I miss riding The Fat Lady!

Holy smokes! It’s only been nine days since my crash and I already am jonesing for two-wheeled therapy. Given, four of those nine I was really in no condition to ride, so it wasn’t too bad. Thought about making off with hubby’s Connie 14 a few times, but then I moved in my chair. If I could reach the damn ground sitting on The Samsonite Missile, I would so not be caging it to work. The bags would have to come off, of course, or he’ll have to get some touch-up paint for them later, but damn… Shit! I’d ride anything at this point. ANYTHING!!!! …as long as it still can be considered a motorcycle. Damn, you perverts! Making me add a disclaimer to that… what the hell is this world coming to, anyway? What kind of mess is it, when a girl can’t even ride a fat lady anymore without having to put up with snickers and cat calls behind her back. Yeah, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets passed on the inside by a girl on a Hayabusa wearing cat ears and a Hello Kitty shirt… Ah crap! It was just a dream… That’s right, I forgot, I turned myself into an unwilling cager on the 24th by giving The Fat Lady the lay of her life. FML. In the meantime, I just have to watch stupid YouTube vids, like this one:

Plug me in
I’m alive tonight
Out on the streets again
Turn me on
I’m too hot to stop
Something you’ll never forget
~~~
I’m on top tonight
No, no
You better turn me loose
You better set me free
‘Cause I’m hot, young, running free
A little bit better than I use to be

~ Live Wire by Mötley Crüe


Evasive Maneuvers

Miss Busa and The Fat Lady

Miss Busa & The Fat Lady: We are cute and innocent. Well, ok, innocent. Totally harmless. How can a girl in a Hello Kitty shirt possibly be dangerous? Look she's got pink stickers on her bike. Totally harmelss. We even look slow. We only take it to the limit. Right there and no further. Pinky swear. 😉


Since I have nothing better to do than write about the ride, let me recount this little marvel of a tale. Wouldn’t before, since I still had this little traffic court thing hanging over me like the Fog of War in a mismatched RPG battle; and my license tag coincidentally spells out the domain name (for the more inquisitive mind) of my blog, which in turn holds all the unforgiving evidence in digital print, photographic and videographic form of the workings of Miss Busa’s criminal mind; like a cracked, filthy bedroom wall holds the beloved pieces of the shrine erected to honor a serial killer’s next victim… so does this blog give testimony to…. WAIT A MINUTE!

<!– With my newly attained legal skills I would like to state for the record: I would like to assert, at this time, that the content of this blog. — May it please the court, the definition of a ‘blog’ is as follows: Blog is Internet jargon for web log, which is akin to an online journal or diary for exhibitionist folks like myself. — that the content of this blog is all fabrication and lies! It is strictly for entertainment purposes only, and as such, needs a proper legal disclaimer, which was added as of now. Further, I am a pathological liar even when I tell the truth. A picture is worth a thousand untrue words and a staged video is worth a thousand untrue photos. I have 2x2x2 words for you: Tabloid journalism, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Premiere. –>

I was out riding, enjoying a nice spring day in March, in full race gear (gotta stretch that damn cow hide, it’s still stiff and it’s getting on my nerves), minding my own lane space and not particularly paying attention to the instrument cluster, which is part of the reprogramming efforts of breaking my recently developed love affair between the gauges and my eyeballs. So it does not surprise me that my pleasant ride is rudely interrupted by the annoying flash of blue lights and a quick blip of a police siren. Shit! I look at my gauges. 70 indicated in a 45. Motherfrakker! Not again. And not just one cop, but two: a Sheriff and what looks like State Patrol, but I can’t be certain. What the hell is this? Somebody put out the fresh donut sign? Gawd! Not again! I instinctively slow down while I’m cussing up a storm inside my helmet and keeping track of the two units in my mirrors. Hell no! I am so not stopping! I’m not… shit! I have to! No. You should. Ah, fuck this; gawd, you’re such an idiot, shit! Stop! Get the hell out of here. Don’t stop! OMG! There’s traffic behind me and they slow, obviously looking for a place to turn around to follow me. What the hell is wrong with you? They already caught you going what? 63 in a 45? I accelerate back to my previous speed of 70 indicated. The road is sweeping curves, so I lose sight of the cops fairly quickly. My heart is entering a state of arrhythmia. I have to fight the constant impulse to speed up. My brain is going into overdrive. Holy shit! You’re fleeing. You are now risking an evasion charge on top of going something like 18 over. My anxiety rears its ugly head, so now I’m feeling shaky on the inside in addition to the pounding in my chest and the racing staccato of my brain.

