Click here for pictures from the event.
Click here for an onboard view of a lap of NHIS (QuickTime Movie)
Track Day 2006 - by Marco McCormick
Adirondack day, attack day, track day, got to get back day: Any more fun than this would require an amendment to the constitution. The BCM DESMO track day will forever be the single greatest source of pleasure available to our members, period. Corner workers notwithstanding, most of those returning for this fourth annual event on July 26th did not find their enthusiasm flagging. As for the new-comers, the author included: grins, silent and wondrous disbelief, conversations with imaginary friends and less discreet auto-babble describe most of them throughout the day. And what was the day like? There are several variants of joyous delirium suggested that might be explored.
Part the First - Tape
Tuesday night, the Red Roof Inn at Louden, NH looked very much like the scene of quiet, focused preparation. Thatís because it was. Those not knowing what to do walked around a lot and made grim observations on how little of all this they understood. In the authorís case, that feeling persists in every phase of daily living. Tape was immediately understood, though, and everyoneís style was wonderfully expressed in this simple devotion. Some had no lights. Some had lights covered thickly and wires un-harnessed. Some preferred a diaphanous application to the lens that did not so much block the light as render it in unearthly hues. Some filched two rolls of tape and a razor from Pat Drennan and asked what was supposed to be done.
Part the Second - Breakfast
There are two schools of thought concerning what and how much to eat before an event that is certain to tax oneís resources to the extreme. The author does not know what either of them is, but will describe what he had at six oíclock track day morning and let the reader draw whatever conclusions muffins, bagels, sticky cinnamon Danishes and three cups of coffee suggest. Oh, oops.
Part the Third - 88f
It was official. DESMO members cued up at the gated entrance to NHIS to sign a waiver and get stamped. There was speculation on what the combination of letters and numbers that made up the stamp could mean. Nothing of it was amusing. Technical inspection of moto and helmet followed, and then the first of a tremendous series of academic sessions on track strategy and composure got under way. For demystifying the brake-enter-apex- exit mantra, Tim is the best in the business. Over the course of the day, he explained in the most accessible and entertaining way all aspects of cornering, seating position and, most importantly, keeping it fun. And then suddenly we were cued up behind an instructor, machines burbling and the whole pit area awash in tremulous waves of heat. If there was one moment of truth in the day, it could be said that that moment began then and lasted eight exhilarating hours.
Part the Fourth - Intermezzo
After four 20-minute runs of, for the novice group at least, follow the leader and be followed by the leader, we broke for a banquet. Italian provender was heaped up and covered thirty feet of table, and that was not enough. There is a direct relation between food and folly; the more you eat the more stupid you become. That this author is always eating is elegant enough testimony to his ability on or off the track. After lunch the track gave off the shimmering allure of the La Brae tar pits. The time to count bones was upon us.
Part the Fifth - The Road to Moritomo
Time to recapitulate: At the track every lap is a tutorial, every corner. There is no better lesson in humility, no better in management of acumen and fatigue: There were a few get-offs, but all told everyone who went this year will go again next year, and gladly. For those who havenít yet found the call, wake up. Itís really that good. Every DESMO occasion fills us with gratitude, and this one perhaps deserves the most. The un-self-conscious fellowship, the level of instruction, the condition of the track itself, and the incredible management and good will of BCM make this, well, special like no other event. How do you measure the success? Try to get Graham Wolfson to stop smiling long enough to articulate a few words, and maybe youíll get an answer. To close this festive affair, those who did not have to drive back furiously Wednesday night to meet the unwelcome demands of life repaired to an excellent Japanese restaurant in Louden where Terry had Godís biggest shrimp ever to be culled from the deep, shelled, shucked, breaded and fried, and Hannah ate two minced hot peppers on a dare that will, come next season, see our favorite BCM tech, racer, and all around irresistibly disturbed young man Jay doing corner work in a thong bikini. Come on, now, if that doesnít convince you that track day is special, nothing will.
Epilogue - Treasure in the Mountains of Bristol
A sense of direction never having been the authorís strongest suit, the ride back to lower Westchester with fellow Scotsman Lewis Wallace found us at five-thirty Thursday afternoon on a ferry across Lake Champlain, some two hundred miles off course. Before promising ourselves that we would not slab, no matter the hour, we met and spoke with a handful of locals. As briefly rendered as this material allows, DESMO members should note that the professional tartar of clergy differs from the Clark clanís in that it adds a bold black stripe to the blue plaid, that to hunt snipe one needs a flashlight and a tennis racket, and that the famed nineteenth century bank robber of Bristol, Vermont hid his loot in the mountains, and it has never been found. We rode the length of Route 22 home, arriving at just after six Friday morning, wonderfully disposed from track and lore, and uncommonly stupid with fatigue. Would we do it again? In a heart beat.