We were up well before the dawn this morning – 2:45am actually. It sounds worse than it is – the entire team was full of energy and enthusiasm this morning as we rolled out of the parking lot at 3:10. First stop – the Seven Eleven for those who need coffee to keep the energy rolling. Next stop? Glen Cove – 11,440 ft up Pikes Peak Highway.
As always, we unloaded in the dark and got the tire warmers set right away. The more heat in the tires the better they stick to the track, so we pay a lot of attention to getting them hot and set at the right pressures.
At the riders meeting we were warned about an antifreeze spill from a service truck. The crews had been trying to get it cleaned up, but it is super slippery stuff and so the safety rider pointed it out on the sighting lap. Gary, Greg’s brother told us that he ran his boot over it on that lap and it was still very slippery and also right on the perfect line for the turn. So when we heard the ambulance siren after the second lap it gave all of us in the pits a chill and a sharp reminder of just how dangerous this mountain race can be. It wasn’t Greg or Carlin, but one of their fellow riders who ended up having surgery this afternoon.
But for the Spider Grips/Ducati Team it was a good day. Because the team had been able to attend some practice days on the mountain, both Greg and Carlin were able to relax and just spend their time getting reacquainted with the curves and lines of the course. For the team it was a chance to hone our part – checking the tires, brakes and controls; keeping the fuel levels correct and making sure the riders were happy with their bikes. We were off the mountain by 10:30 and headed for a hearty and well deserved breakfast.
Now that the entire team is assembled, I am really happy to provide you with some better photos than the ones I snap on the fly. These of Greg and Carlin on the course today were taken by Mandy Newman.
Tomorrow is another epic day – we have to be at the gate by 3:30am. Our destination? Devils Playground!