While flying my Karma today using follow me mode in mimic, my Karma had a mid air malfunction, causing it to crash. Nearly everything was destroyed. It had never been crashed prior and had been problem free.
I was riding my motorcycle at approximately 25-27 miles per hour with a passenger who was observing the video (making sure it wasn’t going to fly into the mountain, etc), holding the controller in her hand but not giving any input to the controller (unless necessary, however none were necessary as it had a clear flight path).
The Karma was oriented on my left, slightly ahead of me, as we went into a corner. As we passed underneath the Karma, it suddenly flipped itself upside down from roughly 60ft in height, completely unobstructed, and flew itself into the ground mostly upside down the entire time. I happened to be looking at the screen at the very moment it errored and saw “Camera Disconnected” suddenly flash across the screen while watching it’s last moments in the air before impact. After the crash, I stopped a few feet later and looked back at the screen. It was prompting me to locate the Karma now or later. I selected “now” and found it 64ft (according to the controller) to the right of the road (north), upside down. I took a picture of it in it’s resting place before I picked it up.
Well, I never really wrote much this year for AFM…In fact, I only did one write-up, and that was last round (R6 @ Infineon). I’d thought about it, but never really found much motivation for it.
I read once—in a blog—that if you are going to have a successful blog, that you need to write shit constantly…and that you shouldn’t spend too much time on it…just get it done, blast it out, rinse, repeat….F-that. I spend, like, 4-5 hour per blog that I write. At LEAST!
I’m not really sure WHY it takes me that long…I mean, I type decently fast, I never pre-plan what I’m going to actually say, I barely proof read my posts… I simply think of a topic and go PEW PEW PEW! Why the hell does it take me so long?
In this case, my topic is the the entire 2012 year of AFM.
Lawdy lawd, where do I begin? I’ve got the memory of an elephant—that’s been mortally wounded and had it’s tusks poached—so it’s not like I can actually remember many specifics about round 2…or 3 or 4 or hell, even round 7, just a few days ago.
What can I say? It was drama. It was close racing. It was friendship and family and community banding together. It was personal bests. It was fun. It was bad calls and ridiculous decisions. It was overcoming obstacles. It was broken timing and scoring equipment. It was hard work by volunteers. It was getting to see and hang out with old friends whom I missed.
It was yet another great weekend hosted by Sam & TTP.
You guys know I’m not that great with words. I often spew out whatever froth bubbles from my mind with little to no filter. Some love me for it. Some hate me for it. Either way, pictures don’t lie. So I’ll mostly let the pictures speak on my behalf.
Tho…I do want to point out something: Sam and TTP put on one hell of a fun event.
He offers up something that I’ve never seen before in all my years of being around the track and motorbikes and the likes; He offers a chance for the “little guy” to race.
The weekend warriors. The commuters. The motorcycle enthusiasts. The ones who may be afraid to make that leap from trackdays into actually getting a race license, spending the beaucoup bucks on aquiring a race bike, trailers, suspension, this, that, everything…he gives the guys and gals that want to experience the rush of a race start…of tipping into turn 1 at 100+ mph side by side with their best friend to see who will come out victorious after 6 laps of slidey-puck, knee-racing, poppa-wheelie action. To get a plastic trophy at the end of the day and who will have a memory that will last them the rest of their life, and the life of their son or daughter and those close to them.
Well…I don’t really know what to say here. I hadn’t planned on writing this blog..hadn’t really even planned on talking about this at all but to a few friends…but I guess, for lack of better words, I’m feeling a bit inspired by a friend of mine right now.
He said to me “What’s up with 4theriders? It seems like the site has crawled to a halt” (or something like that…just with a lot more bad words).
I’ve shot quite a few races over the past couple years, both photo and video. From AFM to MotoGP, I have had the wonderful privilege to be able to watch and shoot races and racers from restricted areas. I have watched so much raw, un-edited onboard HD GoPro footage from so many different racers I can’t even keep track anymore. But no matter how hard I tried to understand the “why” behind sportbike racing, I was never able to truly FEEL it how I knew I could. I understood it in my brain, but I didn’t have a 100% clear picture of it in my heart… and it drove me crazy. I have done trackdays, gotten in fun little battles with friends, but as time went on, the need to feel what I felt like I was missing out on grew stronger and stronger. From a full grid start, all the way to setting up a pass on the last turn of the last lap, I wanted…NEEDED to feel that. It was with TTP Racing that I was able to experience something I will remember for a lifetime.
It started off awesome and ugly all at the same time. Toe, Dove, and myself showed up on Friday around 11am for the first of three days of RFR’ness. The track wasn’t to go hot until noon anyhow. There were 9 people there.
From a selfish riding standpoint, it was epic; open format at RFR! My favorite track around! From a financial standpoint…ugh! I was gonna take a serious financial hit!
Regardless, we were there, we were gonna make do best we could.
First thing’s first.. we had to give people a chance to get warmed up and whatnot. We unloaded everything, got the computers all set up, and geared up to ride. :) I did 4 laps and suddenly felt bored. I just wasn’t feeling it like I thought I would, I guess. I pulled off the track, changed back into my photo-clothes, and headed out to shoot for a little bit. Toe and I went out and shot for about 45 mins… running all over the track, covering a TON of ground in a very short amount of time..I mean, there were NINE people on the track.
I’ll start by talking about what it was, I guess… RawHyde Adventures in Castaic, CA, hosted a competition called the Adventure Rider Challenge to fill 3 spots on a team to represent the US in the BMW International GS Trophy competition held in South Africa.
Here’s a snippet taken from the Adventure Rider Challenge page:
“Every two years, BMW Motorrad hosts a 10 day, international skills competition for amateur riders, or in BMW’s own words, ‘Ambitious hobby riders’. Riding BMW F800GS’s and working as a team with your fellow countrymen, you will compete against amateur teams from countries spanning the globe. You’ll face ten days of river crossings, hill climbs, sand dunes, mechanical challenges, and cross county navigational tests designed to test your ingenuity, determination, and riding skills. This is not a race, but a journey to determine which country gets to claim the title of ‘World’s Toughest Adventure Riders’.”
I gotta say…I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I knew it was a skills competition with most everyone on BMWs…but I didn’t know exactly what this past weekend would entail. I was a little bit nervous. Luckily, I brought Toe with me. That dude is every bit as versatile as me, and can adapt to any situation quickly, skillfully, and without complaint (I hope he doesn’t read this! hehe).
Sooo…not too terribly long ago, Toe and I went to Rawhyde Adventures to shoot a BMW GS Challenge.
A guy on a cbr hits some cones set up at the end of pit wall to keep people from entering the track too far to the left while riders are hauling the mail down the front straight. The cone lodged into his front tire, locking it briefly, causing him to do an insane stoppie before being pitched over the bars.
Toe caught the last few shots of the crash sequence as he was sliding, but witnessed most of the crash. He radio’d over saying he’d never seen a stoppie before like this guy did.
The rider was mostly okay…bumps, bruises, and a skinned up right hand.