bike program around and our trailer shouldn’t even be noticed behind his rig. We got things a bit hot the last time going there and with the Suburban being another two years older, I don’t want the geriatric darling to suffer needlessly.
The other aspect of the challenge is being able to deal with any mechanical issues on the bikes themselves during competition. Having the only injected nitro Ducati in the world and the only turbo streamliner makes you unique, but unable to cadge parts from anyone else. Our Swiss friends were lucky we were there with virtually everything in spares the last time out. This depth of spare parts is a major contributing factor to success when running at or beyond the limits, but also when it comes to the weight of the trailer, truck and van. We travel with a spare complete engine for both bikes and three complete top end assemblies for both as well. That doesn’t include the ancillary items such as 40 gallons of nitro (@10 lbs. per gallon), 15 gallons of gasoline, 10 gallons of methanol, 10 gallons of water, 46 quarts of oil, generator, pit bike, awning, and on and on and on. A few of the jugs are shown below.
Well I have finished up the spare parts, spare engine parts, verifying the spare engines, and all I have left to do today is a couple of small items on the injected bike and cutting 10 spark plugs. Another 3 hours of work and then I get to go home and pay bills. Oh the romance of being a business and race team owner.
This coming weekend is when we start loading in the stuff that is on the carts and checking the trailer and truck over. I would have done it this weekend, but as it happens, my daughter Leigh, is moving back to Madison for a job and with her first baby due soon (hopefully after Bonneville) all her furniture is in the trailer, to be moved out this coming Friday. Once I get the trailer back, it is time to pile it in. Another aspect of this is it has to survive 24 hours of shaking, bouncing, and rattling and emerge unscathed at the end. Our trip to Tulsa earlier this summer didn’t end so well and after quite a few hours, the bodywork looks much better. If I scratch the candy paint on the injected bike again, my daughter Jacki will kill me.
Well back to work and onward.
As the loading progresses I’ll keep you all posted.