I still have a few things to do to my land speed racer, but this year's project is winding down. World of Speed felt like a long way away when I started working on the bike last December, but there are only a few weeks left to get things wrapped up and ready to go.
Last year about this time I joined the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association. I wanted to learn more about what I was getting into and it seemed like a good idea to learn from those who had been doing it. Plus, the World of Speed event is not quite as huge as the Speed Week Event sponsored by the SCTA, so it made sense as the place to get my feet wet.
The group meets in Bountiful, Ut the first Wednesday of each month and there's usually a couple dozen people there. The condition of the salt on the Salt Flats, news, and as we get closer—volunteer opportunities are discussed.
A lot of the guys are either current or former racers. Gary, who is responsible for all the equipment and who I spent the day with yesterday, has been going out to the salt since 1976. Our project for the day was to make sure all the generators, drills, and anything else with a small engine had fresh oil and fired up like it was supposed to.
There was another group of volunteers packing the wheel bearings on the four trailers that get used at the event. There's a lot more to the logistics of this type of event than you might expect.
Dennis, the President of the Club was also there running back and forth, making sure we had what we needed, and stopping at the Subway to get us some lunch. You can see him above working on one of the drills that's used to punch holes in the salt for putting up the mile markers, etc. Gary is working on one of the generators.
I have to admit, I didn't quite know what to expect when I signed up for the trek out to Wendover and a day helping get some of the equipment ready for the event in September, but I had a good time, got to know a few people, and learned some things I didn't know—in other words, it was a good day. And, this is nothing compared to what these people do all year long.
There was another guy dragging the salt to help smooth and prepare the course for us to race and it seems like somebody is out here just about every week this time of year doing something to get things ready. I have to admit, I had no idea what went in to pulling off an event like this.
I'm sure the next few weeks will include some craziness as I push to try to get everything ready. My friend Steve isn't going to be able to join me this year after all, but I'm still expecting to have a good time. We've made a lot of progress on the bike for this maiden voyage, so I'm expecting to have some fun and go reasonably fast.
The countdown begins.