Miss Busa Goes To The House Of Hook

I’ve been planning on going to the drag strip for quite some time now, ever since my earliest Hayabusa days, but never made it until now. This, in itself, is a shame. Mr. Slow makes fun of me: “What is wrong with you? You rode a drag bike like a flick bike and now you’re taking a flick bike to the drag strip! Seems backasswards to me.” What can I say? I run what I brung. Heh.

PLD Racing

Go fast. Ride Hard. Dream Big.

The day finally arrives and we decide to meet at my place of work, since it’s on the way to Jackson, SC, and would save us some time. I’m commuting to work in full race gear (how else am I going to get the junk there?) and my security officer, who meets me at the gate as I am badging in, takes a step back, sizes me up, then exclaims loudly: “Damn, baby! You are looking hawt this fine morning! How come I’ve never seen you wear that before?” He circles me halfway and checks out my backside, “Mmmmm… mmmmm… mmmmm!” He nods appreciatively and I give him a dismissive wave with my hand and let myself through the gate. T is harmless. He’s my partner. We got each other’s backside. Any other dude would have been dropkicked where he stood.

As the day progresses my nerves are starting to get to me. I think of all the people that are going to be watching me and I am really not so sure I want to go anymore. I finally call hubby, but hang up before he can answer. I am so tempted to call the whole thing off. In addition, my workday isn’t going all that smoothly either. I’m a little frustrated and still haven’t shaken my sleepiness from staying up way too late the night before. Mr. Slow knows me too well, he calls me around noon and pretty much tells me he’s not taking no for an answer, that he is going to take pictures and if I don’t want to race, that’s fine with him, but we are going. And that was that. Yes, he knows me. He knows that all he has to do is get me there. I’d be watching the bikes make a few passes and then I won’t be able to take it any longer and jump right in.

At the gate we pay our $15 per person to race and are assigned our numbers and are both slapped with wrist bracelets. After unloading our stuff and leaving it with Larry and his son Dean in the bleachers, we make our way to the staging lanes and get in line. We wait a little over forty minutes for our turn, since there is some sort of issue with the track and they are performing maintenance on it. This gives me plenty of time to get bored enough to quit being nervous. Our turn finally comes and one of the crew asks us if we want to run together, to which we both nod in unison and tell him that yes, we would. He then asks us if we want a “normal tree”. Normal tree? He starts explaining something to hubby, and I can’t understand a word he is saying over the running engines of our bikes and the background noise of burnouts and PA announcements. I’m getting anxious, I pipe up and tell him that I have not a clue what’s going on, that I can’t hear him over the noise and that it’s my very first time ever to a drag strip. Someone else steps up and takes me under his wing. I think his name is Roger. He asks us if it would be ok to do the first pass individually and tells me to follow him and he’ll walk me through it. I nod and follow him to a little water-filled depression in the concrete that runs the width of both lanes at the beginning of the track. He motions me to stop and goes on to explain that this is what they call “The Groove”, this is where you do your burnout. He asks me if I know how to do one. I tell him that I know how, but never actually done it. He asks if I want to try. I shake my head. He tells me that’s cool, don’t have to if I don’t want to. After the track clears, he motions me forward and points to a set of parallel white lines at the edge of the track. He explains how the sensors work and what the lights on the tree mean. After assuring himself that I am ready to try my very first pass, he closes my face shield, steps aside and I am thereby left to my own devices.

