Hottie On ‘Busa Plays In Gravel

Friday, June 19, 2009

I’m so ready to go to Tybee! They even let me go home early on my last training day, because it was boring as can be and nothing (or nobody) to be training on. It was so slow I had occasion to hose the Fat Lady down in front of the gate to rid her of her urea affliction and I ended up wet and muddy from the knees down. Of course I also had time to dry myself out on the wall. This is the best job ever! I’m getting paid for this? I’ll be bringing the chain lube on the weekend. I might just get all the PM in while on the clock. Ha! I have all the best intentions when I leave work. I gear up and hop on the Fat Lady to get on down the road and get stuff done in preparation for our road trip in the morning. Laundry, packing, cleaning a little house, blah, blah… Maybe hubby and I can leave on time for a change. First thing on the list is feeding the sister-in-law’s cats and dog, getting her mail and shocking the pool. I get this done without even taking my lid off. Fortunately, I took my gloves off since I ended up knuckle-deep in dog food, the klutz that I am. I’m energized now. I’m in A-Mode, if you will. A for Accomplishment. I’m ready. But something happens on the way home, as it has on occasion before: the Fat Lady doesn’t make the left turn out of the subdivision, she turns right instead. Hmmm… I really got to get the steering checked. Ah… just a little ride, a teeny, itsy-bitsy side trip, a bonus excursion, the long way home. THEN I get my stuff done. There’s plenty of time to be responsible. I did get off work early, after all. I wouldn’t even get home until 7PM anyway. I find myself going to the damn dam again, I know why (subconsciously), it has this S-curve right before you get to it, that if no cagers are clogging up the road, is one heck of a blast at ummm… certain velocities (on the second half of the dial, ‘bout a fourth of the way up ;)). I don’t even know why I don’t really want to say how fast I go at times. I already earned a rep for being a speed demon. I should just own up to it and say: “Hells yes, I like to go fast!” It’s just soooo squidly to do that on the public roadways, I guess that’s why I don’t really want to own up. I know better. Or I should. Then there’s that whole issue with hubby threatening to take away my ‘busa keys. Before the crotch rocket ban was lifted, and I brought up the subject of a new bike (yet) again, he asked me why I was looking at CBRs, FZRs, and Gixxers online. I told him that I liked the way they looked, he didn’t buy it. He said, that the only reason why you would even own a bike like that is to go freakin’ fast. I kept trying to change the subject, he wouldn’t let me. Yeah. He had me pegged. He just wanted me to say it out loud and admit it to him and myself. Speed is exhilarating, especially at an angle. But isn’t responsible irresponsibility a blast? To make a long story short: I didn’t get anything done. Predictable. It has happened before. But I had one hell of a ride, about 120 miles worth. Did I mention I got home from work late? I had to get gas twice, too. I’m still in love.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Since I didn’t get nada done yesterday, we left over 90 minutes after our planned departure. I was singing part of a Peter, Paul & Mary song while in the bathroom getting ready… “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go … I’m leaving on a jetplane, don’t know when I’ll be back again. Oh babe, I need to go…” Joe kept telling me that I’m a freakin’ liar, that my shit isn’t packed yet and that I’m so not ready to go. Ah, who cares? I’m about to go on a 165-mile jaunt on my favorite mode of motorized human transportation. I am so in a good mood. I think I’m floating… even though I have yet to do my chain maintenance, since it had the audacity to rain on us on Thursday. To my shame, I can’t get the Fat Lady up on her rear stand by myself. Believe me, I tried. Hubby was holding her upright, while I tried to hoist her huge hiney up on the thing. Forget about it. After struggling for awhile and nothing seemingly happening, hubby told me to “put some oomph into it”. I said that I did. All I got from the other half was a cocked eyebrow and a sideways glance. And he saw I was perched up on the thing, putting all I had into it. Look mom, no hands! She didn’t