Sometimes I can’t help myself. Here’s a poetic twist on my weekly report of our road hockey activities.
Two players, both alike in their enmity,
On cold, blustery concrete, where we lay our scene,
From feeble defence to a new cast sniper,
Where big rebounds and bad bounces make the score uneven.
From forth the rivalry of these two foes
A pair of players take divergent paths
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their departures bury their teams’ strife
The fearful path of their one-day rivalry,
And the continuous scoring of more goals than one would care for,
Nor the other deserved,
Which, but for Joker’s rage, could not prevent,
Is now the one hour’s battle of our court
To which if teammates with resolve attend
What here shall miss, their toil strives to amend,
In time for the Stanley Stick
Just four weeks hence.
A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The score, for sorrow, will not show its digits:
Go hence, to regroup and resolve to better defend;
Some shall backcheck, and some will float
For never was a story of more goals
Than this of Joker, and his nemesis, Pistol.
I recently spent an hour or so hanging out at one of our local craft breweries. But I didn’t get drunk. Didn’t even sip a sample. Instead, I photographed their all-hands effort to can two new beers they developed collaboratively with the company doing the canning.
Collaborative creations between competing brewers are nothing new in Metro Vancouver burgeoning craft beer industry. But a joint effort between a brewery and a canner that packages their beer is something special.
So much so, Adam Crandall of Moody Ales in Port Moody and Matt Leslie of West Coast Canning, decided to team up for two beers, with partial proceeds from sales of four-packs of their collaboration going to KidSport Tri-Cities.
Crandall and Leslie decided the onset of the sometimes unpredictable spring weather needed its own beverages that would appeal when the sun is out and when the clouds roll in and rain starts to fall — both of which can happen within the hour.
“We see it all the time,” Moody Ales co-founder Dan Helmer said. “It’s a beautiful day and our patio is packed, it starts raining and no one moves. They just put their jackets on and keep drinking.”
Shorts Weather is a hoppy India session ale with a citrusy punch for when it’s warm, while Still Raining is a dark lager with aromas of chocolate and coffee for when the gloom descends.
On Monday, West Coast Canning brought two of its portable canning lines to the Murray Street brewery to package the new beers.
“We’ve never done something like this before,” Leslie said.
The Mixed Weather four-packs — with two cans of each beer — ship to private liquor stores around the province on March 26.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS It’s all hands on deck in a team effort to can and sort two new beers that have been collaboratively created by Moody Ales and West Coast Canning to help raise money for Kidsport Tri-Cities.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Matt Leslie pulls filled cans off the end of one of two portable canning lines running at Moody Ales on Monday to package their new collaboration beers with West Coast Canning that will help raise money for KidSports Tri-Cities.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Dan Webster, of Moody Ales, organizes cans of the brewery’s new Shorts Weather ISA and Still Raining dark lager that collarobated to create with West Coast Canning. Partial proceeds from sales of four-packs of the new beers go to support KidSports Tri-Cities.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Bob Maguire lines up cans for loading into the canning line.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Ali Makin sorts cans at the end of one of two portable canning lines set up Monday at Moody Ales to package the brewery’s new collaboration beer with West Coast Canning.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Cans of Shorts Weather ISA, one of two new beers brewed by Moody Ales in collaboration with West Coast Canning, are filled on a portable canning machine on Monday.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Pallets of Moody Ales’ new collaboration beers, created in collaboration with West Coast Canning, are loaded onto pallets for shipment.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Bob Maguire ducks under the canning line.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Four-packs of Shorts Weather ISA and Staill Raining dark lager are ready for shipping at Moody Ales on Monday.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Bob Maguire, of West Coast Canning, makes adjustments to one of two portable canning lines brought in to Moody Ales on Monday to package the new beers collaboratively created by the brewery and canner.
It’s not often you get to revisit a story you first encountered 14 years prior. Especially if that story re-emerges in a different community where you just so happen to now be plying your craft. I did two takes for this piece; one for my current paper, and a more personal version for the paper that used to be my competition. This is the latter.
The late Jim Rimmer may have been one of New Westminster’s most famous residents. But he didn’t hit a baseball or win the Stanley Cup.
Rimmer was renowned for his typography.
From his stained-glass lit studio behind his home on Ninth Street, Rimmer created fonts that set a standard for typographers around the world. He then cast each letter and character into lead blocks that he could use in his collection of ancient typesetting machines and letter presses to print one-sheets, posters and books that were coveted by collectors.
