Samhain Racing: The Mean On the Green

What’s new in my world, you ask?  Well, let me tell ya…

The foot is better, though still sore.  I’m thinking that after resting up over the weekend it’ll be better come Monday, but for real:  if it starts hurting at any time next Monday I’m sitting out.  I have practice Tuesday and Wednesday, so it’s not like I’m missing anything.

I did get the chance to edit some footage last night from the Wednesday Night practice, and here’s some of it.  What we are doing is a 180 spin followed by a squat, which is used to get by a defender.  You also get to hear the sort of banter we do when we’re hanging with each other–it’s somewhat interesting and amusing.

Also, I finished the current scene.  Wrote almost eight hundred words and put the fin on this sucker.

Though you won’t see a fin here.

One more scene and I’m into Chapter Sixteen, and after that the chapter, the part, and the act are over.  Then it’s on to the fun stuff…

But first we have this fun stuff to deal with.  Which consists of Kerry trying to keep some maniac from crashing him:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

As they eased through the turn, Kerry grew closer and closer to Lisa while maintaining a half a broom lead. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Lisa’s home and turned toward him, examining him as if she cannot believe he was performing this maneuver. When there was less than half a meter between them, Kerry willed his PAV to go a touch faster and he slid into the turn, hugging the inside of the elevation gates that showed the course layout.

He knew this would do two things: it would through turbulence in front of Lisa and destabilize her run slightly, as well as possibly cause her to touch her air brakes just enough that she would lose momentum through the turn. He quickly checked his rear view monitor and saw Lisa drop back several meters in an instant. It worked exactly as he had planned; he only hoped it was enough to make her wary about getting close to him again.

Kerry slammed on the brakes and eased through Double Dip before proceeding quickly to the long S turn that was Double Back. As he headed into the first part of the turn he spotted Lisa coming out of Double Dip in a hurry and with little or no form: though it was only a quick view, and looked as if she bottomed out her Class 3 as she came out of the descending chicane and reached the level ground. He didn’t take this as a good sign: it likely meant that Lisa was now pissed off and she was going a race like a possessed maniac to catch up.

At this point there was nothing Kerry could do except run his own race.

By the time Kerry reached the right hand kink in Cove Lane Lisa was upon him. As a went to the king she positioned herself less than a half meter behind him, once more using his draft to pull her along. Only this time she didn’t wait until they were on the straightaway to try and pass: as soon as they were through the kink Lisa jinked to her left and began pulling alongside Kerry.

A moment later her PAV appeared to shake before bumping hard on the left side of his jet ski.

 

This is all happening on the west side of the school.  West End and Sunset Boulevard is where Emma and Kerry first raced, and Double Dip is where they collided and Kerry messed up his knee.  Double Back is right around the area where Emma and Kerry landed after their PAVs failed them during the Day of the Dead, and they headed through Cove Lane on their way to the Diamond.

But shit is getting real now.  Lisa isn’t pretending to hit him:  she just is.  Oh, sure, she made it look like she was having an issue, but no one is fooled–least of all Kerry.

 

Kerry pulled his left leg out of the way before the nose of Lisa’s PAV had a chance to collide with the side of his. Even so, she made enough contact for him to feel a considerable amount of pain in his left calf. He didn’t think anything was broken, but his leg hurt like hell. He was at least thankful for the construction of the Class 3: if this it happened on the Class 2 or 1, it’s likely she would’ve broken his leg. Kerry pushed his jet ski forward towards the two large ninety degree turns that made up Reservoir; it was his hope as he made the jump over the path near the South Cove Entrance, he’d pull enough speed through Gloucester Bend to lose her—though a small part of his mind knew that was likely impossible.

His worst fears were confirmed. As they came out of Reservoir and entered Gloucester Bend, Lisa nearly came down on top of him, with Kerry pulling away at the last moment. She pulled even on his left side and this time didn’t even bother with the pretense that she was having an issue with her PAV: she slid to her right and rammed him. She did it one more time and then, while they were still touching, she reached over and smacked him in the left shoulder.

The second time she hit him Kerry decided he’d had enough. He easily deflected her third swipe before reaching over and punching her in the torso as he screamed in anger. “Get away from me, you crazy bitch.” While continuing to glanced to his left, Kerry pushed his craft forward. He had no idea how fast he was going, though he had seen his speed indicator pass through four hundred kilometers an hour.

Coming up on Diamond Chicane Lisa side bumped the back of his PAV trying to upset the balance of his craft so he’d screw up his entry into the final turn. Kerry hit his air brakes as hard as he could and in a second Lisa was several PAV lengths ahead of him. He turned on the acceleration and as they approached the entrance to Diamond Chicane, Kerry slammed the right side of his PAV into the front of Lisa’s, upsetting her entry enough that he was able to slide by her and proceed through the double turn with little difficulty.

