Foodie Pr0n (on a Racing Budget)

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Thought I’d snap a pic of some yummy dish I am being served in some awesome eatery I’m trying for the first time, eh? Wrong! Too many of THOSE kinda things already floating around on the Internetz. This is the other end of the spectrum… a how-to guide of turning a can of cat food into yummy pâté without anybody being the wiser. It’s vegetarian, I swear. Dinner’s served. Bon appétit! ;P Not quite… but almost.

The Essence of Ramen

Not Ramen noodles, AGAIN?!? Those things are deep fried and so unhealthy for you calorie-counting, carb-counting, fitness-junkie types. That means, they are really not fit for human consumption. But they are oh-so-yummy (for the first two months) and extremely versatile. The Swiss Army knife of your pantry. Cheap, too. In value and nutrition. They probably are carcinogenic…

They were the staple during my stint in the halls of higher learning. Food for the student budget.

Don’t cook them, just pound on the package with your fist, and they’ll serve your need for sustenance quite well during an all-night LAN party.

You make soup out of the packet the following afternoon, because you’re in too much of a hurry to get back online to PWN your Guild’s enemies in that MMORPG you’ve become addicted to three years ago. But you can quit anytime!

This stuff has a half-life instead of an expiration date. It stock-piles well, and was the main item on the shelves of the more militant amongst the Y2Kers.

I think you could launch an unopened, uncrushed pack and use it for skeet shootin’ practice.

You can’t just eat one pack, you have to make two at once.

WTF, over?!?

And now that I have been jettisoned by the minions of Corp America for being a cog in their plans for world domination, Ramen noodles are again on my menu. Food for the full-time amateur racer and freelance Pixel Pusher and whichever other skills of mine I can manage to apply for a little profit.

Oh, oh… I feel a sales pitch comin’ on… … … wait… THERE:

Wrecked your ride at the track and now you need corresponding accident evidence on the side of the road to get your insurance to foot the bill and are clueless as to how to stage the scene?!?

We’re here to help! Call 1-800-WAD-OOPS and let us lowside it for you. Our wadding specialists are fully certifiable and fully licensed. Just remember, you wrecked your shit because you  saw a deer… YOU SAW A DEER.

Call our wrecking crew now! Operators are standing by. When a bike falling out of the back of a speeding pickup truck just won’t do, because you done did that once already, we’re here for you. We can help. Call now. We’re at it 24/7 (closed on Saturday and Sundays and sometimes Fridays, that’s racing time; also we don’t crash nuthin’ on Mondays).

Other options are available, pricing varies by package chosen. Restrictions may apply. Not valid with any other offer. See fine print for details. Attorneys need not apply (even if they went to the track and wiped out on their Desmosedici in T1). Void where prohibited. Crash two, get one free. Harley Clubs: We specialize in multi-vehicle pile-ups.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was gonna cook something because I’m hungry…

Let creativity save the (tummy’s) day!

Recipe (for Disaster?) Tomato Bisque

1 family-sized can of generic no-taste condensed tomato soup, prepare as told on the side, but only use 75% of the H2O

1 can of crappy store-brand diced tomatoes

A truckload of various spices and dried herbs to taste in type and quantity

A decent amount of high-fructose corn syrup… I mean, ketchup; squeeze the bottle until your fingers ache.

The “Victory Lap” version also calls for

A fairly good amount of generic half & half, made from the milk of bored indoor cows and chlorinated pool water); use as much as you can afford or until the concoction turns a nice deep pink bisque color, whichever comes first

1 huge pile of kinda-ok generic sour cream, also made from the milk of those same unhappy cows

A good sprinkling of fresh green onions, to fool the senses into believing this crap is actually yummy

A toddler’s handful of crummy seasoned croutons

It’s freakin’ Synergy, baby!!! I’m gonna eat good for three days! I was so excited I just had to share.

Now, my soup’s cold. Damn!


Saved by RaceABS

I’m almost too ashamed to post this. But it needs to be said. Over and over again, until it’s second nature and not questionable by ill-conceived reason. Doubt has no place in going fast. Lack of confidence hasn’t a place there either and neither has the lackadaisical attitude I often exhibit when it comes to questionable situations of the “WTF?” variety. Instead of pulling over and investigating the cause for the “something’s off” warning light that goes off in my head, I make a “that must be it” excuse and keep going.

“Good gawd, I must have forgotten how to shift! I need retraining.”

Could just be that the shift rod assembly is working loose and shifting is getting less precise and when it is about to fall off you can’t even get into third without hitting a false neutral most of the time.

“Holy hell, I can’t get a proper start down anymore! I need to practice.”

Could just be that the clutch lever pivot bolt is over-torqued and slowly demolished its threads, and now your clutch is slipping like mad. Well, DOH!

