Good news, bad news

posted Apr 5, 2009, 6:49 PM by Scoob Edoo   [ updated Apr 5, 2009, 7:26 PM ]
Well, the Philly Test n Tune was today.  I brought Kieran and both karts for annual tech and I hoped that we'd be able to get him in the kart for the first time when things were slow (lunch or something).  Danny Kao came up from DC and brought his kart - very nice.  It was very windy (Warminster is an old Naval air-strip) and we couldn't get my kart started.  We examined spark and spark plugs, fuel, and finally Ted thought to play with the air intake (so much wind, too much air).  We eventually got it turning over with some smoke, so were encouraged.  We played with fuel and air and got it started - only for it to continue to rev up, up, up.  Since there is no kill switch (hooked up, at least), I began frantically trying to shift and brake to get it to slow down.  Unfortunately there is only so much you can do at that point and it ran itself into the ground right in front of us.  We figure the rod eventually bent and the piston is essentially seized... I did get it to move slightly after it sat quietly most of the day, but it will need to be rebuilt.

Throughout the day I talked to a few people and came to the conclusion that I will probably get this rebuilt while also searching for a Honda CR125 to replace it.  So I would have the TM as a back up and run the Honda as the primary.  Sal will be asking around to see who has a "spare" CR125 (bike or just motor), so we'll see what we can put together over the next few weeks.  It's only money, right?!

But the real (good) news from today was that Kieran did run his kart a few different times today on the outside of the course (by the TnT skid pad).  He took a little encouragement to do it the first time, but I gave him a big push, told him to hit the brakes and he did.  Then I said basically that was all he really needed to know since it's much more important to stop than go fast (now at least).  He was happy with that so I started the kart and sent him on his way.  He did not hesitate and went pretty much full throttle for several minutes, just going around in ovals and testing the throttle and brakes.  He spun once and went on his way, so was unfazed.  A bit later, Steven asked him if he was going out again and he went out again.  This time I set up a few cones in a small slalom for him to try.  He did it a few times, hit a few cones, then went back to driving his ovals.  He spun a few more times, ran out of gas, got more gas and ran some more.  Then it was time for me to go work, so we packed it up and he went to the truck.  Toward the end of the session they called me to the truck to see if I wanted Kieran to run the course.  He had already told Steven that he didn't want to, but after watching from the truck during that heat he changed his mind and wanted to go.  So we got him all ready, pushed the kart to the front and as soon as the cars were done, we got him started and he took to his first autox course!  It was a very long course and neither of us had even taked a course walk, so he really had no idea what to expect.  Turns out that he did very well for the entire out-section, did the turn-around, then missed the "wrong" offset slalom, took the Chicago-box, then straightlined the last slalom to come into the finish.  He was consistent, though: he took three runs and did pretty much the same thing on all three.  He had two spins on his last run, but kept going both times.  It was a very proud day for me and I wish I'd brought the video camera, but I already had enough to remember (and forget).  I took a few pics with my cell phone, so at least I have something to show for the day.  And Patrick presented him with a trophy at the end of the day so he has something for himself, too.  Good memories.  And a very happy ending to a hectic, frustrating, and expensive day.

Very special thanks to Danny Kao for helping me so much and then allowing me to run his kart for a good portion of the day.  I'm very grateful.  Also big thanks from both of us to Steven and JR for allowing Kieran to run off- and on-course today.