When two or more are gathered in my name…. a race breaks out!Posted: May 31, 2009
Ok… it’s taken me a while, to grow a set (of brass ovaries, as Cie (of We Ride and VTwinMama fame) so eloquently put it once), but I guess I’ll have to suck it up and post the next episode in my ‘Don’t Be A Squid!’ series. It all started innocently enough. I have mentioned it in passing (no pun intended) in my 6K milestone post. You may read that first, to get up to speed (again, no pun intended here either), since this is what happened after I left the visitor’s center at the dam and paid tribute to ‘Busa Dude. Yeah, giving sport bike riders a bad rep, one upshift sequence at a time… *eg* I motor along minding my own business and my own speed, feeling the warmth of the sun (finally after it raining for like what seemed a lifetime to eternity) and just enjoying all the things that go with turning $2.48 premium fuel into forward velocity on two wheels. I was beginning to feel good. REALLY good. I could literally feel my spirit recharging and the bad ‘tude, that had plagued me for a while, fading away. I come into a small town, slow down to the 45 posted speed limit and I wave at a biker who’s sitting at an intersecting street, waiting to merge onto the main highway. We exchange the ‘wave’ and I think nothing further of it. I accelerate out of town and the road’s a bit windy (in the sweeper sort of way, and I always practice my lines, no matter how flat the curve is), and with exiting corners comes slightly increased speed. Before I really know it, I’m going about 10 over. But this *is* the sticks, so I keep on keeping on. I notice, the other biker has taken up his place in staggered formation behind me. Where did he come from? Guess, the mirrors didn’t get a second glance for a bit now (shame, shame). He’s keeping up for a while. I keep on picking my lines and mentally going through what I really would do if I was actually going through these curves faster and as if they were tighter. The road opens up to two lane in our direction and the biker switches lanes then accelerates to catch up with me and as he’s pacing me, and we give each other the ‘glance of approval’, he reminds me of Smiling Bob. He’s got this GRIN plastered all over his face, just like the Enzyte Guy, he’s even doing the Enzyte Guy’s race car driver wave. He looks a little like Smiling Bob, too. I almost fall off my bike, I had to giggle so hard. But I keep it under control, give him a return wave and a smile and watch him pass me, then take up his place ahead, again in formation. Dude’s riding a Beemer. Sweet. A K1200 something or other. I don’t really know, I can’t afford a Beemer, so I never really got proficient at identifying the models. Anyway, now I am keeping up with him. The road goes back to it’s windy sweeper personality and K12 cranks it open. And starts pulling away. Hmmm. I give it a little gas myself, and find myself keeping up with him. Before we know it, we’re blowing down the road going well…. we’re not quite in the triplets, but close. Heiliger Gott! But this is too much fun. I’m grinning like an idiot inside my helmet, my jawbones are starting to get sore, and I’m sure K12 has a similar facial expression plastered all over his visage, I mean he had that going on already. Smiling K12 Bob. His lines are good. So are mine. I hope he’s got some sort of errr… early warning system. 21 miles over is your license, this is jail time, I’m sure. And with that thought, we round a corner. He signals left and slows for his turn-off to Hephzibah and I go straight for Washington at the speed limit +9. I look in my mirrors and see Beemer Dude making what looks like a u-turn? What the heck is he up to? He didn’t think I’d follow him, did he? What the heck… then he disappears from my view as, I round another sweeper. I slow down a little more, since now the speed limit drops back down to 45, for the town I’m about to enter. And what have we sitting on the left side of the road? A copper in his squad car, no doubt holding a radar gun in one hand and a donut… I mean coffee in the other. I remind myself that I need to watch my right wrist. This is like the umpteenth time they’ve missed my High Performance show by a narrow margin. Maybe it’s because I have 2 years in LE education and I know how the game works subconsciously… Maybe I am a speed trap clairvoyant? But this isn’t going to go down like this all the time, is it? 99 times… that’s what they say… Smiling K12 Bob never caught back up with me. He must have changed his mind again. Maybe he didn’t want to freak me out and look like a stalker. 99 times…
