You know, I don't know why this bums me out. Whether it's all the media reports, or photos going around, I can't stop reading and being saddened by what happened. I didn't know Paul Walker or Roger Rodas (I have a friend I've known for 10+ years who races cars and hung out with Paul Walker a little bit – that's it), but they both seemed to be really, really good guys. Yet I don't know anything more, apart from what I've read.
People die every day and there are tragedies everywhere – in arguably more dire situations, we don't think twice about. I don't know what draws me in – whether it was the way they died, which would be one of the worst ways to go – unconscious and burned beyond recognition. Maybe it was that they died in a manner similar to how Paul Walker made up most of his career through the F&F movies – the irony pulls in a way I can't resist. It's just too eerie. I mean, they should've been able to get out of the car, just like in the movies. Seems like a common movie plot – jump out of the car and get away before the car blows up – but they couldn't. People couldn't pull them out, fire extinguishers weren't enough. They were trapped. It was too little too late and it didn't didn't make a difference. That's not how movies are supposed to go. It was only a couple minutes earlier they had gotten into the car from the event they were at. The people still there reportedly could hear the crash. It was so close, his daughter heard it. Eerie.
Maybe it was that Paul Walker and Roger Rogas both did good things with the money they made – they were both philanthropists. The had families, children – but many people who die do. Maybe it was the cast, who appear to be like family on and off the screen (photos of Tyrese at the crash scene, Vin Diesel's speech at the crash site over a squad car speaker, other tweets, FB posts from cast members, etc.). Maybe that draws me in, but still – I don't know any of them.
I liked Paul Walker's character, I liked the F&F movies, but I wasn't some huge fan. Yet I still can't put my finger on why I'm drawn to this. People die all the time, but whatever the reason, this one has had me realize that anything can happen at any time. Things can end without a moment's notice – something as simple as driving across town.
When people would say similar things about death, I would nod my head and agree, but it wouldn't really sink in. I've had family pass away and while I've felt grief and sadness in largely significant ways, the sense of mortality has never clicked.
It's silly, but whatever the reason, for someone I never even met, it clicks. I won't change the way I live, but I'd like to think I'll come to appreciate it more.
(Photos credit – CNN.com)
Thanks to Chris and Lora Broome for their hospitality during our Barber trip this past week. We hung out the weekend before, during the STT event and then Chris and I hung out all week while we waited for the GNF. I worked for a few days and in between, beat Chris repeatedly in NBA Jam on the PS3 – although he'll try to tell you differently.
Once down there, hanging out with people was the highlight. My dad, Doug, Eric Johnston (who we hadn't hung out with at the track in awhile), along with Brian Livengood, Lori, Nick, Mandy, Stymie, Jillian, Gary, Gene, Greg, the 419 Racing crew, James and Jeff from Pirelli, Mike Fitzgerald, Mark Junge, Mike Pascarella and crew who were with Tucker Lancaster. Dave Grey, Richard Harris, David Bavol, John Trauttman, Ma, Sean Dwyer, Mark and Dawn Merical, along with many new faces we met. Thanks also to Kyle (Wyman) and Elena Myers for having Chris and I over for dinner during the week. And George and Charlie from Pit Bull for letting me visit their place on the way down. That should cover all the name dropping.
One thing I felt bad about was an incident with another rider. In the first race, I made a pass on the outside of the left at the end of the back straight about four laps in, on a slower rider. The pass was made cleanly and I was clear of the bike, but as I tipped into the right, she ran right into my back tire and made contact. Luckily we both didn't crash, but she went down unfortunately. It was a close place to pass and I think it caught her off-guard. I went over afterwards – not even knowing she went down at that point. Fortunately she was okay. While I still felt bad about a close pass in the first place, we both agreed it was a racing incident. Tensions can run high in those situations and a guy who's friends with her later said she was "taken out". That's not how it happened and the GoPro video shows that (they were recording both front and rear). I would run off in the grass before taking anybody out and certainly don't have, or want that type of reputation. I showed the video to a handful of people later that day to make sure it wasn't just my own opinion of what happened and they definitely agreed. In any event, it still doesn't resonate a good feeling when someone crashes like that.
As for the racing, there really isn't much to write about. We struggled and went slower than last year. It wasn't a whole lot of fun, but that's racing sometimes. We'll formulate a plan and regroup. We now know what the issue was, at least.
As someone wiser than me once said, riders aren't permanently fixed in place, regarding their racing abilities. Given how this event went, I sure hope not.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
The latest work on the bike has been to the shock. Joe had already gone through the forks and made sure they were good to go, ...
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Last night was spent at WKR "North", working further on getting the bike ready for Barber. I had already taken the swingarm and linkage ...
Monday, September 16th, 2013
We visited the dyno this past weekend to check some things before the Grand National Finals next month. All in all, it was a very beneficial ...
Friday, September 13th, 2013
From a press release issued by Honda East of Toledo:September 11th, 2013 - Maumee, OH - Honda East Yamaha ...
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Our trip to PIRC (Pittsburgh International Race Complex, FKA BeaveRun) started off Thursday night. Gina, Connor and I made ...
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