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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.
Sweet! I remember seeing this on Sunday!
Ok, here goes....
I honestly don't remember too much about the drive from Madison to Indiana. Sat. night at MotoGP with the liver-poisoning friend Chachi left most of my memories of the past week in my camera.
But I did take this pic, so I know I actually made the drive.
Arrived at my new host's house in the afternoon and saw this! I wanted to go next door and ask the neighbors if they were Mormon, but I'm pretty sure I knew the answer already:
Unpacked and took off to will call to pick up my gift from Ducati North America:
We hit up the Desmo club dinner that was hosted by Dallara. Dallara is the chassis builder for Indy and Indy Lights cars (among other racing series) who just opened a new manufacturing facility a con rods throw away from Indianapolis Speedway. We did the tour, which was, errr, lacking in all but the category of "know it all guy in the tour who wanted to demonstrate how much he knows about everything, including the stuff that he doesn't know much about. But it was cool to see and touch alien technology up close.
Elliot, a mechanical engineer, actually did know his shit. Let's all take a moment of silence to thank Daniel Bernoulli....
And they had some simulators that would have been cool had the tracks not been ovals. BORING!!!!
Rossi's team showed up for some behind the scenes look at Dallara's technology. Even though they were speaking in Italian, which I do not understand beyond the vernacular of ordering in a cafe, ya know they're looking for carbon-chassis secrets that might fix the issues of their own MotoGP Chassis.
Oops. Must have snapped this accidentally.
Ducati Island is about the best marketing/sales tactic I can imagine. It's like an Italian motorbike art installation. The public is able to walk around, but there's one area sectioned off where Ducati models serve up bottled water, biscotti and espresso.
And in addition to all the customer/owner bikes, Ducati brings some specials of their own.
Almost immediately on the Island I ran into a guy who had offered his house (and steaks, drinks and a garage) up to me in Chicago. Unfortunately the timing was all off and I simply couldn't make it to Chicago, but it was great to meet him. Unfortunately I was so spaced I failed to snap a shot of us. But shout out to you, Adam! And thanks for introducing me to some of the other D.R.I.L.L. guys--would have liked to hang out more.
The crazy thing was that several guys I'd never talked to online recognized me as the nutter going coast to coast (some introduced from other forums I'd never heard of, like an XR1200 forum). This is the inmate (Travis) who tracked me down just to say hi. Good thing, too, because--in addition to being a cool dude whom I really enjoyed talking to, he graciously made recommendations that decided my next route and and helped me avoid some of the mistakes on I was going to make. Awesome guy.
ummm my camera has made that same mistake before too... looks like MotoGP was a god time
More eye candy:
One of two RS5s in the country:
And finally--the race:
Indy kind of sucks to view races (or take pictures) because, as you can see, there's some really ugly and high fences around the track to prevent 555lb chunks of Nascar bits slaughtering 150 people at a time. Add to that such a tiny grid of bikes and it's basically not much different than watching bikes just go round and round, with a position change ever 5 minutes. MotoGP is a spectacle for both the eyes and ears, but it's just not the same as watching a 'racing' event where you're on edge, seeing men battling it out. Instead you just see men riding really fast. If you've ever seen Schwantz or Rainey or Doohan or Lawson elbow to elbow you know what I'm talking about. Fortunately we stuck around for the XR race--talk about AWESOME.
When watching a bunch of relatively inexpensive Harley Davidsons swapping positions, dive bombing each other and sliding in and out of corners is far more interesting than MotoGP, something needs to be done. I'd much rather have watched another XR race than watch another MotoGP one.
When watching a bunch of relatively inexpensive Harley Davidson's swapping positions, dive bombing each other and sliding in and out of corners is far more interesting than MotoGP, something needs to be done. I'd much rather have watched another XR race than watch another MotoGP one.
Could not agree more! Thanks for the report.<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
So we get loads of generic motorcycle pics, and not one pic of a Ducati model? You're slipping, bro.
Welcome ta Minnesnowtah!
Sorry, I'm a mechanosexual.
Okay, that will get me through for a little while.....LOL
Been to a lot of places around the US, but after seeing all the pics, I'm starting to realize that Florida is pretty boring when it comes to motorcycles.....