I formulate a game plan… a girly one at that: “I didn’t see you, officer. I would have stopped. By the time I did see you behind me, I couldn’t find a safe place to pull over. No officer, I don’t know how fast I was going, I was practicing a riding skill I have developed problems with. What?!? OMG! You can’t be serious. {at this point I break down in sobs and then start bawling for all it’s worth}. My husband… is…. *sob* so going to….to…*sniffle*… to… oh no…*hangs head* going to be so mad…. at me. *wail*”

I round the last sweeper and am faced with a line of three cars waiting for a newly erected traffic light to change to green. Gawd! Just my luck. I briefly consider making a run for it through the gravel that will soon be a dedicated right turn lane. I dismiss the thought after the visual my logical mind is sending me of a Hayabusa laying on its side with me getting put in cuffs and stuffed into a police cruiser shortly thereafter. I envision myself sitting in a holding tank with a bunch of ugly, fat hookers… at least I’d have my knee pucks for when the jailer comes around… Not good, can’t explain that one away to leave reasonable doubt. While I wait behind the cars, I’m practically staring in my mirrors just waiting to see the coppers put in their flashy, wailing appearance. I’m so nervous, I’m tapping my foot. Oh please, oh please, change to green, I gotta get out of here. I’m starting to sweat. Bullets. The light finally turns, my erratically beating heart is still hammering the inside of my ribcage and my fingers are starting to feel numb. I can’t stand to wait any longer and squeeze by the car in front of me, while he’s waiting for cross traffic to clear. I execute my right turn, and rip it with one last look over my shoulder. No cops in sight, still. Good. My brain still racing, my eyes still searching to the rear. I can’t stay on this road, it’s five lanes, too much traffic and straight as hell, I have got to get out of here. I spot a dump truck to my left. Without so much of a thought I whip it into the suicide lane and execute a quickie left, using the dump truck as a shield. Looking over my shoulder, the rear is still devoid of my friends in gray or blue.

This concludes the evasion. I made two unobserved random turns before the chopper’s in the air. But my nerves are shot. My mental constitution borders on paranoid now and it’s not getting any better. A pickup truck pulls out in front of me and I freak out. Holy crap! Come on, man! He’s going incredibly slow, or so it seems. I got to get the hell out of Dodge! I grip it and rip it and pass him in a no-passing zone. Add one more count to the growing list of infractions. I can’t cope any more, I’m using all my remaining willpower to do the speed limit. Wouldn’t do me no good now to get noticed by some other cop on his way to that imaginary donut shop for a shot of java and a creme-filled whatchamacallit. I take the next available right. Hey, I know this road. Nine more miles of zig-zagging and I arrive at my house, fully expecting the cops to sit there waiting for me. (“Yes, Miss Busa, we know where you live. You are known, and now you are also wanted.”) More paranoia, I remind myself. I pull into my driveway, put the kickstand down, practically jump off The Fat Lady with a half-twist and yank the Bike Barn’s cover over her in one smooth motion, then sprint to my front door, punch in my code and enter in a hurry and slam the door shut. After disarming the alarm, I rip my helmet off, fall to the floor and dissolve into a mad case of the hysterious giggles and the laughter of the kind you will only hear from the insides of padded cells at the insane asylum. Haha! Take that coppers! Woooohooooo! What a rush! Way to stick it to the man! Yeeeehaaaw! Good gawd, I’m mad! Maaaaaaaaad, I tell you! After I calm down, I drag myself to bed to catch my breath and relax and promptly fall asleep in my gear. This much stress is exhausting. Being a fugitive criminal is exhausting. I sleep the sleep of the weary, a three-hour paranoia-induced coma.

