Sunday, 29 November 2015

Starting with the rule book

the must-have book for Bonneville

. . .   Rules and Regulations for participation in Bonneville Speed Week are numerous, comprehensive and generally make sense.
   All machines participating require to undergo a complete technical inspection to ensure that safety concerns are satisfied and that machines are fit for purpose,   that proper protective clothing is worn by participants,  that rider/drivers have the ability to control their machines at speed parameters,  and that there will be minimal danger to spectators and event volunteers due to participant behaviour.
   All new rider/drivers must attend a 'Rookie Orienteering Meeting' prior to a competitive run on the Course.   No one may participate in the event without first receiving a 'licence' confirming that Event organisers consider a participant fit and able to take part.    Medical Information forms must be completed,  and of course a participation fee is paid.     There we are,   simple !

   Interestingly, in the Special Recreation Permit Stipulations, the very FIRST rule is  " No person shall discharge firearms, fireworks or other dangerous weapons".   This may seem surreal to British people, but to Americans this is normality.

More about the rules later !

Sunday, 22 November 2015

All bikes need bits, . . . lots of bits.

   My motorcycle which will be used to attempt World Records in 2016 at Bonneville, Utah is made up of two donated engines from Murray's Motorcycle Museum on the Isle Of Man, and a foraged-frame pulled from a pile of discarded 'futures'.   Other parts have been brought together quite skillfully by the build Team of Chris, Ron, Richard and John with a little help from myself.    To start with it looked like a pile of feasible salvage but over time and many committed hours work in several workshops a real-contender motorcycle is now taking shape.

  Part of the success of this bike-build has a lot to do with the excellent parts resource that is the leading Royal Enfield dealership called Hitchcocks.       Parts availability and speed of service are excellent and with both my engines being originally Royal Enfield 250 Continental GT's, having a reliable source for vintage parts and spares is invaluable for Bonneville-standard preparation of a motorcycle.

Here's a video of what they are all about,   it's quite old-fashioned in all the right ways and free of the veneer increasingly noticeable in the modern bike scene.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Bike-fit and skipping ropes !

bag with sandwiches and a flask of tea,   how very VMCC
   . . . this is the only bike I ever bought new, and it cost me £8,000 which needed a Credit Union loan and some hard-earned savings, but since 1998 my trusty triumph thunderbird sport has provided thousands of miles of fresh air, sunny days and quite a few soakings when the rain fell, which it does a lot in Scotland.   It's on this bike that I discovered my own Country via it's minor roads, remote locations and a few malt whisky distilleries.
     In preparing for my Bonneville land speed challenge in 2016 the practical experience of small-road (and occasionally rough track riding) has provided a level of experience which has helped in what is called "bike-fitness" and this has been recently complemented with some off-road dirt bike practise around the Isle Of Man to boost competence for the temperamental surface that is a salt flat.    Pushing some heavy weights in the gym is all very good, and skipping for fifteen minutes twice a week is great,  but off-road and track-day riding makes a big difference in terms of preparation for the intensity of the moment on the salt where I either set a speed record,    or I don't.