I hope you are all well!
Every single person on this planet is different and throughout their life/lives, no matter how short or long, will have to go through a lot.
Each and every one of these people will have to deal with tragedy and successes, and every single person will have their own unique way of processing life around them.
Some show emotion by crying (either in happiness or sadness), some write Facebook posts, and others just put on a brave face and battle through the storm.
There's no right or wrong way to process this crazy life, I just chose to blog.
No, nobody cares - and only two of my blogs have surpassed the "100 View Mark" (partially because no-one searches up "Kabort Motorsport") - but it's more a place for me to "vomit my thoughts into blog form"
It's kind of weird to think that I've been flat-out busy since August, but, as a very quick recap
Aug 1st - First friend came onto Isle Of Wight (to see me)
Aug 2nd - Went on road-trip to Kent with friend
Aug 3rd - Final GT3 Challenge race (Hungary) (switched to GT4 from here)
Aug 4th - "Teardown Day" - completed a couple of tricky missions on Teardown
Aug 5th - "A Day For Myself" (More Teardown)
Aug 6th - iRacing: Global Endurance Series, Nurburgring Endurance Series and Creventic Endurance Series. I drove to Essex to see a friend for her birthday.
Aug 6th - Aug 8th - Stayed overnight in Essex/Manchester for Birthday
Aug 9th - Went to a Viaduct with a friend
Aug 10th - Stayed in Essex for friend's daughter's birthday
Aug 11th - Came Home (via Ferrari dealership)
Aug 12th - Got into RFactor (Release of Caterham Academy) (Race Results Not Saved)
Aug 12th - Only did GT4 on iRacing this week
Aug 13th - Ferries were incredibly busy, so postponed helping Felix for a day
Aug 14th - Aug 19th - Helping Felix (brother) in the South.
Aug 20th - Aug 21st - "Le Mans 24 Hours"******** (Global Endurance Series Race)
Aug 22nd - Aug 29th - Family Holiday To Madiera
Aug 30th - Rest Day.
Aug 31st - Went Shopping with a friend
Sept 1st - Sept 3rd - Stayed in Essex
Sept 4th - Pizza with a friend (Scotland in 2021)
Sept 6th - 13th - Week 13 (13th Week Official Ferrari GT3 Challenge)
Sept 6th - Le Mans - 6th - Yay (From 13th On Grid)
Sept 7th - Spa Francorchamps - 19th - Nay. (From 4th on Grid)
Sept 8th - Road Atlanta - 4th - Yay. (Almost 3rd!)
Sept 9th - Rudskogen - DNF Nay. (Killed off the line) - Logitech G-Hub playing up.
Sept 10th - Twin Ring Motegi (Rather uneventful) Mehy.
Sept 11th - Oschersleben - DNE - Nay. (PC Problems)
Sept 12th - Road America - 9th (From 12th) Y/Nay
In Real Life
Sept 6th - Last GENUINELY good day.
Sept 7th - Qualified 4th and then jumped the start - threw away a possible podium/win (had to serve stop-go penalty)
Sept 8th - "By 16:30, her majesty had passed". It was only announced that evening at 6:30pm.
Sept 9th - Logitech G-Hub would "mess up" (No FFB/Wheel wouldn't de-activate once iRacing was closed/no applications were open)
Sept 10th - Bought This Land Is My Land - would have trouble installing, I think my E: Drive was inaccessible after this point.
Sept 11th - 20th Anniversary of 9/11, Missed race due to computer attempting to fix E: Drive by taking 10 hours (approx.) to boot up.
Sept 12th - 48 Hours before the lying-in-state was open to public, the very first person joined "The Queue" to see her Majesty and the Lying-In-State of Her Majesty.
I also called up my University, and they informed me I had an ultimatum.
1) Re-Take all the courses I failed
2) Re-Take the entirety of Year 2.
With the knowledge that maybe journalism/automotive journalism might not quite be my thing, my parents allowed me the option to ditch University and find a job instead - hopefully in an aspect/area/path that I'm either interested in/skilled in (or both!) But it'll be very good to finally (eventually) earn my own money that I've worked for.
The 12th was the final day I blogged about in my previous blog.
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Tuesday 13th September, 2022
Tuesday saw the start of a new iRacing season, the leaderboards had been cleared and the slates had been wiped clean and I was about to jump-
Well, that was before my hard-drive died and my computer was operable.
Sadly, my hard drive died the week prior, and I was stuck at home with a phone and laptop, which I'm very grateful for, but nothing beats iRacing or indeed Teardown.
My computer had a metaphorical breakdown and I'd have to delay my GT4 antics for, well...indefinitely.
