Inaugural North Carolina Two-Wheel Tour

As if the pressure wasn’t enough, now it seems that I’m going to have an audience of a bunch of tweeps “making a weekend out of it”. This is not the sort of tweet-up I’d ever expect to attend. I thought they were kidding. Apparently not. Now, I’m going to have to make sure they don’t ride 91 miles just to see me choke. *wipes sweat from brow*

I’ll make some gearing changes, practice my race starts, and lose 6 pounds to gain a pony or so on the top end, but beyond that I promise nothing. Other than maybe a good time at the end of the evening when I finally get to drink a few brewskis because all the racing is done. I’ll drink to celebrate or to drown my sorrow, either way… it’s gonna be good! \m/

Inaugural North Carolina Two-Wheel Tour


I’m Done With ‘NO!’

I just checked if the ECTA had their 2011 schedule posted yet. Indeed. It’s up. I’ve been waiting for this and have checked their web site for news once a week or so. Again, my crappy, dead-end, “you-don’t-have-a-future-here” job interferes hugely with my racing endeavors. I need to find a gig where I am my own boss, seriously. I feel like I’m wasting my talents and brainpower on these people who couldn’t care less about me when it doesn’t also suit their fancy. When I told my supervisor last year that I needed my June vacation confirmed, which I had put on the calendar in January, the answer I was treated with? “I have no control over this. The boss doesn’t approve these requests this far in advance.”

“If I don’t get this approved, I will lose $2000, because the deadline for canceling and getting a full refund is 30 days. The school is two weeks from now!”

“Well, then I guess you’re out of 2 grand.”

I looked at her incredulously: “No, I’ll quit before you make me miss this. I do have a life, contrary to popular belief.”

The vacation was approved (at the last minute), was covered, and I did get to go to the Kevin Schwantz school and keep my job. But this goes to show how much these people care. My husband has to put in for his vacation in January. His is then approved. I have to wait for him to finish, before I can request mine. Then, for the rest of the time we sit around, waiting and hoping that these sorry asses give us the word. Who can plan like this?!? The person who makes the rules (or bends them to her will) is approving her own vacations. Imagine THAT!

Back to the ECTA’s 2011 schedule:

  • April 2-3 (Hot Rod Magazine Top Speed Challenge)
  • May 14-15
  • June 25-26
  • September 24-25 (Motorcycle Top Speed Shootout)
  • October 29-30
The important stuff...

Some things just can't wait! Time Slips 101

Great. I get two shots at trying to set an official record. Better get my top game on and start hitting the gym and the math books. There is muscles to be built, weight to be lost and power-to-weight and gear ratios to be calculated. Theoretical top speed under varying conditions. I’m going to have to dust off my propeller hat. There is wrenching to be done, and to know what must be tweaked I need to know what is theoretically possible and what needs changing to give me the best shot at this.

What the hell is she going on about now?!? Breaking 200 miles per hour on the Mile, that’s what’s going on. Without sponsors (who can contribute monetarily) and on an anorexic budget. This is so improbable that it reminds me of a scene from 300: “Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… for tonight we dine in hell!” Which is fitting, since I do like my hot sauce.

Why doesn’t she just take vacation? The family is going to Germany to celebrate Papa’s 80th birthday in December. And that I will not miss! Racing be damned! Papa is more important, even if it does hurt a little to miss 3 out of 5 meets.

I am tired of mundane life interfering with my damn plans. I missed the last meet because of those jerks at Blue Moon Cycle, I missed my first WERA race because life had other plans for the money in my racing fund. I will NOT take NO for an ANSWER! I’m done with interference!


Almost…

It’s been quite the struggle lately. The fast approach of winter probably has something to do with my lack of motivation and general malcontent and frustration with my progress, or rather the lack thereof. I knew it was going to be difficult to realize a dream of this magnitude by myself and I thought I was prepared for the struggle, but reality is stealing in and robbing me of my enthusiasm. A lot of the time it just seems so much easier to just give up. Then there are those obstacles that continue to pop up unexpectedly, like fallen rocks at the apex of a blind corner on a beautiful mountain road. You went in too fast (too unprepared, too unfocused, too naively) and now are realizing that your line of travel goes right through the middle of it. You somehow save it, but you are beginning to wonder what the hell is wrong with you. The more stuff happens, the more you wonder. If I were a religious person, I would probably say to myself: “This is God’s way of telling me it needs to stop. That this is the devil’s way of seducing the faithful soul into sin.” Fortunately, I am not religious. Instead of trying to read the sign, I keep pushing on. Working it. Spending every waking moment thinking about it. What step is next, breaking it down, making it happen. I have reached a new level, sure. But the closer I get, the harder the task.

