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YADBS - Stage 6

so the runs start soon. at this point we are more less unemotional since its pretty plain how crippled we are. we know we have problems with the power transmission and just how it screws up the run is only of academic interest. anyway we would be lying if we said we had no dreams of giving some hotshot a run for their money.

this time tom is the only rider and im not riding since i dont have a license yet. looking back, i could have rode as well since the organizers were hardly strict, quite unlike the autocar guys. anyway the first run is about to happen and we stand watching. we think nothing can surprise us since we know whats coming. tom launches rather violently and leaves the other rider stuck dumb at the lights. the bike shoots ahead and we expect the gearbox to mess up soon and it does - and boy how it does. what we expect is a replica of what we saw earlier - the engine getting "disengaged" as the tranny fails and the revvs shooting up. well not that it didnt happen; in fact more shit happens.

the revvs shoot up and bikes loses full thrust but Murphy scores one more - since the 1st gear is no more useful tom tries to move onto 2nd and then we notice a clear stumble as there is a marked refusal to shift; yes it was the same old ghost coming back at us. but then it lasts only for a fleeting second or so and tom moves onto 2nd. but by then the other rider is gone. but the bike finds its way to the top gears and once past 3rd it starts flying and winds up at something like 135 or so. checking the times, its a 16 second run. but the cameo appearance of the old gearshifting problem shakes us all a bit and i want a drink more than ever. its like the worst keeps happening and that worst is always more than what you can expect.

anyway im shocked jaggu is puzzled tom is confused and ron looks thoughtful. killer has a run on cranks RX and it goes well and he does something around 17 seconds. makes me think how hard it is to get something done on a goddamned RD in this country.

so while we wait for the next run, we hear the general opinions about the first run, about how quick it was off the lights and that sort of thing. we cheer up a bit and tom is all set to have another violent go. maybe if the 1st gear gives way smoothly - which it should, since there wasnt clue enough in that last run to indicate any major shifting issues - we might even end up with a 15.x run, i think. thinking back, i really cant fault the logic. the bike was good, toms launches are good, and so despite a crippled tranny we were actually looking good for a 15 second run. but who was to know about our friend Murphy teaming up with some fellas sitting high up there - those rain gods.

so as the bike lined up for our next run, none of us noticed the light dropping and dark clouds stealing their way up above us.

yes as simple as that. ask anyone who attended the 2004 vasa drag and they will tell you how the skies opened up and it started raining, all out of nowhere, and for all of 5 minutes. having splashed the whole track wet, the rain disappeared and the sun popped out harder than before.

we are all happy when the sun is back, and relieved. none of us, and i repeat none, even thought about the wet track out there. no one thought of not running right then. nobody thought of waiting for 10 minutes or so till the track dried up.

so even if an imaginary Murphy has planned and executed a well-timed rain, we still have only ourselves to blame for rushing in with a run right then, on a wettish track. so what happened next isnt hard to predict. as the lights dropped tom launches hard, as hard as usual or maybe even more, and the bike moves ahead, and then there is a bout of violent wheelspin and the entire bike deviates hard from that forward straight line and moves almost into the other lane.

the other lane, where shabbir i believe, was on nissars bike and he apparently has no wheelspin issues and moves ahead in a steady launch and pulls away neatly. tom is forced to cut throttle to regain his line and by the time he does that and sees off the first 3 gears, we have lost enough time and of course the run turns out to be another 16 second one. shabbir had finished around 2 seconds earlier, clocking a 14.x second run.

so that was the end of drag 2 for us. i dont remember why we didnt try any more runs - probably because of the hefty fee per run, which is 800rs. i really miss booze by then and walk around the place in a real bad mood. anyway i have jaggus cam in hand and i notice some RXes within shooting range. i make sure that i take a pic of the gear linkage setup.

and i dont miss the brake setup either. im surprised to see that its running a cable system. look at the quality - its beautiful.

anyway i roam around in a real foul mood for some more time and soon the others come around looking for me. meanwhile jaggu has a run in his Ikon. and good old jaggu pulls off a neat trick - he forgets to turn off the AC during his run. as i walk back jaggu is laughing and explaning the incident to the others, and even i try to have a laugh. but its not so easy, wish i had a beer.

so the day packs up slowly and we ride the bike back glumly once more. and im sure Murphy was hiding in the Ikons boot and having a mighty laugh. but we have more plans.