Sunday, 27 September 2015

The cost of Bonneville Speed Week Challenges.

 . . . like so many things in life,  to attempt to achieve an objective (in this case, some World records at SpeedWeek) requires organisation and commitment which is followed up with the application of cash !

Motorcycle racing is expensive,   many road-racers like those we see competing in the T.T. on the Isle of Man live lives in near constant debt,   financing from race to race and skipping all luxuries like holidays, clothes and insurance policies.      With a Bonneville records attempt things are more one-off and so planning financially is easier to organise.    

The biggest cost for more participants is the build-cost of the machines being used.
This can vary from £6,000 for a small, simple bike to over £40,000 for a higher-specification bespoke bike with many one-off parts.

Other costs include -

- Freighting of machines to the U.S.A. including crate and spares
- Cost of transport hire in the U.S.A. for transportation of both machines and team members.
- Fuel, food, local equipment and additional local costs.
- Accommodation.
- Fees and participation costs for Bonneville including Entry Fee, competitor insurance and merchandise.
- Race suit, helmet, boots and gloves.
- Water for drinking !

In my next Blog-spot I will discuss how I go about raising the cash to make "Salty Wheels' a reality.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Making time to share my experience and knowledge with whisky-fans

 . . . Last week I spent some time In Glasgow, Scotland visiting friends and catching up with people I have known for years.      It does us good not to be constantly immersed in our big ambitions for World Records or whatever thing is dominating our lives at a given moment,    and stepping aside from our routines can be a regular tonic.
   The whisky-fans who turned up for my fund-raiser evening at the goodspiritscompany in Bath Street, Glasgow certainly enjoyed themselves and we had a great time with all the profits from the evening going to the Drumchapel (an estate in north-west Glasgow) Food Bank which provides valuable support for families who through no fault of their own can be going without meals if it were not for the presence of their local Food Bank.  There are many of these places around the U.K. now and more will be required the way things are going.
The event was totally sold out with demand for another tasting later on from those who missed getting tickets !

£433 was raised and a big thank you to all the enthusiastic bidders who made the bottle auction such a success at the end of the night.

The Whisky List was -

Carn Mor GlenTauchers 5yo
Deerstalker 12yo
Clynelish cask 1998
Auchentoshan cask 22yo
Glen Esk cask 26yo
Port Charlotte 2004

 . . . ALL whiskies high strength and natural colour.

One of my little duties as a presenter in the tasting room is to sign the "Ambassadors Wall"  which is what I am doing here,   for the second time.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Jurby Festival of Motorcycles 2015

 . . . and yet another sunny warm bright day for what is now the Isle of Mans most notable one-day motorcycle event,   and which happens just before a week of vintage and colourful racing by older bikes (but not necessarily older riders) round the 37.73 mile circuit of the T.T. Mountain Course.

     I took the opportunity to help team-mate Chris with a little bit of personal fund-raising by handing out leaflets advertising his own blogspot page which you will find at...

Our two blogspots vary considerably in that Chris's content tends to be a lot more technical and analytical  than here at 'saltywheels' where I keep things more anecdotal and logistically focused.
I will be discussing Bonneville Speed Week practicalities as I go along with this journey to Speed Week 2016.
Team colours to be worn at all Team events.  Not often you will see me in a tie !

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Preparing for Bonneville with T.T. racer advice.

I am fortunate to be part of a great Team preparing to go to Bonneville in 2016.   Our Chairmen John has practical experience having been to the Salt Flats in 2012.  Our Team leader Richard is a consecutive World Record holder at Bonneville Speed Week and Chris who is riding the 600cc motorbike has years of experience with bikes, both riding and building them.  All our helpers and crew are experienced capable people who will multi-task with ease.   This gives us a huge advantage of not going into this event blind and unprepared for what will be involved and required to gain some World Records.     An extra perspective and opinion is of course always welcome and my mate Connor Cummins who is well used to the demands of competition motorcycle racing has recently suggested that I repeatedly watch footage of on board camera videos by racers lapping the T.T. course.
   He has said that if I watch the footage repeatedly (about six times or more) it will start to look less blurry and become more accessible which in turn will give me more insight into bike control and road positioning at high speed.

     Although there are no roads as such on the salt flats, there are marked boundaries to the course and unlike the T.T. course there is not much 'furniture' (that's ANY stuff getting in the way at the edges of the track like houses, walls and trees) but a racers focus and calmness before the event will be very helpful in targeting our potential achievements.

Conor is setting up a coffee company at the moment, and in the pic below, he shows us his 'preping' for a busy day selling espressos and cappuccinos at the recent Ramsey Sprint held during G.P. race week.