UMRA 24 Hour Race – Drama

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24 hours before the start of the race, I get a text message from our team captain. “Need to talk…there’s a remote chance we might not race tomorrow.” Well, shit.

Turns out that the custom transmission that has been built for our Kawasaki Z125 won’t go into gear. That is a slight problem. After further investigation, the “remote” chance becomes “100%”, and we no longer have a bike to race.

To be fair, Nathan saw this coming. Last night I got a photo of the state of our bike, with the motor and transmission being installed:

When Nathan saw that photo, he suspected that there was a good chance things wouldn’t come together in time. Unfortunately, he was right. I hate it when he’s right.

So, what to do? After a few hours of being concerned that I’d have to bail on this story, I reach out to Brody Cox. He’s the same guy who helped me out by loaning me his bike for practice last week, and I want to let him know that I won’t be able to see him at the race. He responds by letting me know that a friend of his has a team and that they need a rider. Said friend is Joey Alves, the same guy I met during my preparation day. You can probably see where this is going. Joey is team captain, and his team is kind enough to let both Nathan and I join their team. Crisis averted!

Things are a little different now – we no longer have a trailer to stay in or essentials such as…lighting for our pit at night. But that’s OK, because we have a Honda XR100 that runs and we’ll make everything else work. It’s all part of the fun, right?

As for the little Kawasaki that couldn’t – UMRA is putting on a 365 lap race in mid-November and we’re going to try and join up with the team for that one. But for now, we can’t leave you hanging on the 24 hour story so we’re switching teams at the last minute to ensure we can still do this race, even if the bike is much less competitive. So with a slight delay, we’re off to Apple Valley and Grange Motor Circuit. Wish us luck, we’ll need it!

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