Officer M. wasn’t lying about the non-pursuit policy that is in effect in the two counties that I frequent on an almost daily basis. I feel like they could have had me at the traffic light, but I have to assume they aborted as soon as it was clear to them that a.) they couldn’t turn around to follow me quickly enough, and b.) I wasn’t going to pull over.

“He who pulls over gets the ticket.”

~ Officer M. (whose wife made him sell his GSX-R1000 and is condemned to riding a Harley when on duty)


Crashed: Pinky & the Drain

Broken Pinky

Broken Pinky: All splinted up and nowhere (or nothing) to ride...

I had called my service department to let them know to expect delivery of one busted up Hayabusa on Saturday. We are kicking around the local rocket shop to see if there’s anything that strikes my fancy in case The Fat Lady is pronounced dead on arrival. I listen to my VM in the parking lot and am told to call the ER back and ask for the Charts Nurse, so I do. I am told that I need to come back in, since the last bone of my left pinky is broken and they need to splint it. Screw that, I want to look at bikes first, so we go in. Of course, my hubby wastes no time to tell everybody that his wife done wrecked her Hayabusa. Doug, our regular sales person, wastes no time to tell me that it’s time for me to “get off the sport tourer and onto a real sport bike”. Geez, people… do I have that bad of a reputation? Calling the ‘Busa a sport tourer is just plain wrong. It’s a hypersport, thank you very much. Hell, call her a drag bike, call her anything, just not a sport tourer. Damn! LOL They only have two models I’m even remotely interested in. The Honda CBR1000RR and the Kawasaki ZX10. The Honda sits and feels better, but for that price tag I’m looking at a BMW S1000RR with RaceABS and DTC. So the CBR is out. I don’t really like how the ZX10 feels. I can’t really explain what it is about the Kawi that makes it feel off. It’s the same with the ZX14, it’s too upright, too far to reach, which is weird, since it is not; I have plenty of bend in my elbows, it just feels too far. I think it’s more of a feeling of sitting ON the bike rather than IN it. On my ‘Busa I have a choice: I can sit on it for long trips, I can sit in it when I’m getting serious. I suppose that’s what my problem with the ZX10 is. I feel plopped on, rather than being part of the machine. Not to mention that all these bikes feel like bicycles to me. The clip-ons are too narrow, they feel too light, too skinny, too insubstantial. But I suppose that’s to be expected when you come from a H-D Sportster 1200 Low (which is a top-heavy clunky porker) and then a Hayabusa. I haven’t parked my bum on neither the Yamaha R1 or the Suzuki GSX-R1000. I really dig the Ducati 1198S, but that bike is about 7K outside my price range. However, it is one hot Italian mutha! Yes ma’am!

I don’t have gap insurance, so I’m guesstimating that I’ll be 2-3K in the hole if they total my baby, depending on how much money they’re willing to part with; plus the 1K deductible. That sucks… but hey, I have a 5-year extended warranty plan. Woooohoooo! I have a test ride scheduled with a Beemer dealer in Greenville, SC on April 6th (that’s the earliest I can make it up there without having to go by myself). It’s looking more towards ‘totaled’ than it is ‘fixable’, according to the scuttlebutt at the shop. Financially, it would be better for me if the verdict is ‘fixable’. If it is ‘totaled’, the smart thing to do (again financially) is to get another ‘Busa (so I can put all my extras back on), since the only aftermarket parts that are damaged are the Pazzo Racing levers and the RAM mount for my GPS (which I have a spare part for to repair it). However, I really have a errr… bad case of the drooling lusties for the S1000RR, even if it means I’ll have to do 224 miles round-trip to get it serviced and have to do the minor things myself. Of course, the ZX10s would be the only viable choice, because I could pretty much have one of those for my deductible. Fugg me! I don’t really want anything other than either my Hayabusa back or the S1000RR, even if it’s financially irresponsible. 😦 I’d rather cancel my slot in the Kevin Schwantz School this June than get stuck with a bike I really don’t want and won’t be happy with. ARRRRRGH! But damnit, any bike is better than no bike at all, if it really came down to it.

I spend the next four hours sitting in the ER to get my broken pinky splinted,  a 3-minute procedure, which my hubby could have done himself. I also saw three different people for it. Wow! The inefficiency of bureaucracy in action. Their hospital administration needs to think about a little something called ‘streamlining’.


Crashed: Anatomy of an Occurrence

The following message is brought to you by massive doses of Ibuprofen:

After taking pictures of the abuse I put my poor ‘Busa through, Joe took me to the scene of the ‘occurrence’. Rather than trying to talk about it, a few pictures is worth a thousand words, and a video by Mr. Slow is worth disconnecting your Internet for. 😉  I meant to say: a video is worth a thousand pics. Really. I did. No. Honest. Here we go:

After inspection of the damage on my bike, riding gear, and the evidence at the scene of the ‘occurrence’ (I had some training in accident investigation in college) I have to say this: I only walked away from this, with some bruises, a light concussion, and a body that doesn’t seem to want to quit hurting in all sorts of places I didn’t know existed, because I was wearing my gear and have educated myself by reading books on riding technique and practicing these skills on a daily basis (and continue to do so, well… would continue to do so if I had a bike that was in one piece.)


Crashed: Visiting The Fat Lady

Has The Fat Lady Sung (Her Last Aria)?

(polls)

The day after my crash I dragged my sore self out of bed and made the phone call to the insurance company to report my ‘occurrence’. No, I did not have an accident. I had an ‘occurrence’.  I numbed the pain that had now spread pretty much all over my body with the prescribed pharmaceuticals and had Joe take me to visit the Fat Lady at the place she currently calls home. We checked in and on the way to the bike we were intercepted by a dude in a paint booth suit. “I know who you are. You own that Hayabusa they brought in last night.” I nod in agreement and tell him that he is correct in his assumption. He proceeds to tell us how he owns a 2002 Hayabusa and is going back and forth on the idea of selling it and further states, that when he spotted my ‘Busa he had to go take a look. He said that as he came up on her from the back, she didn’t look so bad, but once he circled around, he said: “Holy shit, I’m selling my bike. I’m done.” I laugh. He says that a few hours later he had changed his mind back to: “Hell no, I can’t get rid of my bike.” I told him that if I were him I wouldn’t sell. Yeah, he agrees, he can’t be without his bike. He escorts us to The Fat Lady’s parking spot and we shoot the bull while I’m checking my girl out. OMG! She’s a mess. Poor baby! I did that to her, shame on me!

It was not my foot peg I dragged, it was my tailpipe. My Gilles rearsets are in perfect condition. I conclude that this happened due to my lowering the Hayabusa by approximately 1.25 inches. I would have never dreamed possible that I was running out of cornering clearance. I didn’t think I was THAT aggressive in the corners. Thinking back on it, though, my husband has told me that he thought I would drag tailpipe before I ever got a knee on the ground and that I came pretty close to dragging said pipes a few times when we played in the twisties around Helen, GA. Apparently, he was right. I’m almost positive, had I worn my leathers that left knee puck would have lost its virginity right then and there and I may have conserved that little bit of extra clearance that the bike needed to take that turn. I still don’t know how fast I was going, I estimate around 35-40 mph, but that’s pure conjecture at this point.

Also, now that I finally had occasion to test out my frame sliders, I highly recommend LSL Crash Pads, those things do their job, and do it well. The bike never spun, but kept sliding in a straight trajectory just like the sliders were designed to make it happen, even though it seemed to have flipped twice side-to-side. The damage on the fairings is mostly caused by impacting the curb and sliding along it. Had this been on flat ground, like a track, they would have saved me a LOT of money. I’m getting them again. Definitely. Who knows, they may even be the reason my bike won’t be totaled, due to saving the frame. We shall know in a few days.

Preliminary Damage Report:

  • Every single piece of plastics is toast and needs to be replaced (except for the upper instrument panel cover, it’s safely at home in a bag)
  • Frame slider crash pads and skid puck need to be replaced
  • Both mirrors
  • Both front master cylinders
  • Both front levers are busted
  • Left side controls are shot
  • Both rims are shot
  • Both tires are done for
  • Both cans are done
  • Right-side heat shield needs replacing
  • Tank is busted up
  • Windshield is trashed (however, the stock one is at home, but who wants to put that back on?)
  • Steering stabilizer is loose
  • Spools are crap
  • Stator cover is marred
  • The hump cannot be opened, it is stuck shut, so I can’t get the ‘junk outta my trunk’

I forgot to check her out underneath. Not a clue if the exhaust is intact or not. The frame seems in good shape, and so do the forks, but that doesn’t really mean a thing. Now the waiting starts. If you asked me if I would favor the outcome of ‘totaled’ over ‘repairable’, I couldn’t tell you which one I’d wish for. I love the ‘Busa. I dig it. It fits me. But apparently, my riding style has evolved into ‘proper sportbike’ territory. I still don’t know if I’d get an S1oooRR or another ‘Busa, if The Fat Lady has sung her last aria.

I’m still sticking to it: I’m 90% safety-conscious. 10% all squid, no crab. =D And I have to admit it to myself, even though I love the Hayabusa… a LOT, she is probably not the right bike for me (can anyone say BMW S1000RR?), the way I corner and love the curves, especially if they’re in rapid succession. And as much as I hate to do it, if she is determined repairable, I’ll have to return her to stock height to accommodate said need for cornering clearance, even if I have to tiptoe her in my race boots. Further, if the entire exhaust system is shot from header pipes to cans, I’m getting something else put on, from the start and pay the shop the difference. Those stockers have got to go. I’m getting myself a shorty single. That should further solve the clearance problem. Even if I am blowing through town at a 103dB. Or maybe some Yoshis instead of the Brock’s.


Crashed: The Hayabusa has no Curb Appeal

I’m on my way home from work. I’m three miles from the house, but I’m thirsty and to my recollection I’m out of Diet Coke. And it’s the only thing that’ll hit the spot. It’s one of those ‘gotta have it’ moments. In a last-minute decision, I get into the outside lane of the two-lane left turn to make my way into the new Wal-Mart they finished a few months ago at Exit 190 on my home stretch of I-20. Red light. First in line, car to my left, no one behind me. This could only be better if the light hadn’t changed to red. I love this corner. Brand new asphalt, smooth, sweeping 90-degree turn feeding into a nice little stretch of (as of yet) unused road that circles the entire parking lot. I call this the ”Busa Back-Forty’. The light changes to green and off I go. I out-accelerate the car next to me and get my lean on. I’m looking through the turn, have my line visualized, the tires feel solid, and the Fat Lady does as she’s told and feels planted and stable. For some reason I decided before I even turned it in not to hang off. I’m wearing my Harley-Davidson FXRG all-season textiles, not my leathers; but the difference in gear only means that my knee is either tucked in tight against the fairing on the inside of the turn or it’s sticking out. Right before I reach the apex of the turn, I hear a scraping noise. It is a familiar sound, albeit I haven’t experienced it since my Harley days. I dragged peg on my first bike, a Sportster 1200Low, all the time, especially in left turns. Nothing to worry about, really. My tires feel solid, I love that Q2 rear rubber. Next thing I know, my rear steps out and I lose my line going wide. WTF?!? My brain finally analyzes what is happening. I’m dragging hard parts and it’s leveraging the bike’s rear off the ground, shifting weight off the rear tire and causing it to lose traction. Shit! I can see the curb coming at me fast. Something tells me I should NOT, under any circumstances hit that sliding sideways. Something I’ve read in one of the skill books I’ve been devouring since I started on two wheels comes to my mind: “If a collision is imminent, do SOMETHING.” I can only see one out here: I have to jump the curb. I give it all I’ve got to try and wrestle the Fat Lady out of past-maximum lean and straighten up the bike and aim for the curb. Here is where my memory gets hazy: I remember vaguely trying to shift weight to the rear and giving it more gas to help the front wheel climb up on the sidewalk. I think I made it, but at a considerable lean. I could have sworn I was upright again, but later inspection of the ‘crime scene’ seems to tell a different story. So does The Fat Lady’s extensive wounds. Things fade to black here. I remember hearing the nauseating sounds of man-made materials under stress: plastics cracking, glass shattering, metals screeching. My last thought before I blacked out is something along the lines of: “Holy shit, I hope I don’t hit that pole!”

