Monday, August 04, 2008

Interview: Glenn Cox, "Lucky 13"

[Slow Connection? Click to view the YouTube version.]

Glenn Cox is a motorcycle racing privateer who is a seven-time competitor in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year he was racing a KTM Super Duke in the 1200 Class, alongside top racers such as Greg Tracy, Joe Kopp and Alexander Smith. The 1200cc motorcycle class is new at PPIHC. "It's not whiskey throttle, grab it and go," explains Cox, "You really have to play it finely, with a lot of finesse."

Handling a four-hundred pound street bike in the dirt sections is quite a challenge. Cox says that he can be doing 80mph in 4th gear and the rear wheel is still spinning from lack of traction. The bike is most at home in the paved sections, where Cox excels.

Cox's qualifying time put him on the front row at the 86th running of the race. Cox got the hole shot and ran the fastest pace he had ever carried up the mountain -- for about a mile and a half. After a perfect start, he led the race until Greg Tracy, as Glenn described it, "put a beautiful pass on me." Cox was determined to stay in front of the rest of his pursuers. He held the throttle open about a second too long while rocketing up the Picnic Grounds straightaway. When he finally grabbed the binders to break his 120 mph pace, it was too late. He couldn’t make the left-hand corner he was attempting to negotiate. Cranked over and sliding under full braking, he stood the bike up at the last moment and drifted off the pavement. Cox crashed into a 10 foot ravine and flew over the handle bars like a man being hurled into outer-space.

Waving like a beserker Viking, Glenn motivated eight spectators to help him drag his KTM up the embankment and back onto the course. Through sheer determination and a healthy dose of control, he managed to pass two other racers. Glenn finished in 9th place with a time of 14:38.

Glenn said it was ironic that he had been most worried about the dirt sections, and yet it was a paved section that bit him in the end. He admits that over-confidence on the pavement was the reason behind his mistake. Always the optimist, Glenn says he be a little wiser in next year's race.

In this video interview, conducted by Girl Wonder the day before the race, Glenn Cox shared his excitement and anticipation about running in the 2008 PPIHC on a KTM Super Duke.

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