I’ve been riding around for a few days now, with those yellow and black WERA numbers on my bike, and I must say I feel pretty stupid playing in traffic with freaking race numbers plastered all over my bike. And what am I going to do when I have to bring the thing in for its now very-overdue 12K service? How am I going to explain that one? Dial *113 and tell me how you like my driving? Umm… no. I was in a creative kind of mood, wanted to know if I could do it; ran out and bought supplies and happily went about my business. Sometimes, I just don’t think stuff through. More often than not, I don’t think stuff through. I just get a wild idea and run with it.
I suppose I could take the offending pieces off and when my (newly recruited) BMW dealer asks where the hell the rest of my bike is, I tell them that I am glad they asked and that “the weirdest thing happened to me on the way up here. That is also why I’m late for my appointment. Anyway, I was hungry and pulled into this truck stop at Exit 114…”
I need to rework this. With removable and reusable vinyl, so I can just slap them on in the pits the evening before race day. Yeah right! You can’t just “slap” stuff on with them angles on that tail piece. It took me over one whole hour to get the crap to follow the lines the first time around. My lowers are too small for regulation sized number plates… wait a minute… maybe there is a way. I need to go out and measure again.
I just can’t live with those fugly numbers on my bike. First off, yellow is so messing up the theme; secondly, my douche bag factor has increased exponentially (and riding a liter bike certainly doesn’t help there *grins*); and, for some unknown reason (but I could venture a guess), the incidences of cars wanting to race me has tripled in the past week. I’m tired of bruising the egos of those poor Schmucks in their muscle cars (albeit toying with rednecks in pickup trucks gives me a deep sense of pleasure)…
I need race bodywork. Stat!
Since I can’t afford to race with the big dogs, I have downsized my aspirations and ordered a proper race bike for myself and my budget. It is oh-so-cute and I look totally awesome on it. I would have to say that I am totally rocking this rocket. I’m like a little kid opening the box, which smells of gasoline, was delivered upside down and a day late! Thank you, UPS! I would have forgiven you in the summer time, because I know what Brown can do for me then… Everything is so tiny and the fasteners are ridiculously small. I’ll definitely have to check them for tightness before I take her out on a test run on Saturday. I sit there, amazed, just looking at this marvel of Chinese engineering. It’s been quite some time since I’ve gotten a real toy for my birthday. Excellent! This thing can do 50 miles per hour?
I am so dead.
Team PLD (mini) Racing Budget
Racing slicks: $34.95
Clutch upgrade: $43.95
Race exhaust: $74.95
Looking like an ass sitting on the grid: Priceless.
There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s (a mini credit limit) MasterCard.
This cracks me up every time I watch it. I want to see these guys live, they are freakin’ awesome!!! I would probably laugh so hard I’d pee my pants. Suppose I should come properly prepared. 😉 I just came across this video again while checking on the results of the “audio swap” on one of my vids which was blocked worldwide due to well… the Man wanting his copyright protected.
So without further ado: The Umbilical Brothers in “The Motorcycle Cop”
I’m at Best Buy because the family dragged me along since they needed my plastic… Mr. Slow is up to no good, as is the norm. He’s going to get my daughter @BrandyyPants and her fiancé a PS3 system for their upcoming wedding. This used to be my favorite store, before motorcycles took over my life. I meander through the aisles looking almost forlorn. I definitely lost my geek. Wait! What is that I see? A PS3 title called “SBK” in the value section. $19.99. Well… I snatch the box up and turn it over to read the back of the jacket. You can see the girl wearing a Hayabusa vest nodding to herself, the smirk of devious satisfaction slowly emerging and replacing her quasi-bored facial expression. This promises real physics and real track layouts. Digital knee dragging for twenty bucks? Gotta have it. This is educational software. Uh-huh. Now if she could only roll her S1000RR back into the living room and park it in front of the LCD TV, that would be sweet… but she promised Mr. Slow that the crotch rocket would stay outside after the last incident that made the house smell of carbon monoxide for a week.As I insert the disc into the console I realize that I haven’t touched a video game controller in earnest in over two years. I have an account on the thing, but don’t remember creating it. I patiently wait for the game update to finish and go find my eye glasses that I’m supposed to wear since childhood but refuse to put on 90% of the time. But it does make it easier to read backlit fine print, so I succumb in the name of wrinkle reduction by less squinting. I go into options and set everything up to be as realistic as possible: physics, inertia during braking, unlinked brakes, tire wear, damage and injury on, traction control off, off-track help off, blah blah blah. I also change the controller’s mapping, since the default does not make any stinking sense to me. R1 becomes the front brake, R2 is changed to rear brake. L1 is turned into a downshift and L2 into an upshift (because I shift GP style, thank you very much). Left stick left and right remains steering, whereas up and down becomes rider position, forward and back respectively. The previously unmapped right analog stick now pulls acceleration duty. The remaining functions are remapped to the ☐,✕,Δ and O buttons. There that should do it. Now everything is how it should be.
