|SPEEDWEEK 2007 DAILY DIARY|
Aug 11 We started out early and left the Wendover KOA Campground for the Salt Flats with trailer in
tow. We all got a sinking feeling as we followed the convoy of vehicles on the salt, when we had to drive through water on the salt which was up to the
hub caps on the motor home.
Fortunately after a couple of hundred yards we were back on firm salt, and we worked our way across the salt (some miles) to the pit area, set up
our camp, and then we headed off for the drivers meeting at the start line about 2 miles away!
The briefing was held with a huge number of competitors present, and we were then taken on a Rookie Orientation Run down the Number 1 Salt Track, where
we were given a commentary over the CB radio as we followed a convoy of vehicles which must have been at least two miles long itself. After this
orientation we were then sent to a Special Meeting for New Motorcycle Racers, which covered the safety aspects and dangers to watch out for on the salt
at high speed on a motorcycle.
I then left with the team back another few miles to the start line where we joined a long queue, to start my licence qualification racing at
Bonneville. After a couple of hours we got to the line, where Violet drove the motor home and Neil and Andy got the bike ready for me to run. My job
was to get my race leathers on, drink lots of water and Gatorade to rehydrate, and to try and cool off my body core temperature, before hitting the
I headed out side with my leathers, helmet and gloves, when we were down to around number 4 in line to race, and would look down the salt mentally
preparing myself for the run – my first run had to be more than 125mph, but no more than 149mph, for my licence.
As I mounted the Kawasaki ZX-14 Black Thunder, and moved to the start line, the starter and preparation starter gave me a full safety check and pointed
out where the better parts of the track were to run which with engine running I acknowledged with a thumbs up, and was given the green to go. I started
off very slowly, as the salt was like ice for wheel spinning, and slowly built up speed to run within the licence parameters for the speed. I found a
rough patch at around the mile marker, however the ZX14 and I kept a good track to run up through to the 3 mile marker, and then slowly closed
the throttle... NO BRAKING!
As the speed ran down I slowly veered off to the left of the track and rode over to the return road where I shut the bike down, and unzipped my leathers
while I waited some 5 minutes in the scorching heat, for the Black Thunder Crew to come and pick me up. As mentioned previously we are not permitted to
ride the bike after coming off the track and you over heat very quickly while waiting in the middle of the salt with no shade.
We went to the timing tent collected our timing slip, and then back to the start line to have my time slip signed by the starter, and then back to
the licensing caravan and tech inspection and I collected my D Licence (this process involves travelling about 5 miles each time!).
I went on to do a second run and qualified for my C Licence, which allows me to run to 175mph. We packed up after around 6.30pm and headed back to the
caravan park and to wash the huge salt chunks of the bike and the motor home.