budge. So, I guess my hump (my hump, my lovely ‘busa hump) weighs more than I do. There’s a reason why I call her fat all the time. ☺ We finally are off in an easterly direction after I’m done with the Fat Lady’s chain and touched her up a little, so she’ll look presentable going down the road in all her white sparkliness. Bike Spirits Roadside Detailer totally rocks. Between that, the kerosene, and a monthly bath, we got this looking good stuff covered. And owning a white bike isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, if you keep on top of it and don’t let the crud build up. My bolts are held on by Loc-tite, not road crud, like the fasteners on a certain someone’s Hog. Yeah, Larry, I’m not gonna mention any names, you rat biker. =D Anyway, we have a pretty uneventful ride. A good portion of the road we take is four-lane and we have it pretty much to ourselves, so we ride side by side, taking up both lanes and goofing around. We have fun. I love riding with Manx, he’s such a clown. I’m jamming to my iPod and you can tell. I tap my feet on the pegs in time with the beat, I ‘chair dance’ and am bopping my head. I also sing out loud, I’m glad nobody can hear me. It echoes in here… I just can’t sit still. I’ve tried. I also tend to adjust my speed according to a song’s BPM… when listening to Trance or Electronica/Dance that can get ticket-worthy real quick, to say the least. I don’t think there’s anything under 140 BPM on my ‘Hayabusa – Ride Fast’ playlist. LOL I also have a playlist titled ‘Hayabusa – Speed Limit’, but that one hardly ever sees any action. There’s one song that gets me in trouble ALL the freakin’ time. It’s Rammstein’s ‘Du Hast’, and it isn’t even all that fast as far as the BPM count goes, but for some reason that song inspires, ummm… High Performance. That song and a cheese quesadilla might just be my ticket to faster lap times (once I actually get to go to a stinkin’ track day.) =D Redneck Racing can only take a girl so far. After we get through downtown Savannah, which is a gorgeous city (at least from what I saw) at an average speed of 15 mph, I’m sweaty hot and ready to get back rollin’ free. We get to a stop light in the middle of nowhere and it’s red. Huh? There’s a hill up ahead, and something dark and massive sticking into the air. Manx informs me that this is a draw bridge and asks if I ever ridden on steel grating. I shook my head. I read about it? He asks if I knew what to do. I quote from Mr. Hough’s book ‘Proficient Motorcycling’. He nods, then tells me not to freak out. He’s got such a penchant for drama at times. Argh! Now, I’m getting anxious. Here I am sitting in the sweltering heat, I can feel the heat rising off the asphalt, the Fat Lady’s engine heat is cooking my thighs and the sun is beating down on me mercilessly and not a breeze on the move. The air is still and thick with humidity. I’m thinking about what I’ve heard and read about steel grating, and while I’m sitting there watching the drawbridge descending, I have time to get my anxiety nicely cranked up. It’s that familiar pukey feeling, but fortunately it’s faint, still. The drawbridge finally settles and the light changes to green. Well, here goes nothing. I’ve almost forgotten about my fear, because we’re finally moving and it’s cooling things off a bit. I can see it up ahead. Ooooh, shiny. I swallow hard. I’m preparing for the worst: I’m short-shifting into 3rd gear (don’t want it to be all torquey down there) and leave myself extra following distance (in case somebody decides to stomp on their brakes), just in case. Just in case. I cross onto it. WTF? This isn’t anything close to the deal that is being made out of it. I can see holes in the grating. Hmmm… somebody ought to come out here and fix these before they get big enough for a M/C tire to get stuck in one. I can feel the front tire doing the little wiggle as it finds its way through the stuff, but that’s almost imperceptible. And then it’s over. I’m back on the tarmac. Geez. I got all worked up for THIS? The drama! Call me when it’s raining, and we’ll try this again. KK? TNX. Bye. I wish hubby hadn’t even mentioned it. I wouldn’t have had time to realize what was coming and get all worked up. I would have dealt with it using the knowledge I had already accumulated concerning the subject and been a lot calmer in the process.