Rimmer also designed logos that became part of our everyday visual landscape: the flowing script for the band, Heart; Simon Fraser University; a linocut of a cabin in the woods on tins of Murchie’s tea.
When Rimmer passed away on Jan. 8, 2010, he was mourned in the graphic arts and typography world as “a jazz musician with inky fingers.”
I met Rimmer in 2004.
He’d just won some sort of international award which seemed worthy of recognition in the local paper, so I was dispatched with a reporter for an interview and photo shoot.
Walking into his orderly studio was like entering Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but for typography. The walls were adorned with framed examples of his work, posters he’d designed, broadsides of poems, pages from books. Neatly arranged cabinets contained drawers of the various fonts he’d cast to assemble in the heavy, old typesetter that sat at an angle by a massive, arched stained glass window that bathed the room in a warm, orange glow.
His basement workshop that adjoined the studio was cluttered with all manner of ancient, heavy iron linotype and monotype machines, and letterpresses he’d acquired from print shops that had moved on in technology.
This was the roots of the very pages you’re reading now, the technology to commit those words to ink and paper pretty much unchanged since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century. It was like spending an afternoon when newspapering was a noble and honourable profession, and assembling the day’s newspaper was the toil of craftsmen in dark, noisy press rooms stationed at heavy, clattering cast iron machines.
When I learned Rimmer’s 1914 Colt Armoury (yes, the same company that manufactures guns) letterpress had found a new home and purpose with a graphic artist in Port Moody, I had to reconnect.
Markus Fahrner said he couldn’t believe the good fortune of his find.
While much of Rimmer’s printed works, printers’ dummies, manuscripts and type design work was acquired by the Simon Fraser University library after his passing, the fate of his collection of heavy machinery was less certain.
Fahrner said it’s important to keep the old machines running rather than have them end up as decorative curios in restaurants or antique shops.
“I really admire the craft,” Fahrner said. “I love the way it forces you to slow down.”
In fact, a poster that might take Fahrner a couple of hours to design on a computer can take days to assemble and print on the letterpress.
“It’s slow and precise,” he said.”You suddenly have so much to know about the process, like the way the ambient temperature of the room affects the ink, the type of paper you’re using, how heavy an impression you want to make on the paper.”
The end product, Fahrner said, has a depth and life that can’t be produced digitally.
“There’s an intrinsic love and energy in the things you produce,” he said.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Markus Fahrner sorts through blocks of metal fonts he uses to create books and posters on his 1914 printing press in the garage of his Port Moody home.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Port Moody graphic artist Markus Fahrner places cards freshly printed on his 1914 Colt Armoury printing press in a rack to allow the ink to dry. Fahrner acquired the press that once belonged to world-renowned typographer Jim Rimmer from New Westminster.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Letterpress printing requires the careful placement of individual letters cut into metal blocks into a frame, or chase.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS The late Jim Rimmer at work on one his vintage typesetters in the studio of his New Westminster home in 2004. Rimmer was a world-renowned typographer who salvaged and restored old printing press machinery and then used them to create fonts and print limited edition posters and books that were coveted by collectors.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Some of the fonts Port Moody graphic artist Markus Fahrner was able to acquire from the estate of world-renowned typographer Jim Rimmer, who passed away in 2010.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Port Moody graphic artist Markus Fahrner is framed by the flywheel of his vintage 1914 Colt Armoury letterpress.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS For Port Moody graphic artist Markus Fahrner, printing on a vintage 1914 letterpress is all about slowing the process of creation. Each individual letter cast in a metal block must be placed in a frame, or chase, with small bits of lead to scale the spaces between letters and words. The chase is then placed in the press where rollers coated with ink pass over it and then sheets of paper are pressed to make an impression.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS The work station in Markus Fahrner’s Port Moody garage, where he painstakingly creates pages and posters with individually cast metal fonts for printing in his 1914 Colt Armoury letterpress. A one-page project that could be completed in a couple of hours on a computer can take days.
MARIO BARTEL/THE TRI-CITY NEWS Graphic artist Markus Fahrner sorts through blocks of lead type he uses to print pages and posters in an old Colt Armoury letterpress that once belonged to world-renowned typographer Jim Rimmer of New Westminster.