I think the 13th was very much a low point for me - not knowing what my future held, the Queen recently passing (spoiling the mood) and my one source of distraction/happiness being "cruelly" ripped away from me.
The only good news that I did find was that Marcus Smith, a good friend of mine, who joined the iRacing Service earlier in the year had achieved a Class C licence and could now do the VRS Endurance (3hr) series...too bad I...wasn't exactly in the position to join him - but I invited him to the team nevertheless.
Weds/Thurs. 14th - 15th September, 2022
The days following that crawled by, it wasn't a great time in all honesty, and that weekend wasn't looking much better either.
On the weekend of the 10th/11th September, I admitted defeat and told my recently acquired team-mate that I couldn't do the iRacing Bathurst 1000km, I have no idea if this will be the last year that Holden Competes.
Late on Thursday 15th, a friend told me she wanted to go with me to London to see the Queen's lying in state. But I had a dilemma.
Earlier in the month, I booked myself onto the upcoming London To Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride (because I like off-road/mountain biking and hadn't done it since 2019), the only issue was that I had signed myself up for the 6:30am timeslot - the earliest available (in 2019, I finished 10 minutes after the finish-line closed at 8:10pm).
Had I still been living in Woking, this would have been perfectly doable, spending Thursday (or indeed Friday) in London, and then going on the bike-ride on Saturday - but as I was living in the Isle Of Wight, it all got a bit complicated.
The total journey-time was 3 hours, meaning I'd have to leave at 03:00am.
Taking into consideration, I'd have to wake up, get dressed and have breakfast, I'd have to wake up between 02:00 - 02:30.
Then we'd have to try and rush onto a ferry/not miss our ferry, before having a 1hr drive to the start-line, before I'd start a gruelling 10hr+ bike-ride across some pretty uneven terrain.
I usually aim to be asleep by about midnight - so riding for 10hrs+ on 2hrs sleep would have been literal suicide.
In the end, what we agreed upon was to get a hotel on Friday night, and then drive to the start-line on Saturday (morning).
This meant, that on the day that was PREVIOUSLY free (for my friend) had been booked up by travelling to the start-line.
The London To Brighton Off-Road 2022
Other than paying my entry fee and setting up a Justgiving, preparation for the 2022 London To Brighton Off-Road Ride began on the 14th September, when I took my bike in for a service, to ensure it was in ship-shape for the gruelling ride ahead.
On the 15th, (Thursday), the bike was done/had finished its service. Riding back home was the first time I had ridden a bike on the roads...probably all year.
Whilst out, I bought a new helmet (because I had left my other one at home), a pair of mud-guards and a pair of lights.
Friday saw the start of the Bathurst 1000km. For the second year in a row, Kabort would field a grand total of 0 entries to this event. Bar Bathurst, Kabort hasn't missed a single special event since it's formation in May 2019.
On the other side of the globe, in Britain, I'd leave the Isle Of Wight with my dad and head to the mainland.
The night of the 16th September was a difficult one, but for an usual reason.
We got to the hotel alright (this being about 30 minutes away from the start-line), although by the time we got there, it was already dusk/dark. I had parked under a light, which dimly lit the interior of my car.
My concern was that I wasn't sure of the crime-rate in Walton-On-Thames, and I knew my bike costed a fair bit and being semi-on-display, I was worried about it getting stolen, or my mum's car getting damaged, and the bike being taken.
We both headed up to our rooms (opposite one another), before I headed back downstairs to grab some food from McDonalds around the corner.
On my way down, I bumped into a group of 5 men wheeling their bikes up the hotel staircase. They would be competing in the ride tomorrow.
McDonald's was delicious as-per, despite a fair old queue for food.
And then it was race day.
Saturday 17th September, 2022
I woke up at 5am the following morning. It's always better to wake up much too early than wake up at 6 and realise you've got to scram.
We arrived at the starting place on-time (a bit early actually as I needed to get my rider numbers), and after saying my goodbyes, I headed towards the start line, and dad headed to...well, wherever he was headed.
At about 6:29 or so, I lined up in the starting area, and having only heard the last bit of the safety briefing, I was on pole position for my "group" (a wave each hour, broken into smaller groups just to separate out the riders and not clog up the canal towpaths).
According to the website - waves of 300 - 350 riders will set off every half an hour (30 mins) between 06:30am and 10:00am.
They say they'd start 20 cyclists a minute - but I don't know how long the safety briefing was - but, being on pole, I don't know how long they waited before setting the next rider off.