My ‘Racing Fund’ is running low on cash, my spirit is drained from all this mundane work and mental training, having to learn new stuff that I didn’t think would have any thing to do with motorcycling or racing at all. Soldering? Please. Yet, here I am. “I love the smell of burnt lead in the morning.” *inhales deeply, making a manly snorting sound* “It smells like (more crap to overcome on the way to) victory!” Grunt work. But necessary. I prep. I procure. I learn. I wrench. I work at my boring but pretty well-paid job. I make lists. Too much training and not enough action. Kind of like the military. Train, train, train. Now what? When do we get to apply our craft? All dressed up and no one to kill. Frustrating. This is how this feels. And I know that is part of the problem. I have little self-motivation, because somewhere, someone in my past instilled this belief — this nagging, dark, lying little inner voice, that I should “not rise above my station”; that I am “never good enough”; that “lofty goals are for setting oneself up for failure”. Then there is my extreme shyness, which makes avoidance and self-sabotage a weapon of choice. Go with the flow, don’t stand out, blend in and don’t make waves. WELL, SCREW THAT! But it is a struggle to overcome these things.

To make a long story short (again, I do believe it is slightly too late for that): I have had a series of setbacks and they are tearing down my resolve. Frustration. Dwindling motivation. The gnawing of that negative piss-ant voice in the dark recesses of my brain; worming, slithering, creeping about, making itself known with its condescending quips here and there; and gathering its strength for a full-frontal assault. It’s happened before; but never have I been able to hang on this long until it all went into cascading system failure. The result: I give up and move on. Eventually it all fades into unimportance as I acquire new interests and avert my focus.

Hurdles, I was speaking of them before. Money. There is a huge one. I’m running out of my savings. And still, the list keeps getting longer. Technically, it’s getting shorter but for every two items I check off, one or two more show up. Obviously, part of that has to do with the lack of decisive and detailed planning. But I know not what I do, so I have to wing most of it. I have no mentor. I know no one personally who has raced before, in any of its forms. I do thrive on that a little, but at the same time it stresses me out. Recent case in point:

I got it in my head to go to the Maxton Mile in Laurinburg, NC on our wedding anniversary and partake in the last ECTA speed trials meet of this year. My bike had been in the shop for about ten days or so, and I had plenty of time to get ready. Yeah. I can pull this off. The dealer strung me along with promises and I thought my bike would be repaired and ready to go with plenty of time to spare. I spent over $700 to get race prepped. I planned, I studied, I made phone calls and I asked questions. I was actually getting excited. I finally had a little of that “something to look forward to” action in my life and it blew away all my frustration at my lack of skill progression, conflicting work and track day schedules, money woes, and the list goes on. Mr. Slow told me it would be a bad idea to waste all this cash on LSR when I’m less than six months away from the start of the road racing season. I told him that I needed this to keep going. I needed to get out of my “all dressed up and nowhere to go” funk that was slowly but surely settling over my resolve. He nodded and said that he understood, but also gave me this one caveat: “Don’t get your hopes up, you don’t even know if your bike will be back in time. I don’t want you to set yourself up for disappointment.” I dismissed his cautionary advice with repeating a statement made to me by my service department: “We ordered the part today. It’s being overnighted from Germany. Should be here Tuesday. They sometimes come late to deliver, so it should be ready either late Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.” And so it was decreed. I was going to my first official racing event. I actually had fun for the next three weeks. I knew the chance I was taking, but I also knew that I had to keep getting ready, because I didn’t want to be the one who fouled it up by lack of preparation. I enjoyed the newfound motivation, the feeling of having purpose. Mr. Slow even took the day off (against all odds) so he could come with me, since I really didn’t want to go by myself. I am such a damn scared-y cat! Going forth and doing something I never really have done before, not in this setting anyway, and all of it in front of a largish crowd gave me a case of the nerves. Short of getting on my bike and hauling ass as quickly and fast as I can, this was all new to me and I needed someone there to hold my hand. Yeah. So what?!? There ain’t no shame in my game.

