With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

…Stan Lee was talking about ‘Busas, right?

I’m hanging with the Boss Woman at my old place of semi-gainful employment. And we’re kicking it until closing so we can go eat at our usual spot. I have opportunity to find out that my reputation precedes me: The dude working the counter, who started after I left, calls me a badass and acts all impressed. This must be respect for your elders, can’t be anything else, he hasn’t seen me ride. He does want to ride with me, after he actually buys himself another bike. I tell him he better bring his knee pucks. “No shit?” – “Yeah, you wanna keep up, right?” – “By the way, that road ya’ll told me about?” – “Yeah, Kettle Creek.” – “Uh-huh, that one… Checked it out, kinda boring.” – “How fast were you going?” – “I didn’t ride it, I looked at it on Google Maps.” – “It’s more fun than it looks.” – “Uh-huh, sure.” …and on the bike talk goes. And I wonder why I have a reputation… LOL Probably has something to do with being a skinny little runt of a girl riding a Hayabusa. A dude on a ‘Busa? Instant Street Cred +1; a chica on one? +5, at least. And they watch you, too. Yeah, some of it is definitely ass-on-sportbike admiration, but it seems that you still have to prove yourself worthy of the ride. That was very disconcerting to a borderline social-phobic geek like me at first. But I practice my slow handling, and I really don’t have to worry about embarrassing myself too much. I gotta live up to expectations, after all! ;P 9PM rolls around, the boss is finishing up and I’m getting hot in my gear, so I opt to go outside to wait. Her son follows me, probably for the same reason. Of course, it takes a while, as usual.

Alex Doing A Burnout

21 Dec 2009: Alex has moved on to practice the fine art of the proper burnout. He caught hell on FB for it, and his mom wanted to kill him after I told her how much a rear tire cost.

While her son is sitting sedately on his Triumph Daytona 675, I amuse myself with doing a little PLP in the parking lot in front of the store. Can't really get too wild, since my tires are still cold. It's only in the upper 30s, it's freakin' cold out here! As I pass in front of the store, practicing swerves, I see Mr. Bikeless make the international sign for wheelie-that-mother, and he doesn't mean me. I just shake my head and giggle. Ah, the foibles of youth. I force myself to make my favorite of all low-speed maneuvers: the Blasted Tight-ass U-turn (and that is the proper terminology, thank you!), do a panic stop facing Mr. Triumph, then take back off doing a Slow Cone Weave around imaginary cones. The Boss Woman does eventually emerge from the store and we head on over to Mi Rancho's. Over corn chips, salsa and cheese dip we end up discussing the technique involved in popping a proper wheelie without looking like a fool (standing on the rear pegs, putting ass into it and yanking on the handlebars to make the suspension bounce the front tire up). I can't believe I actually told him. To my defense, I also explained to him how to control it and how to set it back down gently rather than slamming that front end into the ground. I hope I don't regret that. (Ah shit, I forgot to tell him he better make sure the handlebars are square before he sets it back on the ground! Oops. I don't think he's a the point where he can handle a wheelie and a turn at the same time… hmmm…) He's only been riding for 7 weeks. Then again, I hope that if he knows the proper technique mentally, he'll run it through his mind between now and the time is such that he grows a pair and is going to go and actually try it. Like they say, motorcycling is 90% mental. He is asking questions, so that's good. I do my best to explain it to him, but I don't think it's really good if middle-aged biker chica is gonna push it on him… that probably would come across as patronizing and condescending, if the advice is given unsolicited. It doesn't work like that anyway. He's riding with dudes who've been riding a lot longer, so he's already operating with that silly peer-pressure induced philosophy that if he doesn't keep up he's a pussy. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that sort of thing, because I know myself. I would be right up in there, trying to keep up and being stupid. I suppose that's the difference between being 20something and 38. =D Hell, I have a hard time keeping the Inner Squid at bay now. I don't need a more experienced (or more aggressive) group to give me reason to be a complete moron. Yet, another reason why I try to stay away from riding in groups. But then again, I do like a challenge on occasion. LOL”

After having said all that… On the way home, I implore Mr. Triumph to go first, even though he clearly is waiting for me to take the lead. There’s a reason. I’m curious about his riding, and I want to stay in the back, just in case something unforeseen happens. I think I might be a tad more practiced in emergency maneuvers. Being in the rear for safety reasons makes perfect sense to me. But mostly I just want to see him ride. Off we go… we end up doing 75 in a 45. Hmmmm… right after I had told him the three places to keep the Speed Demons under control in an attempt to avoid written notice by the local constabulary. Oh well, he’s slowly gaining on me, while I decide to restrict it to 65. That’s 20 over. At least I won’t lose my license if I get busted. I catch up to him at the next red light. What happens next, is definitely worthy of my undeserved reputation! We are both in the right lane. I am behind him. When the light turns green, I decide to show him that there’s more than one way to arrive at Point B ahead of schedule and without breaking the posted speed limit by 30 miles. Think +5 average. Excessive speed is best enjoyed in small short spurts while in town. The light turns, I follow Mr. 75-In-A-45 through the intersection, and then make use of that ridiculous way-over-the-top, arm-straightening low-end grunt that comes standard on every ‘Busa. I throw her left, into the right third of the left lane, before the car behind me even knows what’s going on, I have passed the Daytona, and quickly change lanes again, then gun it past another car. I get back over, squeeze between two cars that are slightly offset to each other, then white-line it past three more cagers. I pick my way through traffic until I find myself in the clear and settle back down into more civilized motorcycling in the far right lane at speed limit +5. I check my mirrors, but the Daytona is nowhere to be seen. He never does catch up. So much for watching him ride. LOL I get gas at the Shell in town, which is conveniently located at the intersection where Mr. Triumph and the Boss Woman (who is in her car, but has no trouble keeping up… since she drives it like she stole it) would make a left to go to their house. I watch the intersection, but I never do see them come through while I’m fuelling up. They’ve must have stopped somewhere. I’m quick, but I ain’t that damn fast! ;P Now I have an excuse to go out to eat with those two again. I need a rematch, so I can observe the Daytona in action. 😉


