Phil and Bill at BMW Santa Cruz made a believer out of me today. I've had some parts "issues" lately, and one particularly frustrating incident cost me the ability to ride my bike to see Stig Petterson at Laguna Seca this weekend, so he could fix my shock. Not wanting to drive my big-ass truck into that madness, I took a chance and called Phil to see if they had a loaner bike I could borrow. He talked to Bill, and they said it would be no problem. I yanked my shock, grabbed all my gear, and barrelled down to Watsonville. They had set me up with an 1100R strippy. Perfect. I also had a pair of Airflow pants waiting that Aaron had special ordered for me because of the split crotch syndrome on my others. Of course, there was no documentation on this, and Aaron wasn't there, so it would have been totally understandable if Bill had said I needed to wait so he could straighten it out with the boys. But no. He said "No problem - let's just fill out a repair order and get you on your way". Too cool. I get there - it's my first motorcycle race, but I can't enjoy it. I need to find Stig, and have no idea where he is. Wander, wander ask, ask... turns out he MUST be in the paddock. Paddock passes are sold out. Shit. I scout the perimeter - probing for weaknesses. Not good - they got it covered. I spot an older gent who's trying to do a good job, and sidle up during a lull. "I need to ask a favor of you" I sez. "The paddock passes are sold out, I need to take this shock to PPS, and I'm running out of time, can you help me??" He just jerked his head towards the gate, and stepped aside. KEWL! I'm in! This place is huge - I finally stumble across Lindemann Engineering, one of Stig's competitors. But, I was getting desperate so I asked Jim if he'd seen Stig. He laughed when I told him why, and pointed the way. Excellent! Get to Stigs truck, two empty chairs. I wander around, staying within visual of the truck in case he gets back. I've now missed like 3 races, and the 750 super sports are lining up. I decide to take a chance and watch the start and the first coupla laps. Better head back - can't see much from the paddock anyway, and I can't leave. Get back to where the truck was - it's gone! Run into Peter Connolly - he says they left 5 minutes ago... AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!! Screw it. I took the shock back to the bike, locked it up, and went in to watch some racing. Might as well get something for my $55.00 Saw the GP and a great little high-side right in front of me on 11, Ben Bostrom looked like a men among boys in the finale. Good news is, I can have the bike until Tuesday. Bad news is, I don't want to ride it.... Good news, bad news. Who can tell?