Archive for the Race Reports Category

What I Did Last Weekend Is Addictive and Dangerous

Marquez making history

Marquez making history

But I’d do it every weekend of the year if I could. I’d even do it on a higher level if I could. But I’m just not that fast. I’m fast enough to get to the racetrack in a reasonable amount of time, but can’t get around the track nearly as fast as the pros. So I watch them, and enjoy the show. Making it even more enjoyable, I write about what I see for Gas2 and when there’s no electric races to cover, RideApart. Or even Jalopnik. Sometimes I also write for CleanTechnica, like this piece about the rad solar farms I saw being built on my favorite back road en route to Laguna Seca.

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Adventures Of a TT Groupie

Just like the first time I rode on the back of a motorcycle, it’s not so much that I want to be around people who have them, but that I want one for myself. Same goes for the TT, even though I’m here for the first time. I’m going as a tourist and journalist, to witness the electric bikes make history, and help my brother celebrate his birthday. But I’d rather be flying through the air, 200 ponies between my legs, slamming back down to earth only to tip the bike into a sharp bend up ahead, then to fly along the Mountain as fast as I possibly dare. This all-out speed on the world’s deadliest racetrack is my idea of a good time.

 

But that’s not gonna happen this year, and honestly, I’ll probably never be fast enough to qualify for a TT race. Someday I will ride the TT course, but likely not in competition. This really shouldn’t be the year for that even, as my collarbone persists in being detached and the doc persists in forcing me to use this infernal cane. Because I’d rather be a gimp a little longer than suffer crippling arthritis the rest of my days, I’m following doctors orders. Well, as best I can…

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I like big bikes, and I cannot lie

Photos courtesy of Andy Woo

I actually sang this, and completely rewrote the chorus to make my point on Sunday morning. The rest of my (all female) team couldn’t understand why I was so unmotivated. Something about having to fold my knees into my armpits in a suit that never seemed quite cut for actually racing might have contributed to my extreme discomfort on the baby bike. Timeline highlights follow… Continue reading I like big bikes, and I cannot lie

Catalina GP Returns From the Dead

Above: Steve McQueen rose from the dead to race the Island once more. OK, so maybe it wasn’t him. But he was equally bad-ass, racing in a black t-shirt & jeans. With everyone else in blindingly tacky polyester getups that haven’t been updated since the 80’s, this guy really stood out. He could ride, too.

Continue reading Catalina GP Returns From the Dead

view from here and now


view from here and now, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

one of the many fine views I enjoyed over the weekend at Valencia. Those long concrete strips leading up to the Ford billboard are actually steps. That’s where they put all the bad MotoGP fans who thought they bought tickets, then had their tickets revoked and didn’t figure this out until 2 days before the race.

As you can see, there are not nearly as many WSB fans in Spain as there are MotoGP fans. Only about 43,000 people turned up, so the cheap seats were totally empty. And I could hobble up the day before the race and buy one of the good seats. Sure felt good being able to do that.

OMG! The greatest day!!!

Valentino won at Laguna Seca!!! He finally did it, after miserable finishes every year, even a highly uncharacteristic DNF brought about by Michelin’s inability to build a tire that could handle Valentino AND 133 degree pavement. If you’re mad about the spoiler, well, TOUGH! You shoulda been there! Attendance was so low this year I was able to take my pick from $200/night hotel rooms anywhere in Monterey. On Orbitz on Thursday night!

It was an awesome race too, incredible how he kept Stoner at bay, and the pass in the corkscrew was the stuff legends are made of. Which he is, of course. Even more incredible was that they were so far ahead that when Stoner wiped out in 2nd place, he got back on and STILL had an 8 second gap on Vermeulen. Magnifique!!! I was still nervous the last few laps. Even though it’s Rossi and he knows what he’s doing, he’s had such bad luck at Laguna I was terrified something might happen. But everything is right with the world because Rossi won and Poodrosa didn’t even race. During his parade lap, Rossi got on his hands & knees and kissed the pavement in the corkscrew. So adorable.

Laguna was fun, but not as fun as last year, because most of my friends I went there to see had decided not to go. Then others who were there were hard to find. But I had fun with George, even though I was terrified that any minute his big mouth would get him into a heap of trouble, which never materialized. One guy even said it was an asset, that a mouth like that is what’ll get him into the (Ruff Ryders) party. Which was the best Saturday night I’ve had in Monterey, way more interesting than the now-defunct Blue Fin. I got the video to prove it, too.

This was the first time they had the Red Bull Rookie Cup races, too, and man, it was awesome. All these packs of identical 125cc 2-strokes buzzing by, the delicious smell of 2-smoke wafting in the breeze. It was magnificent. I will be extremely pissed if they do away with 2-stroke racing completely. It’s so much cooler! And really, everyone knows that 2-stroke motorcycles have NOTHING to do with global warming. Burning a little oil on race day can’t have nearly the impact of burning 12 mpg in an SUV on a daily basis for errands that should really be done on public transport anyway.

I also made some new friends, wore more clothing than I’ve worn there in ages (it was freezing, and I’m not feeling like I need the attention I used to need), and finally broke down and did a parade lap. I’ve been jonesing for the corkscrew so bad lately, and well, I can’t have it just yet. Kills me. The parade lap was slow, as expected, but I used it as an opportunity to do a little campaigning for Obama. I wore my Obama tee and tried to sit up enough so people could see it. Got to speed up AFTER the corkscrew, because all the fools in front of me had never been there before and slowed way down for the blind hill that precedes it. So frustrating. There’s track days there this coming Tues. and Wed. If I was working for myself, as I have been the better part of the past 8 years, I’d have just stayed a couple extra days and found the money somewhere. I may have to reconsider this “saving the world through big business” idea, to find a way to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of what’s really important: