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Old 06-07-2009, 10:46 AM   #271
dave6253
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Nice job Mr. Red. Or is it Mr Orange now?
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:51 AM   #272
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You guys are probably sick of hearing about me living it up in Florida, right? Okay, okay, I’ll just put up pictures.





Local kumquats soaked in Absolute = tasty!



Yes, I did one too...



At this party I met a musician who plays in the Tampa Symphony, and it turns out he’s a Ducati guy, and he invites me to meet him in Daytona for Bike Week. Why didn’t I think of that?!? I can only go on Monday, but it’ll be vintage racing and I’ve never actually been to any of the “big” rallies. This’ll be fun!

Before my day off rolls around I do have a few more pit services (and don't forget shooting and editing!). The set pieces waiting patiently for their moments:



Percussionists sometimes get to make their own instruments. I can dig it. These pipes are cut and welded to achieve specific pitches, and then you get to slam them with a hammer! Seriously, who doesn’t want to do that?!





The armory:



Daytona, are you ready for viola-tor???

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Old 06-15-2009, 10:40 PM   #273
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Daytona Bike Week!

I’ve never been to any of the “big” national motorcycle gatherings like Sturgis. I honestly don’t feel like I’m missing much, but this seems like a good opportunity to check out the pirate life! Besides, vintage racing will be sweet...

I leave early from Sarasota and plan to meet two Ducati enthusiasts I barely know after lunch, so I figure I can see the circus outside in the morning and racing in the afternoon.

There is a huge black guy who owns this bike, not sure if he's a ball player but it wouldn’t surprise me. There’s leather on the engine and a big sword on the sissy bar... But I’m not judging!



A drop of orange is a sea of chrome.



Many of the big manufacturers have tents and demo rides. I don't partake, I already own my dream bike! YEAH!!!









I'm tempted to try one of these out of curiosity, but in the end don't feel like bothering with the waivers.



Twisted Throttle is here too, I love poking around their website! Cool stuff for adventure riders. This F800GS and KLR are tricked out with the latest goodies. Love that yellow/black! That paint job on the KLR is probably worth more than the bike!





Two-stroke super moto???












Is that a BMW roundel?





I truly, truly don’t understand...







Next: The infield.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:30 AM   #274
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Wow. Is this the new Honda Goldwing?

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #275
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Lots of pics...

Let’s take a step back in time... TO RACE!!! I’ve never been to an actual motorcycle race before, but I’ve done a few track days on the BMW.

The circus outside the speedway is “free” (in that there isn’t a ticket required to park or attend), but it seems to me that people part with a lot of money at the vendor booths and on the carnival food and entertainment. To get into the infield to see the actual racing (which happens in some form everyday of bike week. I didn’t know that!) one needs to buy a ticket at $20 (or was it $22?), not too big of deal in my book, but I met lots of “pirates” outside the gates who thought that was outrageous. “Twenty dollars?!? What ‘fer?? All this is out here is free!” Yeah right, I wonder how much the typical attendee spends on b-e-e-e-e-e-e-r at Bike Week.

Anyway, to each his own, I’m really looking forward to seeing some 50-year-old bikes dragging parts in the corners!



My camera has an awesome wide angle lens, but not much of a zoom... There’s something about an old bike sound... the exhaust notes sounded like they were ripping the sky in two, cool. And loud.



These guys were battling the whole race for first.



The dangerous WOT embankment. This thing is steep!



Doh! The day is not without some crashes.



It turns out all the “real” motorcycles are in the infield, sweet!



This Hypermotard was covered in carbon fiber, I don’t want to know how much that cost...



Now we’re talkin’!



This was the only other KTM I saw, except for this one that was racing (note the helmet camera):







A Norton club gathering, some amazing bikes:





This guy in front was hauling ass on the first lap, and I thought to myself “he looks like he’s on the edge...” As he was starting the 2nd lap he low sided HARD on his shoulder and got an ambulance ride. No pics as this happened on the other side of the track.



My bike was a celebrity too, as the only KTM Adventure here (that I saw)! This guy in the white hat stopped his scooter and took pictures of it for twenty minutes (no kidding!). My baby...





The two guys I met follow motorcycle road racing and are a wealth of information about it. One of them even knows a lot of people on the teams so I get a guided tour of the pits and get to shake hands with some folks who ride motorcycles for a living. Pretty cool.

