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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.
So you've become a keychain hoarder that only consumes pretzels and ice cream. Nice.
And rings the living shit out of the best motos on the planet. Don't forget that part.
Sea Horse. I saw that right away. Maybe Spies should hire me as his track adviser?
You are surprised?
A genuine person, like yourself, is easily detected.
In short, good things happen to good people.
AH you have now surpassed amazing and have gone straight to Super Hero status !!
Agreed. Being completely authentic with yourself strips away the veneer of appearances. It's been my experience that the universe inevitably responds positively to authenticity.
What a great trip. I am such a huge MotoGP fan, would have loved to have been there. I have met both Nicky and Ben, before they were superstars at the AMA races. Both really approachable and friendly guys at the time.
Great comments, guys. I should be able to fire off another post in in 3...2.....1......
My first glimpse of the private side of a MotoGP rider was interesting. Tim had gone out to grab the Audi while I was talking to Claudio and when everyone went back to work I stepped outside, to an empty parking lot. Oh, wait--not empty. Nicky was standing there with a few of his gear bags. Imagine a giant slab of asphalt, a building, a MotoGP rider and your humble narrator, who is very good at two things: awkward conversation and slightly less-awkward silence.
But I still managed to state something perfunctory about the 1199 R to which Mr. Hayden replied by picking up his gear bags and walking into the building across from where we both once stood. He then stared out in my direction through the glass. This was the first instance in which I saw the other side of a MotoGP rider. In the paddock, he was all smiles and southern charm. Once outside, he was 'off the clock'. The last thing I believed he wanted was to have his personal time usurped, which I can't blame him for. I was actually relieved when he took off, as it got me off the hook, too! Then Tim showed up and I'm guessing #69 was a little surprised that the car was coming for both him and the abandoned guy in the parking lot.
Before anyone says anything negative--these guys have very little time to themselves and have to cram everything possible (including decompressing) into a short window. Movie stars on the red carpet may love to indulge fans and the Paparazzi. But when they're grabbing a sandwich or going into a restroom on the set, well, different story. Privacy is something we all take for granted and I honestly don't know how these guys can live without it.
After some small talk in the car, a phone call to dad, and no doubt lots of sext messages to reply to....
....we made it to the hotel.
Suite was gorgeous. And like everything Ducati does, it's all about the details.....
And this single sheet of paper was a reminder of what was in store for the following day.
BTW--the gift above was a pair of Nicky Hayden Oakleys. Very cool, but the Elvis look w/tinted lenses was a bit too "Super Stud" for my pointy head.
Looks are important. Send the glasses to me then.
Superb. I hope this ride report never ends.
Agreed. This has been an epic RR that has inspired many folks.
Did they misspell brake point or is there another track concept of breakpoint I'm missing?
Yeah, and they misspelled 'highest', too.
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!
Have you ever read an Italian technical document? They must outsource their translations to Eskimos.
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. :huh
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.
I hope for the same.