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Waiting for godot


Ottawa Safety Counsil

Mont Tremblant National, August 8th - 10th , 2003

By Pat Boyd

(best read after digesting Dave's story of the same weekend)

Well, Dave was right.  It was a great weekend punctuated by the occasional crash, broken fiberglass and the odd cracked rib. 

Tremblant was a treat.  The pavement was smooth and the track had a beautiful 4.8 km flowing layout to it.  Our pit area was prime real estate right along the fence by the hairpin.  After having raced carefully with Dan Henri at Shubenacadie , Nova Scotia , only the weekend before, I threw caution out the window and I rode as hard as I could at Tremblant so I could at least make it through timed qualifying for the ultra-competitive Amateur 600.  

The result: three crashes.  My all-time record.  Normally, I'll only crash twice in a whole season.  Three crashes in one weekend was unheard of for me.  Michel Grenier #95, our Diablo pit neighbour, had been encouraging me at Thursday dinner to dig down deep and pick up the pace.  Those words of encouragement were echoing through my mind as I sailed through the air exiting the chicane high on a tankslapper from hell on Saturday morning.  The image of Michel dispensing encouragement disappeared as suddenly as the landing which cracked my ribs.  "Eeewwww.that looked painful," said the Marshall .  "I thought you were going to save it."

"Yep, so did I.  That is until I realized I was ten feet in the air and my bike was behind me."

"Well, you should've seen this other yellow bike get taken out yesterday by another rider who crashed."

"Uh, yellow bike?  Number 48, I'm guessing." 

I'm glad I loaned Alan my spare F2 for the weekend, otherwise where would I get all the bodywork and parts to continue?  Alan did a great job getting me ready for Sunday while I limped over to the leather racesuit repair man and asked for "the regular".

My crashing fiasco reached a crescendo during AM 600 qualifying when I felt I was on a blazingly hot lap.  This lap time was going to be good enough to get me spot on the grid.  Back of the pack, I didn't care.  The lap was good, that is, until the last corner where I crashed in the hairpin right in front of my whole family.  The lap wasn't so hot after that.

I didn't make it for the qualifying cut but I did get enough points from Shubenacadie that I got a spot on the grid.  Last one they had, in fact.  It was a blast to run in the race and I was able to hang with the last few riders on my 13 year old F2 by drafting people on the back straight.  I wasn't dead last, either.  I lost the draft on one lap and I actually had to slow down to let other riders catch up so I could draft again and just hang with them.

It all went good until the last lap.  I made good on my new theme for 2003.  I ran out of gas.  The bike was sputtering and dying on the back straight so I coasted through the next few corners much quicker than normal and I ended up riding onto the grass.  I finished the last lap in pit lane.  Unfortunately, the stupid rules don't let you be a finisher in pit lane, unlike with RACE so my results show me doing all 12 laps of the 12 lap race but Did Not Finish.

The rain race was a great way to end the weekend.  It's all as per Dave's recap.  We rode fastest on our warmup laps and if only we had held that pace through the rain!

Great place to be and I can't wait to go to Tremblant again next year.  This time, more gas and less crash!

Pat Boyd #48


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