Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yamaha Race Report ~ Sunday Silverstone MotoGP 6/20/10

Jorge Lorenzo ran away with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this afternoon, storming home to win by 6.743 seconds to take his first UK win in the Premier Class. The Fiat Yamaha Team's sole representative in the absence of the injured Valentino Rossi, Lorenzo led from the first lap to come home ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Tech 3 Yamaha rider Ben Spies, who took his maiden podium in MotoGP.
The Mallorcan got a strong start from pole position and led out of turn one but it was not all plain sailing as he became embroiled in a feisty first-lap battle with Dani Pedrosa. The pair traded the lead several times but it was Lorenzo who eventually led over the line and he was unchallenged from there on in, gradually extending his lead lap-by-lap and leaving his rivals trailing in the wake of his blue and white M1. With two laps remaining the gap to Dovizioso stood at more than eight seconds but Lorenzo slowed down on the final two laps to ensure he came home safely, which he duly did to the delight of the 70,000 British fans who are quickly adopting the spirited Spaniard as one of their own.
His third win of the season and another 25-point haul extends Lorenzo's lead to 37 points over Dovizioso in second, with Pedrosa now third. The absent Rossi falls to fourth in the championship but Lorenzo's consistency ensures that the Fiat Yamaha Team still leads the Teams' standings and Yamaha the Manufacturers'. The MotoGP paddock now faces a quick turnaround in order to get to Assen in time for next weekend's Dutch TT, which is as always a Saturday race.

Jorge Lorenzo - 1st, 41'34.083

"This was an important day for me and an important win, because I felt so strong and I enjoyed riding my Yamaha so much. I had a different feeling today; I felt that it was going to be a good race. It was quite hard to be fast at the start and the first lap with Dani was difficult, but once I got past him I felt very relaxed and comfortable. I thought he would follow me for a bit longer but he didn't and then I was on my own, so I just had to focus on myself; I didn't even know who was behind me! I never dreamt of taking three wins from five races but here we are and I am feeling very strong mentally at this moment. I want to thank my team, Yamaha and Bridgestone for this victory. The Beatles celebration was something fun for the fans, I love their music and I thought it was nice to make homage to them, since we're in England!"
Jorge Lorenzo

Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager Jorge Lorenzo

"This was a great performance by Jorge. The start was a little bit interesting, with us on the hard Bridgestone and some of the others on the softer one, but Jorge rode so well, kept his head and brought it home safely. Our bike is working very well and it was great to see Spies taking a podium on the Yamaha too, well done to him. It is impressive to have a 37-point gap at this stage but now we have four more races in very close succession so we can't relax. Well done to Jorge and to everyone for today."
Spies storms to maiden Silverstone podium
Ben Spies stormed to a stunning debut MotoGP podium for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team this afternoon after a thrilling battle at the spectacular Silverstone circuit.Competing in only his ninth MotoGP race, Spies was locked in an early battle with fellow rookie Marco Simoncelli for sixth place before he became embroiled in an epic fight for second place.

Spies passed Dani Pedrosa on lap nine and then launched a brilliant pursuit of the group in front dicing for second that included Andrea Dovizioso, Randy de Puniet and fellow American Nicky Hayden. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider stalked the trio befo re he began a breathtaking late attack, firstly overtaking de Puniet for fourth place on lap 17. That clinical pass left Spies hounding Hayden's Ducati and the 25-year-old timed his crucial attack to perfection, the Texan ignoring the discomfort of a small fracture in his left ankle that he aggravated in a big qualifying crash yesterday.
Spies produced a daring overtake on Hayden at the fast Abbey Corner on the final lap and then defended supremely under immense pressure to claim third and his first premier class rostrum. The result moved Spies into seventh place in the overall world championship standings with 36-points and helped the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team close the gap on fourth place in the all-important Team World Championship classification.

