Dear Miss Busa,
It has come to my attention that you have become infamous with my colleagues at work. As I was gearing up for a nice little ride on my motorcycle; you know that thing that works IF you keep it upright at speed? Anyway, as I was getting ready, Bobby walked over to me to say hello. The following is the conversation as close as I can recall:
Bobby: “Heya, Joe!”
Me: “Hey, Bobby! How’s it going?”
Bobby: “Pretty good. Great weather to ride, huh?”
Me: “Yes it is. Where’s your ride? I see you are cruising around in that big new Ford of yours.”
Bobby: “Yep, but I’m about to start riding my Hog again. The gas prices are killing me.”
Me: “Uh-huh, save some of that green.”
Bobby: “Got that right! Say where’s our girl, Crash?”
Me: “She wrecked her bike. Guess following me to work in the truck isn’t as much fun as riding.”
Bobby: [looking incredulous] “She wrecked it again? How freakin’ fast was she going this time?
Me: “A little over 120 miles an hour.”
Bobby: [now chuckling] “Guess the roads are safe again … for a little while.”
As you can plainly see, you are reinforcing your reputation with your latest antics at the track.
This is a desperate plea to you. I am begging you! When I said to come back with your shield or on it, I didn’t think you’d take me so literally. I want you to win, but gee whiz, I thought you’d do it in the customary way, you know: first across the finish line. Well, I guess if you’re going to be Number One in crashing, we should lobby WERA to include a Crash Class in the award ceremonies.
“… and Miss Busa wins the Golden Turd for the most impressive and expensive lowside this weekend.”
I have written the acceptance speech for you, too:
“I’d like to thank WERA for putting on a great weekend; the corner workers for schlepping my bike out of the gravel trap yet again, I know you guys are getting tired of it, so thank you; many thanks go out to the medics who have conveniently relocated the ambulance to wait near Turn 1. You guys rock! I would also like to thank my sponsors: BMW Parts Division, FedEx for their awesome overnight service, Bondo, and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Georgia. Last, but not least, I need to show my gratitude to my mechanic; however, I’ve done this so often, I’ll have to start working on my own shit.”
Anyway, my point is: congratulations, you’ve earned renown points. I love you, Babe, you keep doing what you’re doing, if you aren’t crashing, you aren’t trying.
Your loving sponsor
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!”
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*
Mr. Slow, who is my personal PR manager (he brags about his wife behind her back) and track photographer (he takes pictures wherever he is, just so happens he found himself at a race track with a camera in his paws and bored out of his mind), has finally uploaded some pics to his site.
When he sent me the link, the first words out of my mouth were: “Just 43? You’re not done yet, I see.” His reply was: “No, baby. I am done. That’s the cream of the crop.” I beg to differ, but he has standards, whereas I do not. A serial killer puts more thought into choosing a memento than I do with track shots. As long as it isn’t blurry, I’m hanging onto it.
I paid $40 for the official track photographer’s CD, and it only had 22 photos on it. I purchased it for two reasons: I am a photo whore and I wanted to compare the quality between the track photographer’s shots and Papa Razzi’s. Papa Razzi won hands down. Where the track photographer had to divide their attention between everybody on the track, my husband only concentrated on me and later on also included a friend I had made at the school. Isn’t he sweet?
He said it basically came down to equipment rather than skill of the photographer. They used an older body but a $10K telephoto lens. Papa Razzi can’t afford pricey glass like that, because he has a high-performance woman on his bank roll, so he made up for the lack of optical zoom in resolution. He probably will tell me I have it wrong, but that’s how I understood it.
At any rate, check out Papa Razzi’s photos from the Ed Bargy Racing School and track day weekend at JenningsGP in Jennings, Florida. Tell him what you think. I think they’re awesome and competitive with some of the other photographers out there. But I’m about as biased about the quality of his photos as Mr. Slow is objective on the subject of how fine my rear end looks when it is hanging off the bike.
This is just one shot that Mr. Slow took, of about 1200 frames total. He needs to put himself out there, he’s good. Hell, he could keep me in tire money for a few race weekends at least. I am apparently a rubber ho. I go through one set per day. What the hell happened to four or five track days? Damn Pirate goes through shoes like she does rum.
Exiting Turn 13 shooting for the apex of T14 to haul my Pirate booty down the front straight. I’m on the gas here. I made a lot of grown men cry in this turn. But if you’re on the brakes down shifting while I’m on the gas, you really deserve getting passed by a girl.
I have a sticker on my bike. You can make it out in Mr. Slow’s shot. It’s right above my right-side mirror mount. It reads: “Warning: Does not play well with others.”
It totally rawks to have my own personal track photographer. He also fetches tools, drives me there and puts up with my shit.
I’ll let you borrow him for your next track day. For a small fee, of course. Just feed him regularly and keep him properly hydrated and don’t forget to pass out the prescribed dose of caffeine, PRN.