So, this year has been pretty slow in the riding realm for me so far… Normally, I’d have done at least a dozen or so trackdays by now…at LEAST. But not this year. So far, I’ve ridden exactly THREE trackdays. A Saturday/Sunday at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans back in February, and now last Monday at Thunderhill.
Well, me and Infineon Raceway go back a few years. I’ve been shooting there since 2006. I’ve watched at least eleventy trillion bikes pass by me in every corner of that track. Fast guys, slow guys…whatever. I’ve seen and documented probably around 100 crashes at Infineon alone. Most in turns 2 and 9, for sure, but with turn 3 having a ton of crashes as well.
Three years ago, it wasn’t even in a turn that had me spooked. Three years ago, Allen Rice crashed into the k-wall as he was exiting the track and tragically, he passed away as a result of that crash. This had all happened just in front of me, as I was making my way back to the pits to get geared up to ride Infineon for the first time. Needless to say, I didn’t ride that day. In fact, I’d decided that day, after what I’d just seen, that I had no desire to EVER ride Infineon. “It’s too damned dangerous,” I’d tell myself.
And I didn’t.
For three years, I never even had the inclination to ride. I’ve seen some people make mistakes and have incidents sometimes out of their control at Infineon causing life-changing crashes. From Shawnery having come together with Brian in turn 8 some years ago, to Eric Arnold at the start of a race before turn 1. Infineon scared me. I was genuinely fearful of riding the track.
Yesterday was a Zoom Zoom day at Infineon. The conditions were absolutely perfect. The weather simply could not have been any better for a day of riding. I’d made up my mind: I was going to ride.
Something is not right, and I think I have figured it out. Joe rode on the street. For realzies. At speed. For the one person that just woke up from a coma after highsiding on the street, Joe gave up street riding after the following picture was taken. Oddly enough, the caption was already there.
In the time that he has been back on the street, there have been no fewer than three notable earthquakes in the bay area, not to mention the one up in Humboldt county. You know, the one that “harshed the mellow” of countless potheads who were forced to move from their couches after their couches moved across the floor. I recieved the following email from Chauncy Phillips to my 4TheRiders email address.
Dude. Your boss Joe like totally owes me some cash bro. I was at home watching the Pauly Shore marathon on Turner classic movies when the house started to shake. And I don’t mean like when my roomie Maggie has gas, bro, I mean like my velvet Marley poster fell off the wall shaking. I was like wait? What? and then it hit me Bro, and I was all “EARTHQUAKE”, and then Maggie was all like “NO WAY” and boom. The bong goes flying out of my hand spilling bong water all over the carpet. I am going to send you the bill for half a carpet cleaning, I mean cuz we needed one anyway what with Maggies cat, but come on bro…bong water.
I am not paying for this stoner’s carpet Joe. I’m not saying to stop riding the street, I am just saying be safe out there, and maybe keep it under 6 on the Richter scale.