Texan team-mate Colin Edwards rode a determined 20-lap race after a difficult w eekend where he never found the optimum setting with his YZR-M1 machine. He also encountered a repeat of the arm pump issue that hindered him at the last round in Mugello, but he was satisfied having rode to a creditable ninth position to maintain his record of scoring points in every race so far in 2010.
Ben Spies

Ben Spies - 3rd +7.097 sec.

"I didn't expect to get my first podium so quickly, especially after yesterday which wasn't the best for me. I got a decent start but once I got by Dani and Simoncelli I just tried to stay on the back of the group battling for the podium. Once I realised I could stay in contention I just tried to save the rear tyre as much as I could and it all worked out. The last few laps I pushed as hard as I could and made some good passes and it is great for Yamaha and the Monster Tech 3 Team. I'm also pretty happy about it too and this is good for my confidence. That last lap was difficult to pass Nicky but I got a really good drive onto the back straight and tried to pass him at Stowe Corner but he came back by. On the next straight I managed to get by him and then had to ride quite defensively on the last part of the lap. I was on the edge but I had to go for the podium and it worked out. It will be hard to duplicate this but right now I'll let it sink in and make the most of it. But on this day I can say I was the third best rider in the world and it is a good feeling."
Colin Edwards

Colin Edwards - 9th +27.954 sec.

"I don't want to be finishing in ninth at all but honestly I'm reasonably happy with the way I rode and it was a lot better than I expected after what has been a tough weekend. I'm still a fair way behind the top group but I had so many problems this weekend that even a top ten was looking lik e a difficult result to achieve. I didn't leave anything out there and I went better than I did in qualifying but it was still not easy. The bike isn't agile enough and having to muscle it around gave me a small arm pump problem, but not as bad as Mugello. If I could get the bike to go where I want it to go I could save lots of time, but we've got some ideas for the future. It was a bit of a lonely race but I rode as hard as I could for as long as I could. I want to congratulate Ben though because he did an awesome job and I've got nothing but admiration for him. He showed today what a great rider he is and it is great for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team to be back on the podium."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager

"We knew Ben really liked this circuit and we thought he could do a good race. But he rode an incredible race because he didn't get a fantastic start but he was v ery aggressive in the first two laps and got himself into contention. He never let that group in front of him go away and we know his strength is on worn tyres, so we expected him to hang in until the end. He was quickest on track at one stage but I was worried a little bit because Casey was catching quite quickly. But he kept his cool and made some good passes and the best was on the last lap to beat Nicky.
It his first podium in MotoGP and certainly not his last because he is such a bright talent for the future. I'd like to say thanks to Yamaha and to Bridgestone and also to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team because since the start of the season it has been a little bit up and down. But we've never stopped trying hard and today we got a big reward. Colin rode a steady race and as always he never stopped trying to improve his situation and we know better results will come for him soon. Now we look forward to Assen that both Colin and Ben like a lot and we are confident of anot her competitive weekend."

Circuit Length: 3619
Temp: 17
Crowd: 70000
Weather: Dry
Lap Record: 1'56.459 (Chris Vermeulen, 01/01/2003)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1'56.096 (Jurgen van den Goorbergh, 01/01/2003)

2010 MotoGP Great Britain - Silverstone 6/20/2010

Race 1 - 20 Laps
Pos.RiderManu.Nat.Total Time

1Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP41'34.083
2Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA0'06.743
3Ben SpiesYamaha USA 0'07.097
4Nicky Hayden Ducati USA0'07.314
5Casey Stoner Ducati AUS0'07.494
6Randy De Puniet Honda FRA0'09.055
7Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA0'14.425
8Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP0'15.313
9Colin Edwards Yamaha USA0'27.954
10Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP0'42.394
11Hector Barbera Ducati ESP0'43.365
12Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP0'43.408
13Mika Kallio Ducati FIN0'43.580

