Sonoma in late August is the place you want to be if you are from Texas. It was a beautiful day, and I was excited to see an in-depth look at a sport that I’d never experienced before. We know a good bit about NASCAR here at Dell, and learning more about Moto America was quite the adventure.
I don’t know a lot about motorcycles; my mom always said she would kill me if I were ever caught riding one (sorry mom)! I wanted to see what the sport was about, meet some of the key players, and discover how Dell Rugged and IOT is helping to make this sport better. I had no idea what to expect and didn’t know I was in for the ride of my life.
Life inside the Paddock
Paddock was a new term to me. It is the place outside of the racetrack area where all the garages and teams stage their bikes and equipment. It was open to the public, and you could just walk around, see all inside the garages, watch crews working on their bikes and the riders talking to their teams preparing for the race; you don’t get this type of access in any other sport.
It immediately connected me and pulled my interest.
There were also places for kids to learn about bikes, kids ridings bikes, and the high patrol talking about bike safety. It was more of a family atmosphere than I had expected and I was happy to see all the focus around motorcycle riding education. They want to protect the sport and keep their riders a safe. To amp up the cool factor, as if it needed it, they had open expeditions of riders doing wheelies, spins, smoking tires and just showing off.
Dell Rugged hits the track
When the Dell OEM team reached out for support, I jumped at the opportunity to get out into the field and see what customers are doing with our Dell Rugged products. Being new to the team, I wanted a hands-on experience to throw me into the role and hit the ground running, which is what I needed.
The team had two Dell Rugged systems to use during the race to test out the new rider based evaluation solution. A Latitude 7414 Rugged Extreme – an incredibly durable and reliable 14-inch laptop keep up even during the most extreme conditions of the race and the new Latitude 7212 Rugged extreme tablet – an ultraportable workhorse that has the performance needed to analyze data in real time.
There are already electronics on the bikes that the teams can download and analyze data to make adjustments to increase performance. Dell technology powers the development and physical optimization of the riders using biometric measurements.
The teams can measure heart rate and heart rate variability real time of the riders during the race. Wearable devices send data from rider to a Dell Edge Gateway for IoT. A Dell Rugged mobility device then provides access to that data; this enables the teams to do mental and physical evaluations and make critical adjustments to the rider before they even cross the finish line.
It’s hard to imagine what these riders go through and how much stress they endure as they go around the race track. The only way to really know is to get on a bike. So through my fears and drowning out my mom’s words in my head, I hopped on the back of a Dunlop motorcycle to take my first ride.
It was an experience I will never forget. I wasn’t even controlling the bike, but I still could feel the focus put into rounding every corner, controlling the speed and enduring the force of going more than 160 miles an hour. I have a whole new perspective on the sport and will be a fan for life. Thank you to Moto America, the KRAVE company and all the members of the race team that made this experience unforgettable.