Doug Polen? I didn’t know him, but I guess he’s the real deal. I only kinda know the Moto GP names, but I still have mad respect!



This guy's paddock was ridiculous: A Hypermotard, a 1098r, an 848, and a Desmodici!



Then we went over the pro pits where the factory teams were setting up for the Superbike race later in the week. The resources behind these riders and bikes are staggering to a guy like me. I've got one bike and a every individual tool or part I buy is like gold.



Check out the team-green chain! LOL! These paddocks were like doctors offices, so clean and organized, and matching shirts for the mechanics.









Impressive.



The amateur pits for the vintage racing are a completely different story. Tools and parts everywhere, spilling out, old vans overloaded and dirty. Crazy! There’s a team from Japan going crazy working and winning. It looks like they shipped huge crates over, and I can’t help wondering who would pay for that...







Fill up with some 112 octane, anyone?



I proudly wear my full gear everywhere and have a lot of people stop me to ask about my boots, jacket, etc., which is kinda fun. When I’m cruising around I try to stand as much as possible, ‘cause I like being twice as tall (or more!) than the cruiser riders beneath me. HAHAHA! I turn a lot of heads, which is admittedly fun for a little while...



Only after we go out for dinner do I learn that both Dave and Dee are both pro classical musicians! We’d been talking bikes all day we never got around to it. Thanks for the great day, I learned a lot!





I crank up on some coffee and am feeling pretty good, so I decide to head back to Sarasota on the slab (not much of a choice!). Brrr, it’s still cold here, WTF???

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:16 PM   #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viola-tor

Is that Holub on the keg?
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:32 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax maac
Is that Holub on the keg?
LOL! Yup! He makes a mean deep-fried turkey. Amazing.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #278
Roadrunner
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Sweeeeet!!

Thanks for the tour - great pics, as usual!!!

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Old 06-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #279
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As someone who grew up on classical music and still appreciates it from time to time, thanks for the awesome ride report, it's been a great read. I have a friend who moved out to gainsville, FL so I'll pass your info along and maybe he'll come over for a listen since he's a fellow musician. Can't wait until you get back to auditions and the longer rides!

P.S. A stop in SF bay or up at Lake Tahoe would be great. Keep all of us posted!
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:37 PM   #280
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Thanks, again, great report.
Yesssss ! a stop in sf bay would be great !
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:47 AM   #281
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It’s scuba time!

I put scuba diving as one of the top priorities for my time in Florida way back in the fall when I found out I would be playing in the Sarasota Opera. I’ve got a couple friends back home who fly all over the world in search of prime scuba locations and they sure talk it up! I freely admit to being a total land-lubber, but this sounds really cool!

And it’s not gonna get much easier than this: One of the trombonists with the Sarasota Orchestra is a dive instructor and occasionally gets a group of musicians together to teach them the ways at cost! No better place than here, no better time than now!

Naturally I take the reins and round everyone up and collect the money. We elect to enroll in a “resort course” which entails one classroom session, one pool training day, and then the actual ocean dive. We will not become fully certified, but all these things can be credited towards dive certification if we decide to go that route later. The classroom, pool, and dive are all spread out over several weeks because of the ways our days off are arranged, but we’re all musicians to it’s no prob! (Monday is the musician’s Saturday! There are many advantages to this, we almost never have to wait in line for anything, and all businesses are open!)

Gearing up after class:



Unfortunately we didn’t get guns.



Getting familiar with the gear poolside:



It’s a little weird packing scuba gear on a bike, but why not! I strap the fins on the back and the regulator and mask in the luggage while wearing the B.C. (Buoyancy Compensator, the vest thing) over my riding jacket. Nothing wrong with more astronaut gear!



I have severely compromised vision and am almost blind without my glasses. I haven’t worn contacts in years which turns out to be an issue... how am I gonna see underwater? I look into prescription masks, but they’re quite an investment. Getting a current contacts exam and my high-powered lenses would also not be cheap (and even if you know your prescription an eye doc won’t give you contacts unless you’ve been “fitted” for contacts within the last year in most states. What a scam!), and the clock is ticking... Luckily I’m able to score some “samples” that are “near enough” to my prescription for dive use. The hook up rules!

Getting suited up:



I’m a little neoprene tea-cup!