What is wrong with this picture?!?

What is wrong with this picture?

“The front end feels funny. Sounds weird, and the feedback is strange. Must be the new brand of tires with a softer compound running a lower pressure.”

Could just be that you’ve forgotten to torque the caliper bolts on the right side.

Marked For Torque

Encounters of the Anal Retentive Kind: "Marked For Torque" Nm values next to the fasteners to speed up things at the track

And that is probably the main reason we have to safety wire all this junk! If the wire is undone you know you haven’t torqued the bolt. Safety wiring was not required at JenningsGP, so I was lazy and didn’t redo them when I was done. I did four laps on brake caliper bolts that were only finger tight, the upper bolt backed out and the only thing holding it in was the RaceABS sensor cable. So the BMW S1000RR’s tech saved my dumb ass again, but not the way you would have thought.

I would have to thank my friend and my new tires for negating some of the stress those bolts were under and nothing worse happening than weaker brakes. I had brand new tires and was taking it easy and half a lap into putting the screws back on, the session was red flagged due to someone trying to pass my friend Margie Lee in T2 screwing it up and taking her out with him. They are both fine, although Mr. Red Ducati was a little worse for wear. He couldn’t remember who or where he was and had a mangled shoulder, but he’s going to be OK. Margie got checked out at the hospital, got a clean bill of health and went to work the next day. Ovaries of steel. My kind of woman there. 🙂 I knew there was a reason we hit it off.

After coming in from the session, pretty much the last one to leave the track, and not seeing her nor her bike in her pit, I got worried and ended up running around trying to figure out if it was indeed her who was involved and when I was told that it was, my heart just sank. The ambulance was taking forever at the crash site and the waiting game began. After all that, I wasn’t in the mood anymore; I just wasn’t feeling it, so we packed up and went home. This girl knows when to fold ’em. I didn’t notice the caliper bolts until I was putting the Pirate back into her street clothes in my driveway the next day.

Don’t be a moron like Miss Busa. Don’t be lazy and safety wire things back up, even if it is not required at the track you are on. It’s also a good idea to mark your bolts once you’re done. If it’s not marked with your little dot, safety wired or silicone sealed, you might want to check it out, just to be sure.

Also, don’t ignore feedback. If it seems off, it most definitely is. The bike is talking to you. Do yourself a favor and LISTEN.


My Days Are Numbered

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…”

The Pirate's Got A Brand New Tail

Nice Ass!

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!


Whatever Dreams May Come

I am getting the butterflies again. The more I think about the upcoming weekend, the more I feel like I am not ready. The more flaws I find in my technique, the more doubt creeps up in my head. I have exactly nine days to sort myself and get ready for JenningsGP and I feel slightly overwhelmed. This feeling is nothing new, and intellectually I know it’s all my nerves; emotionally it’s quite a different story. I have a tendency to hype myself up and freak myself out internally, where I’ll be a quivering blob by the time I need to perform, have to fight the urge to vomit, and try desperately hard not to act visibly like the proverbial deer caught in the proverbial headlights and play it all cool, calm, and collected. That’s right, because to Miss Busa this ain’t nothing but a thang! Keep on thinking that…

Mr. Slow has told me over and over again that people cannot tell that I’m a nervous wreck and that I’ll do just fine and I end up having a blast. He’s right on both counts. I have a long track record that proves him to be right; however, that does not change the fact that I have to go through this nerve-wracking process every time. Performance anxiety goes away moments before the green light comes on, so to speak. Anxiety, self-doubt, the nausea and the OMG-I’m-Gonna-Die obligatory internal cry for help are replaced by focused concentration. I am calm. I am entering “the zone”. I am but alone in my task. Everything and everyone around me is forgotten. Just the girl and her goal. And I can do exceptionally well under pressure if I don’t over-think it.

I am now in pre-mission over-thinking mode. I want to go over everything yet again. Or I just don’t. One way stresses me out for two weeks, the other only stresses me out on the last day. I do either, sometimes both.

I woke with a start last night, muscles tensing, synapses misfiring and the last thought on my brain while regaining wakeful cognition was “Oh shit!” I even woke hubby. He asked me what was wrong. I mumbled something along the lines of: “Nothing, just a bad dream.” I remembered what woke me, but didn’t want to voice it. Because saying something out loud gives it power.