Pass 1:

Run 1 (Race Mode)

Time Slip: Run 1

My nerves return. I swallow hard as I ease the clutch out and let the bike roll forward, watching the lights on the tree up ahead to my left. I feel nauseated. The first bulb lights up. I ease forward some more, the second light comes on signaling that I am in position. Here we go. I feel my heart hammering the inside of my ribcage as I assume the top half of a race tuck. My breathing is shallow but controlled. As the first light comes on I realize I am still squeezing the front brake lever and remind myself to let go to save time during the launch. The second light comes on. I find myself doing a little tippy-toe dance, like a cat about to pounce. The anxiety dissipates and is replaced by focused concentration. I roll on the throttle to start bringing up the revs as the third light illuminates. I dare not avert my eyes from the tree. My attention is riveted, muscles tensed, waiting on the cue; focus narrowed and all else forgotten. I faintly hear the bike scream under me, feel its buzz in my hands. The green light flashes on and I spring into action. Or rather my muscles do, since all thought seemed to have vacated the premises for the moment. I don’t know how high in the RPM range I am when I release the clutch, my vision is focused forward, way down the track. I feel the back tire spinning slightly but it grabs almost immediately and the S1000RR flings itself forward. The front tire lifts off the track’s surface at about the same time as my shift light starts flashing insistently. 9,000 RPM, I muse. My wonderment is immediately followed by: Oh shit, I am still in Race Mode! I stick my toe under the shifter and snick it into second gear. I blip the throttle out of habit. The bike continues barreling down the track, gaining speed at a stupid-fast rate. I know I am too tight on the bars, since my throttle control is uncharacteristically jerky, as is evidenced by the bike’s front continually lifting off then setting back down. I just can’t seem to find the sweet spot between power wheelies and maximum forward velocity while keeping both contact patches engaged. I can’t see anything either. Not my gauges, not my surroundings. I have not a clue where I am on the track. I am lost. All I can make out is the orange glow of a street lamp in the distance. Everything else seems smudged into a grey oblivion. I am not scared. I am actually rather enjoying this all the while wondering why the heck I can’t see shit. I hit third gear around the time it occurs to me that I should be hauling it down, that I have reached the beginning of the run-off. I have reached the orange glow at the end of my tunnel. As I decelerate my vision opens back up and color drains back into the well-lit darkness. I can’t help but grin like an idiot inside my helmet. Well, there… that wasn’t too bad. As a matter of fact, this was fucking awesome! Woweeeee! I turn left (more like a u-turn really) into the return lane and end up next to a booth. There’s a dude standing there holding something out to me, so I stop. He hands me a piece of paper. Oh, yeah! Time slips! I forgot about those. After I get back to the staging lanes, I take a peek. I knew I didn’t bust my personal land speed record, which is currently at 151 mph, since I managed to glance down at my GPSr when I realized I had crossed the quarter-mile mark. And it barely read 130-something. Also, the number in the “Max Speed Attained” field still stands at 140. What a bummer! I either need more road or I need to get faster at accelerating out of the hole. More road is not an option, so I guess I’m going to have to work on those race starts and keeping the wheelies to a minimum. I look at my slip which has all these numbers listed and at first the whole mess doesn’t make sense. I finally locate the number I am looking for, my top speed: MPH … 133.80, above that, it states ¼ … 11.417. Mr. Slow on his Samsonite Missile obtained a whopping 73.85 mph and it took him 16.850 seconds to do it. I waste no time pointing out to him, that he does that on the Interstate and it doesn’t even rate a speeding ticket. He eagerly points out that I suck off the line. He has no evidence of that, since next to his R/T (reaction time) the mysterious code “LB3A” is printed, whereas my slip sports a nice and relaxed 0.953. Hmmm… did he red-light that mother or did he win some sort of prize? [A little googling, as I write this, shows that “LB3A” stands for “Left Before 3rd Amber”, meaning he left so early the computer didn’t even bother to treat him to a red light. Who sucks off the line now?]

Pass 2:

Run 2 (Sport Mode)

