Colin Edwards instructs as Paul Carruthers gets ready to pull the trigger.

The editor is on an eight-day tour of Texas that started with his arrival at the Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot Camp near Lake Conroe and will culminate with the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on Sunday in Austin. He’s promised a daily blog of his travels. We’ll see if he lives up to that.

When in Texas, do as the Texans… I took that to heart yesterday in my final day at the Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot camp when I did a little shootin.’ Okay, guess little isn’t accurate since I shot a 50-caliber rifle. Not even sure it should be called a rifle since it looks like a canon.

And I’m feeling a lot manlier from the experience. Especially since the only other gun I’d shot prior to being at Edwards’ camp was a BB gun. I saw Christmas Story so I know you can “shoot your eye out” with those things.

But I’m glad I let lead instructor Joe Prussiano talk me into having a go with the 50 cal. I’m fairly certain I won’t get the chance to ever shoot something like that again. I’m also happy to report that although I didn’t hit what I was trying to hit, I did manage to blow apart some of the dirt embankment that stops random bullets from making their way to Lake Conroe.

My final day of the Texas Tornado Boot camp also consisted of plenty more riding and I managed to drop two seconds from my Superpole best. It wasn’t enough to get me on the podium, but it was enough to shut Edwards’ MotoGP mechanic Florian up for the rest of the day. The two of us had been close throughout the prior days of camp, but he’d really stepped up his game on day three to beat me by over a second. But on day four – the only day that really counts, right? – Florian belonged to me. I’ll make sure I visit the team’s pit box this weekend at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas to rub a bit of salt in his wounds. Just in case trying to tune Edwards’ CRT bike to competitiveness isn’t painful enough for the Frenchman.

Day four also proved to be a profitable one for yours truly. Some smack talk from James Rispoli the night before ended with me making a $50 wager with last year’s AMA Supersport Champion. The bet? Prussiano vs. Rispoli on the same Yamaha TTR125 in Superpole.

Let’s just say Rispoli’s wallet is a bit lighter today.

Prussiano is money on a dirt bike. Actually, he’s money on any bike. He makes it look easy and he doesn’t even look fast. But the stopwatch doesn’t lie and Prussiano is the resident Sultan of Slide at the camp. He’s also Edwards’ right-hand man and the instructor who pretty much runs the day-to-day operation of the camp along with Mike Myers, another who is supposedly pretty handy on a TTR. But we don’t know that for sure since Myers was out of action after getting some “minor” surgery on his rear end prior to the start of our camp.

Speaking of rear ends, I can barely sit today. Even after using an entire bottle of baby powder yesterday. And my legs are more sore than they ever were after running a marathon. Have you ever had to use your arms to lift your legs to put them in your pants? If so, welcome to my world.

Today is travel day as I head to Austin for this weekend’s Grand Prix and part two of my week in Texas. As I left the camp this morning, Edwards was there bright eyed and bushy tailed and changing bent handlebars on one of the school’s bikes. He was one of only a few who were actually awake after our final day of testosterone building ended with a visit to the local honkytonk with the instructors and a few of my new friends and fellow students.

On to CoTA.

 

 

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Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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