It’s funny how a whole variety of experiences can trigger memories.
Growing up in Chinchilla, it was a small country farming town with about 2500 people in the town itself and surrounding areas. My parents owned and operated the local Ford car dealership named Lattimore’s Carey Ford.
A couple times a year, there would be public events such as the annual May Day Parade or local Chinchilla Show. All major local businesses would support these endevours and the township would come together to celebrate.
George would enter a collection of new vehicles into the parade and also have dozens of cars on display at the show for people to inspect. As preparation for those events, of course they needed to be spick and span, and as such were cleaned early in the morning, on the day of the event.
Living in Seattle, we have a generally cool to cold climate, especially across the winter months when the daily temperatures are between -5c and 5c. When I wash my car, every time I plunge my hand into the soapy bucket, it reminds me of washing cars in the cold mornings in Chinchilla. Your hands will get so cold they start to go pink and they get a strange pins and needles feeling.
It was always worth it though, there was a little kiosk nearby that had delicious sausage rolls, lammingtons & freshly made sandwiches!
I haven’t written anything on this blog since the end of 2017. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure why I stopped writing at the time, but now feels like as good a time as any to start things rolling again.
Movember 2014 is over and it was really successful.
Unlike the bad 80’s porn Mo that I sported in 2013, this years attempt to grow in a set of Chopper Reed handlebars (see my artist impression) will get chocked up as a success, at least in my mind anyway!
Additionally, I managed to push through the $1000 barrier for the charity fundraising element and completed the month at a whopping $1100 – a massive thank you needs to go out to everyone that donated!
Below is the evolution or movolution of my Mo, including it going pink for the last work day of the month to help solicit the last few donations that clearly got me over the line.
Now I just need to work out what style of Mo I’m going to sport next year, sorry Claire!
Today I enjoyed one of my 34th birthday presents from Claire, hot laps in a V8 Supercar!
Performance Driving Centre are located on the Gold Coast at Norwell, which is on the eastern side of the M1 behind Ormeau. In addition to offering V8 Supercar experiences in both Ford and Holden vehicles, they also provide driver training in four different classes, karting, track days for you to drive your own car and corporate/business events!
When I arrived, like most events of this nature you sign your life away in a waiver. I was then led into another room to get into a race suit and find a helmet by V8 Supercar driver Steve Owen.
I was really fortunate as there weren’t that many other people there, so as soon as I was dressed I walked out of the building and met my driver whose hands I was going to be placing my life in at over 200kph – Steve ‘Robbo’ Robinson who races V8 Utes.
Two minutes later I was pouring myself into a Ford V8 Supercar and getting buckled up by Steve Owen. The cars start their life as a road going vehicle and are upgraded into race cars with roll cages, bracing, V8 Supercar aero kits, wheels, tyres, brakes and suspension. The engine delivers over 400HP at the wheels and it’s driven through a normal H-pattern gear box. I didn’t ask Robbo if the gearbox was a Holinger or not (they come in H-pattern or sequential) but they use an H-pattern because as a customer you can book packages where you get to drive these beasts and a H-pattern is practical in that sense.
Before I knew it the engine fired up and we were away, roaring into the first turn and breaking hard. Initially I was expecting that it’d take Robbo an entire lap around the track to really start laying into it but before we got through the out lap, he was pounding through the corners are full noise.
The lateral forces are incredible, the fastest turn at the back of the track the car feels like it is on the edge of its grip but despite tearing over the top of the ripple strips – it stays the course and you get fired out the other side.
Probably the most impressive part of it though is the acceleration and breaking. As you come through the slower corner, the time it takes to shift through two gears at full RPM and then stomp on the break coming into the next corner is amazing, then its back on full throttle as soon as the vehicle hits the apex.
It was an amazing experience, I had a massive smile on my face the entire time we were in the car – I just couldn’t believe how fast it was. It makes the speed sensation of pushing a go-kart to the edge through fast turns seems so slow by comparison (despite you being 2″ off the ground in a kart).
I’ve now got an entirely new appreciation for what a V8 Supercar driver goes through at a race track like Bathurst, as the real cars put out about 250HP more and are 400Kg lighter as well. This now makes all of the editorial that I’ve read over the years by journalists make so much more sense when they say they are a brutal assault on your senses and the power, handling and breaking just don’t let up – ever!
Movember is a great cause to raise awareness for men’s health issues, whether it is physical or mental health – it doesn’t matter – the point is to raise the profile of men’s health issues so they can be dealt with in a caring and compassionate way.
I participated in Movember last year for the first time and it was a scary endevour as I wasn’t sure how I’d go having never attempted to grow a mustache before. I’ve now learned that I can’t grow a luxurious mustache like some blokes and by the end of the month it looked like I’d been pulled off the set of a bad 80’s porn film! That might not have been so bad though, I think people generally felt bad for me and as a result, I managed to raise $805 over the month – which I think is pretty bloody awesome.
My last attempt I tried to grow a pretty tradition mustache, you know – the hairy top lip. This year in an attempt to look ever so slightly less ridiculous, I’m going to see if I can carve out a moderately respectable set of handle bars. I know right now I’ll be no Chopper Reed but it is worth a shot!
Below is my artists impression of what I might hope to look like if I channel enough energy and think positive thoughts about my mustache:
Raising money for Movember helps my Mo grow, honest! My MoSpace page is up and running already, so you can donate to my worthy cause right now – don’t wait – get your wallet and flick me $50 – it is for a great cause!