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September LDR Musings

posted in JoMo's Musings by Last Ditch Racing


Difficult to put down in words what's been going on of late, as there's been so much, really.

The season is essentially over for the LDR team until the Regional Rally Championship at the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri, early 2010. Having finished second in the RRC the last two years, we'd really like to add a win there to our palmares. :-)

What do we do when we're not racing? Sitting still isn't one of them! ;-) I'm currently working on fixing up a used Forester for use as my teen son's first car. Another crew member has been restoring a Chris-Craft power boat, yet another is crewing for a national level team and others have been Rallycrossing. Erik Lee has been co-driving in Canadian National events of late, and Dave Getchell will be Chief Steward at the Black River Stages in New York this coming weekend. Black River will also see LDR crew member Rob Sockalexis strap into the role of Co-Driver with fellow Bangor native Kevin Turner driving in his GC8 Impreza. Never a dull moment.

Closer to home, here at Triple Caution Farm, T-4 will be getting some love in the form of a complete overhaul of the wiring system. The aim is to make the system more efficient and easier to service/troubleshoot. The battery will be relocated to the interior of the car, also redistributing some weight. The current turbo appears ill and that'll have to be replaced.

We are also looking at building a new engine for the car and perhaps going with a different engine management unit that has a more effective anti-lag system. Our current ECU, while performing consistently, simply does not have an effective ALS implementation. In rally, this can mean a couple of seconds/mile.

For those of us that rally out of their own pockets, the intellectual/technical adventure is/has to be as rewarding as actually being on event. As always, we're trying to attract partners for the 2010 season. We really are an irresistible group of guys. ;-)

On the personal side, I continue to push my physical limits and find out where they are. I continue to be surprised that they're not where I expect them to be! For instance, on Sunday I rode a charity bike ride and logged 81 miles. While not keeping up with the more experienced, younger, fitter cyclists, I held my own. Pedaling into a headwind for more than two hours, I began to talk to myself-hey there was no one else there! ;-)

I asked myself why I was doing it, why pro cyclists do it, why the other guys in lycra out that day were doing it. We all have our reasons. Ultimately my participation is a result of not wanting to do it, but knowing that I actually can. I have internal discussions/struggles between sitting on the couch and actually getting up and out to do something.

There's an interesting parallel between fitness and cars for me. There was a time that I didn't know how to change oil on a car or check the air filter. Now I can fabricate, weld, and perform most major system repairs. I sometimes lament to my wife that I have NO EXCUSE not to fix something automotive and I would really enjoy a day where I could feign ignorance in order to avoid the task.

Fitness is fast becoming the same. I can claim that I can't ride 100 miles next month in the Dempsey Challenge, but I know that I can. It won't be easy-I'll likely cramp and hurt and gasp up the climbs, but I can do it. Will I? Don't know...yet. :-)

After the 81 mile ride on Sunday, I went to the Dojo Monday night for Kumite night. We all went a bit harder than perhaps we should have. After Kumite is fight night-a time for those that want to take their fighting to the next level of intensity and contact. Of course I stuck around. I spent last night with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables on my leg and a frozen breakfast burrito up my shorts. I woke this morning with a large red mark on my chest that I can only surmise is the ghost of someone's foot. Still kind of feels like it's there! :-)

So here's the challenge for all of us. Let's try and move outside our normal pattern of behavior for our own betterment. Maybe you have 4 Starbucks this week instead of 5(that might be detrimental for some of you). Maybe you switch to diet soda. Maybe you take up ballroom dancing. Maybe you spend more time with the kids. Maybe you stop smoking or drinking for a month. Maybe you put yourself on a bike or hit the dojo.

Honestly, I wish I had an excuse not to make positive changes, but I really can't find a good one anymore. Dammit. :-)

Cheers! John

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