Weekly Roundup: All Stereotypes Are True Edition

20160721_190222

Behold, a tire
Worn through the center
A thousand burnouts fire
the tread but he doesn’t enter
any corner particularly quickly
far better to straighten up and let ‘er
rip that’s why the edges are still sticky
with the little extrusions seen on the better
tires but also the worse tires if truth be told
they are all pretty much constructed in that way
it’s an artifact of when they’re removed from the mold
click the jump to see the bike and read what we had to say

Continue Reading →

(Last) Weekly Roundup: Like An ACR Viper Edition

neonviper

The Neon ACR… it’s much like a Viper ACR.

After the success of the NASA sprint race at Autobahn, we were hoping for great things out of the Neon at NJMP… but we had one little mechanical issue after another. At least it was a chance to see a bunch of our friends, meet a few readers, and see Alex Roy wearing a white hat in a ’65 Stingray convertible.

Let’s recap what Bark and I wrote before we headed to that race, shall we?

Continue Reading →

Saved By The Rack

tirerack

Yesterday I whined about how I was short one wheel centering ring as a result of lending my Neon’s third wheelset to another driver. This morning I called the Tire Rack hoping they could help me come up with a solution. Amazingly, they had my original order of the wheels from 2008 still on the books. And they still had the centering rings. And they’re sending them today. And I’ll get them tomorrow. For free.

There are a lot of people who bemoan the 800-pound gorilla aspect of Tire Rack’s participation in motorsports — my brother and I can think of a particularly unpleasant autocrossing-related incident from a decade ago that serves as a perfect example of why no one company should have too much “juice” in a particular sanction or series — but in this case I have nothing but praise for the folks from South Bend. I’ve already ordered twelve tires and eight wheels from them in 2016 and I expect there will be more to come.

In Which The Author Plays Captain Save-A-Ho And It Costs Him Untold Misery

20160712_210423

Aarrrgh. Eight years ago, I bought a brand-new set of Rial wheels for my Neon from the Tire Rack. At the time, I only had two sets of race wheels and I needed a third so I had dry, wet, and intermediate (full-tread R-comp) options.

When I took a hiatus from NASA racing, a young lady who was also racing a Neon asked me to borrow a set of wheels. If some dude had asked me that, I’d have told him to fuck off. But because I’m an atavistic creature from the 1950s at heart, I let her borrow my Rials, which were perfect. She returned them two years later — dirty, dingy, scraped, and dented.

Tonight I decided to scrub and paint the wheels for this weekend’s AER race. Lo and behold, I pulled the wheels out — and saw that the lady in question had managed to lose one of the centering rings that came with the wheels. Well, this is what I deserve for being a perfect fedora-wearing gentleman, isn’t it? Next time, I’ll listen to Slick Rick.

Somebody Tell Me What’s Going On Here

doublebridge

No way this is for real. This broad looks like an owl. I’m concerned that this is what signals the Last Trump. No relation to Donald; the “last trump” is found in the Bible. When Revelations was translated, what they called a “trumpet” or “trump” would be more like what we call a “bugle” nowadays.

This weekend, we got three podium finishes (two thirds and a second) at the NASA Autobahn race south of Chicago. It was a fantastic, but utterly exhausting, two days. Watch this space as we resume regular service tomorrow!

Made In The USA: Machine Era No. 2

20160708_135306

My Kaweco Liliput Fireblue has been a true delight these past fifty days. There’s something about it that just works, just feels right in the hand. The steampunk aesthetic doesn’t hurt one bit, either.

The only problem is that you can’t fly with it — and I’m on a plane fifty days a year or more. So let’s try something else: a machined-brass ballpoint, made in the United States, with an stout aluminum clip.

Continue Reading →

We’ve Reached The Vintage Guitar Singularity

bonnamassa

I had to make sure it wasn’t April first, but it’s true: Joe Bonamassa says he knows where Eric Clapton’s “Bluesbreaker” guitar is. This is a perfect storm of the stupidity, preciousness, myth-making, and faux-authenticity-obsession associated with guitar collecting. As such, it deserves a full examination, because understanding this story will help us all understand why rock is essentially dead and why our society’s obsession with the signifier over the signified damages us all in ways we cannot fully comprehend or appreciate.

Continue Reading →