Coast to Coast (and back?) with an Italian Supermodel

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    So Ben sits down, Kevin Duke is next to me and Waheed is across. Banter begins and all we do is talk bikes, racing, traveling and more bikes. Mr. Spies was super cool. He was suffering from allergies and not feeling very well, but expended the last amount of energy he had talking to all of us. We talked a little about long rides (cycling, he's a rabid cyclist) and he entertained the table with some pretty f'in funny stories of him and Schwantz and bloody hotel rooms (literal, not figurative). And he talked about some of the downsides of being a professional motorcycle racer...like the fact that you spend months out of the year on planes and in airports. You definitely could tell that he was a little shy, not exactly comfortable with attention and very modest. Anyone who didn't know who he was would think he was just a normal guy from Texas.

    Absolutely riveting to see someone with superhuman abilities who doesn't think everyone around him is a demi-human. The Ben Spies Method, in action. Great guy and I wish him much luck in 2013 and beyond.

    Once dinner was over I figured all the journalists would head to strip clubs and bars, but everyone piled into the elevators and up to our rooms we went. What a bunch of professionals! Alarming and refreshing. These guys take their jobs seriously.

    I walk into the lobby and see this:

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    I get restless and need to roam. Yes, I know what's coming in the AM, but I can't sleep so I wander around Austin, which I've now spent more time in than any other city outside of places of residency. Lots of good memories.

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    And a little sorrow, perhaps:

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    At night cities stop. SF stops. NY stops. Paris stops. So of course Austin does, too. Maybe not on Friday and Saturday, but on Mon, Tues, Wed, Sun, denizens and party-goers, coeds, bus drivers, business people and anyone else who feels the sting of responsibility, retreat. I wandered alone in the cold and saw a total of three people. Surreal, tantalizing. At night, in solitude, the world reveals so much more than it does in the presence of others.

    The morning felt like Christmas in a shuttle filled with a bunch of 9 year olds heading to the North Pole.

    If there was a Lexus "December to Remember" or a "De Beers" ad that aspired to answer the question, "how can I show how much I appreciate, love and appreciate (yes, I said it twice) my man, the love of my life?," this is what it would look like, minus the glare on the perspiration-coated bus window:

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    Unfortunately there's less women in the world who ask that question than there are 1199 Rs in existence. The only way to not feel slighted for all your unrewarded good deeds is to buy one for yourself.

    x
  2. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Perfect timing! I've designed a logo and just submitted an order for die cut stickers about 4 hours ago. :) Very cool design I think y'all will like.
  3. GeorgiaBound

    GeorgiaBound Adventurer

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    Im in let me know when they are ready!!!!!
  4. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8

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    Of reflective material?
  5. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Reflective could be v.2. :) Let me see how v1 works out first. This is a taste of the logo (ignore the photobucket Jaggies):

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  6. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Back to Austin!

    Once off the bus, we drooled over the Rs, grabbed our bags of gear from the bowels of the bus and filed in through this door:

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    It was around this point it became overwhelming that I was the only person taking pictures (other than the Ducati Photographers). Maybe everyone else has a photographic memory, but I broke protocol and snapped more than a few pictures to document what the 'behind the red door' experience was like.

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    AM briefing was pretty cool. Claudio covered a lot of the 1199 Highlights and disclosed information that didn't end up in the press kit. I took notes, though. Fortunately/unfortunately I didn't disclose any of it. I think there was some info that Ducati didn't want made public, so some powerpoint slides went too fast for most hands.

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    That's Hayden, btw:

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  7. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Though I brought my custom short sleeve rockstar leathers, Ducati had some gear waiting for me that fit perfectly.

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    I wasn't guaranteed a spot, though. I was still at the bottom of the press totem pole.

    Motorcycling's equivalent of suits of armor:

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    Then we go through the second red door:

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    Hayden preparing to lead the Journalists in Group A around the Circuit:

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    Predators waiting to disclose the purpose of their patience:

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  8. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Humans not sure what they're getting into:

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    Almost ready:

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    So sick!!!

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  9. Trane Francks

    Trane Francks Been here awhile

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    Outstanding! :clap
  10. Knoen

    Knoen Adventurer

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    You probably figured which song it is by now, but if you didn't -it's 'Lady' by Chromatics. Hope it brings back some memories in that case.

    Really enjoyed your RR Antihero. BTW, wouldn't you say that a trackday with Spies and co. should be included in a $1900 service? Sounds about right to me... :deal
  11. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Thanks for IDing the song! Does bring back a lot of memories, as does that avo drink. And I think you're on to something--every service should include a track day!
  12. Beltway

    Beltway Adventurer

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  13. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    That's great news for Ducati! I could see first-hand that a lot of the success of his organization was due to his hands-on approach. Hopefully as CEO he can still battle it out in the trenches, as it was inspiring to see him work.

    I'm happy you've enjoyed the ride, too!
  14. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

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    More!!!!
  15. thisisbenji

    thisisbenji Adventurer

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    I have to say your RR is inspiring, the crazy thing is no matter how lustful your bike is, I'm more envious of your journey. That being said Ducati should cut you a check as you've single handily sold me on the brand.
  16. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Thanks, Benji. I'd say things like, "there is something mythical about being on a Ducati that goes beyond anything I've owned," but to anyone who's never been on one, it sounds hyperbolic, even sycophantic. Because of that, I think Ducati is well aware that they have an addict on their hands that costs them nothing.

    The real head-scratcher, though, is I can't figure out is why, KTM, BMW (or even MV) hasn't been bold enough to invite me to ride one of their bikes. Being that I'm not paid by anyone, I'm an honest and free (both literally and figuratively) agent. Hell, I'd be happy even to take a 991 to Alaska or hoon a BR-Z rallycross style in Death Valley while being chased by rabid coyotes. I suppose those one page ads in Car and Driver or Motorcyclist are far more interesting to prospective customers, though. :rofl
  17. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    More? Ok.

    So I believe I mentioned that Ducati had a film crew at the event taking pics and videos. They had the task of putting together three films. One was this:

    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/BZpRrIH9Mh4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/BZpRrIH9Mh4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    They were also there to film me, which I think I mentioned. Lots of pictures, lots of fun. I just went with it and didn't even ask why. Not sure what their third film is/will be.

    This is Gabe. Very cool dude with some mad photo/video skills.
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  18. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    I was told that there were more journalists than bikes, but that they'd try to get me out for at least one session.

    The first group of journalists went out on the Rs, behind Hayden. Since no one had been on the track - and since absolutely zero on-bike videos existed, no one knew the layout. Nicky apparently took the lead/follow very seriously, and promptly rode away from everyone. Pretty f'in funny.

    The second group went out and the same thing happened. I sat, waiting with my gear, remembering what it was like to always be picked dead fucking last.

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    Then Tim came in, said they have a bike for me and gave me a Ducati suit to wear (they must have seen my embarrassingly short Heroic sleeves), that happened to be a perfect size sans chest protector. Fuck yyyes, and fuck all you people at Campbell Jr. High/Independence who picked my skinny ass last. Being given a key to an R and a green flag at CotA was a Rudolph the Red-Nosed-Reindeer moment.

    As the previous group rested and rejoiced and recounted their track stories, I suited up.

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  19. Contevita

    Contevita Cigar Adventurer

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    ...and then?
  20. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

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    Great writing skills.....knows exactly how to keep us hanging!