Anyway, we finally get to the Fort Screven area of Tybee island. And we’re puttering along the campsite trying to figure out where the cabin is we’ll be sharing with his Sister and the teenagers. It is hot. Hot, I tell ya! There had been a heat advisory in effect for the past two days, and now I can really feel the heat. The Fat Lady is basically cooking my thighs, the sun is beating down on me, making me head sweat, yuck. It’s dang hot. It wasn’t bad at speed at all, but I had felt myself getting sluggish and nappy on the way. Maybe I should have had a bottle of water, like Manx did, at the last stop. But, like the moron that I am, I skipped the water break, after all, we were practically there already, only 30 more miles or so. I’m still good, I’m glad for all that slow race practice I make myself do regularly pulling up to red lights and in parking lots, because there are people everywhere. Kids running around, not watching where they’re going. Peeps on bicycles. Peeps walking. There are also wheelie assists…. I mean, speed bumps. I’m down with it, this is nothing major, I barely have to pay attention to my riding and can put it where it belongs… tracking little crumb grabbers as they run this way and that. We make it through the crowd and what do I detect? GRAVEL! Evil. Evil. Evil little rocks that like to hang out in massive groups to ensure Foxy is not having too good a time. Damn! I knew it. Where there’s camping, there’s bound to be gravel. I feel myself tense up, but concentrate to keep my arms and hands loose and not slow down too much. Too slow spells trouble, too fast does too… gotta be somewhere in between. I ease off the pavement and onto the hell that is little rocks squishily (yes, I made that one up) shifting around under my tires. Did I mention I don’t like gravel? I have yet to redeem myself from my last encounter with the rotten, godforsaken stuff. At least I took my u-turns back and own them again. But this? ARRRGH! This is the stuff avoidance is made out of. This is the stuff that takes my confidence down a notch or two and puts me back in my place. This is the stuff that takes me back to a time in the not so distant past, where getting on the bike and riding took an exercise in overcoming a healthy dose of fear. A time where I got nauseated every time I put on my gear to go riding. I find myself behind my husband who comes to a stop in a big gravel lot and digs out his Blackberry yet again. I come to a timid, overly careful stop behind him and take the time to look around. Great, now I also have to make a u-turn on top of it all. There’s nowhere out, other than the way we came and a left over an ominously steep looking hill, which is now behind us, so still have to make a u-turn with an immediate right up a crappy off-camber hill. With a little bit of luck, it’ll be just a blasted u-turn to head back the way we came. But experience tells me that going back the way we came isn’t going to happen. Hubby interrupts my scaredy cat thoughts and begins moving again. I’m too scared to put my feet on the pegs, so they kind of hover in midair (I’m such a loser, when did THAT ever do anything for me? I’m not strong enough to catch a slide-out or a drop, like my 275-pound 6-foot-1 husband) to every once in a while stab at the ground (yeah, that’s technique right there, baby… you idiot), I’m getting pissed at myself, but I’m still too anxious to actually correct all the things I know I’m doing wrong. At least I don’t have an audience. I notice husband has come to a stop again, now facing the hill I know we’re going to have to go over, at a rather steep angle. Crap. Another tight turn to make! As I slowly come to a stop, it hits me hard, out of nowhere. I feel faint, and I see floaters and the world is starting to fade to grey. I notice my breathing is very shallow and pretty fast. Holy Helena! I’m about to hyper-ventilate! Gravel isn’t THAT bad, is it? It doesn’t warrant a panic attack. Surely, that is what this must be. My thoughts are somewhat soggy… I react. My plastics are on the line here. I clumsily snick the lever into Neutral and wrestle the kickstand down. Shit! Soft…. I manage to unzip my tank bag and rummage around for my little pine wood square that I keep in there, since I’m too lazy to go looking for a flattened out can when the need arises. The world’s still losing contrast. I blink several times, because it’s foggy now, for some reason and I have difficulty focusing. I slide down the tank, leaning the bike the other way (I must have or I would have fallen over) and pop the pine square under my kickstand. I ease the Fat Lady onto it and I almost fall off. My breathing is rapid now, and I fell VERY hot. I stumble over my own feet, catch myself, and shakily stand up. My hubby asks me what I’m doing… apparently he was to busy with his Blackberry again, and didn’t witness any of this. I tell him that I feel faint and really hot as I’m clawing at my gear, trying to free myself of the helmet , gloves and jacket. I feel claustrophobic now. I finally get out of most of my gear, I manage to grab the bottle of SmartWater out of my tank bag and lay down on top of a nearby picnic table. Ugh. Close call. That would have been such a kick in the Tupperware. Hubby yells from the spot where he’s parked, that he found the place, that it’s just up this hill (yeah, I knew that), past the pool on the right. I tell him to go on, that I need to rest, and drink some water, that I feel faint. Apparently he still hasn’t gotten a clue yet. I’m too tired to explain. He leaves. I lay there making myself drink my water. It’s shady, and I’m starting to feel better. I have to force myself to drink, since strangely I’m not thirsty. Well, I don’t feel thirsty anyway. I don’t know how long I