Ramped: A Special Shout-out

I get home from work and, blame the lo-carb Monster I had before leaving, have this idea of doing Mr. Slow a solid and getting the bike off the truck, so he wouldn’t have to worry about it before leaving for work the following morning, since he’s usually pressed for time as it is. He can’t even mail my stinking letter to WERA so I can get my status changed from Provisional Novice to Novice. Boo you bastid! 😉

I have to, of course, put the kickstand back on the Pirate or she won’t be standing up on her own. I almost forget about that, can you imagine? Stuck at the bottom of the ramp with no place to go. The bike stands are in the sun room and the chock still on the truck. There’s one for the books right there. Ugh!

“Crikey Mate!” *whispering excitedly* “Here we get the rare opportunity to observe Miss Busa in her natural habitat. She is crouched. Ready. Her breathing controlled, but shallow.”

*pauses in anticipation* “What is that? She hesitates… her eyes dart back and forth. The Busa shakes her head. What is she doing? Something has disturbed her.”

*waits and observes* “She’s tapping her toes alternately. I can make out her anguished grunts. The Busa is becoming agitated… this is exciting! What a rare treat!”

*barely contained excitement noticeable in his voice* “This is the moment… we still don’t know what has the Busa so on edge. What is she…” *trails off as he hears a grunt, a scraping sound, a crunching noise… and a thud*

“She fell over?!? Cut! Cut! Cut!” *jumps out of the bushes, brushing off green spring leaves, then stomps away angrily, a distracted camera man in tow*

“Damn females of the species are worthless!”

Asphalt Nap

I put the ramps in place and secure them to the hitch receiver’s tie down anchor points. I reinstall the kickstand (sans its accompanying safety switch), and proceed to take the Pirate off the truck she’s called her home for the past four days. The bike won’t budge. I try both sides. The only thing that moves is the wheel chock. Arrgh!

Several cars make their way into the neighborhood. I feel ridiculous yanking on the grips while putting my entire body into it. But this isn’t the first ridiculous thing I’ve done in the name of racing. Just ask me about getting red Duck tape slapped on my nose…  Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in order to do what you have to do.

My brain finally kicks into gear and tells me I need a little help. Gravity is such a downer. I jump off the truck, take the ramps down, and drive it into my driveway. As I bump over the rounded curb at an angle, I see the Pirate swaying dangerously back and forth. Holy Shit! She isn’t tied down anymore. I ease the truck’s rear tires over the curb, hoping I didn’t just bent the hell out of something critical. Dumbass! No sense of worrying about it now. I straighten out the truck and pull up as far as possible to get out of the street as much as I can.

I secure the ramps once more. This time I have no problem getting the bike’s front wheel out of the chock. Booyah! I put her in Neutral and drag the front brake as I slowly walk her down the ramp. I am on the left side of the bike and am dangerously close to my edge of the ramp. I decide I need to pull up and straighten her out just a little to get back to center. I turn her on and as soon as I put her in gear she dies. Damn! While I was installing the kickstand I rotated it, to make room for the wrench and then completely forgot to put the safety switch back into the up position. Now the Beemer’s brains think the kickstand is down. Crap!

I slowly reach down with my left hand and put the transmission back into neutral, so I don’t have to hold the clutch in while I make my way anxiously down the ramp. Several more cars come into the subdivision, slowing as they get to where I am unloading, since the ramps are sticking out into the street. I will definitely have an audience if I fall off this ramp and get buried under a 473-pound S1000RR in full race trim. Yup. Take a number, look it up. How embarrassing would that be???

Never mind that now. I feel my right calf tensing. I had problems with muscle spasms during my race weekend. Oh, please, not now. I can’t afford to get a cramp just now. No! No! No! I continue to inch my way down the ramp. I’m not nervous anymore, but tense with concentration. I can do this. I must do this!

Before I know it, I’m down the ramp and in the street. I am back in familiar territory. I walk the bike over to “my side” of the driveway and park her at a 45-degree angle with the rear tire almost bumped against the curb. I look around. Quiet. Almost dark. I can’t see a single soul.

My neighbors are douche bags! I cannot believe that not one of those dudes stopped to at least give me a chance to say, “thank you, but I think I’ve got it.” Yes, I needed to prove to myself that I can get the bike down the ramp, too. I really rather not rely on my “Girl Card”. I’m a stubborn German, which doesn’t help matters much. The whole “bike down the ramp” business was really the last hurdle to going to the track by myself. I want to be self-sufficient. I really dislike having to rely on others. Getting to rely on someone is awesome, especially when you get to take turns. Having to because you are out of options? No thank you. Not that I would have had to get the bike down by myself at the track, mind you. I can’t speak for people at track days, but racers don’t stand around to “see what happens next;” at least not the ones that I’ve met so far and I didn’t even have to play the Girl Card.