Rider Standings 6/20/2010


1.Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP115
2.Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA78
3.Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP73
4.Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA61
5.Nicky Hayden Ducati USA52
6.Randy De Puniet Honda FRA46
7.Ben Spies Yamaha USA36
8.Casey Stoner Ducati AUS35
9.Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA32
10.Marco Melandri Honda ITA32
11.Colin Edwards Yamaha USA26
12.Hector Barbera Ducati ESP24
13.Aleix Espargaro Ducati ESP22
14.Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN18
15.Mika Kallio Ducati FIN15

Manufacturer Standings 6/20/2010



Saturday, February 13, 2010

2010 Kawasaki Z1000~ Can it compete against the "naked" European market?

With a history that can be traced all the way back to the early 1970's, with its archetype KZ900, Kawasaki is surprisingly reintroducing the Z1000 after a one year absence from their sportbike line-up. A resurrection that could make former Zed owners and those alike, a believer once again!
Kawasaki took that year to do a complete redesign by mirroring the same ideology as the original Yamaha FZ1 and the auspicious ZX-10R, in an attempt to provide the customer with a superbike-class performance in the new innovative 5 piece aluminum chassis, that doesn't require yoga-like contortion to enjoy!
Even though there has been an obvious passion for naked bikes by motorcyclist world wide, the prosaic sales from the Japanese market compared to the European competitors gives a clear indication what riders are universally asking for in a naked bike. To actually deliver a retro naked bike with full-on state-of -the-art technology and engine performance that will look the part as well as act it and not some dumbed down speedster that just looks fast! Clearly the European market has the edge, with manufacture Success stories like Ducati, with their Monster line up, Triumph's Speed Triple and Aprilia's Tuono, to name a few. Could it be Kawasaki has finally stepped up to the plate and quite possibly created the perfect contender for a "naked" competition!

Even though the truth remains, that I have only sat on this bike, but not gone so far as to personally ride this seemingly impressive machine. I cannot ignore the repetitive grand reviews on the obvious transformation of the Z1000's past customary performance!
So why do I, as well as so many other reviewers think the 2010 Kawasaki Z1000, a Japanese heritage naked bike, can contend with the European market?
Lets start with the Chassis and suspension; from years prior, Kawasaki has drastically improved the handling, with an all new five piece aluminum chassis, which is over 8 pounds lighter and 30% more rigid than the former steel frame. The Zed also has a removable 3 piece die cast aluminum subframe that was designed to be an integral part of the bikes retro style. But the main theme in the design was to infuse a mass centralization to the chassis, with a wheelbase of 57 inches, 24.5 rake and 4.1 trail, it does the job nicely.

Kawasaki engineers back-linked the suspension system that places the Showa shock and shock linkage horizontally, above the swing arm, an added feature to make the preload and rebound damping adjusters easily within reach. The Z1000 offers a cushy and controlled ride that doesn't phase the rider even with small bumps to large potholes, reinforcing the "fun" factor in a smooth ride.
Gone are the days of a "mushy" braking system, now the 2010 Z1000's have been fitted with dual Tokico four-piston radial mount calipers on the front wheel, and single Tokico piston caliper on the rear wheel, allowing the braking action to be strong, without being "grabby". A five spoke cast aluminum rim houses the Dunlop Sportmax D210 tires (front:120/70ZR17 and rear: 19050ZR17) that are squire to this particular bike, with precision machined edges and holes in the spokes to enhance the look of the wheel and tire.

With a 6 speed, chain driven, 1043 cc displacement and a 16-valve in-line 4 and almost 50 pounds of torque at 2250 rpms, the Zed will generate plenty of excitement for the rider when rolling on the throttle! The Kawasaki engineers also placed the crackshaft lower in the engine to allow the use of longer rods while maintaining the engine height, delivering a bore and stroke of 77.0 x 56.0 mm. The engine also features a secondary balancer in front of the crankshaft to reduce engine vibration.
The Z1000 exceeds in eronomonic comfort with narrower bars, a smooth clutch action and a seat that forces the rider to lean just a bit further forward for a more comfortable fit for longer rides. Even with a 32in seat height, it's as comfortable for a tall person as well as a shorter stature person. But, not so for the passenger seat, Kawasaki went to great lengths to streamline the look of the Zed's tail section by integrating the grab rails into the tail and purposely making the rear seat white to appear smaller. Based on passenger comfort, you will probably be riding solo a lot more often than two-up!

