After a beautiful drive over Independence Pass, the team arrived at our home away from home – the Mecca Motel – on Sunday. Although a great deal of the prep work for the race bikes was done prior to our departure, there always are a few more things that need to be done before tech inspection. So the rest of Sunday flew by as we hit the ground running.
Monday morning Micky had to be at registration by 8:00am. We got there before 8 and the line was already long; full of excited teams anxious to get race week started. Once that task was accomplished, we headed over to the World Arena for Technical Inspection. That was really fun – the variety of cars and motorcycles that come to this event is pretty amazing, and since cars and motorcycles, quads, sidecars, even trucks all tech at the same place, we took the time to walk around and see some of them.
There we ran into Greg Tracy, Spider Grips/Ducati team rider who along with team-mate Carlin Dunne are the only two motorcycle riders to ever post a time of less than 10 minutes at Pikes Peak, a feat they accomplished last year and which has only been done by 5 competitors total. GT is also a long-time friend of Micky. This year GT added an extra set of wheels to his program – he is driving an electric car for Mitsubishi – and looking really fast!
Micky was interviewed by Red Bull TV – they will be doing a live broadcast on Race Day – you will be able to see it here on Sunday: http://www.ppihc.com/live-coverage and they were at Tech doing background interviews and getting footage of the race vehicles.
The #43 passed inspection and received a signed PPIHC (Pikes Peak International Hill Climb) Tech Sticker.
The motorcycle is checked primarily for safety but the rider also has to clear some hurdles. Prior to being fully accepted to race here at Pikes Peak, Micky had to pass a complete physical exam. The rigors of riding full-out on a race course are tough enough, but add in this – the start line is above 9,000 ft altitude, and the finish line is above 14,000 ft. Even if you are in top physical condition the fact is that at these altitudes the amount of oxygen in your blood is reduced. In fact, anything above 11,500 ft is considered “Very High Altitude” which can lead to potentially dangerous, even fatal symptoms. However, Micky is in top shape and also passed his personal “tech inspection” with flying colors. But he didn’t get a cool sticker.
The team is pulling together well; things are going smoothly and this year has a good feel to it so far.
The bikes are ready for our first Race Practice in the morning. We will be doing something new – the race organization added a practice day to the schedule. So tomorrow we will be running the upper portion – from Cove Creek (11,500 ft) to the summit. Ready time? 3:15am. Micky is at the Riders Meeting right now and once he returns and the full team is briefed we will load the vans and point them in the right direction. When we get back tomorrow, I will fill you in on how it went.