“Douche!” *lets the word trail off her lips making a flushing noise*


10 Comments on “Ramped: A Special Shout-out”

  1. Strega_Rossa says:

    *WHEW* Glad you got the bike down without any mishap. No one stopped because you had everything under control. That happened to me while changing a car tire in the pouring rain… no one stopped to help ’cause I could do it all by myself.

    Its a good feeling to know you can do it yourself. Good for you! 😉

    • Miss Busa says:

      That it is. A good feeling, I mean. I’m glad I pulled it off. But I still don’t understand what part of a middle-aged woman hanging off the clip-ons with both feet shoved up against the back of the pickup truck, grunting and yanking did they figure was “the under control” part. *busts out laughing* Ah, it’s all in good fun (mostly). =D

  2. Well done, as usual, your brilliant story telling made this seem terrifying and a job well done!

  3. Faceyman says:

    Love your blog and your descriptive posts!

  4. chesshirecat says:

    You did good. And ya got it right. It seems none of your neighbors are (true blue) bikers. If they had been, there would NOT have been this wait and see attitude. Girl or guy…your neighbor would have been out the door and on the curb ready to steady when needed. You go girl. Life is better when we have friends, but it don’t suck when we are able to pull the shit off…without the male of the species!

    • Miss Busa says:

      You know, they all had disappeared when I got it on the ground and walked it around to the side of the road. Guess, it’s like watching NASCAR around here, people get frustrated if nobody crashes and burns. LOL

  5. Jack Riepe says:

    Dear Ms. Busa:

    I am a re-entry rider hobbled by crippling arthritis. I greatly appreciate the challenge you faced getting the bike out of a pick-up truck. Regardless of how good the ramps are, unless you are using a loading bay (with a ramp that is the width of the tailgate), getting a bike in and out of a pickup truck is a major pain in the ass.

    For this reason I own a Kendon two-rail trailer. While a tad pricey at $2400, the bike is only being raised 5 or 6 inches above the ground, with the front wheel going straight into the locking chock on a guided track. The bike stands nicely by itself in the chock for the lashing down process.

    I have trailered my rig only four times in four years, largely because I had to be at the start of a ride that was 400 miles away (the next day) and either weather was a concern, or I couldn’t take the chance of arriving as a total cripple.

    Having the bike drop out of your hands is always a possibility, and a costly one, regardless of the circumstances. But a drop from the tailgate of a truck is more daunting to me than a fall of five inches off a trailer ramp.

    If I had been passing in a car and saw someone taking a bike out of a truck — by themselves — I would stop and offer to lend a hand, regardless if it was a man or a woman on the ramp. And I would have stayed to watch, in the event they said “No,” and discovered they had a problem a few seconds later.

    I like the way you used the word “douche.” It is the mot juste for so many occasions. I use it all the time, especially when describing former in-laws.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads
    The where former marriages and life is dirt cheap.

    • Miss Busa says:

      Jack,

      you are my hero. =D But, you of course, are a biker. That’s strike one against you. You must have a different set of standards, higher than most. You face hardship and you deal with it and by that token when you see a struggle by a fellow human being, no matter how big or small and you are in a position to help, you gladly offer. Strike two. … 🙂

      It is almost as if we have become isolated in the midst of a crowd. Everybody minds their own business and as such, they just turn away, by default, not wanting to get involved. Maybe my neighbors give me too much credit. Maybe they don’t really care. Maybe they think I’m a hooligan. Who knows? I have no problems with any of them. But only know most from sight. Except for a select few. We live in a military neighborhood and half the families come and go. Heck, some of those who came and went, I never got to meet. Sad as that is. Isolation. I don’t even know where I’m going with this… just rambling on about something I can’t quite put a finger on, but it’s real enough to feel.

      Suffice it to say, that I have only met one group of people who (for the most part), in my experience, show the kind of solidarity and openness towards total strangers, and have the tendency to make fast and lasting friendships, and are always willing to “pay it forward”. That group is the bikers, motorcyclists, riders, whatever you want to call them. I didn’t even experience this sort of bond in the military, it was close, but not quite.

      I would love to have one of those Work & Play trailers, get a barebones model and turn it into a mobile workshop. Then I could park the thing in the driveway and have a garage of sorts. The HOA would love me. LOL They are already complaining about our bike barns… permanent structures… yeah, until the wind blows really hard. 😉 DOUCHES! *giggles*


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s