Sad but true. As much as it pains me to say it, World Superbike is much more fun to watch these days.
Hope Indiana treated you well, I know it's boring here, but we try to make up for it by being nice!
I'll have to mention I was miserable all day Sunday. We went out on Sat. night and once again, things got a little bit out of hand. Tons of fun, but when amount of alcohol consumed is inversely proportional to the amount of sleep you get, the next day is never pleasant.
But first, it started with me arriving downtown to find Pokemons and Sorcerers wandering around. The cab driver told me it was Game Con, so with time to spare, I wandered into the convention center to find geeks from all over America coming together to celebrate an uncontrollable, incessant passion that cannot be repressed regardless of how much it repulse members of the opposite sex.
And then I was reminded of Junior High and felt a little bit of sympathy.
(Hell, out of desperation I had figured out how to both play D&D AND be a Dungeon Master at the same time when I was a young, so who was I to cast stones).
Then again, I was around 11 at the time when I fantasized about slaying Dopplegangers and Gargoyles, so cast the first stone I will! Though I give them respect for engaging in something they love, despite societies view of it, most of them have one small problem. Now, there’s a lot of ways to characterize our criticism and there’s even more ways to analyze just why it is we can make fun of them with a good conscience. But to me, it’s the comparison between who they ‘really’ are and what they’re ‘pretending’ to be. You’ve got guys who probably couldn’t walk up 2 flights of stairs or jump more than a foot in the air dressed up as a Samurai. It just looks ridiculous--and more importantly, they seemed to have skipped the "Training and Discipline" chapter in the Samurai handbook and went straight for the "Fashion Ensemble and Accouterments" one. I mean, kids dressed up as Ninjas or superheroes is funny in a cute way, but when grown, overweight, out of shape guys do it it only emphasizes just how far they are from being who they want to be. And that’s sad. Now--I’ve got no problem with someone wanting to be a Ninja, but at the very least, do some push-ups, take an acrobatics course or simply ease up on the Pepperoni slices.
(Notice in the picture above that's a Darth Maul like light saber staff. Will his mom let him play with it in the garage while he video tapes himself, ya think?)
And as I'm trying to understand the foundations and motivations for all of this behavior, I wander out onto the street....and then the idea that has expressed itself unabashedly inside of the convention center becomes a prescription for spectacles that illuminate this same behavior expressed nearly everywhere.....
Now, no one can deny that it does takes some big balls (and a lot of fabric, apparently) to dress up like a Wizard and walk around in a sea of drunken Harley guys wearing chains and bandanas while inhaling Marlboro reds.
And so as I sat there watching the clash of the two worlds unfold in front of me on Illinois St. downtown in Indianapolis. I didn’t have to go test my sociological thesis in different cities or countries using economic cross sectional slices of society. All the data I needed to collect was right in front of me. And I do mean that literally, starting with the picture above.
The Game Con guys weren’t the only ones dressing up and playing make believe. Everyone was. (Now I don’t want to offend anyone here, and I’m not picking on Harley guys, just using them as an example because Indy around the MotoGP is basically not much different than Sturgis, meaning it’s 90% HD. Change “Harley guys” to “Sportbike riding squids” and the same story is told. But because this is what I had in front of me, this is what I’m reporting on.) The Harley guys, too, were feigning.
Note--you can't always be sure when someone is a chameleon or not. Take Rossi off his bike, put him on a GSXR and plop him into a crowd of sportbiker-types at your nearest Sunday morning ride breakfast joint and he'll blend right in with all the other squids. (The etymology of a squid is based on the characteristics of a real squid. Specifically, squids can change color, texture and body shape--essentially mimicking something that has attributes they do not possess.)
