Think you got what it takes to pit crew at a club race? Fable Rider Erika takes you behind the scenes to all the trials and tribulations hucking wrenches and pulling stands for another new recruit to the Fable crew, Dani! They raced with the Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association last month and bring back this report:
I knew I could have a good time at the CVMA round 1 without having to race; but i didn't think it would be AMAZING and just as fun. Dani Taylor #144 needed a 'pit b!tch' and I was more than happy to help a fellow racer out. Now let me tell you that Dani hadn't raced in a while but when you feel the itch to race, you gotta scratch! That meant that there was some last minute scrambling to get everything together, but Dani is a tough chick and with the help of friends, she was ready to race! At least we thought so...
As a pit b!tch, my job is to help my teammate rider make their life easier and help them achieve the best possible outcome of their race. I had my day cut out for me with our first fail of the day. Apparently a new rule was established in CVMA which banned aftermarket filters and guess which one our team had on the GSXR600! Yep you guessed it. To avoid Dani excess stress, I set off to get one from Dale Kieffer of Racers Edge Performance while she prepared the bike for an oil change. Then we needed pans or some kind of container to change the oil with. Matt Cavarlez gave us a few but it was enough for his Ninja 250 and not a GSXR 600, so we searched for another just in case. I asked around with no such luck. Until I met fellow racer named Jason, number 939! He had mechanical issues and his weekend was finished. I half expected him to be grumpy because that clearly sucks. Instead, Jason offered us two container options and additional oil in case we needed it. I offered him money and he was almost insulted! I thanked him a million times then brought back the goods to Dani's Pit.
Alright, lets try this bike tech thing again. Result? Another FAIL! Dani and I were losing our morale. After dealing with all this in 100 degree weather, we were debating if calling it a day over some ice cold beers would be more enjoyable. But NO! We didn't come all this way to watch other people race when we were so close to gridding up . Also, this was my first time being a full time pit b!tch, and giving up now would be an insult to myself and Dani. Plus the sound of bikes zooming by on the track was a reminder of all the fun being had, and we wanted in! Lucky for us, the tech fail was due to a lack of a filter clamp and many of the machinists had them for sale. So here I go again with my umbrella and cat ears to Andy Palmers pit for a clamp! Meanwhile, Dani was slipping into her leathers, hydrating, and setting her mind into racer mode. The speakers gave the five minute call for the middle weight shootout and Dani hopped on her GSXR. I pulled up the pitbull stand and she was ready to rock!
I was on the sidelines cheering for her as she was having a mini battle. Checkered flag went up and she crossed it in full tuck position, still fighting for the lowest lap time she could get! I ran to the pits and felt freakishly important as I pulled down the pitbull stand to lift Dani's bike.( Ok I'll admit I was role playing my 'CVMA GP' fantasy as crew chief. I proudly have a strange imagination. ) I held on to her leather sleeves as she pulled them off and sighed in relief and as the heat and weight came off of her upper body. I wanted to hand her a beer but I know that she needed water more than alcohol (so I drank a beer for her...teehee!) We high-five'd and celebrated!
Dani recognized she was a back marker but we both didn't care! Most of the battle today was just making this one race possible and it was worth every struggle we had that day. Despite any morning practice, a bike with a new supersport motor Dani never rode on before, and bodywork held up with so many zipties and duct tape you'd think they were a sponsor; Dani gave it her all and achieved a best lap time of 1:58! Not bad for dusting off the cobwebs!
That day was hectic yet extremely fun. I want to think that I was the pit crew for Dani but in reality, the entire pits are the giant pit crew of everyone! I couldn't just appear everything we needed that day out of thin air. Its the CVMA racers who are generous and always willing to help one another in the pits so that we can all achieve what we came out here to do. How admirable to help out each other despite being competitors. Once the grid is loaded and ready to go,all bets are off. But this isn't no Dance Mom's competitor sabotaging sport and I'm damn proud of its integrity. It's a sport full of passion and I can't wait to be part of the CVMA family when I race next round. Now who wants to be MY bit p!tch?! ;) - Minx Meaow aka Erika