The weight belts (nice pink belt Matt! LOL!). The idea is to achieve neutral buoyancy with all the gear on in the water. The B.C. vest is inflatable and hooked into the air tank, so as you changes depths you can adjust your buoyancy with a hand valve to add or release air in the vest. The weight belts are needed to find the baseline buoyancy for each person, and it’s different in the salt water as it’s more dense then the freshwater of our training pool! I learned a lot...



Big horizontal step, don’t jump!



Waterproof camera, oh yeah!



It’s another world...





Is he doing a Michael Jackson?



Obviously there’s not much conversation underwater, so divers use a predetermined set of hand signals that cover the basic “stay-alive” communication that needs to take place. Anything else can wait until you’re on the surface. The difficult one to remember is that a “thumbs up” means “going to the surface” instead of “A-Okay!” It’s easy to make that mistake, as they’re two very different commands. We have a specific set of drills we need to learn down here in the pool so we get right to it.

Here’s Mark our instructor guiding Kristi through the “retrieve your regulator” drill. If for some reason your regulator (the part that gives you air into your mouth) gets yanked away or knocked loose you need to know how to find it again. Obviously. It sounds simple, but there are a lot of hoses and straps and it could be easy to get confused in a panic situation where seconds count.



My turn:





We’re supposed to use the buddy system, so me and Matt (a violinist) team up. You watch each other’s backs and double check gear.

My buddy and me! (remember that creepy Chucky toy with the catchy commercial song?)



There’s also a drill on how to remove and put on the weight belt underwater. This is also kind of tricky because of all the other junk we have to wear.



mmmm, bubbles... I’m surprised by how loud the whole experience is. The air coming and going through the system and reverberating through the water almost rattles my teeth. I was thinking it would be relatively quite down there.



Now for the scariest drill, removing and putting back on your mask! Look at that concentration!





Each scuba pack has a second regulator dangling from an extra long hose. This is for another person (your buddy) if it’s needed for any reason. The final drill is how to share air, and sharing is caring... When sharing air the partners are to hold onto each others vest so the regulator doesn’t get yanked away if the two start floating away from each other.



The drills are finished, now we get some free time to float about, practice and have fun for a while.

Our instructor Mark likes to hang out upside down, just floating neutrally, not moving:



I try it, but the pressure is kinda weird on my ears and head...



That’s better!



This is my favorite pic of the day!

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:19 PM   #282
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Cool!

I really want to try scuba...it's on my list as well.

What sucks is I get one thing checked off my list, and then end up adding two more, so I keep falling further behind.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:18 PM   #283
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As a professional live sound engineer in rock / pop (touring worldwide) it is really interesting to see the other side of the music industry.

What is even better is the way in which you have managed to incorporate work and play together.

Keep on riding and writing. (it's great)

All the best Tom
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:01 PM   #284
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Cool violator-scuba-adventure !
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:53 AM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkebd
I really want to try scuba...it's on my list as well.

What sucks is I get one thing checked off my list, and then end up adding two more, so I keep falling further behind.
It seems like when we have the money, we don't have the time - and when we have the time, we don't have the money. Right Clarkebd?

While you guys can teach me tons about dirt biking - I've had my SCUBA certification since 1986. My husband was a diver when I met him, and I learned in Massachusetts. Now we mostly dive Florida and the Carribean. I'm getting him into Dualsporting now.... He just bought a little Yamaha XT250 like I have, and is working on getting his license!

With Scuba - he is way over his 100 hour mark, and I'm just reaching my 100 hour mark! (We've lived in New Mexico for about 15 years now)

P.S. VIOLA-A-TOR - It IS very quiet in the ocean when there are only fish around, and your buddy happens to swim away from you out of sight (a real no-no). It can be eerily so.....but also cool when your buddy isn't scaring the fish away and a school circles and swirls around you!

Your instructor "hanging around" was showing off his total CONTROL. That is something Suba Divers practice the most. Ask him how often he does that in a moving body of water! We do it, but only when there is little surge, current and wave action - which is usually way deeper than 20 feet.

When you get the chance - try John Pennecamp National (Underwater) Park in Florida. It is quite something! But no spear guns there either, laws and licensing vary. Finish your certification, then keep letting us know how you pack the gear on your bike! Thanks for the great underwater pics - and keep up the great reports!
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