laid there. I finished my water, and when I felt it safe to go on, I put all my gear back on and got back on the Fat Lady. I take a deep breath and survey the situation at hand while the engine is idling (I’m still an idiot). I assess and cross my fingers. Here it goes. I ease forward, have to kind of go left to clear a railroad tie that is in my way, then the sharp right. Dang, I’m afraid to turn in tight… I go wide. WAY WIDE! Now I’m heading straight for one of those sewer things, that’s sticking out of the gravel too far… I try not to stare at it and barely squeak by. Now I’m on a collision course with the steps leading up to the camp ground’s bath house. OMG! There’s a dude coming down the steps, towel tossed over his shoulders and sporting the gayest blue speedos I’ve ever seen outside of Europe. I’m honing in. Got the missile pointed right at him and I’m out for blood. Hah! My fear suppressed, but not forgotten I make the hugely necessary steering correction. Dude jumps back up two steps to avoid getting nailed in the gut by my left clip-on as I yell at him as I slowly squeeze by: “Excuse me! Sorry. Really. Gravel sucks!” I could reach out and touch him, if my hands weren’t so busy working the levers. The left mirror barely misses the wooden hand rail and I finally find myself up on top of the hill and on asphalt. Whew! King of the Hill! Holy Suzi! The reprieve is short lived, because the asphalt ends 20 feet later. I ease back onto the gravel. The pool is to my right. Now I have to go downhill, again graveled with crappy camber. Arrrgh! I ease on down. I look right, I see the dumpster that Manx had mentioned but I don’t see his bike as he told me I would. I’m also very preoccupied with my riding and I can’t properly scan the area. I look ahead, nothing. I don’t know where I’m supposed to be. I stop. I’m angry now. Shit! He said I would see his bike. Liar. I don’t even see the family’s van parked anywhere. I’m feeling faint again. Crap. I end up doing the only thing I could think of doing with my overheated mushy brain. I went straight, cut through two vacant RV lots, through a shallow ditch and back out on the street. Heavenly asphalt. I recognize it. It’s the way we came in, I go down to the intersection, make a u-turn. Park the Fat Lady on the side . Strip off my gear yet again. Step into the grass and let myself fall backwards into someone’s yard. I claw my phone out of the breast pocket of my jacket which I’m still half wearing. And proceed to leave a nasty VM for my hubby, because now he has the audacity to not answer his freaking phone. I let the phone drop from my ear and just lay there starting up at the bright sky. The sun is beating down on me. I don’t care. I’m exhausted. I hear a voice yelling from a distance asking me if I was ok. I slightly raise my head to look around. I see nobody. I yell back (in the general direction I perceived the sound to be coming from) that yeah, I was, I was just hot and needed to take a break and hoped he didn’t mind if I laid around in his front yard for awhile. The voice yells back that I should really move to the shade. Noted. After what seemed a long time I finally got my body moving and crawled under a shade tree on my hands and knees. The phone rings. I answer. It’s my better half. What the hell does he want? “Where the f— ARE you?” – “I’m back at the road where we started. Because I can’t find the f—ing place.” – “You better get your ass up here now, I thought something had happened to you, because I couldn’t find you.” – “I’m hot. You come get me.” – “You better get your ass up here. Hang a right by the dumpster, the place is BEHIND the pool.” = Click. I hang up on him. Now I’m pissed AND exhausted. Not a good combination. What part of this is so hard for him to understand??? I get up, fuming. I put on my gear. I get on the bike and ride back up for the second time. Damn! Now I’m angry. I have no problems with the damn gravel now, other than a slight comprehension. I’m pissed. I mumble to myself and speak obscenities into my helmet. I’m too tired to be cursing out loud. I come down the gravel hill from hell, see the dumpster and turn in. I look up ahead, and there is his bike and the van I was looking for earlier. This is NOT past the pool on your right. I’m sorry. ‘Past the pool on your right’ infers to me that I won’t have to make a right turn and go another 200+ feet in some other direction. What a ‘tard! I get there, I park the Fat Lady next to Mr. Spock, and he’s got ‘tude. I had it. I tell him in a slightly strained low voice (the family is right there watching), trying to keep my anger somewhat under control, that he needs to excuse me while I have a heat stroke. Why? Next time I just keep on going and let the ‘busa fall where it may! They got me inside into the A/C, made me strip off my gear and got me drinking bottled water. Later I had to apologize for the whole thing to every body, especially my hubby, since I must have not been thinking clearly throughout the whole ordeal and didn’t communicate the seriousness of my condition very well. He apologized to me for not noticing what was really going on. He was hot and tired, too. He was also very worried, because he walked the ¼ mile back to the spot where I rested, helmet in hand, and was prepared to ride the Fat Lady to the cabin for me and when he got there I was nowhere to be seen. When he found out I had left ‘the scene of the crime’ he got pissed, because he thought I was being a drama queen for not being able to find them. And next time I tell him we’re taking the RPCM cooling vests, and he doesn’t “wanna deal with all that”, I won’t take no for an answer. At least, I’ll be a cozy 58 degrees around the middle.



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