Posts tagged motogp

Yamaha Knows How To Treat Customers!

Enjoy this video of my booty working it around the track on Saturday…

The weekend of October 12th and 13th, Yamaha sponsored their annual Owners Appreciation Event at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. The track days were conducted by Zoom Zoom, and awesome as always. Zoom Zoom does a great job, and Yamaha kicks down some money to make it free (if you’ve got a newer Yamaha) or $100 for the rest of us. This is a brilliant strategy from a company that prides itself on making kick-ass sportbikes.

$100/day is a quarter of the cost of a typical track day at my favorite race track. It was so fun to be back out there, and on my big boy. The Refuel event was fun, but my Zero FX tops out at about 80mph, which makes for a very boring run up the front straight. I trained a little to try and build my strength, as I knew two days on the R1 at Laguna would be a serious workout. But it wasn’t enough, so my lazy ass could barely walk by the middle of the second day. So I packed it in early, as did quite a few others. Track days are a great way to appease the need for speed, and Laguna is my favorite track to ride. You can see pictures of me on-track at

Continue reading Yamaha Knows How To Treat Customers!

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.

Continue reading What I Did Last Weekend Is Addictive and Dangerous


2009 is on the books. 4 days. 5 craaaazy nights. Rode down Wednesday night with the flu, George and I got in around the same time, had to dine at Dennys. But then, so did half of Dorna (MotoGP staff), so that was fun. But we felt bad for them, coming all the way from Europe and eating Denny’s. Thursday I did the Day of Stars event which raised money for Riders for Health an AWESOME charity. The event was fun and I made some really cool new friends, but the stars were kinda lite. You could just show up at the auction and get just as much out of it. The ride through the countryside was nice, first leg was too slow, second leg was just right. Got complimented by our police escort “You don’t ride like a girl” 🙂

Continue reading Lagunaaaaaaa

oh boohoo

pobre mio. I just realized I’d been looking at the 2008 GP calendar, and that I’ll only be able to make one GP while in Europe. Quel triste. At least Laguna’s on 4th of July weekend so I know I won’t miss that!

On the bright side, Valentino Jr. is adjusting well to his new (temporary?) home with his grandma and grandpa, so I will not have to worry about him while I’m in Spain. He is chilling on my bed right now, even though he has a disturbing preference for relaxing under the bed (a tight spot for a cat of his size) all day. At least he acts like a normal cat at night.

My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and the party will continue in La Jolla this weekend, when the whole family schleps down there to help them celebrate the actual day. I’ve been in more of my parent’s weddings than I have of my own (2 or 3 to 0). They’ve renewed their vows a few times, and this time we had quite a large cast, what with my brothers, their wives, Dave’s 3 kids, my mom’s sister, my dad’s niece, and my cousin. My cousin Diane and I, being the single ones, marched down the aisle arm in arm just like the married couples. That was fun because not all of my parent’s friends know Diane so we were fake lesbians for a moment in a traditional Episcopalian church.

Christmas was nice this year, we had a lovely adult brunch at Gary & Colleen’s, the highlight of which for me was tormenting their adorable dog Roxy. Roxy has a thing for light, she’ll chase any sort of light there is, and a laser pointer drives her into a complete frenzy. Colleen made me stop before I gave the poor thing a heart attack, as dogs aren’t exactly prone to indulging in fun in moderation. But it was so fun watching her chase that thing all over the house. I want a dog so bad.


I didn’t get nearly as many pix this year, but then, most of my friends were MIA, and for some reason George was more interested in mouthing off than being photographed with all the umbrella girls like last year. But here’s a cute pair of critters. I don’t think this girl realizes that “Viva la Figa,” a slogan popularized by Rossi, is Italian for “Pussy Forever.” But then, she could just be making a joke.

my legs hurt from sprinting across 2 airports yesterday. I’m off to the tub.

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:

Oh yeahhhh….

I’m so bad-ass. I need to ride 700 miles in a weekend to remind myself of this from time to time. There’s a certain sense of self-respect that comes from a long weekend in the saddle, that is quite different from the speed lust satisfaction that comes from a track day. At a track day, there’s always someone (or in my case, a few someones) faster. Out on the open road, that’s usually not the case, and when it is, I let them by so they can be the bait. But what really set this trip apart was not riding in a pack of R1’s obeying the $*#@&% speed limit on the Dragon. I know, WTF?? What is the world coming to when 50+ R1 riders let 8 cops in 11 miles make them nervous? These were not the R1 riders I know from LA. These are a different breed. More mature and sensible. Like me. Strange. How did so many of us infiltrate the ranks? I saw only one measly 2-second burnout. In any case, it was a fun group, and I made some new friends.

It wasn’t finally seeing the interior of the Biltmore Estate, either. That was a huge disappointment. I guess I’ve seen enough castles and really old mansions to not feel impressed when I have to share that little space behind the velvet rope with entirely too many people, none of whom could even fathom that someone behind them might want to move a little faster. Glad I did it, though, I’d been curious for so long.

One thing that made it a special weekend was discovering a small puddle of oil under my bike Sunday AM, noticing that my oil level had also fallen, all this when my oil light’s been acting up despite having had enough oil. So I called a friend who’s from Asheville, and he was able to hook me up with the only bike shop in the world (practically) open on Sunday. Chris at Acme Motorcycles in Fairview, NC topped it up, and we shot the breeze for a spell, while I found the perfect tank bag I’d been looking for. Then I went into Asheville and soaked up more of my absolute favorite place in NC.

