Saturday, January 16, 2016

2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race Day

Race day at Pikes Peak is always a very interesting ordeal, as racers we have to be through the gates before 3am when they let the spectators start up the hill to their viewing points. Luckily they let us bring our bikes and gear up the night before so it's just getting ourselves through the gate and to the pit area, then it's nap time for a couple of hours while all the spectators drive up to their spots.
From Left to Right, Joey Kasper, Susan Bauer, Travis Newbold, Adam Bauer, and Brandon Fosbinder
Once we got the bike and gear unloaded after my nap we went up to watch the craziness that is Pikes Peak Race Day unfold and figure out when and where we should get all staged up. Race day is the only day that we get to run the entire course and we run the course hours later than we get to practice on it so the course is always different on race day. It's always a good time to get to run the whole thing and take on the challenge of the course being different!
Project Supertwin ready to go!
Middleweight runs second to the last of the motorbike divisions so we had some time to hang out and watch some of the other riders take off and get ourselves together for our run up the mountain. Had some words with Lacy and she told me to give her hell, who am I to argue?
Joey and Fos getting the bike ready, no clue what I am doing there...
I might have been a bit pissed off here and swearing a bunch...
Once I got suited up and got ready to get on the bike we got the camera rolling and the rider in front of me took off and I was up next. Then all of a sudden chaos as the rider in front of me was riding backwards back down to the start area and they lined him up next to me, waited a few minutes, then let him go again. I put my head down and just focused on getting back into it and waited for the flagger to give me a green flag to go.
Trying to get my focus back...
Ignoring the rider next to me that ran backwards down the course in front of me.
 Then he pointed the flag, I gave him a nod, and the flag was waved. I'll let my video do the rest of my talking for the run here:
And we are off, a feeling I can't explain.

 At the top I made it across the finish line, slowed down on the dirt, and around to the rocks that we lean the bikes against up at 14,110 feet. A few fellow competitors were there cheering me on and smiles were everywhere along with some stories of everyones run. Once I got the bike parked and got the camera stopped everything kind of set in and I put my head on the rocks and had a moment for our buddy Carl. When I got back up I was greeted by one of the workers that was helping keep me calm on Thursday and by some fellow racers Jose and David who were pitting with Carl. Lots of tears, smiles, and laughter were had. Then the long wait till we could ride back down to see our families, friends, and fans!
A finish is a victory up here, everyone is equal up here.
This race is like no other race here in the states, we take risks to a certain point but leave some room for error, but that is a very thin line at times... To cross the finish line at this race is something very special and is hard to explain what it's like.
The finish, the excitement, the heartbreak... Gathering myself.
Toughest race of my life, especially after the finish.
Adam's time up the 12.42 miles and 156 turns was a 11:25.6, more than 51 seconds faster than last year on the same bike! We are very happy with that after all the heartache leading up to race day!
Nothing is like this, nothing.
We will leave race day with some photos of the craziness that is Pikes Peak, we hope to give her a go again on a bike that is competitive sometime in the not too distant future.
Adam all set to make the run up the hill.
Joey Kasper and Adam Bauer started Just-Us Racing back in 1995!
Yoshihiro Kishimoto and Adam getting ready and having some fun! Yoshi ran a sub 11 minute run on his electric bike!
Adam at the top of the mountain.
For Carl!
This run was for my dad and Carl, and it was a hell of a run!
You never know what the weather is gonna throw at ya up on top of Pikes Peak!
Ronin #1 ridden by Travis Newbold to 2nd fastest bike on the hill!
We hear they are going to have us ride down, we look out to a plow truck clearing the road...

Tagged, I started this by tagging Carl's 848 with Just-Us Racing... It kind of blew up form there!
Well, here we go! Nothing like cold race tires through snow and then down a freezing road surface!
Travis Newbold and Adam Bauer. We like to party!
My buddy Colin Barton and I at the top!
My buddy Neil and I at the top!
Mike Applehans and Adam before our slippery ride down the mountain.
Mike Applehans rode Carl's Triumph up in tribute to him on race day.
Mike was greeted at the top by us all, hell of a tribute.
I got to ride Carl's Triumph over to park it up top.
We got down to just above Glen Cove and it was warm and no snow, turned into a bit of a party with spectators coming out and taking pictures and hanging out. Was a good time.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Practice Week

So Adam is cleared to race the PPIHC, the Supertwin is ready to go with the stock engine in it, so lets get loaded up and get down to the Lone Duck Campground already dammit! Let's Roll!
Custom Race Shirts by Diemsportsgear!

So this is where I have to throw out some big thanks to my buddy Brandon "Fo$" Fosbinder, the dude let me use his RV Toy Hauler for the week, tested an Ergon MTB grip on his Supermoto to see if the grip would hold up, loaded and unloaded my bike and gear all week out of my pickup, and literally helped with everything and anything including an engine swap Tuesday morning! You sir kick some serious A$$!!!

