22 November 2007

Wall of death

Last Sunday was my second trip to the local indoor go-kart track. Not content with driving a go-kart on a horizontal plane I thought I'd take it to the 2nd dimension:

No that's not me dressed in the lions outfit in the sidecar but I did have a go at riding the wall of death in a go-kart. For €22.50 you can terrify yourself at having a go on a full setup about 6m in diameter and 4m in height.

To be honest, once strapped in with the four point harness, helmet on and hands placed through loops in the steering wheel, I was a wee bit nervous. Sorry mum but I think I let out a few rude words!

With no brake to worry about my foot was planted firm on the accelerator and away I went. Round and round, steering wheel slightly curved into the turn zooming around the bottom building up the speed. Then I felt the car kart creep up the sloped walls and the tyres were squeeling. So I eased the steering back straight and up I went. Cue more rude words!

I made it as close as I wanted to go to the top without clipping the barrier on my first attempt but came down early as I was quite shaken. But the second go I was lapping it up all the way until the instructor called time.

How was it? Pretty nutts to be fair. There's no skill needed really but there's a lot that screws with your head as you are going around and it's surprisingly hard work concentrating. Coming down is the most difficult challenge cos you have to ease off very gently whilst you are physically and mentally drained.

Good fun though and I have Rog who's a bit of a petrolhead here this weekend so we might make a return trip.

This video is of the actual wall that I rode but the guy is a wuss and only just makes it onto the vert, let alone getting to the yellow line halfway or the red line at the top. So I also found the following video that gives a better impression of what's possible:

So what's next? Perhaps the 3rd dimension...

Labels: , ,

19 November 2007

North Sea storms

The weekend before last there was big storm in the North Sea whipping up some good waves. I hit the beach in Ijmuiden with Nick and his kite surfing gear. This beach is the closest to Amsterdam and very popular amongst wind powered surfers.

Naturally I was the only kayaker there and there was even only a couple of board surfers. But it was quite funny surfing between speeding windsurfers and kitesurfers flying over head!

But the wind was fierce and on shore so I can count the number of decent rides I had on one hand. I even opted to walk miles up the beach and along the sheltered sea defence wall to aid paddling out. The waves were big but not very steep and proved difficult to catch. You had to really be in the right spot at the right time but I caught some good air and enjoyed getting the cobwebs wet inside my boat.

I don't take any photos but I wasn't the only one kayaker out on the coast during those storms. Martina has a blog entry about her trashings and Casper made it out on Monday when the wind had died down.

The photo is from Caspers session taken by Patrick of fotodolkens fame.

Labels: ,

12 November 2007

Love me, love my bike

OK so ignoring the fact that I've crashed Betty on two recent drunken nights out, I still love Amsterdam for this reason. But someone shoot the cheesy voice over guy in the vid?!

Labels: ,

08 November 2007

A short biking clip

You may have seen some of these clips before but this short clip is a good combination of all the crazy shit that people are doing on bikes these days. This one short clip combines both my dreams and nightmares.

Sorry I've not been blogging much recently as I've been busy upgrading to Leopard amongst other things but watch this space for updates on the Teva Playboat Cup and Sam's 1st birthday. I'm not sure what is easier to take photos of, kayakers freestyling in the dark or kids running around a playground?!

Labels: ,