I have never dreamed about motorcycling. The only times there were ever motorcycles in my dreams, they were parked somewhere in the background and none of them were mine. Which is curious in itself, since I am known to process in my dreams. Heck, I used to dream solutions to scripting problems in a language based on C++. I don’t code in C++, never have. The solution to the problem was also new to me. I tried it out as soon as I woke up and it worked, just like my dream predicted it would. A problem that had been bugging me for several days was solved in a strange three-second dream. Go figure. I have dreamed in HTML before. Don’t ask me to explain that one. A friend of mine and I talked about this, she’s done it, too. And here I thought I was the Lone Rangerette in Weird World. 🙂

The first time I dream about riding, it’s not a solution or a Eureka! moment to deepen my understanding, it’s a damn crash; a low-side in some turn on some racetrack somewhere I have never been. Maybe it was JenningsGP, I have stared at that track map long enough…

I’m so not ready.

But I’m going anyway.

Why? Because I can and I must.


Let Those Without Squid…

…give me some riding lessons!

From the looks of it, I apparently need them desperately. And the day when Rosie O’Donnell is thin enough to wear a size 0 would be the day that I give a hoot the size of the average contact patch about the advice of people who obviously are lacking the faculties to do just that: give valid and constructive input.

I really don’t understand why people insist on criticizing others, spewing their stupidity online, when it is painfully clear that the originator is just some douche who doesn’t know their gyroscopic precession from their Poinsot’s construction.

As far as my riding skill development goes, I leave that in the capable hands of people who could teach you douche bags a few tricks of how to keep your insurance premiums (and by extend, mine) to a minimum:

Kevin Schwantz, Ed Bargy, Keith Code, Lee Parks, …

You get the picture. Now go get your permit renewed and drag your wife by her hair into the kitchen to make you some pie, because apparently that’s what cavemen do.

Until such time when I meet you on a track and use you as my “that is NOT quite the race line” visual aid and watch you wad it up before you even finish lap three (and I’m being generous in that assumption), we are done here!

Note to all new riders:

Please don’t listen to all the misinformation that is floating around online, the nonsense that is sometimes heard at track days, and the stupidity being spread about at bike nights. Do yourself a huge favor, take some kind of formal training to get you started on the right track (pun intended), it will boost your confidence, help your skill development, prevent bad habits or help you change some you didn’t know you had; and most importantly, will help you sort through all the BS and know good, constructive advice from the kind that can cost you dearly.

UPDATE: I couldn’t help myself: Exhibit A

Uploader Comments (TraNceDgURL)

Riding like that you might as well just leave it in sixth.
fungusrare 23 hours ago

@fungusrare I normally don’t give douche bag comments that are idiotic in context, are only written to make the author feel better about his short-comings, comments with no constructive input nor validity any second glance. They get deleted and ignored after I had a good laugh. However, in the interest of Darwinian Law and to further have some laughs, please enlighten me as to how you came up with your suggestion of proper gear selection.
TraNceDgURL 13 minutes ago

@fungusrare Further, I would like to state that some people obviously have no sense of humor, didn’t read my video’s remarks, nor have they read my channel’s introduction. If you feel like I have wasted 6:27 minutes of your precious life, I feel sorry for you to have watched the whole thing. Click, click, click… oh! Here we have some footage of an S1000RR doing 190+ in the middle of the night on an interstate. Maybe that’s more your speed, given your suggestion of gear selection.
TraNceDgURL 5 minutes ago

@fungusrare If I wanted skill training from an idiot like yourself who obviously feels that his penis size is a little short of average and is intimidated by a woman who happens to know how to ride, I would probably specifically ask for it. However, I rather leave my training in the capable hands of men who KNOW HOW TO RIDE. Kevin Schwantz? Ed Bargy? Lee Parks? Keith Code? Take your pick. That would be all. Now, go and have your significant other lick your wounds for you.
TraNceDgURL 2 minutes ago

@fungusrare Upon further introspection, please don’t respond to my question. You will just leave yourself open for public humiliation and personal embarrassment and who is going to tend to your emotional scars? Therapy is expensive.
TraNceDgURL 10 seconds ago


Bubblicious Way To Spend 3 …(no, make that 6)… Hours

… with some relaxing Arts & Crafts at home.

The Pirate needs a batch of new tattoos and since this sort of thing can be done way cheaper when you do it yourself, I’m about to take my vinyl wrangling skills to the next level: The creation of custom shapes. Today, boys and girls, we’re learning how to make templates. And then we’ll take that template, place it on a piece of 3mil yellow vinyl, draw a nice little line around it to help guide that precision cut. Then we’ll slap that on a piece of transfer tape so we can apply it to the S1000RR’s windscreen. Easy as pie!

Before: The Pirate's Windscreen

BEFORE

NOT! The template making was not really all that difficult. A few well placed creases secured with sticky tape and the thing laid flat and followed the screen’s curves as much as something that won’t stretch can. I marked my edges, cut it out, placed it on the windscreen again, tweaked it. And tweaked it, and tweaked it. I finally had enough of the tweaking.