Time Slip: Run 2

Before we know it, it is our turn again. This time I actually have time to switch the GoPro Hero HD helmet cam on. We are staging together. There is another issue with my lane on the track, so our start is delayed. I have occasion to ask the track dude what all this stuff on the time slip means and how far off the suck-scale I am rating. He says I’m doing well for my first time. I don’t buy it. He’s just being nice, I’m sure of it. But what kind of silly question is this any way? I don’t even know why I’m asking it. Silly girl! It’s my nerves. I get blabby when I’m anxious. Stupid blabby, too. Didn’t I just read about an S1000RR doing a quarter mile in like 8.49 seconds at 153 mph? Given, it was stretched, had a full exhaust upgrade and a custom FI map, but damn! You would think I could do this in the 10s at least. And don’t ask me where I got that figure either. Mr. Slow yells at me from his side of the track: “What mode you’re in?” I yell back at him: “I put it in ‘Sport’.” I also reset my shift light to 13,000 RPM, my redline is at 14.5K. When we get the go ahead, we pull up to the line. I’m feeling slightly nauseous again. What the heck? I survived the first pass, what is it now? On the video I can hear myself say: “I’m so nervous I could just puke.” as I pull up from the center where I was parked during cleanup. My launch absolutely sucks. Whereas the first one was pretty decent, this one is choppy as hell. Like I’m afraid to let go of the clutch. Which makes it worse. The bike wants to go, but I’m riding the clutch, but not smoothly either. The end result is fairly evident in the video. It does make the skidding worse, too. Sport mode is not really preventing front wheel lift-off either, or is it? The bike rides like a jet ski skimming across shallow waves. I don’t remember the track being bumpy. Choppy throttle? Suspension setup? I sill can’t see shit either. Extreme tunnel vision, which is surprising since I have hauled speeds faster than this, but that was during daylight hours. I’ve never accelerated this aggressively either and I’m still not at full-throttle. Who knows? I would like to know if the DTC indicator is flashing. Before I know it it’s time to slow down again.

Pass 3:

Run 3 (Sport Mode)

Time Slip: Run 3

I pull up to the line, stage myself and then realize in the middle of the tree’s “countdown” that I left my shield open. I slap it down and have no time to settle back in before the light turns green, no time to think just go! This was my best run, my best launch with the smoothest throttle action so far. Even though I did forget to shift once and bounced it off the rev limiter. What I do not understand is how I can have the fastest quarter mile time with such a low top speed. Must be in the launch and the speed I wasted not upshifting when I should have. Dare I say it? I might just be getting the hang of this? If I quit over-thinking and instead just start doing.

Pass 4:

Run 4 with Larry (Race Mode)

Time Slip: Run 4

I put it back into ‘Race Mode’. I just wasn’t happy with the way ‘Sport Mode’ felt. Looking back on it, I wanted to see if I could keep the wheelies under control. Hell, I wanted to do some on purpose. This is, after all, the proper place. This felt like the best run so far, but it really wasn’t. I managed the fastest speed at the eighth-mile trap, but something must have happened after that. I remember the launch not being all that great. Larry actually had me off the line. I remember telling Mr. Slow that if the clutch lever “hadn’t stuck to my finger tips” this would have been one awesome pass. Everything else must have fallen into place because it felt like it should have been the best. I never did get around to doing wheelies on purpose, though. I’m too competitive and there was going to be a printout at the end and using the back wheel only slows you down and I was here to break a personal top speed record. Which intellectually I knew was impossible, at least at the quarter-mile trap. Even if I delayed deceleration it would have been problematic at best. There is no way I could reach 151+. Not with my Level 1 drag racing skills nor with the bike’s current setup, which isn’t going to change in the direction it would need to. I am a knee dragger not a drag racer. It would be way too much of a hassle to have two setups and switch between them depending on whether I’m going to the drag strip or the track. But emotionally, setting a new personal best is what drove me to try harder.

Pass 5:

Run 5 with Larry (Race Mode)

Time Slip: Run 5

Another crap start due to not letting go of the clutch properly. I actually lost traction this time and fishtailed it out of the hole. Arrrgh! This is starting to frustrate me on a serious level. Not to mention that it looks stupid and it makes my ass jiggle. Another worthy entry for the “Girls Can’t Ride Chronicles”. I am convinced that if I just stop thinking about it, I would have these launches nailed. Wouldn’t know it by watching me carry on, but I do have pretty decent throttle and clutch control. Damnit! This run was just Blah! all the way around. That is all.