On the down side, the side mirrors are set to far inward offering a minimal view and mainly of the riders shoulders! the spoiler on the headlight is more of a decoration than a working deflector. And while the 3 point adjustable digital speedometer is easy to read, it's bar graph tachometer is a waste of time, offering more of a "modern" look than a functioning analog tachometer.
I gotta tell ya, even though the right-side "quad" muffler exhaust system is unique in it's design by creating a pre-chamber, routing spent gases from the four head pipes into two pipes, then into it's two "radically" shaped shorty mufflers, keeping the "Z" clean as well as green, it's still blazing ugly!!
But, lets face it, the down side reasons for not purchasing the Z1000, with it's edgy looking character and a razor-sharp powerhouse performance, are few and most definitely not worth mentioning if you base your purchase purely on handling and engine performance. This bike has what you're looking for.
As a strong European contender, you get a lot of bang for your buck, reveling in the euphoria of it's monstrous mid-range torque, frolicking to and fro in it's featherweight handling in the twisties, while simultaneously inflicting a powerful, yet smooth braking action and plush controlled suspension, all for a sticker price of $10.499 msrp.
Kawasaki, consider your proverbial European bar raised!
Footnote: If you are interested in another hypothesis on the 2010 Kawasaki Z1000, I would highly recommend you check out Further on Down the Road, a blog by @Reyzie, who is a former owner of a 2006 Z1000 and impressive when it comes to motorcycles.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Laguna Seca takes another turn for AMA Pro Racing

After experiencing one of the most exciting racing event weekends this last July 3-5 2009 at Laguna Seca with the AMA Pro Road Racing Team and MotoGP, I was shocked to hear from @MotoPress on Twitter that the DMG ( Daytona Motorsports Group) the newly dominant controlling force, had pulled the plug on the AMA racing at Laguna Seca ! I even inquired with a few of my moto Twitter friends to confirm this tragic news, and sure enough, the nightmare had become a reality! With only 3 actual races by MotoGP in a 3 day event, it was looking to be a very long and uneventful season for 2010!
Well, I think as motorace fans, we just received a ray of hope…..

As recently as this last November, the AMA Road Racing schedule was released and noticeably missing was Laguna Seca in Monterey CA and Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, in addition to Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas, in which, Matt Mladin and Jamie Hacking physically protested their concerns, regarding safety, by refraining from racing the track.
It was looking like a difficult season start for AMA racing and with only 9 races scheduled, and a 10Th hanging in the balance, along with manufacturers, such as American Honda pulling out, as a result of the down-turn in the economy.

But, in short few months (or less) there has been an upturn in the ever retracting season for Laguna Seca and possibly for other US tracks as well.
Still to be a mystery on many levels, it seems the self-indulging DMG has reached an agreement with the Laguna Seca coastal track and will be indeed reinstating the provisional AMA Pro Racing back into its schedule for 2010, clearly, something to look forward to!

Although rumors continue to spread about what the future holds ultimately for the AMA Pro Racing Championship, such as the mention of two (un-named) premier classes, and in suggesting the American Superbike and the Daytona Sportbike classes will be experiencing some more changes for 2010.