I laminated the thing and cut it out. I knew this wasn’t going to be as accurate as I had hoped it would be and I’d have to do some more adjusting later, so I went ahead and cut my vinyl sheet. Tweak, slice, tweak, slice, … then I had enough of that, too. It was then decided that I don’t really need all those little flame designs anyway… Let’s make it simpler. Sliced off some more. After a while, I had enough of that, too. Good enough.

Out comes the transfer tape, to get my creation ready for the move over to the windscreen. Squeegee in hand I “burnish”  (rubbing it until the cows moo or something else happens). I was a little afraid of this step. But it went fairly well. Simple. Until I turn it over and see all the creases. What a shit job this is. The last of my perfectionism leaves me as I wave away the thought of starting over with a different angle of attack. Hell no! I am way too tired for that. I deal with it later. Armed with squeegee and ActionTac application fluid I move the operation into the bathroom and get busy. I finally give up on the transfer tape and a little later I also toss the squeegee. It’s just the hairdryer and my fingers. I swear it takes me 45 minutes to work all the damn air bubbles out and stretch the thing just so that it will fit without bunching or bubbling. For heaven’s sake, I had to heat cycle the blasted thing just to get it on there halfway decent. It still looks, well… let’s just say, this is a 6-foot job. Any closer and it ain’t gonna be “all that”.

And only two more to go!!! And those are on the tailsection, which has compound angles of the most heinous variety… What a pile of bubblicious stretchy fun that’s going to be…

And I was going to do multi-colored logo decals. Hell, no! I’m printing that shit and laminating it and using double-sided 3M to stick it to the damn bike! Just as it should be for a 6-foot job.

After: The Pirate's Number Plate Decal

AFTER

Update

Front Number Plate Decal

The finished product: Yes, this is definitely a 6-foot job, but it should do (I hope)

In the spirit of waiting a day between application of layers, I finished my little project today. Photoshop helped with the dimensions and I had to squeeze the font by 60% to make it all fit. Printed the outline, laminated it, cut the numbers out and applied them. I applied the background wet, I did the numbers dry. I don’t like it, but hopefully it’ll pass Tech, if they aren’t sticklers and gripe about 1/16th of an inch here and there. If they do, I’ll whip out my roll of yellow duct tape, hold it up and say with a winning smile: “Nothing a roll of Duck Tape won’t fix and I have more where that came from in various fashionable colors.” 😉

Updating Update

UPS dropped off the seat cowl I ordered for my baby today (Thursday, 02/03), so I got to have three more hours of vinyl wrangling fun. The decals on the tail section look horrible, but considering what kind of angles the thing sports, I can’t really complain about my 8-foot job. Yes, the sight distance to ugly has increased. The plan was to match the shape of the lines, but when I realized how complicated of an ordeal that was going to be, I took the chicken exit and slapped it on there like a couple of aspect-ratio-deformed bumper stickers. Kiss my tail!!!

The Pirate's New Tail

The Pirate's new tail desecrated by Miss Busa's 8-foot "not art" home-brew vinyl number plate application.

I also tweaked the number on the windscreen. The more I looked at it the less I liked it. So I chopped off the edges, to give it a more symmetrical look. I might have not be able to see through it in a race tuck anyway.

The Pirate's Tweaked Nose Number

Tweak. Tweak. Yes. Much better.


Flat Out: The GP RS-R Pocket Rocket

Pocket Rocket (rear view)Pocket Rocket (front view)The GP RS-R test run fell a little flat. I was looking forward to sliding this thing all over the place and the power delivery was, shall we say, not all that usable for that sort of unadulterated silliness. No torque, no top end, and a little flat in the middle. This thing, although pretty fun, was a total letdown out of the box. It needs some tweaks in the way of performance upgrades. The no-load idle needs to be adjusted so it doesn’t take a full-throttle effort with a race boot push-start to get my posterior rolling down the boulevard at a heinous rate of acceleration. Yawn! Let off the throttle just a little and it goes flat, so no sliding sideways fun (just yet). I couldn’t even get it to do a proper burnout (and I wasn’t even sitting on the thing). Dragging some knee to show the neighborhood kids how to properly ride one of these things? No go. Unless falling over in the middle of a turn and landing on your knee puck to hold the bike up counts. ;P It was way too cold for me to stay out there for long and I wasn’t in the mood to take it to a parking lot, as we had planned. I’m not really in the mood for much of anything when the temps are in the lower 50s with a breeze that sends shivers down one’s spine and invites mental images of the North Pole.

To be continued… at a later date, after some tweaks, in a parking lot, with some temps in the upper 60s minimum. March looks good.

And here is the obligatory Miss Busa Boring Ride Video everybody seems to be wanting (for reasons I have yet to figure out) ammo for all you haters *snort* courtesy of Mr. Slow’s BlackBerry: