Exploring Asheville

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.


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