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Old 04-10-2013, 07:21 PM   #1756
Platinumgrit
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shit yes.

I've purposely not looked at this thread for a while so as to cope with the wait better.

Damn good to have you back.

C'est magnifique, monseur; Vive votre rapport de conduite!
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #1757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contevita View Post
Sounds like a lot of relationship breakups start with "It's not you, it's me".


Great report. Often times when we follow our heart and do what we love, there are unexpected gifts. This experience is one of those gifts.

Thanks
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:54 AM   #1758
fritzcoinc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane Francks View Post
Yeah, and they misspelled 'highest', too.
Have you ever read an Italian technical document? They must outsource their translations to Eskimos.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:58 AM   #1759
infresig
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Ha, good eye - another proofreader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trane Francks View Post
Yeah, and they misspelled 'highest', too.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #1760
Trane Francks
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Ha, good eye - another proofreader.
I spent a couple of years as a technical rewriter of supercomputer and mainframe manuals that were translated from Japanese to English. Old habits die hard.
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:06 AM   #1761
AntiHero OP
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Night was falling.



A little preface before dinner--Journalist event rule #1: don't take pictures. The opposite of what you'd think, right? Journalists spend their lives taking pictures and/or having their pictures taken. But apparently it’s all about time/place. More on this later.

I exit the elevator on a low, even floor, walk past two security guys who were eyeing me to see if I thought I belonged there. A nonchalant glance fended them off as I successfully impersonated someone who wasn't an imposter.

Oh, I wanted to be there, wanted to talk with all the journalists from around the world, wanted to talk with all the Ducati guys I'd met--and hadn’t yet met--and had been invited. But that didn't stop me from thinking I still didn't belong. Some of the greatest minds of the industry were present. If 'knowledge of motorcycles' gave off a faint glow of light, Austin could be seen from Europa that night. Yet I was there. Sublime. Walking in, a glimpse of one of the loneliest stretches of road I was on in South Dakota or Nebraska flashed through my thoughts. The sun was setting low, I stopped on a bridge to take a picture of my 700' shadow on the soy fields(?) below. I remember thinking at the time, that my ‘adventure’ was just something experienced in a vacuum. It meant everything while it was happening, but each energy filled moment died the next. It was an inevitable sign that the end of the ride would be fatal. It’s part of the reason why I ‘kind of freaked out’ at the end of my trip, jumped in my FJ and took off again for another 4000 miles--experience would die and I just wanted one more day, one last gulp of life, one final surge of blood through my veins. But the Ducati event proved that actions great enough carry on by momentum. That even though the trip had stopped, it set in motion a series of events that would reveal themselves in time, events that would continue to inspire and conspire.

When I came out of my reverie the ‘imposter syndrome’ was there to greet me. So I grabbed a space at the end of the bar, ordered a drink....said ‘fuck it’ turned around and honey-badgered my way into a conversation with two journalists. In a room full of experts who know everything about bikes you're in good company if you're a fly on the wall. What the hell do you say to people who know everything about the subject that brought you all together? My refusal to have an opinion about shit I don't know anything about and my passion for the things I do know well saved me from coming off like a moron. I relaxed and began to enjoy myself.

A few moments later the organizers instruct us to find our seats. I wander among the tables, searching for my name. But before I find mine I see names like Michael Neeves, Simon Hargreaves and Paul Carruthers. Fuck me. Inadequacy is back. (I wish I could be one of those people who holds a key that unlocks the “deserving” compartment in my brain. Instead, I only have access to the ‘unworthy’ chamber, which is more like a freezing outhouse filled with spiders. I don’t have a key to that, either. Not that it matters, because it's locked from the outside.)

A slight pang of satisfaction rises when I spot my name. Then, the undulation of anxiety and relief reaches an apogee. I see who’s next to me. Kevin Duke on one side, Ben Spies on the other.

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Old 04-12-2013, 12:09 AM   #1762
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Superb. I hope this ride report never ends.
I hope for the same.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:14 AM   #1763
manban9888
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I have a feeling your greatest adventures are yet to come. Thank you for sharing them. I'll be following them closely. Ride free brother
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:05 AM   #1764
Trane Francks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
A slight pang of satisfaction rises when I spot my name. Then, the undulation of anxiety and relief reaches an apogee. I see who’s next to me. Kevin Duke on one side, Ben Spies on the other.
That's beautiful. I totally get it. The whole awe-crush-kiddie-rapture of being out of your element. Mix in a bit of intimidation and feelings of undeserving and you're positioned for an interesting evening.

I'm optimistic that Ben was way laid back and just took you at face value. Authenticity wins, man. On both sides.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:46 AM   #1765
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This RR is inspirational, to the point of being life changing. I hope you have some understanding of the effect this RR has had on some of us. I had some time last night, so I began re-reading it (now at page 10). This RR is showing me I can take my VFR solo, cross country; that self doubt and fear are merely a precursor of growth. Thanks again for your hard work and insight... please keep us posted on when your book will be out.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:17 AM   #1766
musicman
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Don't know if Vickie Smith was there, but she is a Ducati insider who pulls strings for American Ducati customers. Since USA is their biggest market, it would seem wise of Ducati to sponsor you on a similar trip around Europe even if the sponsorship was no more than a bike, air and hotels.

So many rich possibilities from a journalistic standpoint.. compare, cultures, riders, etc.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:26 AM   #1767
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Best placeholders ever.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:57 AM   #1768
fifthcircle
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As soon as Spies sat down, I would've offered to autograph my placeholder helmet for him to keep.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #1769
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Dennis, with everyone of your posts here I think now you reached climax, now it can't get any better, surely this has to stop sometime. But it just doesn't. You keep motivating and entertaining us with awesome little glimpses of your life. To think all this started with you getting your dream bike and heading off into the unknown and ended where you are right now is unbelievable. My hat is off to you!

By the way, I did a little trip on my bike by myself through France and Italy myself the week after Easter, and felt many of the things you described. I surely could relate to some of the stuff! Will have to do a longer trip in the future.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:36 PM   #1770
fritzcoinc
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Originally Posted by AntiHero View Post
A slight pang of satisfaction rises when I spot my name. Then, the undulation of anxiety and relief reaches an apogee. I see who’s next to me. Kevin Duke on one side, Ben Spies on the other.
You have arrived!
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