Water is the most abundant substance on the planet, and yet we know relatively little about it. How does it form? Where does it come from? How does it cycle through the world? All these details are important to understanding how water and the biosphere function.
In this post, we explain what starts are, why they are important, and how they can help you get things done by leading you to the starting point of your task. This is a critical article for anyone who wants to be more productive with their time.
In the rush to get the new iPhone X out the door, Apple might have missed an opportunity to make an important statement. Though the iPhone X is the first phone to feature facial recognition, and is also the first of Apple’s phones to use an OLED screen, it is not the first iPhone with a curved screen. The iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, and the iPhone 7 all have curved screens.. Read more about how are stars formed and let us know what you think.
THE SCIENCE OF ASCENT
For more than 30 years, my favorite part of working for the magazine has been photographing and reporting on supercross and national motocross races, and talking to Roger DeCoster, the mechanics and riders in the pits. Motocross has been in my blood since 1970 and I have enjoyed watching the sport develop. But lately, the number of photographers working on COVID-19 forced me to watch the Supercross on TV with friends. Outside of racing, my favorite segment is Kawasaki Supercross Science with Jeremy McGrath. The science of starting has improved my performance in the race.
After finishing in the middle of the support group on my dad’s Yamaha DT1 in the 250 class at the Denver International Races, I became the proud owner of a used 1969 Penton 125 Six Days Enduro. In my first year of racing, I was always one place away from the trophy. I realized that there were faster riders on faster bikes, so I had to pass my competitors. The best place to pass everyone was at the start, where there was no one in front of me on the track. This became even more evident when I started racing mountain bikes and then UTVs: the bigger and wider your machine, the more important it is to start at the front. That’s how my start-up science began.
In the beginning, most launches were controlled by rubber bands. A surgical tube was stretched at both ends of the starting line and wrapped around a Phillips screwdriver that was inserted into the center pole. A strong rope was attached to the screwdriver so that the starter could not be seen. I went to the starting line early and watched the start ahead of me to learn the procedure and set up next to the center post. When that line moved, I threw in the clutch and took the lead for most of the field – and started to get some swag.
When I moved to Virginia, there was a big lane in Chesapeake that started with a traffic light; it was red/yellow/green and I didn’t even look at the green. When the yellow flashed, I was driving and tended to swerve. I was riding a friend’s 175 once and cranked it up so much that future national champion Tony Distefano needed a whole lap to catch up and pass me.
The new routes started using starting gates. I always looked at the pen holding the goal next to mine and never at my own. On most circuits, there was a man who passed the starting line and pointed to each rider to check that everyone was ready. Coming out of the lane, the starter lowered the barrier and I got moving before the last step reached the ground. Later, a 30-second sign was used with the same procedure.
I got good enough to ride at Johnny’s Cycle Sales in Martinsville, then bought a 1973 Penton 125 with a chromoly frame (CMF). This bike was so much faster that I usually won, and I never lost in the 125 moto at the Smith Mountain MX near Roanoke. Then I had another ride at the Wheel & Spoke Shop on a Yamaha MX3 250. When I heard the starting order on the track, I stopped looking at the starting grid and watched the starter’s signal. My dad filmed the race and on the film it looked like I was giving the start signal.
I wanted to go pro, but my parents forced me to go to college. After graduation I bought a ’79 Husqvarna CR390, then an ’83 CR500 and started covering local races for Cycle News. I won the Oklahoma state championship on a 500 in 1983, then I bought an ’85 KTM 500. I also went from running to winning regularly. As far as mountain biking goes, I started racing classic cars in the late 80s. It was in ’88 or ’89 that I asked FMF to build me a souped-up Yamaha MX360. Seven rounds of the American Association of Historic Motorcycle Racing Western Regional Championship were run this year. With the science of launching and that rocket, I managed 12 out of 14 engines and won the regional title that year.
Much later, Yamaha unveiled the YXZ1000R Sport Shift at the GNCC in Big Buck. I’ve participated in a few GNCC races with motorcycles and quads, but I was surprised at how few places on this track UTVs can overtake. Later in the day, Yamaha representative Pat Biosi showed us the Sport Shift launch mode and we tested it. Brilliant! The engineers at Yamaha have transferred what I have been doing for decades to a sport UTV! Later, Honda did the same with its Talon. So both have a big advantage over CVT cars, since CVT belts burn out when the accelerator is pressed and the brakes are applied.
Although I don’t race, I watch the starts on WORCS and Texplex events and simulate the start by watching each process. They have tight schedules, so the races can’t go black all the time. No, if you clearly skip the start, you get an extra turn. So in science, it’s about getting far enough ahead to get ahead, if not in the hole, then without the obvious lead.
Even in daily traffic, I keep my reflexes at every stoplight. Muscle memory rules!
Watch the full Yamaha YXZ 1000 UTV action test with Launch Control here: https://utvactionmag.com/2020-yamaha-yxz1000r-xt-r/
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When it comes to business, it’s the first few minutes that set the tone for the rest of the day. Successful business owners find ways to get started on a positive note, which is critical to making the most of the day. You can have the best ideas in the world, but you’ll never get anywhere if you can’t get started.. Read more about the solid particles in the stars are called and let us know what you think.
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