When the NewsLeader closed two years ago, I thought I was done. Over the course of 31 years in community journalism, I’d told some good stories, met countless interesting people, had opportunities to document some pretty cool events and moments.
After six months of decompressing and riding my bike, I stepped to the “other side,” creating digital content for a local realtor. It was a chance to use my skills in a different venue, bringing value to a new audience.
The gig lasted 11 months.
No sooner had it ended when an opportunity to return to community journalism presented itself. It took all of one day to realize I still had stories to tell, I thrive in the buzz of a newsroom, I crave the variety and the challenge of weaving something from nothing, putting it out to the world and then doing it all over again.
I went in with no illusions about the precariousness of our industry and the security of my gig. Every time we hear of a paper closing or another cutting further, my blood runs a little cold. A phone call from head office and a closed door meeting could send me back to my Plan B in a heartbeat.
But for as long as it lasts, I’m glad to be back doing what I do best, telling stories with my camera and with words, digging out little nuggets from around town that might surprise or delight our readers, driving from assignment to assignment with one eye out for that elusive wild art that might give the editor another option for front page or plug a hole on page 15.
It’s where I belong. It’s what I love.
Of course, my return to newspapers means another chance to mine my year’s work for some of my favourite photos. In days of yore, I filled an entire edition of the Burnaby and New West NewsLeaders, along with commentary about how a particular photo came to pass, or what I liked about it. I spend more time in the office these days, working the phones, writing stories; the body of work isn’t as deep as I’d like it, but it’s getting there.
How could you not want to do a story about a ninja gym? The rest is just using the environment at hand and light.
It’s all about the faces.
Determination is all in the eyes, and this young junior Mountie was certainly keen on navigating the police tape challenge.
Another chance to get arty at the Jerome Classic.
If only athletes knew the faces they make.
Oops. You have to be prepared for anything — even things that go wrong as when these senior throwers managed to hurl a hammer high into the protective screen.
Netball you say? All my career I’ve wanted to do a netball story just so I could do this photo, cliché as it may be.
Normally I scan right past photos with unexpected and unexplained random people in the background. But the surprised look on the sideline spectator’s face just adds to this shot of an interception.
I’d like to say i completely planned this photo from the PoCo Grand Prix, but the truth is it was a lucky frame I had no idea I had until I downloaded the memory card.
Trampoline is a tough sport to shoot. It’s very vertical and often practised in gyms with terrible lighting and busy backgrounds. So when presented with a need to photograph a tramplinist for a profile story, the last thing I wanted to do was have her jump. But the gym still had terrible light and busy backgrounds. So pop in a couple of flashes, including one underneath the trampoline to give it some visual pop, and we’re good to go.
Track and field meets are a smorgasborg of photographic opportunities. And when those meets are at dusk, there’s a chance to get arty.
The 60 minutes or so of action from any championship sporting event are just a prelude for the shot that really matters.
Even in a driving deluge, Jenna Buglioni was able to juggle the field hockey ball around her opponents. It took me two days to dry out after shooting this game.
Driving back to the office, I saw the light shimmering through fall leaves at Town Centre Park. The key is finding a spot with a dark, distant background so the colourful leaves really pop. And then waiting for some kind of human activity to happen.
I tend to shoot tight, but sometimes it’s nice to step back and take advantage of lines and light.
Fall light is beautiful. The kid looking back at his competitors is just a happy accident because I orinally lined up this photo to take advantage of the backlight through the trees and spectators along the cross-country course in Mundy Park.
A rainstorm and backlight can turn a routine shot of football action into something epic.
Fog inversions can be fun. Finding a viewpoint that offers a high enough vantage as well as some visual reference in the foreground can mean a lot of driving and pulling the car over to see if a spot works.
The challenge presented was getting a photo about a new walking soccer league, but walking isn’t the most dynamic activity to photograph; so with Nancy Sinatra’s song “These Boots Are Made For Walking” in my head, I lay on the ground and used the sole’s of my subject’s soccer boots to do the storytelling for me.
Most sports photography is done with long telephoto lenses, but sometimes it’s nice to throw on wide-angle glass and try to create a story-telling image in one frame. This has all the elements of the Jerome Classic, a beautiful summer night, full grandstands, dramatic location and athletic competition.
Combining lunch and a photo op is pretty much a journalist’s dream. And seeing as one of the aspects of Port Moody’s Ribfest is waiting in line, my challenge was making that queueing look interesting.