Pass 6:

Run 6 with Larry (Race Mode)

Time Slip: Run 6

Same as the last pass, pretty much. I must be getting tired or something. I’m also getting slightly frustrated overall for the lack of continued progress. Even small improvements will do it. I need an ego boost. I really do. I barrel down the lane, and I can actually feel the weight transfer to the rear before the front gets light, but I do not react. Screw it. Of course, before I know it, I’m popping a power wheelie. Right in front of a little crowd that has made (what I’m guessing to be around the eighth-mile point) their home for the night. Cool. I tuck my foot under the shifter, since it’s about time for an upshift, as the shift light’s rapid flashing is urging me to do. For some reason I slam the front end down (I’m assuming jerky throttle action, since I am way too tight on the bars, have been all night) and consequently my foot gets dislodged from its position and it glances off the lever while in the process of shifting and I find freaking neutral. I recover and put it in second gear. I hope nobody saw that. They probably didn’t, but they damn sure heard it! The telltale high-pitched whine of a missed second gear upshift. How embarrassing is that?!? Mr. Slow tells me later that the perceived baby wheelie was quite the monster, since it garnered the attention of the tower. Dude commented on it over the PA system. Now I know THEY didn’t hear that missed shift. Hahaha…

Pass 7:

Run 7 with Larry (Race Mode)

Time Slip: Run 7

The last pass. It’s almost 11 o’clock and they’re about to close the staging lanes. We won’t be able to make it back for another one. I have to make this count. My launch was awesome. The best one yet. I am not counting the little hiccup I introduced because I was thinking I left too early so I momentarily squeezed the clutch back in, before I could make a conscious effort to arrest the movement. It was one of those subconscious reactions. Which in itself isn’t good. This almost falls into the realm of “survival reaction” and must be avoided at all cost. Recognized. Halted. Corrected. I have done this before though. When leaned over in a corner and I decided to shift into second gear as I was accelerating out, and missed it. I pulled the clutch in then, like an idiot because free-wheeling like that freaked me out. I chewed my own ass for that one. Needs work. And here I thought I had those pretty much under control, too. Given, I haven’t had occasion to practice in earnest. Should be on the menu for the next track day. Definitely.

Even though I wasn’t satisfied with my performance during my passes, I had a freakin’ blast. I kept telling myself that this is what it’s all about. I’ve been having some shit days at work, and a little irresponsible fun was quite what the doctor ordered. It rebooted my system, reset my attitude towards my job, and lifted my mood back into its normal range of “happy-go-lucky”. Two-wheeled therapy does it every time. Whether it be on the track dragging knee or making an ass out of oneself hauling an unmodified supersport down a drag strip. It’s all good. We shall have some more fun come next Saturday.

Lessons Learned:

  • The rev limiter is a really just a reminder to grab the next gear at one’s earliest convenience.
  • Knee pucks at the drag strip will come in handy when a fishtailing expedition goes way out of control and you find yourself stuck to the wall. Think of them as directional guides. ;P
  • Mr. Slow goes to the drag strip, pays $15 to do a little Interstate riding. That is the definition of (a really short) toll road… Just sayin’
  • I do suck off the line. (Psssssst! Don’t let hubby know…)
  • So does Larry. 😉
  • I am the only girl in Jackson who drags two wheels. There are four others, but they prefer cars. I need to do better to represent! LOL
  • Best $15 I’ve spent in a while.
  • Burnout? I don’t need no steenkin burnout! *rolls confidently through the water box*
  • This is harder than I thought it would be.
  • Drag racing is like standing in line at a theme park to get on the roller coaster. You wait and wait and wait, you finally get on and it’s over in a flash. Then you get back in line, just to do it again.
  • Drag racing, albeit fun, is not my thing. Land Speed Racing, on the other hand, would totally do it for me. I don’t really find my groove until I’m over halfway down the track. I want to go flat-out, at top speed, give it all she’s got and enjoy the rush. Next stop: The Maxton Mile (once I get this quarter-mile thing down).

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

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?

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.