For the Love of Fiddy

Attempting a land-speed record on a 1963 Honda CA110 at the Bonneville Flats in memory of a friend.

Suited up for the salt, Andy Pickett before a return run.

The salt turned to slush. This is bad. More so than dirt, sand or any other surface, the salt hangs onto the moisture. The air is heavy and the track surface is dangerously slushy and unstable. Real bad.

Speed and relativity

Southern California Timing Association officials are telling people to rethink whether they want to run today. Riders have gone down. But Andy’s not having it. He’s travelled over 1,500 miles in a 1973 Dodge van to be here. Hundreds of fellow Milwaukeeans chipped in gas money, spare parts and sweat equity for this land-speed record run. Andy’s fought jetting issues all day long. Whatever’s going to happen, happens today.

Small displacement, big dreams.

No one has unlimited time to make magic happen, but Andy’s got less than most. The Milwaukee County vehicle fleet doesn’t care about land speed records happening 1,500 miles away. As fleet mechanic for Milwaukee County, he’s got to be back at work in three days.

So he suits up and pairs educated guess with gut feeling, and swaps jets. This is the run, meaning the all-important return run. His first run beat the record, but it’s meaningless unless he can replicate it. So it’s time to go fast, but slowly. That’s what’s  written on the tank, anyway. Time to turn goal into glory.

4/6/2020 12:20:19 AM

So good, so Joe!

Andy Romanoff
3/12/2020 9:46:04 PM

What a great story and what a great piece of writing! Thanks, Anders! Andy

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