Shut Your Trap and Ride Your Own Ride!

The Phenomenon:
Truckers have a name for a person who can only be confrontational and talk trash about another person from the safety of their own bubble: The Radio Rambo. Radio Rambos are the kind of people who are nice to your face and are agreeable enough, but once they get on their CB radios from the safety of their own truck and dial it into channel 19, something amazing happens: They grow a set of trash-talking balls: They’ll cuss you out, they’ll talk smack, they’ll know everything better than you and they’ll threaten to kick your ass. But only if you do or say something that isn’t in concert of their own lacking set of standards and beliefs.

The Internet has its own version of the Radio Rambo. They hang out on forums, social media networks, online gaming servers, and anywhere else where they can be socially retarded ass-clowns and spew their hate to enhance their e-peen. All from the safety of their own home via a broadband connection and a dynamic IP. These people aren’t happy – for whatever reason — until they’ve established their so-called superiority by disrupting online camaraderie and inciting dissent and hate.

How I Roll:
I don’t talk voice when I game online, because there is no real good adult conversation to be had, unless it’s on a private server and you’re playing with people you already know iRL or have known for a long time iCL. I don’t participate in ‘controversial’ debates online either. It’s pretty much fruitless unless it is severely moderated and the moderator is impartial. Good luck with that one. I don’t let people rate or comment on my YouTube videos, because I’m not seeking their approval, and by what I’ve seen on YouTube, that’s a good thing. I moderate comments on my blog, same reason. People seem to need a lot of handholding these days, when it comes to etiquette and the social contract. Unless you have some constructive criticism to share, or have something useful to add, or just kudos to spread, I don’t want to hear from you. Go elsewhere. I use the Internet mainly for fun, social interaction on a level that is conducive to empowerment and learning, and for the camaraderie of like-minded people. I take serious stuff private and keep it out of open forum. I don’t personally attack people, or am patronizing, and I always pay attention to what I type. I even reread it several times to make sure I’m not inadvertently coming across as abrasive or could be misread as getting personal. But that’s just me. I don’t like hurting people, and I treat them with the respect and the tolerance that I would expect from others for myself. It is just common sense to me. In other words, I don’t tolerate haters and relationship saboteurs, because I don’t have to. There’s the little X in the corner that shuts them up. But it also shuts up the people that I do like to hang out with. L

WTF?
Where am I going with all of this? This is a motorcycle blog and this has to do with motorcycling. I’m getting to it. I’m just setting the stage, so the reader will know where I’m coming from and understand how I conduct myself online. I have high standards and I’m keeping it that way. Don’t like what I have to say? You know how to close your browser, no? Want to flame? Go ahead, I’ll read your comment, but save your breath, it’ll never be approved and posted. And I damn sure am not going to give you the satisfaction of replying. I don’t participate in the circle jerk of flame wars.

The Scoop:
Not that I had to actually defend myself, my choice of bike, my riding style, my choice of gear, or my level of risk acceptance to anybody in real life. EVER. Not seriously, anyway. It seems that most motorcyclists get along fairly well for the most part, no matter what they ride or how they ride it. In real life, I suppose it comes down to this: If you don’t like a person’s attitude towards riding, you don’t ride with them or hang out with them. Fairly simple. Most of the hate-mongers don’t have the balls to step up to me, while I’m getting off my ‘Busa, and tell me that I’m an asshat for riding the fastest production motorcycle made by mankind and that I’m a prime candidate for killing myself out there. They never tell me to my face that I’m a squid for simply owning one. But online, it’s a different story. Wonder why that is… And I’m sick of it. I’m sick of all the damn stereotypes and all the know-it-alls who don’t even know me or have ever seen me ride. Shut your presumptuous mouths! I don’t want to hear it from you. Your credibility to the validity of whatever comes out of your pie hole is already in the toilet at this point. All you have done, is manage to show your obvious lack of intelligence by providing invalid or unsubstantiated arguments that have the sole purpose of personally attacking, for whatever reason it is that compels you to do so. You aren’t part of any solution. Your crappy logic doesn’t help solve anything, improve anything, or help another rider become a better or safer one. Slinging your so-called credentials around doesn’t really help your cause. Oh, I’m supposed to take EVERYTHING you say as proven fact, because of your so-called “experience”? I’m not one to follow blindly. This IS the Internet, people can be who- or whatever they please. Did I mention I was a rocket scientist with three degrees from MIT? Well, there you have it. I am. Trust me. I know what I speak of. And now I tell you the location of the Anti-Gravity Room: It’s in North Augusta, SC. Don’t you know anything???