Which brings me to incident #2: I’m going to work one morning, the Gordon Highway route, I love this road. It’s a speed demon’s FFA (free-for-all)! The rush hour cagers on that road do 80 average. And it’s just a fun little four-lane road to catch on the way to or from work. Anyway, I pull up to the traffic light in town, on my way to the ‘fun little road’, it’s green, and as I make my left turn, I catch a glimpse of a speckled light blue/dark blue ‘Busa sitting at the red light. Cool. At the next major intersection he catches up with me. I’m in the left turn lane, he is in the right turn lane. Both of which are going left, of course. This is the entry to the ‘fun little road’. We sit at the red light, which has an annoyingly long cycle. I get to check out his ‘Busa. Apparently he’s into NC collegiate sports. Custom seat, chrome wheels, I think it’s stretched. Nice ride. Tastefully done, even though I would never do a sports team theme on my bike… Hello Kitty? Now we’re talking…. LOL Hell, I don’t have the money right now to buy frame sliders, since I haven’t sold my hog yet… I have to go the cheap route and not lay her down until I can afford it. At any case…. The light changes, and I can’t help myself, I never can, really. Wide left turns like these, at stop lights, they have to be enjoyed and abused, where else can you get some serious lean angle going around here? I have this down, I practice that pretty much at every light… I nail it, too. I have the inside line. I quickly snick through to 4th and I pull way ahead of him and I am gone. I like to do that, too. Keeps the cagers off my butt, since they seriously have to speed to make up the difference in acceleration and catch back up. NC Busa is catching up though. He must have realized he just got passed by a chick on a Gixxer or something, because he’s in the other lane making good time. I’m going 60-65 now. He slows to pace me, we exchange the ‘look of approval’ that seems to be customary between the liter bikes, especially the Hayabusa riders. I haven’t figured that out yet, but it’s strange. We both are grinning like idiots, we give the wave and then he lays into it. I watch with faint amusement as he pulls away, and then Miss Squidly takes over and cracks her open. Dang, that right wrist needs an exorcism! I catch up with him, pace him for a while and then pull away. This goes on for a while longer and before you know it we’re both going 90 side by side on a mostly deserted Gordon Highway (it is 9:30am, after all). At Fort Gordon’s main gate, he goes right, I go left. Wow! That was the most enjoyable work ride ever! And from this point forward we’re renaming Gordon Highway the Hayabusa Speedway. Until we meet again, good buddy.
Incident #3: I’m going down Jimmy Dyess Pkwy on my way to, you guessed it, the Hayabusa Speedway. I’m on my way home from work. This is another of those roads where nobody seems to feel it necessary to obey the speed limit. SPEED ZONE AHEAD. Yup! Definitely. I grin every time I see one of those signs… Anyway, I’m motoring along going 10 over and I notice a cruiser bike catching up with me in the other lane. The light ahead is red (which is rare) and we both come to stop, he is in the left lane, I’m in the right. We wave at each other. Well, I do a head nod, since both of my hands are occupied squeezing the clutch and brake levers. We’re sitting on a slight incline and I don’t feel like holding the Fat Lady up with one foot. He’s got a beautiful bike. Burnt metallic orange, raked back, loads of chrome, ape hangers, the works. Chopper. Don’t know what it is, since I can’t see any badges anywhere. I’m thinking maybe it started life as a Vulcan, but am not even remotely sure. The light turns green. I had already switched my right hand with my right foot in preparation for the signal change and Gramps lays into it. I can hear the roar. I’m taken a little by surprise, because I hadn’t seen that one coming at all! A young kid on a crotch rocket. Of course. But Gramps on his beautiful chopper. No freakin’ way! I’m still sitting there, holding up a car, slightly bemused. Then I laugh and take off. No effort, I pass him in first. I feel like I’m being rude, so I snick it up to 5th and quit accelerating, he’s still full open and finally reaches top gear, I think. I can’t really see him shift, I hear it though, he’s bouncing the needle, I think. I let him pass me. I look over and he’s wearing a shit-eating grin. No other way to say that. He’s all satisfied for beating the pants off off that girl on the crotch rocket. I’m glad I could make him go home happy.
So, what the heck is up with that? I didn’t experience this on my Hog at all. Nobody so much gave me a second glance. We did the wave, we acknowledged each other as bikers, but that was it. The few people that approached me, were far and few between. And I kinda liked it that way. Now, I’m a Rockstar! What is up with THAT???? There is definitely something going on here that is worthy of an anthropologist’s attention. I will do my own research into certain biker-related sub-cultural phenomena, but in the meantime I have to quit being such a throttle whore! Speed is like a gateway drug. It leads to other squidly behaviors, which have no place on the street. But it’s definitely cheaper than track time, IF you don’t get caught. It definitely isn’t SAFER than grinding around a track. Message here is, don’t be a squid, even if being a squid is a total blast at times. We have to curb our enthusiasm and reserve it for the proper place and time. But that’s a tall order to fill, at times. Maybe squidding it in moderation is a more realistic goal.