Needless to say, it didn’t work out. Bike was ready one day before the meet. No time to make it to Norcross, GA before they closed up shop. They called around 3:00PM and it takes, depending on traffic, about 2-2.5 hours to get there in drive time alone. Even if I had been able to throw all my stuff in the back of the truck, haul ass up there, pick up the bike, and haul ass back; then wrench all night by myself to get the bike race prepped (I had some of it done already by the dealership to save time), then drive all the way to Laurinburg sleep deprived and do practice runs hopped up on diet pills and energy drinks (Low-Carb Monster? Diet Red Bull? Anybody? I drink enough of that stuff to warrant a sticker on my ass and a contingency plan.) Another kicker? They tried to call me into work, but I missed their calls, not to mention I was in Atlanta and wouldn’t have been able to make it there in time to be of any use anywa. But hubby didn’t miss his phone call, so he had to go to work. We don’t even work at the same place or the same town. How’s that for fate?

That concludes the Tale of Two Failures. I didn’t even blog about the first one, maybe I’ll mention it in detail one of these days. I give you a hint: I missed my first official WERA race. Fortunately, I hadn’t registered yet and hadn’t begun to spend a ton of money of my “Racing Fund” either. As luck would have it, life intervened not a minute too late, and I had to spend part of my “tire money” elsewhere. FML.

6 November: Lisa and Em partying away Monday's track day money.

Track Day Fees or Cover Charge: Because sometimes you just have to drink a load of low-cal shit beer in order to save money on rubber later.

Then there was that little embarrassing interlude with my planned JenningsGP track day to see what was going on with my skill progression. Also had some suspension fiddling planned since I’m way too saggy in the rear (any wise cracks and I’ll beat you with my breaker bar, is that clear?) and my damping settings could use a tweak or two. I dunno exactly what’s going on there, but I figured I’ll take it to the proper place to make the adjustments and read tea lea…. I mean, rubber and see if I can’t sort it out for myself. Tweak the springs and find out how bad my lap times are still the suck. *nods* Yeah, let’s just say three words here: Failure to appear. I went out with a girl friend and blew a track fee’s worth of $$$ on partying and cab fare. Doh! I knew it, too. Nobody to blame but myself. Instead of dragging knee (and a little more toe than I’d care to admit) on Monday, I was dragging my drunk ass all over some honkey-tonk barroom on Friday. I don’t even like Country music. Epic. Fail. Ballroom Blitz.

My life is starting to resemble a Bowling For Soup song. Rewrite the lyrics into something with a little more VP100 and voilà: Miss Busa’s has her own “Soundtrack of my (Racing) Life”.

Racing voids the warranty.

Almost.


S1000aRRgh: Broken Bike Blues

MissBusa Marks Her Territory: The Pirate's New Vessel

The Mark of Busa: The "Black Box" be ours! Arr! Arr!

Let me start by saying that I miss my pickup truck. Missing my truck is OK though, for I have found MissBusa again in my life. I know that many people come here to read a motorcycle blog. Well… The Pirate has been in Atlanta for more than three weeks now, and I have found that my “better half” is doing things with me other than riding a bike again. Of course, I do admit that most of the ‘doings’ have to do with getting race ready.

MissBusa misses her bike. Of that there is no doubt. More than a few times she has brought up lowering links for my ride. I’m six foot, one inch. I’m considering the links. Just for sanity’s sake. Seems that Maxton, NC is calling my love for some Speed Trials. Perhaps there are those of you who think I wouldn’t want the Pirate of my Heart’s Desire back in my life. I definitely do. It’s simple: you love someone, you want them to have what they love, as well.

Watching her do the research to go fast has been fascinating. One hurdle cleared seems to bring on two or three more. She just keeps on rolling. Blue Moon Cycle may be in deep trouble if they don’t get that bike back here pretty quick. No bike is probably a hurdle that she can’t clear. Although, I do get a laugh out of picturing her running in full leathers down the Maxton Mile.

There is now a “MissBusa” sign on the back of my truck. Does that make it hers? I think it may have been hers from the beginning. Everything to do with the bike. Including my bike (read as luggage rack). Well, it’s only just. She’s found a new love. Not one to replace me, but one to keep me hopping. I haven’t been hopping in a long time, so I guess that’s a good thing. Ride on MissBusa. I’ll see ya in the pits or at home. Now I have to go tell Blue Moon to keep that bike for a week or so longer. Errr, no wait. I meant see if they can expedite it. Yeah that’s it.