The Redneck Speed TrialsPosted: March 6, 2010
If anything can be said about the roads around Augusta, GA, it is this: 99% of them are ‘Busa roads, redneck drag strips, straight as an arrow and as boring as a Monday night in the club. Civic engineers around these parts like to go through, they don’t believe in going around. The few curves we do have are located on what must be Monday roads (or Saturday Night Specials?). So it comes as no surprise that, as I round a sweeper curve and crest a hill and am faced with what must be the longest and straightest stretch of road I’ve ever laid eyes on in my entire life with The Fat Lady, I get an idea. Illegal. Squiddy. Irresponsible. An idea that’ll make a Fat Lady sing. I owe it to her, after all she’s been through. All that wrenching-without-a-clue she’s had to endure at the hands of a girl who hates to get her hands dirty. What we have here is an exclusive invitation to the ‘Redneck Speed Trials’. Uh-huh. Yeah. A few cars traveling in either direction, a few hills between the nose cone and the vanishing point. I don’t smell any bacon. I patiently follow the car in front of me that I’ve caught up with during my reverie. I’m in fourth gear. I’m a little low in the PRMs (around 3K), but she’s not lugging, and my gas mileage has been leaving something to be desired lately, so I’m trying to keep it between 4-5K when I’m cruising. Not that it matters anyway when I can’t keep myself from accelerating from stops like a cat with its tail ablaze (is that the definition of a hellcat? *s*). When the coast is clear I decide to overtake the car, I even wait until I get the dashed yellow to pass. Imagine that. The girl’s got a few morals left. Then I just grip it and rip it. I have to actually move my hand first to be able to do it. I don’t really know why I did it. I think it started with the thought of being too lazy to downshift. I really didn’t plan on it. Maybe it was the ‘curse of the straight road’. But my hand repositions itself and I open her up, all the way to the rusty part, until it twists no more. At first she seems slow to respond. No, not sluggish. Delayed. No, ramped. Throttle response isn’t sluggish or lagged, like it was on the hog. This is more of a ‘pre-calculated’ quiet before the speed storm. Mind you, this is all happening in the span of a few seconds. But, time (or the perception of such), for some reason, had slowed down for me. I signal and get over into the other lane, the Fat Lady is working it, then there’s a click (not audible, not physical, not real) like a switch had been thrown, like the Fat Lady decided it’s time to put on her running shoes, and she begins to roar! (Gawd, that sound is indescribable, I love it, I live for it, the kitten turning into the ferocious tiger.) I guess she’s found her groove (or the ECM kicked her in her fat ass and told her to get on with it ;)) and she starts pulling… hard. I don’t know at what speed or what RPM this is happening, it didn’t occur to me to look. My ass slides all the way to the rear and bumps up against the hump (so that’s what that’s for). My arms are stretched out and I’m hanging on for dear life, no doubt grinning like a cheshire cat. I get back over on my side of the road, I think I even signal to the right, but I can’t be sure if my thumb actually pushed the button or just tapped it. She is awesome. This is only half as violent as the first time I did this when I ‘earned my wings’. The Fat Lady is definitely digging her new lowered self. It’s either that, or I had gotten better since then, maybe a combination of both, but I have a ten that says it’s the new suspension setup. I’m trying to pull myself forward, but it’s hard to do and takes some effort. I finally manage, by using a combination of pushing with my feet and pulling with my arms, to get back to my usual spot on the seat about two-thirds of the way up. I’m quickly running out of visible road due to a hill, so I lay into the binders (I’ve read somewhere that quick-stops at speed are the same as the ones practiced in 2nd gear in a parking lot), no time like the present to practice a little of that. I get on the front brake hard, while I’m pushing myself all the way to the back, again I have to fight the laws of physics (I really need to start working out…) Probably doesn’t make much of a difference with my skinny ass, but I want to practice that whole weight transfer in the name of traction management thing… I read that somewhere, too. It seemingly takes forever to slow back down to 55. Holy shit! What a rush! I don’t think I’ve ever done full-on acceleration and rode it all the way to the redline. I still don’t know how fast I was going, but I don’t really care. It was freakin’ awesome.
I looked at my GPSr’s ‘Max. Speed’ field later, it is now displaying a 140 where it said 137 previously. My ‘Max Speed’ on the H-D Sporty was 112 mph, but the 112 on the Sportster 1200L was scary as hell, not to mention the thing developed one bastard of a head shake around 105+.
Nothing in the great scheme of things, but I think it rocks anyway!
I need to go to ‘the mile’, I want to take her to the limit, without having to worry about such inconveniences as cops and cars and deer. I’m going to slap some foam onto that hump and wedge myself in place before I attempt anything above 160, though. 😉