Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the tag “Top Speed Shootout”

Nope. No Soap.


Hanging out on the salt, since there’s nothing better to do.

Well, it went down to the wire. The hope was that today’s spectacular sun and breeze would dry out mile 7, which is about where the two-wheelers would pop their chutes at max speed. It just refused to dry out, though. Mike Cook, the organizer of the event, was forced to cancel it for good for 2013.  If it won’t be safe, it can’t happen. How safe one can be while approaching 400 MPH is debatable, but there’s just no point shoveling in more risk.

So, I wandered around and saw a lowered and huffed (turbocharged) VW New Beetle and wandered over to find its crew in good spirits despite the cancellation. Racers are a tenacious bunch, and seem to roll with the punches more easily than many. As a rule, they’re also welcoming by nature – you can just barge in and join them without the usual “who’s this guy?” looks. There was a bright young lady among them who definitely sounded like Read more…

Shootout: In Doubt

DSCN0154Today is Thursday AM. The 2013 Top Speed Shootout guys are having to contend with rapidly changing weather forecasts, which has made putting their wallets on the line risky. The problem for them is squirmy logistics. It isn’t exactly cheap for them to haul trailers of carefully-prepped racing equipment cross-country, or to buy no-discount airline tickets, or book motels or the local KOA campground. These guys are in the upper echelon of speed crazies, and most have sponsors to keep happy. To be sure, none of these guys are poor, but each has invested way, way too much in their speed addiction. I liken it to owning a horse. On the grand scale of things, you have to be comparatively wealthy to own and stable a horse. Once you do that, you are by all accounts no longer wealthy.

The salt surface has proven problematic, and a few days ago was deemed unsuitable for high-speed runs in Read more…

The Salt Addicts

This was all lake a week ago.

This was all lake a week ago.

Well, the Top Speed Shootout 2013 is turning into a saga long before it takes place. The most respected and only surviving land speed event this year, it was originally scheduled for September 12th-16th. Heavy thunderstorms flooded it and several other events out as the salt flats went deep underwater. Even as recently as last week, the racing surface looked pretty hopeless. This event’s rain date was October 10-14, and then they decided to arrange with the BLM for October 7-12 due to racer requests. It’s starting to get a bit nippy out here. The BLM okayed that, but then Congressional Republicans nixed that idea by shutting down so many government services. Somehow, the local BLM office is able to restage it with the original 10-14 dates, so, weather Read more…

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