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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You Can't Win If You Don't Play

We were supposed to race last weekend at Loudon. For once we were all set; all the issues with the bike were resolved and we had 100% confidence in the bike. We even went out and bought a new stand-up tent for the weekend that would also serve the as the Bonneville HQ.

We got a late start but that didn't seem all bad as it would put us just behind the Friday Boston rush hour traffic. Or so I thought. At 6pm we were sitting in stop and go traffic 70 miles from the track with little chance of improvement down the road. Worse, the rain was torrential! The mood was as dark as the sky.

I checked the forecast on my Droid and it was for over 60% thunderstorms on Saturday and 45% on Sunday. Plus we would be putting up our new tent in the mud in the dark. 

The mood was getting darker. I suggested a break for coffee to think things over. In the warmth of a restaurant the decision was made to call it a day and head home. Racing is supposed to be fun. Creeping around the track in rain soaked leathers is not considered fun by most folks. Back at home in bed, listening to the thunder and lightning all around it seemed we had made a good decision.

And then the sun came out on Saturday morning. Dang! I suggested that we hop in the car, since it was still loaded, and head for the track but it would have been 3 1/2 hours to get there and the forecast was still poor. We didn't go.

Too bad! Jason called to ask where we were and said the weather at the track was hot and humid but bearable. To add insult to injury, Beth's main competitor had engine trouble and was unable to finish his race. This would have put a lock on the #1 plate for her if she had just started and finished the race. Now it's down to the last race and anyone's game.

I can think of a dozen things we should have done:
  • Ignore the weather forecasts which seem to sensationalize bad weather so you'll keep checking back which improves their hit rate and ad revenue. I have since switched to NOAA weather forecasts on the advice of a friend.
  • At least I should have checked the weather maps to see that the front was passing through and would be gone the next day. Which is to say, make my own decision rather than rely on somebody else.
  • Checked with the local motel to see if they had a room for the night. Sometimes you just have to pay for your fun!
  • Sucked it up and gone for it. Racing is supposed to be fun but if you want to win you have to do whatever it takes to get to the finish line.
Bonneville is coming up quick. All good lessons for that trip. And there will be another race at Loudon in Sept. No turning back for that one!