If, on the other hand, you have a valid argument and are trying to help another rider out, it would probably be best to be smart and diplomatic about it. If you really care about your message being heard and you feel it is of paramount importance, it would be in your best interest to be supportive rather than abrasive and stereotypical. And quit slinging accolades, nobody cares! You insult or patronize and wonder why your arguments fall on deaf ears. If you want to get your message across, it would be advantageous to not alienate the intended recipient. And for crying out loud, don’t humiliate them in public forum.

Here are some pointers for you asshats who think you know it all, because you have x amount experience, y amount of miles, helped z number of people avoid certain death by giving them your sage motorcycling advice:

1. Not all sport bike riders are jackasses who do wheelies and stoppies in rush hour traffic; or lane-split at 80+ mph; or paint smiley faces on the road with their rear rubber. Don’t you dare judge me by my choice of motorcycle. It makes me think that all you have is throttle envy and you’re in it for the pissing contest and don’t care about the ride at all.

2. Just because I ride a Hayabusa or [insert your most loathed supersport or literbike here] doesn’t mean I’m a moronic speed freak, do triple digits everywhere and view the public roads as my personal racetrack. Get over yourselves. The throttle goes both ways. This also makes me think you’re compensating for something.

3. Saying that all Hayabusa or [insert your most loathed supersport or literbike here] riders are squids is like saying all Harley riders drink and ride. When it comes down to it, everybody’s got a rep, but that doesn’t speak for the whole group, does it? So, fuck you! Don’t judge me by some idiot who happens to ride the same style bike that I do. And I have a newsflash for you: All bikers have a bad rep in the eyes of the non-motorcycling public; to them you’re just another hooligan on two wheels.

4. Why does it matter what the hell a person rides anyway? WHY? Can’t we just all enjoy our chosen sport and get along? It’s not like you have to ride with people you deem incompatible with your own riding philosophies. Personally, I only ride with very select few people. Group riding isn’t for me, it’s too stressful, I stay mostly out of it due to safety concerns.

5. If you dare tell me you never did an Act of Squidliness in your whole entire motorcycling career, I’m going to low-side it in the corner, because I was laughing so freaking hard, I chopped the throttle and upset the suspension. Who do you think is going to buy that??? Get over it and quit lying to yourself. Like you’ve never had an instance of “let’s see what she can do?” on a deserted stretch of public road out in the middle of nowhere. Phuuuleeeze!

6. Just because somebody doesn’t agree with your sentiments, doesn’t mean they’re a worse rider and less safe than you. There’s more than one line of travel through a corner, and different doesn’t necessarily mean worse or unsafe.

7. I hate to tell you all that, no I actually am going to enjoy it: Legal doesn’t equal safe, and illegal doesn’t equal unsafe.  In other words: Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. When you’re out there, you ride your own ride. It’s your life on the line, and you are the one in control. You are the only one who will be making the judgment call. Your mission out there is to come home safe and sound, preferably with the bike in one piece. And don’t you dare tell me that how I go about it, is for whatever reason, wrong. I must be doing something right, because I’m still here. And I had more close calls I handled well, without incident, than I care to remember. You’re not the one who is going to visit me in the hospital, pay my medical bills, or visit my grieving family. So STFU!!!

8. Having to make the crappy, no-win choice between keeping it legal and staying safe: Personally, I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. If you don’t like it, again, you’re not riding my ride, are you?

9. However, if you have constructive criticism, valuable input, want to discuss riding skills and techniques, do PLP or practice emergency skills with me, discuss the latest m/c book you’ve read and generally want to get together for the purpose of camaraderie, sharing experiences and help each other become better and safer riders, and you don’t give a hoot what I ride, I’m your girl.

Rolling It TraNceD Style
I will never stop learning. I refuse to become an “experienced” rider. The day I quit learning is the day I should park it for good. I will never stop pushing my boundaries. I’m not an idiot. I don’t blatantly punch through my skill envelope. Constant prodding and gentle pushing is a must for me, though. I want to be the best rider I can be. I don’t want to become a complacent know-it-all; that just spells disaster. If I’m not reaching out of my comfort zone on a regular basis, I’m not working on improving my skill set. I want to keep educating myself, because knowledge is power. What I don’t know can kill me. What I fear can kill me. I don’t have a death wish, I know myself, my weaknesses, my strengths. I know I can be a squid at times, but it’s all good. If I wasn’t a squid at times, I wouldn’t have much of a blog, now would I?

@MissBusa
A girl on a Hayabusa has an instant reputation for badassery. I don’t know why. I joke about it. I enjoy it. It is my online persona. It is the Marilyn Monroe to my Norma Jean.