He didn’t bother to see where Lisa was as he came out of the chicane. He leaned over his handlebars and willed as much speed out of his Class 3 as he could muster. The moment he pass the flashing green lights of the Start/Finish Line he pulled his PAV skyward so that he could not only bleed off speed quickly, but prevent Lisa from running him down on the straightaway.

 

The “I smack you, you smack me” scene is from the book trailer.  And now you know:  they were zipping along at about four hundred kilometers an hour.  Since most of you don’t do kilometers, they’re zipping along at close to 250 mph, which is a lot faster than a NASCAR stock car runs on their fastest tracks.  This is not for the faint of heart.

At least Kerry knows what he’s dealing with and, at the end, decides he won’t take it anymore and rams Lisa on his way to a win.  So that’s the end of it, right?

You really believe that?

Samhain Racing: She’s Back

I’d like to say today is a pain-free day, but I manged to hurt my foot a little last night during practice.  Nothing major like I had last week, so I hope staying off it for the next few days will allow it to heal up so it’ll be good for next Monday.  I think with ice and ointment I should be good, too, and ready to roll.  Oh, and I got GoPro footage last night, so wait for that to show.

It’s back to racing now, which means She Who Follows stands a good chance of catching The Ginger Hair Boy on the Green Line.  And wouldn’t you know:  he’s ready for her.

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry flew through The Essess, never once missing a mark, and made his way over Polar Jump without a problem. As he was setting up to go through Polar Turn he glanced to his left and saw Lisa dropping down through Polar Jump and almost bottom out her PAV due to her speed. Kerry kicked his jet ski forward as hard as he could, feeling about three and a half g’s force him backwards as he had to due west towards Northwest Passage. He cut through the small right hand kink in the first turn and saw, out of the corner of his eye, Lisa bearing down on him, perhaps a third of a second behind him—

This was it. As soon as they were on West End, he knew she was going to make her move.

He wasn’t even fully out of the last turn leaving Northwest Passage when Kerry pushed his PAV forward as hard as possible. The acceleration was incredible: he figured he was pulling slightly more than four g’s in the opening section. Every third second he checked one of his rear view monitors and saw Lisa drafting him, being pulled slowly closer due to the lack of turbulence behind him. Kerry knew there were things he could do to break the draft, but it would also slow him up and that was something he wanted to avoid. At this point, the only way to beat Lisa was to be faster—

And by being a better racer.

Given her racing style, Kerry knew Lisa would make a move to pass as they were going into Sunset Boulevard. He suspected as he set up on the right side of the course, she would use that as her chance to come around him on the left and executed a pass as they headed through the fast, sweeping left-hand turn. But he also knew, based upon our racing style, that she did a fairly poor job of doing what he was about to do…

As expected, the moment Kerry moved to the right side of the course heading into Sunset Boulevard, Lisa whipped out from behind him and began moving up on his left. And just as he also expected, as soon as she was alongside she began moving toward the center of the course in preparation for moving past the apex of Sunset Boulevard’s left-hand turn.

The moment she did this, Kerry leaned in to the turn and, allowing the Class 3 to coast through, set up to diamond the turn while losing almost no speed whatsoever. He did this because he knew how to use the track; unlike Lisa, who chosen exactly the wrong moment to try to pass Kerry.

It wasn’t her intention to perform the turn precisely: Lisa’s modus operandi was to intimidate other fliers into braking so they didn’t crash into her. But Kerry wasn’t concerned about crashing: he was concerned about passing her. And as he discovered the week before, if you intimidated Lisa right back, it had a tendency to rattle her.

And once rattled enough, it might be all Kerry needed to keep her safely behind him.

 

There you go:  Kerry puttin’ the sweet moves on someone who means to do him harm–

I wonder if that’s the last we’ll see of her?

Freshie 3: Off Skates Edition

Sorry if you came here expecting to see how Kerry was going to handle the approaching Lisa on the last lap of the last race of Samhain, but you’re gonna have to wait until tomorrow to see that, ’cause I’m goin’ roller derby on your butts.  That’s because I’ve been sitting on this footage for just over a week and I need to talk about what went down because–well, that’s how I am, yeah?

This was my third freshie practice, 11 July, 2017, and right off the bat you’ll notice something different in this intro:

 

The foot is bothering me a little still:  Monday I would manage about five to ten laps before I had to skate to the side and shake off the pain, and after taking a good fall and feeling some stabbing pain shoot up my leg, I sat out the last twenty minutes of practice.  But I’ll be back tonight.

Panzer–she of the broken wrist–was coaching as our usual freshie coach, Ida, was off celebrating an anniversary.  Present were Rachel, Laura, Ashley, Erica, and Gwen, and while I didn’t do a lot besides stand on the side of the track and film, I did manage to help out at the end.  You’ll see.