Political debates aren’t exactly a photographic goldmine. But once they’re over and the candidates can relax, that’s when moments can happen.
A report of a suspicious package in the parking lot at Coquitlam Station was certainly puzzling, so all I had to do was wait for the cop in the foreground to scratch his head at the right time.
When I entered Darya Ahmadi’s Port Coquitlam studio to talk about her passion project, I didn’t realize the stylish decor was constructed of disguised exercise balls. I tried to compose the photo to emphasize their unique shape and the monochrome surroundings.
The curved lines of the cruiser bike in the foreground make a perfect frame for the toil going on in the background.
The story of Andrew Teel and his adopted family started with a hug. So of course that’s what I needed to capture in a photo. That we were able to recapture that moment in the very classroom where it first happened made it part of the story as well.
For most of my cycling “career” I’ve been a middle-of-the-pack guy.
On group rides, I can take my share of pulls, then settle in comfortably in the midst of the peloton.
Even my best Strava achievements end up placing me somewhere in the middle of all the riders who have tested that particular segment.
I’m cool with that.
But this year, I have become back-of-the-pack guy. And too often I’ve been The Guy The Rest of The Peloton Has to Wait For.
On Sunday’s annual FRF Fondon’t, I was firmly ensconced as the latter. No matter how hard I tried to hang onto the group as we pedalled the flats through Pitt Meadows, and the rollers of east Maple Ridge to the Stave Lake dam, there would come a moment when I would lose contact and the group just drifted away. I couldn’t hold a wheel if my life depended on it.
On one of the hottest days of the summer, I felt bad every time the group paused at the side of the road to give me a chance to catch up.
Occasionally, our patron, or one of the other riders, would drop back to keep me company or give me their wheel; but, inevitably, we’d drift apart again, our peloton disappearing as an ever-shrinking dot on the paved horizon.
It was very dispiriting.
This hasn’t been a good season.
A new job with a bit longer commute and a different schedule, increasing demands for family time and miserable weather until almost July conspired against the miles.
So did the loss of Lapierre.
Because as much as cycling isn’t supposed to be about the bike, when you’ve got one you love to ride, that repays your efforts up hills with speedy, precise descents, that giddy ups when you want to go, you want want to ride it. As much as possible.
Lapierre was that bike for me.
And while the borrowed Cannondale allows me to get out onto the road, it’s not my bike.
It’s quirks aren’t my quirks. Its rewards are few and far between.
Lapierre’s replacement is on order. But a two week window has stretched to a four-week wait, and the season, like the peloton, is pulling away.
As with Lapierre, I’m buying this bike pretty much sight unseen and unridden, but with a great deal of research into her pedigree. I’m confident it’s a good choice for me. I’m hopeful it will be my ticket to ride back to the middle of the pack. Where I belong.
It seems I spent a lot of time shooting bike racing this week. Here is a mash-up of photos from the New West Grand Prix and the PoCo Grand Prix. Both races are part of BC Superweek, a series of nine races around Metro Vancouver that attracts top-level pros from across North America and from as far away as New Zealand.
For the second time in less than a year, the future of my beloved bike is in doubt and emails have been dispatched in hopes a carbon repair lifeline will keep us together. On the road.
Last Sunday, I hit a divot in the pavement, a sort of smoothed pothole. I heard a loud snap and thought it was just the handlebar twisting in the stem clamp from the jarring impact; it’s happened before. But a few days later, as Lapierre was being tended by Velofix for a late spring tune-up, the wrench noticed a jagged crack at the back of the headset, about the length of a loonie.
My heart sank. Cracks in carbon are usually fatal, as repair is difficult and technicians with the skill and knowledge to make those repairs are few and far between. Fortunately, we have one, Robert Mulder, nearby.
But a repair to the headset might be more problematic, as that part of the bike absorbs so much impact from the road. I’ve sent photos to Mulder, and I await his assessment.
In the meantime, I’ve steeled myself for bad news.
Cyclists form a special bond with their bikes. After all, we’re attached at a pretty intimate part of our anatomy. Over the miles of road and gravel and dirt we spend together, we get to know every nuance of how the bike rolls, reacts and sounds. We learn its limits and when it can give just a little more. As we tend to its mechanical needs, we become familiar with every curve and junction, every nook and cranny, every scratch, every nick.
