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 gotbluemilk.com
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Since I’m all over the map these days, I figured I’d just run through the schedule here so people who care can keep track:
March 28-31: Nice, France: The new code word for reminding me I’m about to embark on a really bad idea.
April 3-6: Valencia, Spain: World Superbike with Britt
April 8-11: Bilbao, Spain: Guggenheim, crazy Easter parades, Spa with circus people
April 20-29: Paris, France: Shop till ya drop with friends
April 30-May 4: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain: MotoGP!!!
May 7-12: Chapel Hill, NC, USA: Graduation!!!
May 13-20: NYC: beg for work, hang out, etc.
May 22-24: Atlanta: track day, hang out, enjoy springtime in the south
May 25-29: Express road trip to San Francisco via Marfa, TX with Yaron, if he can stand it again.
May 30: San Mateo, CA: Maker Faire with Dave and his critters
May 31-June 4: Monterey, CA: Sustainable Brands International Conference: beg shamelessly for work, make lots of new friends.
June 5-…depends on the efficacy of my begging efforts. 😉
Or just not particularly inspired? I did track days 2 weekends in a row, which was AWESOME!!! Then went for a wonderful night ride on Friday with a new friend. That was exciting, especially trying to keep my eyes on the road instead of the fireflies. I love Fireflies. Then Saturday I got to dance to Prince AND Michael Jackson ALL night! OK, well, only until the DJ finally played “Lil’ red corvette” around 1:30 so I could finally go home and sleep.
This coming weekend is Squidfest 2008,aka the R1/R6 convention at Deal’s Gap. Hundreds of lunatics on the fastest sportbikes made will descend on the twistiest, most treacherous stretch of road in the US. I can’t wait! Then 4th of July in NYC, which I miss so bad I kinda want to run up there the weekend before too. Very tempting. But extravagant.
did a Hypercycle track day at Willow Springs today. It was soooooooooooo fun! Even though it hurt like hell going through T2, I put in a few extra laps, suffering the pain for the glory of T8. God, it felt soooo good to do T8 again. I am a T8 junkie. It’s so fun to have a sweeping right hander where you just keep it pinned. Don’t even slow down, just open it up as you exit T7, and keep going faster. It feels amazing to be able to lean it into a turn and not slow down, but actually accelerate. I’m scared to write the speed here, as my mom reads this and it’s bad enough she has to read all my cussin’. Besides, my speedo might be off, and we all know that the speedo errs faster when leaned over, as the sides of the tires are a smaller diameter than the center. The pain in T2 was me not finding a comfortable position. My right leg couldn’t handle it. I’m so out of shape.
But I was kicking ass and taking names just the same! I signed up for intermediate since I’d never ridden with Hypercycle before, and didn’t know how fast their racer group would be. But after 2 sessions of picking my way through traffic and trying to avoid rear-ending people in T8, I moved up to the racer group. In the 1st session, I went out last, and it took a few laps before people started passing me, which was nice, having the track all to myself. The next and last sessions were practically empty, and there were some really slow guys out, who I passed easily. I even got one on video, which will be posted shortly. It was a slow pass because the temptation is to pass riders on the inside of T8, but you have to wait until they pick a line through the turn, cuz some people will surprise you and dive to the inside. Hence the hestitation before my big video moment.
Even the drive home was fun; to avoid Memorial Day traffic, I took the Angeles Forest Highway to Lower Tujunga. It was scenic, peaceful, and traffic/cop-free! Woohoo!