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The Lost Columnist – WHAT A YEAR! AND IT’S NOT OVER YET…

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The Lost Columnist – WHAT A YEAR! AND IT’S NOT OVER YET…

The Lost Columnist

WHAT A YEAR! AND IT’S NOT OVER YET… 


But at least we’re moving forward faster in 2021 than in 2020. More vaccines are getting into more arms this week. And despite the repeal of the edict that put mandatory face masks in place last July, most people seem to be putting their health first – as well as the health of their friends and family – by continuing to mask up. I’m proud of you! 

Whether or not we actually see a communal 4th of July this year, as hoped for by President Biden in his speech this past week, I am hoping we see a return to the auto show circuit, beginning with the State Fair of Texas in September. 

In a normal year I would be in Dallas this month – near the end of the auto and motorcycle show season – to attend the Dallas Auto Show. We missed Dallas last year and San Antonio in November, along with this year’s Houston Auto Show, which typically falls on the January calendar. January is also typically the date for the Progressive International Motorcycle Show, now rescheduled for October 1-3 in Ft Worth. The Houston Auto Show in January of 2020 was the last one we gathered for, just before the pandemic struck. 

So, for those of us who make a living (such as it is…) putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboards, we’ve had to reinvent much of what we do and how we do it. But I think that’s beginning to end now. The faster we move toward getting as many people vaccinated as possible, the faster we can return to normal. 

Last Friday I found myself back at the Circuit of the Americas, watching long lines of cars waiting for vaccinations while at the same time listening to the sounds of kart racing nearby, the  announcers voice shouting the results of each heat. Where I was stationed in Lot A, volunteers in bright green safety vests helped individuals fill out the necessary paperwork to get vaccinated, answered questions, and generally worked tirelessly, many in 10-hour shifts, with few breaks, to get the job done. It’s not glamorous work, but it’s necessary and rewarding. 

Next month we usually see MotoGp at COTA, but we won’t see a MotoGP race at COTA this April. Instead, we offer up this lap of COTA, courtesy of MotoGp.com. It’s not the same thing, but it’s still exciting for anyone who spends much of their time on two wheels, or simply loves the sport. The link is here: https://www.motogp.com/en/videos/2017/03/09/onboard-lap-circuit-of-the-americas/220464

With any luck we will see the USGP Formula One race here in the fall. It’s on the schedule for the weekend of October 22-24. And I for one, am looking forward to it. 

Friday was a typical spring day in central Texas, even though spring is technically still a week away. The skies were overcast, the temperatures in the low 80s, rain was in the forecast, and a breeze was blowing up from the south. Things were perfect, especially when considering one month ago today was the eve of Valentine’s Day, and the Ice Age storm that took out power and water for nearly a week (in some cases), and caused a state of emergency to be declared in all 254 counties in Texas. 

With Daylight Savings Time kicking in this past weekend, we have an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, so things are looking up. Days are getting longer. Races are going back on the schedule. 

Here’s hoping we keep on the path we’re on and by this time next year (with any luck) we will once again be celebrating the end of the auto show season in Dallas, and welcome back the roar of MotoGP and other motorsports to COTA. 

Meanwhile, there’s always COTA Karting, and for you bicycle fans, COTA is once again offering Bike Nights on Tuesdays ($10/person), which began this past week on March 9th and will continue every Tuesday night thru June 29th, except for May 18th and 25th, when “NASCAR at COTA” will be at the track. For that $10 you get to pedal your way around the same esses, corners and straightaways that F1 drivers and MotoGP riders navigate, as fast as you can. 

And COTA has upped their game for 2021 during bike nights to include optional things like the COTA Observation Deck, COTA Karting, more food options, and even themed bike rides like the St Patrick’s Day ride. Bike nights open the gates at 5.30 pm and you can make your reservation by following this link: http://circuitoftheamericas.com/bike

Alan Pease

Alan Pease is our Central Texas correspondent. He covers state and local government, as well as racing events at the Circuit of the Americas. His articles have appeared in Autoweek, txGarage.com and Automotive News. Prior to joining our staff, Alan produced automotive and motorcycle press introductions for BMW, MINI, Aston Martin, Jaguar and GM. Alan lives in Austin; you can reach him at thelostcolumnist@gmail.com.

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