Bonneville Speed Week August 10-16 2019 - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Bonneville Speed Week August 10-16 2019

I have been driving my truck for the last couple years, camped, and stayed in a (expensive) hotel. I was gonna take my RV this year, until I got my Road Glide. Now I'm planning to make the trek on my bike and pitch a tent at "the bend". has anyone here made this trip on two wheels? If you've never been to the Bonneville Salt flats for one of these events, you are missing out on one of the most awesome motorsports spectacles in the world. Active duty military, and retired military get in free-for the entire week!

If you live in southern California or Nevada or anywhere for that matter, and want to meet up for the ride or part of the ride, or at the event, hit me up.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:58 PM
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Not sure when you plan on going to the Bonneville Salt flats but I was there yesterday and the flats are covered with Six inches of water


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Well they have not cancelled Speedweek. I was going to leave San Diego August 8 or 9. With the Summer heat, the water should evaporate by then. It has been rained out though, and also cancelled due to thin salt, so I will wait and see, and just keep planning and preparing. The other event there is the World Finals, held in October. That one is cancelled more often and it's usually because of an early winter storm.

Edit: I stand corrected, it does not evaporate...

When it rains at Bonneville, where does the water go?? In late June, I was given photos and first hand reports of 24” of water standing off the end of the access road. In late July it was gone. So where did it go??
I have heard experienced Bonneville racers say “If the high temp for the day is 100 degrees, Bonneville can evaporate 1 inch of water from the track per day.” Can this be true?
This year, one of the local racers conducted an experiment at Bonneville. He took an antifreeze jug, cut it down to three inches tall, and measured out exactly 2 inches of clean water into it. He placed it where it would get sun all day, but wouldn’t be disturbed and carefully measured the evaporation every day. With daily highs in the mid 90’s, he was only able to document approximately 1/16” of evaporation per day, for a total of 3/16” evaporated over three days.
So were the folks who said an inch per day confused? Prevaricating—Er, I mean Bench racing?? Out to lunch??
Nope, none of the above. They were speaking truth from valid experience and observations. Under normal conditions at Bonneville, when it rains followed by hot weather, the water level can easily be reduced by an inch or more per day. But it isn’t accomplished by evaporation. It is accomplished by percolation.
Percolation:
1. To cause (liquid, for example) to pass through a porous substance or small holes;
The water is slowly allowed to pass down into the aquifer below the salt surface. That aquifer has a bottom. According to the BLM Hydrology study the bottom of this aquifer is a solid impermeable pan of clay. This non porous clay layer begins at approximately 9 feet below the salt surface. If you have ever taken the opportunity to look at the man made canals or ditches created to move brine from the salt flats across the I-80 to the south for the magnesium plant, you can see that clay layer at the bottom of the trench. Most years, the water level in the ditch is several feet below the salt surface. This year, those canals are full to the very top.
So when the deluge came and ended Speed Week early, that water had nowhere to go. The aquifer with the impermeable clay pan at the bottom of it is full. The water table at Bonneville is at the level of the salt surface. This results in a “Pond”. This Pond is water standing on the surface that can not percolate into the salt. Since the flats are level, this water doesn’t really have a place to live. It is at the mercy and whim of the wind. When the wind blows from the north for a few days, the Pond ends up at the south. When the wind changes, so does the location of the pond. It moves around, but it can’t leave. It is trapped on and in the salt flats.
So much for the Geology and Meteorology pieces of this puzzle.


from https://www.saltflats.com/wos_cancelled.html
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Last edited by A Seabee; 06-05-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 02:16 PM
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I was at Bonneville the end of June '12. I find it hard to understand that there is not a museum of speed there!


I did not venture out onto the salt because I know what I do not know, and what I do not know about the salt flats could have got me stuck.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, its no joke getting stuck out there. The trail west from Missouri took the Donner party through 5 days and 80 miles of hell on earth.

I will only venture out there on the marked out road from the entrance to the pits and back during the land speed events, when others and the BLM rangers have determined that it's safe to do so.

There is a crew washing cars, trucks and bikes every day of the race, near the entrance. Some people don't use the service and you can see chunks of salt on the highway for 200 miles after people head home.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 06:15 PM
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Same week as Shark Week up in Deadwood. If that gets cancelled out, come on up and join the party. 200 friends that you haven't met yet.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Deadwood...I will consider it based on how my trip to Utah goes. It'll be my first ride of this magnitude. never been more than a couple hundred miles in a day, not sure if I'll have the grit to make it all the way up there, but it is tempting. Thanks for the invite! I bet it's a fantastic event.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 08:45 PM
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my riding partner started racing a buell last fall out there.pretty excited-but a lot of sitting around waiting-most all of people and racers on hand bend over backwards to help anyone
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, it's Mecca for gearheads. They help each other out so much. The PA system is really incredible. People looking for a holley power valves, powerglide stator support bushing, etc. It's also the home of every bastard car, truck, and motorcycle known to man. Chevy Monza, Studebaker Avanti, Hudson pickup, 3 cylinder Honda hybrid, turned sideways CX 500 Honda, etc. etc. They ran this out there the last couple of years...

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 07:48 PM
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A SEABEE if you get to Utah look me up,you can ride to deadwood with us.500 mile day is pretty easy-I have done several 700 days-doing an ironbutt 1000 in july.i think the salt flat deal is in sept this year
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