First up is something I wanted to do for a while.  With the GoPro camera in hand I set it atop Laura’s helmet and let her film what it’s like to skate in a pack and do things like weave in and out while doing pull throughs and bumps.  At times it gets a little shaky because it’s hard to keep one’s head still, particularly when you’re going around and ’round in circles.  So, if you were curious about what it’s like for us to do this, now you get an idea.

 

Because I had my camera on the side of the rink filming as well, here’s how that all looked from the outside.  Because this was a long video, it was necessary to cut it in two:

 

After removing the GoPro from Laura’s helmet I strapped it to my own head and filmed as the freshie went around the track practicing bumping each other.  We can’t use our hands to push people away, which means we use our shoulders and hips for that.  I tried to follow the pack as they did this:

 

And the camera on the side of the rink caught the same action:

 

While everyone began working on their own things, I decided to talk a little about skating the diamond, which is something you learn to do whenever you’re on the track, particularly if you’re doing your 27/5.

 

Now comes blocking and jamming.  This is pretty much the game right here:  three blockers–and a pivot–working to keep a single jammer–the person who scores points–from getting through.  The three blockers here are going into a tripod, because it’s like three legs, right?  The idea for the jammer is to get a hip and/or shoulder in between a couple of blockers and break up the tripod, while the blocker’s job is to prevent that and keep that jammer from getting past the jam.  It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work, and the blockers require communications with each other at all times, ’cause the moment that jammer moves to their left or right, you want everyone in the tripod to know.

I should point out that I’ve missed three of these blocker/jammer practices.  I won’t miss a fourth.

 

And lastly…  it was time to practice plowing and a great way to do that is to be pushed and pulled and let the plowing person set up resistance for the person doing the pulling/pushing.  Since there were an odd number of freshies in the rink, I offered to work with Gwen, since I didn’t need to be on skates to push or plow.  I took it slow as I didn’t want to cause her to put up too much resistance, but by the end she said her thighs were burning, which is something that has happened to all of us.

 

We are learning more and more with every practice, and of late we’ve done more practice with the vets our on Monday/Wednesday night practices so we can do more advanced things.  We are approaching some interesting times–

I do hope I can keep up.

Samhain Racing: It Follows

I was at practice last night with my bum foot and I’d like to say everything was cool, but it wasn’t.  I was probably at 80% and my foot hurt on and off while I skated.  As I learned later, what feels okay off skates often doesn’t feel okay on skates, and I found I needed to leave the floor a few times.  I finally went off-skates after taking a fall and feeling a pain in my foot that I didn’t like, after while I watched everyone else do blocking and jamming.  This is the third time in a row I’ve missed this:  I won’t miss a fourth.

Oh, and one of my toe stops came off and I had to put it back on.  I am truly derby broken now.

It’s back to racing and I decided to borrow the title of a horror movie as I believe it fits this excerpt.  After all, it does seem as if Kerry is being followed by something that he can’t shake–only he didn’t have sex with Annie first.  Let’s see what happens:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry knew he wouldn’t have long to wait for that first interval, as he was approaching South Side Slide and would enter The Sweep moments after that. He bit down hard on his mouthguard and pushed his jet ski forward through the series of turns before him.

Kerry was nearly to the start finish line and Professor Semplen contacted him once more. “Kerry, Lisa is right behind Riv coming out of The Sweep. Riv is 3.6 seconds behind you, Lisa is .1 second behind her. Over and out.”

This certainly wasn’t something Kerry wanted to hear and he was more than certain that when he received an update on the interval time between Lisa and him, he’s discover she passed Riv and was now in second place and closing on him.

Which was exactly what happened. “Kerry, Lisa is now in second, 3.6 seconds behind you. Over.”

There wasn’t much for him to do but acknowledge continue moving forward. “Understood. Over and out.”

Kerry leaned over the handlebars of his Class 3 and swung through Graves. He needed to pick up speed, for the nightmare scenario was beginning. He was in first, Lisa was in second, and she was going to race like a mad woman on the fastest track inside the walls of Salem. As he turned onto Gate Pass and flew over the main entrance roadway, he was told her interval was now 2.9 seconds and that their current speeds she would likely catch him by the time they were in The Essess. There was probably less than two minutes left in the race and all Kerry had to do was keep her behind him and the finish line somewhere in front. He knew if he could do that he’d win this race.

He was through Keeper Path and was getting ready to make a left-hand turn into the long switchback leading to Sunrise Bends when a motion in one of his rearview monitors drew his attention—

It was Lisa coming through Keeper Path at what appeared to be a nearly reckless speed. Kerry turned his attention forward and pushed his PAV through the turns at a slightly higher rate of speed than he had taken them the first three times.