Fo$ in his element!
I was able to get some light rides in on the Ducati Monster back and forth to work to see how the wrist would hold up, and it was okay with a few aches and pains but tolerable. So it gave me an idea of how riding the Supertwin would be, but nothing compared to the real deal Tuesday morning on the mountain.
Would you seriously trust this guy racing a motorbike?
Practice schedule started with Tuesday on the bottom section, I was very happy with this as I only had 3 practice runs up it last year, and it is the longest practice section and the most difficult to remember where you're at because everything looks the same! I only had three runs in but I went a couple of seconds faster than my qualifying time last year on the first run and ended up almost 15 seconds faster on the 3rd run. My wrist was sore but mostly from coming back down with all the pressure on my hands under braking on the way down, I was a little worried about it but it was okay.
Adam and Carl having some fun picking on each other.
Brandon and I rushed back to my house after practice with the new engine built by Alan @ Racing Unlimited over in Fort Dodge, IA brought out to Colorado Springs by our buddy and fellow Hill Climb racer Eric Foutch the day before! Less than an hour we had one engine out and started putting the new engine in.
My Wench... Errrr, I mean Wrench Fo$ hard at work!
We ran into some issues with the throttle bodies so we loaded her up and headed over to see Bart and Steve over at Mad-Moto to get them sorted and throw the bike on the dyno for a quick tune before heading back down to the Lone Duck.
Bart thinking that my bike sucks balls and I should burn it...
Wednesday morning we were up at the buttcrack before dawn on the mountain again by 3:30am this time starting at Glen Cove below Devil's Playground. The big question was will the bike start at altitude? As luck would have it, she fired right up and we started getting her ready for some trips up the middle section. On the first run up the bike was horribly difficult to ride, wouldn't make any power until about 8k and then was on like a light switch. On the way down the bike died and I coasted into the pits ready to call it a day and head back down to find out what was wrong. Once down in the pits we tried to re-start the bike, and she fired up with no problems. The rest of the day it ran well, but still made no power below 8k so all of the hairpins were sketchy. We started to pick our brains a bit and realized we had not changed out the intake rubbers on the airbox so the new engine was trying to breathe through tiny intake boots! At work we pulled the airbox out, changed the boots, and loaded her back up ready to give it another go Thursday morning.
Adam's shit eating grin... At 3am... No clue how that happened!
Thursday practice was up at Devil's Playground so we are starting off above 12,000 feet, very difficult to adjust to the lack of oxygen up there both me and the bike! The Supertwin fired right up even with the cold and elevation, it also revved more crisp so the correct intake boots were helping! Set off on the sighting run and the bike was running mint, was a fun ride up and down checking the course out, took notes of how bad the bumps were through boulder field and got ready for a run. First run up was a good one, until we got to the boulder field area, the bumps were really bad and my wrist was not happy at all. At the top I was having to really focus on riding and not the pain in the wrist. I wrapped a bit of tape around the wrist for some more support for the second run and made it through again but the pain was still hell to deal with. I knew come race day I would just deal with it and make it happen. After completing the run to the top for the third time we were held at the summit for a bit and were told someone had an off...
Travis Newbold and Adam Bauer posing for a shot with the Ronin!
A little while later we heard the bike number that was off was 217, our good friend Carl Sorensen, and that was all they could tell us for what seemed like forever. After an hour or possibly more we were told to head back down to Devil's Playground. On the way down we saw where he went off and knew it wasn't good. We rode the bike directly back to the truck, tied it down, and loaded everything up. Then we waited... We knew at that time we had lost one of our own, the next few hours are mostly a blur really, everything and nothing seemed to happen at the same time. When the road was finally opened back up for us to go back down we had no real words to say.
Hot Carl, one of his last runs with us, Race In Paradise Buddy.
After a brief stop back at the campground Brandon and I went up to my house to pick up the other half of Just-Us Racing, Joey Kasper, he had flown in Thursday afternoon to help with qualifying and race day. That hour of driving we had a lot of thoughts of pulling out of the race and calling it quits, but then we kept thinking about how Carl would have kicked our asses for even thinking about it so we decided I would go to qualifying and if it feels okay I would keep going. So back down to the Lone Duck Campground we went, was a somber evening and not a lot was said.
Joey Fookin Kasper Dreaming BIG! ;)
Friday morning came around and we headed up to the bottom section of the course for qualifying. The bike ran great on the sighting run and I felt pretty good so I lined up for my first run of the morning. I told everyone I was going to take it easy and headed up on the first run. I went a couple of seconds faster than I went on my fastest run Tuesday so the team was happy with that for starters and under the circumstances it was very good. The next two runs we went 6 seconds faster and another 6 seconds faster for a final qualifying time of 4:54 compared to last years 5:18 qualifying time! We will take that!
Smiling was a difficult thing to accomplish, this is how it was.
With no riding happening Saturday we stayed at the Lone Duck Campground Friday night and had a little send off for Carl, lots of stories were told, some beverages of the alcoholic variety were consumed, and as good of a good time was had as we could with thoughts of our fallen friend on everyone's mind.
Baja, 4 legged creatures will make the world better and bring smiles always.
We will leave practice week with some pictures of Hot Carl, your goofy assed faces and giving absolutely zero shits attitude will be missed buddy.
#RACEPACE #Forever217 #WolfBrigade
2014 PPIHC, Travis had just said something in which I will never remember but you know what? It was fucking funny!

Carl was giving me shit here, Fo$ took the pic. Best time ever.
This was Thursday morning, I called Carl a pussy cause he was "cold" and was warming up in the truck. Fuckin Carl
30 foot snowbanks and we are racing motorbikes up a mountain road. Neat.
2014, photo by Sam Christmas, Buddies for Life.
Hot Carl Ripping down in Pueblo on his badass ZX10, so fast on this thing!
Badass or Poser? I would have to say both! Hah, such a cool shot! Race Pace!
Guy Martin and Carl with Carl's kick ass Chevy Van, So Cool.

Finishing a practice run Wednesday morning just below Devil's Playground. Pic by Travis Tollett.

Race in Paradise Bud, pic by Travis Tollett Thursday morning, 3rd run.
Race In Paradise Buddy, Keep those Cables Stretched and that Rear Tire Smokin, Fuckin Carl.