Chap. 90: Help from Virginia Tech
June 6, 2015
V-Tech's Pat Rogers gets oriented with Alan Smith
Our deal was:

"Work hard and we'll teach you everything we know"

Pat is so bright that it was easy to forget that he was only 20. He and Alan went to work immediately on Alan's LowBoy Ninja, behind Pat.

Pat spent most of his shop time helping to design and make the doors Alan needed for access to chain maintenance and tire changing. In Pat's words:

"The friend in Craig’s passenger seat was Alan Smith, a skilled tool worker and electrician who perennially performs exceptionally well in the fuel economy challenges. He ended up being my hands-on mentor for a majority of my time in Carmel. We worked on his streamliner for most of my days spent in the shop. Alan is exceptionally patient and it’s impossible not to feel motivated when working for him. In fact, Alan was my first exposure to Craig’s incredible group of friends and associates; this set of mechanics, contractors, plumbers, and designers are self-made men worth their weight in gold".

Electric Terry Hershner had just set a 300mile on one charge record and was preparing for a 400mile Record. Pat helped us all reconfigure our bikes.
Terry explained to Pat everything he knew about his bike along with his experiences in setting electric records. Among other refinements, Terry had covered his wheels and added fold-down doors to enhance his streamlining. This was priceless information since Pat is the Team Leader for the Virginia Tech Vetter Challenge Team.
It has been my experience that pizza motivates students, We have good pizza here on the central coast of California.
Riding is a big part of any motorcycle designer's life. Below, Pat is about to experience the riding delights of Big Sur.
Pat Rogers reflects on his visit of the Summer of 2015:

"The most important lesson that I learned from him, however, is that for everything else that you can’t teach yourself it is always worth making friends with a master of the craft and staying friends with them for the rest of your life. Duane Aushermann, Larry Weingarten, the list goes on; not only are these men experts in several fields, they are close friends of Craig Vetter and have been for years.

When I recognized this lesson, I began to realize what Craig’s role was for the duration of my time on the West coast. Craig didn’t host me for just under two weeks so that he could teach me neat tricks in the shop and how to drill press aluminum stock. Craig hosted me in California so that I could be introduced to a different way of thinking. Thinking about motorcycles; thinking about design; thinking about invention; thinking about business; most importantly to Craig, thinking about energy.

The time that I spent with Craig and his family exposed me to a unique perspective and method of thought that is not often seen in my home in Maine or at my school in Virginia. Am I generally a more versatile person in the workshop now? Yes. Am I a more versatile thinker now? Without a doubt."

End Chapter 90 for now. More coming

Master Index to the Last Vetter Fairing Story

Posted June 6, 2015