So when that bond is in peril, the prospect of breaking up can be hard.
Sure, some will say, but there’s plenty of bikes in the shops; this is your chance to have some fun, play the field, maybe find your true bike.
But, as I’ve discovered in these past days of researching new rides that could steal my ardour, Lapierre is still in my head, and my heart. Every frameset is measured against the lithe lines of Lapierre, every paint job compared to her French mélange of flash and panache, every dimension is doubted for its ability to match her fit and form.
Of course, the easiest thing would be to just find a new Lapierre, still lithe and sexy but with new technology and engineering. But it seems Lapierre has abandoned the North American market.
Now is the spring of our discontent
Made ever more miserable by this lack of sun
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our rides
In the deep chasm of the puddles buried.
Now are our brows bowed with discouraged furrows;
Our soggy bibs hung up for monuments;
Our muddy cleats march to gloomy forecasts.
Grim-visaged trainer rides hath smoothed our wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting carbon steeds
To fright the souls of fearful pelotons,
We caper sullenly in garages and basements
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped in previous seasons,
Nor made to be pleased by my reflections;
I, that am rudely lacking of sinew and muscle
To strut at the end of ambling pace lines;
I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion,
Cheated of physique by dissembling weather,
Deformed, unfit, sent before my time
Into this breathing world with scarcely half the mileage,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
My Garmin barks as it forgets about me;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of rain and cold,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to chase my shadow in the sun
And slim down on my own deformity;
And therefore, since I cannot ride whenever,
To pine for days of warm, pleasant weather,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle sloth of these cloudy, cold days.
Rides have I planned, long and languid,
By optimistic ambitions, routes and schemes,
To set my legs spinning and Lapierre
In delightful rhythm with each other:
And if the Weather Man be as true and just
As I am discouraged, cowering and cold,
This day of better weather should closely follow,
About a time, before spring becomes summer,
As cyclists wish for roads dry and bare of puddles,
Of days of shorts and cold beers.
Ride, thoughts, down to my soul; where
Is the sun?
The coffee stop; time to warm up and dry out.
At least it’s not raining under this bridge.
The further east we ride, the wetter we get.
The FRF gathers for the 2nd John Lee Memorial Ride, and tries to stay warm.
This was previously published on my cycling blog, The Big Ring.
In 1996, I had the opportunity to cover Greg Moore’s first public appearance in an IndyCar, the pinnacle of open-wheel motorsports in North America. I first covered Moore in 1993, when his underfunded family-owned team competed in Indy Lights, the feeder series to the powerful 750 HP big cars; I was in Portland when Moore’s team had to borrow tires from another team to get Greg back in the race. By the time the checkered flag dropped, he had clawed his way back to third.
For the next two seasons we caught up with him regularly in Portland and at the Vancouver Indy. It was apparent he was a special racer with huge potential to make a major mark in his sport.
So when the promoters of the Vancouver race offered a package deal to local media to travel to Homestead, Florida to cover IndyCar “Spring Training,” I lobbied my editor at The Maple Ridge News that we should be there.
This is the story I brought back:
The fastest man from Maple Ridge
It’s the second day of Greg Moore’s first IndyCar season, but he’s not going anywhere.
While Paul Tracy, Raul Boesel and Bryan Herta are lapping the 1.51-mile oval track in Homestead, Florida, at more than 190 miles an hour, the fasted man from Maple Ridge is slumped in a chair in front of his team’s garage, his head buried in the collar of a jacket to ward off the unseasonable cold. Something in his Player’s Reynard electrical system is acting up and the team of technicians and mechanics swarming over the car can’t seem to find the problem. The tension is palpable.
But this is what “Spring Training” week at the brand new Homestead Motorsports Complex in the middle of a flat Florida swamp is all about. Most of the world’s fastest drivers are here to shake down their new cars, test new equipment, work out the bugs and crank up the hype machine for the upcoming ’96 PPG IndyCar World Series that begins the first week of March at this very same track.
It’s an especially big week for Moore.
He’s only had six days of seat time in the car he’ll be racing this season. As the new kid on the block, it’s a chance for him to earn some early credibility with the other drivers and with fans. At 20 years-old he’s the youngest driver on the circuit, and he’s the second-youngest by only a month to Al Unser Jr. to ever climb into an Indy racing car.