He made it through Sunrise Bends with no difficulty and opened up his Class 3 as he approached the semi-straightaway that led through The Narrows. Even though The Essess were approaching, he couldn’t help but glance at his rearview monitors. Lisa was there and he could tell that she was gaining on him slowly. A quick estimation of her closing speed had him suspecting that she be within a second of him by the time he reached Polar Jump, and the moment he swung through Northwest Passage she be close enough to make an attempt on passing him in West End.

He was going to do everything he could to make certain that didn’t happen.

 

Always the logical racer, Kerry’s doing the maths in his head as he’s pushing his jet ski onward.  But he won’t have to worry about calculating times much longer–

Trust me on this.

Samhain Racing: How’s The Day?

And how was your weekend?  Mine was pretty good.  Knocked off two recaps, wrote quite a lot for the novel, edited a bunch of video, and managed to fit in a yoga class yesterday.  Yep, I was just how much flexibility I didn’t have–and I wasn’t disappointed.  But it was fun and the background music was Motörhead, which made for a change of pace.

Yesterday we saw how the Samhain races of 2013 were shaking out.  Today we get to see how they’re shaking out for Kerry.  And… it’s not as good as one may think:

 

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry was determined to see to it his coven scored the maximum amount of points—but at the same time he was looking for a bit of individual glory. In both Stage 1 and Stage 3 he finished fourth, with the Stage 3 finish hitting exceptionally hard as Emma took third place by .006 seconds. He wasn’t so much concerned about his individual standing taking a beating this early in the season, but he was feeling the pressure of needing to do well in this last race. All the comments made at the start of the day about having additional pressure placed upon him due to the presence of Victor Kirilov weighed heavily upon him and he thought it had some effect upon today’s performance.

Though he didn’t want to blame his equipment, the Class 3 he normally used for racing was in The Hanger being repaired due to a crash caused by a pilot in Advance Flight One. The Class 3’s had a large, sloping underbody with a thick, padded settle upon which the pilot sat, and they were controlled by a set of long handle bars that extended from the front of the craft. Due to their resemblance to an aquatic leisure craft, they were known as jet skis, and they were known to be as difficult to operate at times as those same craft.

Early on his heat in Stage 1, Kerry noticed that his PAV acted as if it wanted to roll to the right, particularly when executing a left-hand turn. He found himself having to adjust for this roll, causing him to lose time in each of those races. So for the very last race Kerry adopted a new strategy: he would go into each left-hand turn as fast as possible, which would cause him to lean further to the left. While this resulted in having to endure more g forces, he found there wasn’t any need to compensate for a roll to the right.

And the extra speed allowed him to get out in front far more quickly than the other nine racers on the course.

Kerry pushed quickly through the Blue Line. He made great time through Pentagram Pass and Trench and it wasn’t long before he was making the climbed to Observatory Bend. He flew through that as fast as he could take it and was on the verge of grain out when he reached the end and passed on to Skyway. At Helter Skelter he showed the most caution, popping his air brakes until he could reach what he felt was the minimum fast speed to the dangerous turn, then zipped back and forth couple of times before pushing his Class 3 as hard as he could through Residence.

 

Two fourths for the Ginger Hair Boy with future father-in-law sitting in the stands watching his progress.  Normally Kerry’s like, “If I win, I win.”  Today he’s like, “I gotta win ’cause Annie’s dad is here!”  And the fact that he missed a podium spot by six one thousandths of second in his second race likely had Victor looking at Annie with a “You said he was a good race” look on his face.

So now Kerry’s way out in front–over four seconds out, which is quite a lot on these courses–and racing his ass off.

Except–  He may have company soon…

 

He was making his way through Aerodrome when he heard a mix of voices on the open mic. There seem to be a lot of warnings and mixed in with that warnings, he could tell there was a bit of anger. He found out the reason for this moments later when Professor Solomon broadcast on the open channel to all racers. “This is Race Control. Five second penalty to Glissandi: rough racing.”

While most of Kerry’s mind was on the course in front of him, something about the recent penalty bothered him. “Race Control, this is Malibey. Clarification, over.”

Professor Semplen was on the radio in an instant. “Go ahead, Kerry, over.”

“Where did Lisa have her penalty? Over.”

“It happened in Helter Skelter. Over.”

Kerry was not the least bit surprised to hear this. “What’s her interval on me?”

“She’s .7 seconds behind Riv, which puts her 4.2 seconds behind you. Over.”

Kerry was not in the mood to do something stupid and lose this race. “Race Control, I would like an interval on her time at The Sweep, at the Start/Finish Line, and at Graves. Over.”

“You’ll have it, Kerry. Over and out.”

 

There you have it:  Lisa’s in third after pulling another dangerous move in Helter Skelter.  Any chance she’ll get around Riv?

Well…