Ted’s essays

touring the neighborhood

I did not have much of a choice. I was left home alone. I had to practice more with my new-to-me motorcycle. The weather was gorgeous. My neighborhood is perfect. (People come here from all over the world to drink from the fountain of natural beauty in Montana’s Bitterroot) I know of several lightly-traveled, low-speed roads that are just right for a bike that likes to cruise in the 40-50 mile-per-hour range and a returning motorcycle pilot that is right there in his comfort zone. I have to reconnect those biker synapses muscle memories in my crusty old brain. The top right photo looks at the Bitterroot Mountain Range from its foothills. Next on the right is The Bitterroot […]

knocking the dust off my wrenches

I am satisfied that my $1,000 offer on the BMW R1150RS motorcycle I used to own was reasonable, and that I will again end up enjoying that refined touring motorcycle that leans a bit towards the Sport/Touring class. Jeff dove into a wiring and electrical makeover that he never completed. There are parts missing from the BMW that may be challenging to replace. I will earn my ride when it finally hits the road again. The 2012 Suzuki Doctor Zee (DR Z400S) on the other hand appears to be one of those rare barn finds that always fall into someone else’s lap, not mine. See They followed me home. Can I keep them? I just completed my inspection, service and […]

They followed me home. Can I keep them?

Time is short buy the motorcycle. Or in my case this month, buy both of them. 1) In the Bitterroot we spend Spring to Fall watching an endless stream of motorcyclists passing through enjoying the world from the saddles of their motorcycles. I am always envious of them, even when they ride boulevarders of no serious interest to me. They all fill me with powerful remembered emotions of loving life astride a motorcycle that few of us get to live. 2) My crystal ball tells me we will very soon be living in 3rd-World conditions – At Best. In the 3rd-World successful entrepreneurs and the better-off impoverished use motorcycles. Next level down are bicycles, then good-old shoe leather, usually […]

NASA High Performance Driver Education (HPDE)

My big deal of the decade, several decades, and in particular this year was two days of flat-out driving on a road racing course. I share my journaling of it with you here. I spent last weekend at the Utah Motorsports Complex (UMC) on and around their road course. It was created by a local tycoon to exercise his vast collection of vintage race cars in the company of fellow enthusiasts. In other words, a track facility developed by an enthusiast FOR enthusiasts. Most of us were built for something; having unique strengths and interests where we are slightly or noticeably better than most. My natural exceptionalism seems to be high performance driving. Though life did not hand me […]

March Madness

That is what the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) called their Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) March 25-27 track event. In a pell-mell rush, I got myself, my gear and my car down there for some quality track time. The video on the right is a narrated slide show of selected photos from that trip. First the bad news: The newly replaced rear main seal in my engine leaked oil onto the new clutch disc so I could not get much of the acceleration from my engine to the pavement … and was quite distracted trying to feather the throttle enough to keep it together during my first and only turn on track. The Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) Outer Track […]

Gone RACING

I recently posted Gone Fishing using that phrase as a metaphor for my particular breakaway from the normal, everyday life. Here I use a much more accurate title. Racing is most accurately described as a competition wherein one tries to go faster than another. I will not be in a competition, but rather just running the track as fast as this man and my GT50 machine care to go – which is a whole bunch faster than normal people would drive within their comfort zones. I expect to get my ’87 Honda CRX around 115-120mph in the straight between TURN 15 and TURN 1, before braking hard for a corner likely to require me to be going 35-45 in […]

Gone Fishing

Normally clear studio surfaces speak of a cluttered life I am pulling out of my garage in one week… heading south to Utah Motorsports Complex for National Auto Sports Association’s March Madness. I am transitioning from The Beast to a much nicer, newer Z-71 optioned Suburban, The Z-Wagon. The Beast had an antenna farm on the back 1/3 of its roof and capability of running half a dozen amateur radios at a time on numerous different frequencies. I am putting some time, thought, energy and money into adding one multi-band radio to The Z-Wagon. Additionally there are numerous mechanical fix-ups that go with replacement vehicles. I initiated and had to manage a local emergency-preparedness radio exercise I called “Light Up […]

unfettered, con-brio driving

I have registered for “March Madness” March 26th-27th in High Performance Driver Education group 1 (HPDE 1), which is the only option for drivers who have not driven with NASA previously and who do not possess a race car driver’s license. In this group we have an instructor who shows us the track in their car, then rides along in ours making sure we understand the rules, the track and how to drive where there are no speed limits, overtaking only where allowed. At some point along the way, first timers shed the ride-along added weight, but are still watched a bit for adherence to expected norms. Early March 25th, I expect to unload into Garage #7 which I reserved […]

A Car Guy and the Sports Car Olympics

With a little help from my friend I produced a series of animated interview videos discussing sports car competition, the life and times of a G-Force-Junkie, a car guy and the joy of sharing times with other car guys. My wife really enjoys how enthusiastic I get when telling tales of the fun and excitement I have had whilst driving infernal-combustion-propelled vehicles. While of no interest to Yogis, meditators and poets, Car Guys and motorcycle buffs will get it. Sports Car Olympics 1 of 4 – Funkhana, venues, autocrosses I discuss the Funkhana, a competition that took place only at the Olympics, plus a bit on Olympics venues and autocrosses Sports Car Olympics 2 of 4 – Concours de Elegance, […]

upgrading The Beast

It was rugged, manly and relatively impervious to EMP or other electronic assaults, but a bit too crude and unpleasant to drive over any distance at all. Thus when opportunity offered, we decided to replace The Beast with a new-to-us Z-Wagon, a 2005 Suburban Z-71. It tracks like a decent car. I regularly shun automatic transmissions, but that is one of the penalties modernizing puts on me. I can live with that among numerous upgrades. I will be willing to actually cover extended distances in my new Z-wagon. With the 2005 engine management system, it can approach 20 miles on a gallon of gasoline, while The Beast could get to 13 mpg if I handled it with kid gloves. […]

The blessings of a few hundred Gs

Today uncountable Gs definitely brought a smile to my face, a spring to my step. Organized crime (private sector) movies taught us to use Gs when referring to thousand-dollar bits. A hundred Gs is $100,000 in that parlance. I am abusing the pun here. My semi-retired Honda CRX race car was scowling at me from under its coat of dust. We hadn’t flexed our muscles in a very long time and the rapidly approaching winter threatened to add another 6 months to that streak. Heck, world events could add “forever” to it. Today I was harrumphing my way around the estate mulling over my impossibly long list of pre-winter chores when the CRX suggested we do something JUST FOR THE […]

My future mobility scooter

I ran across this photo at my GAB social media feed. It is SOOOOO MEEEEE – For that future when my body struggles to carry my old body around.