“It’s nothing new for me to be the kid, because I’ve always been the kid,” says Moore.
Indeed, in Formula 1600 he was the youngest driver by four years. In Indy Lights he was younger than his competitors by six years.
Moore’s ride to car racing’s big league has been almost as fast as some of the cars he drives: a go-kart champion in 1990; rookie-of-the-year in Formula 1600 in 1991; a Formula 2000 champion in 1992; racing Indy Lights before he graduated high school in 1993, breaking all the series’ records and winning the championship in 1995. Climbing into the cockpit of a 750-horsepower Indy car is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
“It was pretty hard to imagine we’d ever get to this day,” says Moore’s dad, Ric, who’s also his manager.
It’s been a lot of work. Since being named the driver for the Player/Forsythe Racing team last November, Moore has spent 30 days testing at tracks in Florida, Arizona and California. He had a couple of days of media training in Montreal to prepare for his higher profile. And there’s been an intense conditioning program to get him ready for the rigours of wrestling the powerful Indy car around a track for two or three hours.
“The physical preparation is a little more intense for IndyCar,” says Moore.
That includes a lot of cardio work, training in the gym, on the stair master, rowing, lifting weights, riding his bike.
Moore will also have to prepare himself mentally for longer races – 200 to 500 miles instead of the 75-mile sprints he raced in Indy Lights.
“He’ll have to be 100 per cent focused,” says Ric.
Moore says he’s just honing the intensity he already possesses every race weekend. “I don’t really think I can change that much.”
Moore’s focus is almost legendary on pit row. When his blue, white and gold Reynard sputters and grunts only a few laps into the second day of testing at Homestead, Moore pulls into pit lane with a frustrated twitch.
Technicians remove the carbon fiber rear engine cowling and side pods to try to diagnose the problem. Moore flips up his helmet’s visor and exchanges a few curt hand signals with his chief mechanic, Chris Lovely. But mostly he just stares straight ahead, the fire to be on the track instead of keeping the revs up in the pits burning from his eyes.
When the signal comes to cut the engine, Moore climbs from the car and removes his helmet brusquely. He looks over the shoulder of chief engineer Steve Challis at a clipboard crowded with numbers. Nobody says much.
As the car is pushed behind the wall and back to the garage, Moore strides down pit lane alone. It takes most of the day before technicians pin down the problem. A spare part is salvaged from the back-up car and phone calls are made to the team’s headquarters in Indianapolis to get more parts shipped down overnight.
Moore’s race-ready intensity cools a little quicker. For a while he just stews in the plastic chair. He moves to the pit wall when one of his heroes, Paul Tracy, blows up his engine in a cloud of white smoke as he exits turn four.
By early afternoon Moore is loose and smiling again.
One of the consequences of his ascent to the big leagues is the added demands on his time, infringements on his concentration. Media from across North America are anxious to get a clip from the hot new talent of IndyCar racing.
Moore handles each interview with aplomb. He mugs for the camera as his mic is hooked up. He’s careful to mention his sponsors, He smiles politely as the same questions are asked again and again.
“There’s a little more show involved,” says Moore. “Before I didn’t have sponsors, so I didn’t have to worry about any of that.”
Everything is bigger now for Moore. This season he’ll compete in 16 races in four countries. Each race will be seen by an average 75 million TV viewers in 150 countries.
Moore says he’s won’t be along just for the ride; his goal is to win rookie-of-the-year, finish in the top ten point, win a race.
“I think the Player’s team is quite capable of it,” says Moore. “I think it could be Vancouver’s first IndyCar win for a Vancouver driver.”
That’s not just youthful bravado, says Challis who’s worked with Moore for six years. “He has a good work ethic and he’s very smart. He has the potential to be one of the best drivers in the world.”
The stubborn electrical glitch apparently solved, Moore’s car is rolled back out to pit lane late in the afternoon, in time for the day’s final practice session. After an IndyCar official gives the signal to open the track, Moore pops the clutch and thunders into the long Florida sunset.
The Reynard holds together. Moore’s speed increases each time around the banked oval. On the second-last lap of the day, with the sun dipped below the track wall, Moore clocks 192.196 mph. It’s the second-fastest lap of the day.
The next day, Moore breaks 194 mph, the third fastest lap for the whole week.
“Everything goes by a lot quicker now,” says Moore’s dad, Ric.