But what really made it a special weekend was surviving this ridiculous downpour, and TWICE.

The first time, visibility was so low that even I had to pull off and get shelter. Plus I needed gas anyway. So when the rain stopped, I continued on my way, not thinking about which direction the storm would be going. So I caught up with it again, but at least this time everyone else slowed down too. So we crawled along I-40 in the rain, and I discovered the limits of my Aerostich’s waterproofness. It laughs at light rain, but it was the rain doing the laughing this time.

Close enough to home and already running late for Tom’s birthday, I was determined to not stop before pulling into my garage. I even had to lanesplit at one point as everyone had pretty much stopped just for the hell of it. The one time I almost stopped under an overpass to chill, 3 CARS were parked under there. Retards. Lots of cars pulled over to wait it out, I kept going. By the time I got into Durham, I had passed it, and the highway was dry. I made it home, peeled off the wet layers, changed into a party dress, and took the cage to Tom’s and had a fun party. AND we got to light fireworks in the street at 10 pm and piss off some grumpy old man with kids! AND we watched MotoGP and they cut off Dani’s podium speech because he’s an asshole to the press. He’s an asshole to everyone, anyway. Too bad Honda doesn’t seem to care.

An awesome weekend

All is right with the world, because Rossi at least got 2nd. It’s not 1st, where he really belongs, and it sure as hell wasn’t easy, but it’s improvement. This whole nonsense of switching to 850cc bikes from 1000’s is a plot to help the little pipsqueaks like Pedrosa win races. Like any ratio, if you want it to be the same, you can’t just change the numerator without changing the denominator accordingly. Power has decreased, thus increasing the power/weight ratio for the little guys and decreasing it for guys like Rossi, Hayden, and Edwards. Who do I talk to about implementing combined weight minimums for MotoGP?

Check it out! I’m famous!

I googled myself (no mom, it’s not a mortal sin, it’s typing one’s own name into Google;-) and here’s this article I was interviewed for. I excerpted my part so you can read it right here:

One of those who won’t be buying a room this year is longtime race fan Susanna Schick, 37, who wouldn’t dream of missing a MotoGP.

A former amateur racer, she plans vacations to Europe and across the states around big race events. She’s been coming to Monterey since 1997 for the World Superbike races, then when MotoGP returned to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca two years ago, she and her friends came from Los Angeles. This year, she’s coming from South Carolina.

Not ready to pay $300|

The racing, she loves. Monterey, she’s a bit less crazy about. Last year, she got charged for a room she’d inquired about but never authorized. It took repeated phone calls to get the charges removed.

She’s fed up with what she considers unfair pricing. For a luxury hotel with a bay view, $400 would be reasonable, said Schick, but a $300 motel room is out of line.

This year, even though she hates camping, Schick and her friends are skipping the hotel scene, staying in RVs instead. Even at $2,000 for a rental, it’ll cost less for a group than hotel stays, she said.

Angered by her experiences, Schick posted two online petitions urging the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to intervene in hotel pricing, one for camping fans, the other for race fans who chose to boycott the event.

“We do not deserve to be so grossly overcharged and would rather stay home and watch it on TV,” she writes in the latter. “If the Monterey area hotels only increased their rates by about 30 percent over their normal rates, we would probably attend.”

People always mix up South and North Carolina. Oh well. Here’s the whole article:

Yaaay! Indy next year, baby!!! But I must admit, I had no idea that Monterey county only had 12,000 hotel rooms. Kinda makes sense that there’s a hotel shortage. Hard to believe, though. There’s soooo many hotels there. But they’re mostly tiny.

On running away from school

Not that I actually would, but damn, it was tempting at Laguna. The sun, the people, the fun, the racing, the lucky VIP access, the whole shebang. I wasn’t even mad (until Sunday night, really) that I didn’t have a Red Bull VIP pass. I thought “sheeeit, who needs Burning Man?” I’m sure MotoGP fulfills the same need for solidarity within a subculture, and it’s actually held in a climate designed to support life. I hate the desert. At least Black Rock City is temporary. Cities built in deserts with no real water source are scary as all hell.

But enough about that. Today I ran out of the Statistics test crying. Sobbed uncontrollably because I don’t even know where to begin with that shit and the teacher is too educated to explain it to a Liberal Arts grad. But I arranged for a tutor, so that should help. I’m buying “Statistics for Dummies” tomorrow to get a start. I can look at this as just a more intellectually challenging version of what happened in fashion school.

When I started, I was like all the rest of the fashion students. “Why do we need to know this patternmaking shit? We’re gonna hire people to do this!!!” I hated it, it was boring and tedious and entirely too quantitative. But then once we got the basics down, turns out I was really good at it. So good I got paid to do it for the last 14 years. Now stat is a lot harder to learn than patternmaking, but I’m going to hold onto this idea. Besides, I kick ass in Accounting and Finance, my other 2 classes this summer!

Oh, and in other news, I rode home in pouring rain and didn’t die. Didn’t even slide even a tiny little bit, and I’m on tires that are seriously not designed for rain. It was interesting. There’s this weenie in my building that considers himself a biker because he has a motorcycle parked on his patio. He pops up entirely too often and gives me shit about riding when it’s too hot, or might rain, etc. I laughed and told him it was only 30% chance, but next time he comes out with one of his retarded comments I may just have to say “If you hate riding so much, why not sell your bike?” I mean really. Most weenies have enough ego to keep it to themselves.

Here’s Laura (Rossi’s PR rep) telling me some unspeakable truth about Rossi…