I start the game. Loseil International Circuit. I am controlling some German road racer whose name I can’t remember on what looks to be a Ducati 1098. As I sit on the grid — pole position, no less — waiting for the signal, I notice that the bike seems way too big for this dude… and why can’t I pick a damn girl?!? Oh, that’s right… these are all digitized versions of real racers on their respective machines. Oh well… can’t have it all. Go! I rev it up, put it in gear and dude puts his right foot on the peg and is off, pulling a wheelie in short order and I loop it. Spectacular!!!! Restart. Ready. Set. Go. Rev, shift, shift, turn in… going extremely wide and end up throwing rocks everywhere since I’m off-roading it on Pebble Beach. Shit. Shift, shift. Gas. Wooohooo… back on the track and immediately off the other side. Hell! Front brake, oversteer… German dude ends up in the grass, shortly thereafter executes a glorious face-plant onto his front tire. Damn! That had to hurt. Restart. Throttle… click… click… brake, turn in, steer… weeeeee… I’m still going wide, but I stay on the racing surface (barely). Crap, I forgot to shift, my RPMs are way down, shift, shift, throttle, wheelie, back brake, front slams down, throttle, Turn 3, judicious use of the grass (yet again), clippings and dirt flying everywhere… results in a lowside. Dude’s ass bounces once or twice, too. Nice. Restart. Highside, lowside, stoppie gone horribly wrong, lowside, off-roading, running out of time. I decide to change my approach. I granny it. Run out of time… damn! Guess I should go faster that 60 mph. Crap. Screw this.
I back out of the menu and decide to see what’s shakin’ in the pits. Hot damn! They got garage space. Nice. Snap-on tool boxes?!? Sweet. Oh, look a pit crew and my dude (Neukirchner? Is that his name???) just sits around chatting with the engineer. Must be nice. I look through the options and see all sorts of things one can tweak to their desires. Most of which I recognize and know what to do with, except I don’t know how much German dude weighs or what his riding style is. I’m assuming the game has set his bike up for him? Oh well….I enter a real race. 22 laps? Hell no, my arms and thighs protest after about eight and I’m ready to hit the pits… we’ll do three, just for laughs. I change my position on the grid to the very last one (since we want to keep this as realistic as possible, even though German dude does not do my buttocks any justice) and start the race. Umbrella girls? I want an umbrella dude! For Chrissake! How sexist is that? Oh yeah, I’m a dude… ok, but I have the ugliest chick on the grid. Damn, just my luck. Oh well… The race starts and I promptly forget to put my bike in gear and over-rev the engine. Ouch! Ok. Click. Everybody’s gone in a hurry and vanished around the first turn meanwhile I’m still trying to get up to speed, of course I forget I have front brakes and try to take the first corner at twice its speed and make judicious use of the grass (maybe that’s why I like Barber so much, all that lush, awesomely soft and manicured lawn everywhere, it’s inviting)… two lowsides and a highside later the game stops and tells me that my Duc is trashed. Damn. I try a few more times then throw the controller at Mr. Slow and tell him that this is shit. I’m better than this in real life. WTF?!? He mumbles something about the lack of feedback and the problem with realism in video games without realistic input and controls and then shows me how he rolls. Showoff! He did manage to cartwheel his bike onto himself after a stoppie. Nasty! That’s gonna hurt in the morning, I’m sure of it.
Too bad this thing doesn’t have an easy way to record some of these glorious get-offs. I think I made Troy Corser execute the longest ass-slide in the history of WSBK. He actually out-slid his bike and passed it on the right. Take that!
I suck at racing games. Always have, always will. I can’t judge distance nor speed and even though my brain knows what needs to be done and what must happen, my fingers apparently don’t want to respond. Did I mention my feet were twitching? I’m freaking weird… I need a damn track day like a junkie needs a fix! No, seriously. I’m going nucking futz here!
I roll into work, I’m a little early, so I shoot it with D. before my shift officially starts. Since I can’t use my new BMW Airflow 2 riding pants as over pants, I have to take my work bottoms in my backpack and put them on at the office. This particular morning I was running a little later than I’d like, so I just grabbed the first pair I could get my hands on and stuffed them into my backpack. At work, I take said bottoms and go into the electrical room to change. Routine. After changing into my jeans, I return to the office and sit on the floor to put on my Skechers I keep in my locker. D.’s faced away from me busy with in-processing a truck and I’m sitting on the floor behind him, facing the same direction. I vaguely remember thinking to myself that I must be bloated because the jeans fit a little tight around the thighs and tummy. I stand back up and do a few squats to loosen up my legs from the ride, by the time I get down to #3 I hear an awesomely loud “Rrrrrriiiiiiiiiip!!!!” and I freeze, half-squatted, with what feels like most of my ass hanging out of the back of what once was a pair of Bongos. Fuck! Wardrobe malfunction!!!!I think to myself that I am awfully glad for three things at this precise moment: a> the noise of the running Caterpillar diesel engine outside the window, b> D. facing away from me, and c> my ass facing the OPPOSITE direction. I slowly stand back up and loudly proclaim: “Oh, shit! I’ll be right back.” And with those words I quickly snatch my riding pants off the desk and slink back into the electrical room. I text hubby: “Can you bring me a pair of jeans on your way to work? I blew the ass out of this one.” I spend half the day working in my riding pants. Then hubby brought me a pair of replacement bottoms. Back into the electrical room for another wardrobe change. This pair is also tight as hell around the thighs and ass. WTF?!? I’m down to 119 and I’m too fat for my pants??? Gawd, now my day is really shot!
What has that to do with motorcycling?!? I tell you what. It seems that all that hanging off practice, riding 2K miles while paying very close attention to using my legs, thighs and core muscles predominantly, and trying to build some strength in my lower body to get ready for Barber has gained me some muscles in the thighs and ass. And that’s what.
Moral of the story is clear: Hanging off leads to hanging out.
One more reason NOT to ride in jeans!
One more reason NOT to do squats in the office!
I must be looking kind of desperate, forlorn, and lost while I’m sitting sedately on my white ‘Busa, minding my own gas cap and getting some 93-Octane premium to turn into forward velocity. I notice this white car slowly pulling up beside me. No big deal, this happened before… some dude wanting to tell me how much he likes my bike, or take a pic of me with his phone or just tell me that he too rides a ‘Busa or some such thing. So I almost drop my nozzle when he pulls up next to me and hands me a little slip of paper while telling me: “Take this, honey, and stick it in your pocket you may be needing it tonight.” I take the folded paper, and with a glance I recognize the accusing words printed upon the half that is facing up: “If You Died Today…”, I recognize it for what it is. I’ve seen these before. I somewhat blankly look at him and reply rather flatly: “Well,…” a brief pause, then: “…thanks…”, trailing off. I guess. I’m too flabbergasted to serve up some awesomely funny one-liner in retort or give him a piece of my mind, not that I would have argued the point anyway. I find it best to go with the flow when it comes to people of the religious persuasion. Anyway, he pulls away (his job here is done) and I shove the thing into my jacket pocket so I can finish fuelling. I sit there for a minute and I can’t believe what I had just heard. I must be looking rather badass tonight, or my aura is of the ‘soon to be dead’ color. Hmmm… I wonder if he saw me ride?!? Nah, I wasn’t doing anything supremely squidly tonight, after all I have slightly new geometry to get used to. Maybe the Hayabusa just looks like a suicide machine, or maybe her newly lowered ass really makes her faster than a pack of Imps on their way to… where exactly!?! What are those little demons up to anyway? The girly skulls on the side probably didn’t help… and the pink skull & crossbones kitty with the No. 13 in the middle pretty much sealed the deal. Dressed all in black, on my white horse, I suppose I could be mistaken for one of the Reaper’s minions, but the butterflies on the Shoei really mess with the image…
The audacity, though, especially considering what he said when he gave a girl on a motorcycle a pamphlet that starts off with: “If You Died Today would you go to HEAVEN?” Welcome to hell. My soul doesn’t need saving, thank you very much, but I appreciate the vote of badassery. Now, excuse me while I go practice some more, because apparently my riding skills are slipping into the ‘soon-to-be-dead’ level.
To answer the question: If I died today (on my bike), I would be dying doing what I love doing, doing what I’m passionate about, doing what makes me feel ALIVE and I probably had a fucking blast up to the point of impact. Now go tend to your flock, because this chica isn’t going to die today. Because today is not a good day to die. Besides, I’m Catholic. 😉