I come to, sitting on my bum, on the sidewalk, next to a street lamp, facing in the direction of travel. I see The Fat Lady about thirty feet further down, laying on her left side, also facing the direction of travel, taking an asphalt nap parallel to the curb in the right wheel track. She is so perfectly aligned, it looks as if someone placed her there for a little ‘how to pick up a dropped bike’ practice. She doesn’t look so bad from here. There are three dudes and a girl standing around me, asking me if I’m ok. I answer, while I’m feeling myself up, that I think I am. I take my gloves, helmet, and backpack off and place them neatly next to the lamp post in the grass. Another person comes around from my right and bends down to my level, also asking me if I’m ok and telling me that help is on the way. I nod and remain sitting in my spot. I slowly turn my head over my left shoulder and see a trail of dirt, grass, plastic bits and scrape marks. I look down on myself. My riding gear is dirty, but seems in good shape. I notice I have grass in my mouth and spit it out. The three dudes, after having assured themselves that I am indeed alright, pick up my bike and place her on her kickstand. They check out my ‘Busa, one of them remarks that he’s never seen anything like it. That this was the best freakin’ riding he’s ever seen on a Hayabusa, or some such thing. Kind of makes a momma proud; I only wish I would have landed that. Yeah, you definitely get extra cred when you’re a girl on a Hayabusa. =D A deputy sheriff arrives not too much later, with the fire department in a big-ass, huge fire truck, sirens blaring and lights flashing. First Responders, I’m assuming. The ambulance is not far behind. OMG! All this hoopla for me?!? Gawd, these people must be bored out of their minds in this town and are jumping on every call with the full-on brunt of their life-saving force. Kinda cool, when you think about it. Kind of embarrassing, too. One of the fire fighters checks me out and asks me the usual questions to ensure I’m with it and not confused. He asks me who the president is, I’m slow to respond, but finally manage an “Obama”. He asks me if I voted for him, I glance at the man sideways and give him an enthusiastic “Hell no!” They laugh and decide I’m pretty much ok in the head. The deputy asks me if I have a preference for a towing service, and I just shake my head and utter: “Whoever is cheapest.” While the wrecker arrives and starts putting my baby on the back of their truck, I’m being given the once-over by the EMTs in the ambulance. They also inspect my helmet, there are no signs of impact on it anywhere. They give me the choice of going to the ER or going home. I don’t feel all that bad, so I opt for going home. I sign some papers and they let me go. I watch the wrecker dude finish up with my bike. At least they seem to know what they’re doing. I’ve heard some horror stories about wreckers and motorcycles. My baby appears to be in good hands, though. We finish up all the official stuff, I sit on the curb and write my police report, and the deputy sheriff gives me a ride home. During the gratis ride in the back of a police cruiser (sans handcuffs) I notice my vision narrowing, greying out, and I’m starting to see those funky multi-colored spirographic images. I feel a little woozy. On my way into the house to get my insurance card for the officer, I almost pass out. I explain to the officer what is going on with me and he suggests that it’s probably for the best to call the ambulance back, but it is my choice. I agree. Several minutes later, Grovetown’s First Responders roll in: noisy, flashy, and in an awesome display of helpfulness. OMG! How embarrassing. The neighbors one by one come trickling out of their houses to watch the show. The officer just smiles and says: “These are First Responders, that’s what they do. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.” Good gawd. They go through the whole spiel again, then stuff me in the back of the ambulance and hook me up to a 10-lead wiring harness and a finger thingy to monitor the whatnots of Miss Busa. My neighbor peeks her head in. “You ok?” I reply, that this is just precautionary, since I’m alone and feel faint, so they’re going to take me to the ER to make sure there’s nothing major wrong with me. She tells me to call her if I need anything. I tell her not to worry and that I’m fine. Off we go…

