June 2019


According to the English Wikipedia, an underdog is a person, usually in sports, who is popularly expected to lose. In some cultures, underdogs are highly regarded; this harkens to core parables such as the story of David and Goliath (The Holy Bible, 1 Samuel 17). 

On racetracks, The Castiron made two essential experiences. On one hand: you drive fairly quickly on a circuit, and unexpectedly, all of a sudden a car passes by – an entire inconspicuous one; and this vehicle vanishes and you think: what was that? And: who is the underdog? 

On the other hand: Nürburgring Nordschleife, wet track, The Castiron with a German car, manual gearbox, rear-wheel driven, limited slip differential – though really moderate motorized (naturally aspired 4-cylinder-in-line) and not really a lightweight. One lap, 13 participants overtaken; never overtaken by another car. In dry conditions the opposite is the case, most of the time. Who is the underdog? 

Or: who is when the underdog? It is not only applicable for sports; it is valid for the entire life. The Castiron invites you to share your experiences (please see recommendation) on this subject. Thank you!

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://thecastiron.ch/en/comments.html


Wet – on one hand water; on the other hand different fluids, such as cooling liquid and oil. The latter two with big disadvantages: water on the road or the track is visible – the others meet you surprisingly and are extremly slippery, often unforeseeable incidents guaranteed!

Today, two experiences – the parties hereto: The Castiron, a light and quite easy to handle Suzuki Swift (from Rent4Ring, please see blogpost 24) and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the historic site for races, trackdays and myriads of dramatic stories.

Scene left-hand „Kesselchen Mutkurve“ before „Klostertal“: close to 100 miles per hour, in the left-hand curve immediate oversteer (please see blogpost 95), a Lotus at the right crash barrier, the driver standing beside the car. Sudden inspirations: do not lighten the rear axle – meaning not taking back the accelerator pedal; otherwise you will fly off and hit both, the Lotus and the driver! Thankfully it works – leaving the bend, still full throttle and dosed counter-steering. The cause, later informed: cooling liquid on the ideal line.

Scene the crest „Pflanzgarten“: a little bit less than 100 miles per hour, on the top of the crest, all the wheels in midair, a steward waving the yellow flag – a good joke, no chance for any reaction! Landing, breaking, steering into the right-hand bend, no reaction; that’s why the yellow flag! Last and only chance: the gravel bed on the outside of the curve. Thoughts: let the car just roll, very little steering movements and everything smooth, smooth, smooth! After the bend, back on the track – everything went well. The cause, later informed: oil on the ideal line.

Personal conclusion: along with the Lotus several other cars significantly damaged, the drivers having an expensive experience more, but all of them uninjured – thank God. And: be vigilant, do not let take you by surprise, if possible!

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       www.rent4ring.de/en


Fast – at least this is what The Castiron and Nico Brina have in common; Nico who ? Yes, Nico Brina, a veritable fast piano player: his left hand played 608 keystrokes per minute (1996, Guiness Book of Records), the world’s fastest Boogie Woogie!

One day The Castiron went to a concert. The supporting act: Nico Brina – never heard before. Minutes later: fascinated, enthralled, enthusiastic, wowed. Make your own opinion; today’s video gives an impression – enjoy yourself.

This year, 2019, is an anniversary to celebrate: 35 years on stage! Still on stage, after thousands of gigs in nearly twenty countries (please see recommendation) – all the best to Nico Brina and his co-musicians!

It is one of The Castiron’s wishes for many years: learning to play piano – not as fast as his compatriot, just in its own right. Will this wish be fulfilled ?

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       http://www.brina.ch/start_en/


Also this week’s blogpost is from the period of life when The Castiron was a student. But this time, it is not a matter of 4 wheels but just 2 wheels.

Studying is one side of the coin, the other one is earning money. Holidays gave The Castiron the opportunity to work as a taxi driver. A loaned motorcycle made the journey to work to town easy; the clothing was a compromise: light for the summer temperature and nevertheless safe enough for the ride. Helmet and gloves, but sneakers instead of motorcycle boots – really the right choice?

Then, the journey home, after a really hot day. Much time spent in the taxicab, having drunk too little water during the whole day. A few seconds mental blackout; after that, a hatchback car close by being at a standstill – The Castiron still in the move. Major thoughts: do not hit this car, no chance to avoid the accident!

The Castiron brakes as hard as possible, the front wheel blocks and skids – the motorcycle hits the car, the rider flies past alongside. The tarmac passes by the eyes, then knocks on the helmet and meets the legs. The ankle feels like banged with a hammer. Ambulance, hospital, emergency department, medical examinations: no broken bones – just soft tissue injuries. Thank God! Finally, using crutches for several weeks.

In situations like this, you realize: you are closer to death than you would like. The Holy Bible presents in Luke 12 (please see recommendation) an interesting example, worth to reconsider: from verse 16, the story of wealth – and death just around the corner. It applies not only to the wealthy people, but to everyone.

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/text/NIV/Luke12