But I let a tiiiinnny weeny bit of the London To Brighton Off-Road (of my lot that is)
Despite being a bit cold (and forgetting my balaclava), the morning ride was just magical, watching the evaporation off the canal, cycling past houses, the occupants within still fast asleep, seeing swans, and then the sun slowly rising up above the horizon, heating everything it hits...it was something out of a fairy-tale.
Many (including myself) missed the first check-point.
I honestly don't know if it was the bike, the fact I didn't stop as much/often/for as long or my body had matured but I eventually completed the course in 10hrs 30 minutes (2019: 12hrs 45 minutes)
I think I can split my time on the ride into about 8 groups:
1/8th - Stopped (eating/waiting at cross-roads/at rest-stops/letting horses by)
1/8th - Allowing the queue behind me past (like a tractor) 2/8ths - Walking bike
3/8ths - Riding bike
8/8ths - Being overtaken ;)
There was a few people I repetitively saw, including a group of guys I had banter with (as we passed one another we'd greet each-other), but other than a lady waving at me like I'm a fly, it was a pretty uneventful ride.
The one thing I always forget is the pain in the legs/thighs, but I'm still here writing this blog so I lived.
I truly believe it was very much an "underdog ride" - finishing ahead of quite a few people (who probably trained, yet spent more time at the rest-stops)
I'm still hung on if I want to do next year's - this year I had the excuse of a new bike and not doing it since 2019 - but how on Earth will I beat 10hrs 29 min next time?
But no, overall (except the last mountain) it was an exceptional ride and thoroughly enjoyable - four main things getting me through 1) Under Armour - "The Only Way Is Through" - a motivational line that got me through the toughest bits
2) Dhar Mann - Yep, as embarrassing as it is to admit, Dhar's line "anything you believe, you can achieve" got me through - although, I believe I can become a racing driver but my £50 bill hasn't grown into a money tree yet.
3) A Time to beat - With that "8:10pm" target endlessly ringing in my head, I knew I couldn't rest forever, and I had to keep pressing/pushing on.
4) "What goes up, must come down" - I don't know where I learnt it from, but apparently Scotland is higher than England, and the UK is almost tipped - Scotland in the air, England in the sea. The point is London/Surrey is higher (altitude/Sea Level) than Brighton which is at...Sea Level - so I knew, with every big/difficult climb, came an even more rewarding downhill section to enjoy (the wind in the face).
After a very long day of cycling, I was rewarded with sausage and chips at a pub/restaurant on the Island. The menu actually said "cod and sausage and chips", but I didn't know the size portions, so played it safe with just the sausage.
I eventually got home (was allowed to drive home from pub/restaurant) and had the most relaxing bath I've ever had (in quite a while).
Sunday 18th September, 2022
The following day, Sunday, was a rest day, I didn't want to do anything, I just wanted to rest my bones, but I had a dilemma.
The same friend who wanted to go on Friday, still wanted to go up to London - but time was running out. I had already woken up late, and I didn't want to do any walking/cycling - but I knew that tomorrow (at 6am) the funeral would be taking place.
It's difficult because never before has a monarch that's reigned for 70 years passed away - that's an entire lifetime and more for many of us.
It's very difficult for me, because I have friends who have been in the Police force and have served her majesty, and yet at the same time, I have friends that are anti-royalist/against the monarchy/against the Queen. So I suppose I feel very conflicted at a time I feel very vulnerable.
I don't want to get into a political debate or go into a tangent about the history of the Royal Family.
But I will say this, she inspired a lot of people and changed a lot of people's lives and meant a lot to many.
Who else would thousands queue overnight to pay respects to?
Many are quite rightly distraught, and I'm guilty of missing the moment of the announcement of her death.
I clicked into another tab, and when I return, they repeat say "This is BBC News from London" followed by the announcement.
I also feel guilty for not going into London during the mourning period. The last time a British Monarch reigned for that long was from 1837 to 1901.
Unless another (reigning) Monarch dies of un-natural causes - as Elizabeth II's did, I suspect this record will stay unbroken for many, many years, until one does.
Medicine and healthcare has come a LONG way since 1901, and there have been countless scientific and medical breakthroughs in that time.
I suppose, it's very much "each to their own" - every person in the commonwealth (and the UK) will have their own opinion for liking and disliking the Queen. She's been in power before my parents or I were born - so, I've heard her being described as "The One Constant In Everyone's Lives".
And yes, I'll say it, I am sad that she's gone and she's passed, and it kills me for being guilty of that, yet at the same time I've been made aware of the "darker side" of her reign as well.
I suppose this has turned into a ramble about Her Majesty and The Monarchy, and on that note, I'll leave this already lengthy blog here.
Rest In Peace Your Majesty.