My wreck happend around 7PM, I am released from the ER around 1:30AM with an Rx for Cyclobenzaprine and Ibuprofen, I refused the heavy artillery they wanted to hook me up with. I hate taking pills. They’ve done extensive X-Rays of my left wrist and pinky and a CAT scan of my upper body and head, but found nothing out of the ordinary. I couldn’t get my phone to work properly since my crash, and now have problems with the built-in GPS. I finally get my radio operational and get a signal and after explaining my situation to a co-worker, he texts me some cab numbers from the phone book. I walk around semi-aimlessly trying to pinpoint my exact location when I spot a bank and a pharmacy. Lucky me. I scope out the area carefully and brave the ATM to get some cash for the cab ride home. I have to be insane doing this in the middle of the night by myself. Oh well, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do. I get my cash, then make my way across the street (in somewhat of a hurry) to get my Rx filled. At least I know where I am now and can call myself a cab with the telephone numbers provided by my co-worker. I’m starting to feel worse. I am in agony, feeling like I just got hit and tackled by a line backer for the New Orleans Saints. They warned me about this. I finally admit defeat and call my boss, explain what happened and she gets coverage for my shift and tells me to take care of myself and my business. Good. I sit on the curb in the pharmacy’s parking lot, in the middle of downtown Augusta, and wonder if today is the day I’m also going to get robbed. The cabbie pulls in and I’m finally nearing the end of my (mis)adventure.

Many Thanks Go Out To:

I want to thank my co-workers and my boss for being there for me when I needed them and having my backside. I want to thank all the people who stopped at the scene and made sure I was ok and kept me company until the emergency services arrived. I want to thank the police, fire fighters, EMTs, nurses and doctors for seeing me through this and being so nice to me, even making me laugh, and helping me not feel so embarrassed about my ordeal. I want to thank my neighbors for watching out for me and offering to be there for me, if I needed them. And I also want to thank my husband, Joe, for not giving me grief, but instead being supportive, taking two days off to be with me and making fun of me instead of giving me lectures. I love you, Mr. Slow.


The Suspense Is Killing Me

Getting ready to play!

Enjoying the first real spring day of the season: Fueling up for a ride with Mr. Slow.

I’m not happy. I was at first, but am not anymore. I was lubing my chain the other day and noticed that the rear sprocket is showing signs of wear, this led me to look into a gearing change, since I’ll have to replace the sprockets in the next few thousand miles anyway. This research, in turn, got my perfectionistic side all bent out of shape because I’m about to change yet another thing while I have one kink already to work out. One thing at a time, chica. One thing at a time. Thus, it came to be that I had to admit to myself that the suspension setup compromise is not working for me in the long run. But I really don’t want to go through that whole crappy fairing and fender removal process yet again. What a bummer that is. Heck, it isn’t really working for me at all, now that I had a chance to put a bunch of miles on the bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love it lowered like it is now. I’m more confident at slow speeds (even though my turns are wider than they used to be)  and I can actually flat-foot the thing in my race boots now; no more getting stuck on the incline side of a crowned road or trying to back out of a declined parking spot. She also feels more stable and planted. However, when I first started this project I hadn’t realized that maybe the adjustability range of the ‘Busa would give me problems and would lead to compromises. Lesson learned. Check the parameters before implementation to see if it’s even possible to follow through. It was a learning experience (and still is), and I wouldn’t have been able to ask the right questions at the time anyway. Yes, I could have asked for help and had the answers given to me, but that’s not how I work. I want to own my solution. I want to be guided, not shown. The Socratic Method, that’s how I like to be taught. I had to take it one step at a time, and I’m not sorry that I did. However, I am now frustrated with the current setup. The bike now corners like a bus and my arms are really getting tired from the heavy steering, at least that distracts me from my sore thigh muscles. 😉 My geometry is way too relaxed for my taste, since I am missing 10 mm of preload in the front, but the adjusters are at their limits. I don’t want to spend more money on this… I have to sleep on it, but I think the best I can do is raise the fork tubes through their triple clamp 5 more millimeters and crank in rear preload. Between those two, I should be able to affect the desired decrease in rake/trail. I’m dangerously close to getting into the no-no zone up front and I’ll blow my rear sag numbers into race territory, but I think it might just give me what I need. If not, I can always move for a reversal.