Monday, November 13, 2006

Totem 2006 Preparations

This Friday, three erstwhile Team D cars head up north to Canada to take on the Totem Rally challenge. This two day rally in British Columbia will take us from Cache Creek to Williams Lake and back and should cover 850KM of gravel, mud, snow, and pavement.

Totem is the final rally of the Pacific Coast challenge and is the first rally of the Pacific Northwest winter season. It plays younger brother to Thunderbird in February. It usually features some early season snow and slush but unlike Thunderbird, it hasn't built up enough snow on the side of the road to act as bumpers so going off-road is a bit more treacherous.

Studded Hakka 2 on Speedline WheelAs such, I have put "winter shoes" on the Subaru WRX. The studded Nokian Hakkapellita 2s I have been running for the past three years will see yet another season. I had discussed the idea of restudding them with my local Discount Tire but they were against the idea. My suggestion of using roofing nails pounded in from inside the tire didn't go over very well either.

Thunderbird 2004 Ditch ExcursionOver the last week I have been looking for the snowbank magnet that seems to be mounted somewhere in the front bumper of the WRX but have had no luck finding it. I am hoping that it fell out over the summer. After leading Thunderbird 2006 all day one and late into day two leat year, that pesky magnet pulled us off the road and out of competition, leaving us stuck in a snowbank waving gallantly at the rest of the field as we waited for sweep to pull us out and back on to the road.

During Totem, I will attempt some live blogging. I have configured my Blackberry Pearl to upload photos and text to this site. As we drive in and out of cell coverage, any queued missives from the road will wing their way down and onto the site for all to enjoy.

To before heading north:

Reinstall the harness bar (removed to make room for infant car seat)
Reinstall the timewise mount and timewise (removed after every rally)
Wire up and test the HAM radio
Make sure all the first aid and safety equiment is in the car
Dig out the shovel and planks just in case the magnet did not shake loose
Buy some warm boots

Currently there are 24 entries for Totem 2006 which is about average. Marvin and I, as well as Eric and Steve in the IX and New Team D members Greg and Person X in their Audi 90, will be competing in Unlimited Class which is the most populous class and currently has 10 teams. The other seven Unlimited cars are great competitors and if history is any indication, this will be another hard-fought rally. Check back over the weekend to see how we do.


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