There is still a ways to go before we can relax and resume the racing enthusiasm that we once enjoyed, but, I have confidence in the AMA Pro President Roger Edmondson, with his commitment to the organization, feeling optimistic about the DMG and bringing back Miller along with continuing a solid partnership with Speed to ensure growth and excitement in our sport every race weekend!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Erik Buell: You say goodbye, I say hello

Riding friends that know me, are well aware of my personal feelings about Buell motorcycles. The several demo rides that I have taken on the 1125CR, 1125R and the XB9SX have left me repeatedly disappointed in the rough handling of the motorized machines. But, in saying this, I have a great respect for the master mind behind these iconic creations. A down to earth guy with a grassroots upbringing, Erik Buell epitomizes the all American motorcycle enthusiasts, with a side of crazy thrown in! And I have to admit, I'm going to miss the line up of Buell motorcycles for 2010.

Though Buell would not necessarily be considered a household word like Harley Davidson or Yamaha, but to us avid motorcyclists, we know the familiar name all too well. For the last 26 years Erik Buell and his Wisconsin based team have been on a credulous mission to resurrect the passion to enthusiasts about what a motorcycle should represent. But, unfortunately, his over zealous enthusiasm was to be the beginning of the end to his demise by his unrealistic expectations of what Buell, the manufacture was to represent.
His daring innovative creations like the under slung mufflers, ZTL brakes and fuel in the frame concept was unique and on-the-cutting-edge to many dedicated Buell owners, but to the vast majority, ultimately, were just not willing to invest hard earned money into his ingenious, approach.

Inevitably on November 20, 2009, Harley Davidson dissolved Buell in a ditch effort to save their own corporation with the ever expanding economic down-turn.
But, with every sad story comes a silver lining, and in this case, the launching of Erik Buell Racing. An independent motorcycle race shop specializing in the supply and race-use-only of Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles , along with the fabrication and sales of the Buell 1125R for race use.

The real cincher, is that Harley Davidson will be assisting Erik in establishing the business and to continue to support the race efforts that he is so very passionate about, clearly an affiliation that will never go down easily!

As said by a one-of-a-kind motorcycle enthusiasts, that will most certainly go into the history books:

" I'm looking forward seeing racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond and to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying!" ~Erik Buell~


Friday, November 20, 2009

Part 5 AMA Women's Conference Keystone CO ~final~

Day 7 Keystone CO -Our final day

Both Cathy and I did not sleep too well in our "comfortable" queen size beds. I guess we were kind of missing our bunk beds!
We arose to grey overcast skies that was threatening a repeat of yesterday! We wanted to take a scenic route back to Denver before giving up our bikes to the rental agency, but was finding this simple task growing increasingly difficult due to time, weather and closed roads from road construction.

As we sat in this funky diner having a late breakfast going over alternate routes, these two girls offered a suggestion of taking hwy 6 which ran basically parallel to hwy 70, which was our main route. We liked this grand idea, so we took their advise and went for it.
We started out east on hwy 70 climbing the summit passing through the 2 mile long Eisenhower tunnel and for the next 40 miles until the hwy 6 turn off.
Hwy 6 was very picturesque with it's rugged rock walls, numerous chiseled out rock tunnels and meandering steams that seems to mimic the two lane road. After 15 miles or so, it led us to Golden CO, where the famous Coors brewing company made it famous. And as big a day, there it was, the big "Coors" sign atop of a big plant! A small town with a big beer gut!
We tuned on to hwy 25 from hwy 6 and by this time could see the skyscrapers in Downtown Denver in the distance. With a few wrong turns, we managed to safely return the BMW F800GS and the Honda VFR back to the owner of the rental agency. I think Cathy and I both simultaneously let out a silent sigh of relief after parking the bikes in the garage.
The next 45 minutes was consumed by unpacking, repacking our gear from the panniers to the suitcases, which we left at the rental agency. It was a bit challenging, but we did it!
Our shuttle arrived 30 minutes early, but we were surprisingly ready, but sad that our wonderful adventure was coming to a close.
I think the most difficult part for me was just not knowing when I would see my "Alaskan" friends again. I hope that we can manage to pull something together like we talked about doing during our week together, a tour of riding the Michigan Lighthouses the following June.