The guy I took a picture of above isn't the best example of the typical HD stereotype. He looked like a nice guy who was just out cruising around and not trying to pretend he was something he wasn't. But again, this was all I had in front of me. But you know what I'm talking about, so imagine the 'poser' of a HD guy who goes a little overboard with his HD fashion instead of the couple above. And then take a Hell's Angel and put him in with the typical mix of the lawyers and doctors (and plumbers and bridge-toll-collectors) who ride Harleys and you'll have trouble spotting the REAL bad ass motherfucker. And out of fear for my life (and the pursuit of truth) I'm not here to point fingers at the genuine archetypes. It's not wise to make fun of real tough-guys any more than it is to poke fun at REAL samurai or sorcerers. My point is that the guy who spends his day in a suit or scrubs never gets on his Panhead without donning the costume that allows them to participate in being something every man wants to be--"a bad ass motherfucker;" so they mimic the image that the Hell's Angels and outlaw biker gangs created and go out to be seen by others who are intimidated by that image. But there comes a point when the once genuine image is diluted with mimickry, diluted by an affectation of concealment. It's also why the corporate suit has lost so much meaning--there's too many empty ones. And over time the reverse trend happens (guys who show up to meetings wearing flip flops and shorts MUST be bad ass motherfuckers)!
And then this dude rolled by in a Camaro, with a Transformers badge on his front fender, fantasizing that Bumblebee is his friend--and, from the cocky gaze he threw my way (I was only a pedestrian after all and he was riding in a robot that turns into a car that can save the world from evil!), it was clear he, like the overweight boys in Ninja outfits, also lived partially in a world of make believe—at least when it came to estimating his own abilities and others’ perceptions of himself. He'd never even think to consider he was doing the same thing all the Game Con people were doing, but there it was. And instead of spending $120 and a Saturday afternoon with Mom and her sewing machine, he'd spent $35k to accomplish his real life fantasy.
And at this point, of course, I began to think about how common this sort of imaginary behavior is. Entertainment news about movie stars, rock-star fan clubs, sports-teams’ jerseys, Superman stickers on the rear window of the truck, using possessive pronouns when referring to a favorite baseball team, etc. In essence, these things are done to transfer some of the essence and glory of a person’s own hero back onto them (perhaps in the same way that wearing a cross is supposed to transfer the glory of something larger back onto the wearer?).
I’m not quite sure how I should interpret all of this. It’s one thing to pretend and know we're pretending, but another thing altogether to actually believe it. And then there’s the question of, ‘how do we know if that person takes themselves seriously or is just having a bit of fun’? And, of course, there’s the question of why we should even care what others do. It’s easy to just say, “laughing is the corrective behavior we have when we witness discrepancy”, but if that was all why do people take such malicious delight in it? Perhaps it's nervous laughter, a defensive mechanism we utilize to protect ourselves from admitting that we, too, are guilty?
And all this goes back to the story Letitia Stevenson’s vanity (the dresser, not the estimation she had of herself), re-introducing a more modern formulation of the question, ‘how do we know if the image we’re projecting is an image of who we really are or if the image we see in the mirror is just a fabricated version of who we (or someone else) want to be’? (And do people really believe it or are they playing along with—or without—their own knowledge?)
There is no formula, no 9 step verification process to establish validity to our identities. You can’t trust anyone else to tell you any more than you could expect someone to verify the world is real by asking someone, “hey, is this world fake?”
Whatever the case, sometimes the mystery of never really knowing who you are is kind of fun and gives us a freedom that no other creature has. If there was some sort of machine or MRI test that could provide us with a clear, rational, lucid picture of our ‘real’ identity that could be calculated, validated and confirmed, I wouldn’t want it. The way things are gives us a window of freedom in between self-delusion and determinism to choose whatever version of ourselves we want. The key is to identify that and become it, not just affect the appearance.
Living authentically requires validating our own ideas of who we are through action, deeds, and achievements (or at least attempts). Action removes uncertainties and provides us with far more than just a glimpse or notion of who we really are. That doesn’t mean you’re going to find me at the top of a building, ready to demonstrate engineless flight in a red cape and blue spandex pants. There are limits, of course. Quite simply, if I’m both the author of and protagonist in my own life, I’m definitely not going to be Don Quixote--and I sure as hell am not going let someone elses pen decide my fate.
I have thought for a while that HD has got to be THE smartest company for figuring out how to turn these human propensities into a billion dollar industry, but I am realizing that it is no different to the beauty and fashion industries, and they are many times larger (and probably kill a lot more lab rabbits and anorexics btw)
They are different. Unlike the beauty and fashion industries, HD fashion and marketing doesn't have a "Hot New Trend". It's the same ole shit year after year. And it sells. THAT is genius.
You're right, of course!