On the final closing ceremony at the AMA conference, they posted a 10ft banner for everyone to sign. Laura quickly grabbed the pen and in big bold letters wrote " The Alaskan 5 was here" and to me, it just summarizes it all!

I will miss you girls, until we meet again...


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Part 4 The AMA conference in Keystone CO

Day 6 Keystone CO

I got up early to go for a run, but a run was not to be taken. Ellen, her husband John, Laura, Ted and Jon were to head back to Huston TX. And even though, I of course knew this, I was going to give my hugs and good-bye send offs and then go on my way. There seemed to be a slight glitch in this perfect plan, one of the Harley's had a flat tire!
After numerous phone calls and several hours later they were on their way to Denver, as luck would have it they managed to find a garage on a Sunday to change the tire. We found out later, they made it to New Mexico on the same day.
Jane took her Soft tail Heritage and rode back to Denver in order to catch a 3:30pm flight back to Connecticut. Cathy and I were left to stay another night, but not without giving up the "funky" house to go stay in a hotel down the road.
We got a late start on our day ride, and as the day progressed on, so did the cloud cover. We headed towards Leadville, from hwy 70 west for about 10 miles then cutting off to hwy 91 straight into a cute 1800's flavored old silver mining town in the Rockies.

We pulled in around 1pm had some lunch at the Mile High burger joint with a perfect view of MT Elbert while we dined. I found my CO motorcycle license plate I had been looking for all week, to add to my collection on the wall in my garage, yeah!
It was 3pm when we decided to push on and head towards MT Elberts Pass. The skies grew increasingly more intimidating, but it was our last riding day and we really wanted to make the most of it.
For the next 14 miles it went from cute little mining town to low rolling hills where the hills had been rapped from the mining days of yester-year, with beat-up and broken down houses surrounding them, one of the saddest sights I seen in this beautiful country side.
We turned on to hwy 24 towards the majestic mountains beyond, the massiveness was unbelievably grand to watch as we rode around this beautiful lake in the foreground.
We had a illusions of grandeur in hoping to make it to Aspen, but with a late start and clouds looming, it was clear, there was no way it was going to happen! Winding our way up to the top of Elberts Pass, taking 10 mph twitch backs on many occasions, with shear drops and no guard rails to speak of, it left little room for error in our riding skills.
Finally reaching the top we were surprized to see a big sign saying "Continental Divide 12,095FT" We parked the bikes and walked down this beat up path to arrive at this unbelievable view of the valley below and all the winding roads we had just rode. We took pictures and hung out for awhile, but knew we better get going to try and beat the weather that was now coming in fast.
By the time we got to the bikes it was now starting to rain! Coming back down the switch backs with timid caution as the rain was now intensifing! Luckily for us, as quickly as the rain would come, it would also disapate, giving us a much needed break.

We rode on back into Leadville, refueled and continued on to connect to I70 leading us back to Keystone. As we approached the split 20 miles out, the skies could hold back no longer and it poured! Then came the thunder and flashes of lightening, I found this so incredible being on the bike with the powerful and intimidating intensity of the storm, being totally exposed to it on the bike- I loved it! I found myself laughing out loud in my helmet!

Cathy and I pulled off into a gas station right before hwy 70 to assess the damages. After dismounting under an overhang we took one look at each other and started laughing our heads off! There was a family with a pickup truck next to us, desperately trying to tie down tarps over their precious cargo. They noticed us laughing at the sight of each other and then they too, started to laugh. In the eye of storm, it was a funny thing to experince. Soon after two women pulled in in a convertable with the top down! Now we had seen everything! It seems they couldn't get the top to latch, so Cathy and I helped them by laying ontop of their soft top to get enought weight to hold it down to latch, worked like a charm. But another pretty sight, two women in full "wet" motorcycle gear laying on top of a convertable!
We changed gloves got back on the bikes with the blustering elements in full swing, but with 10 miles to Keystone, we knew we could make it.

I watched the spikes of thunder plant itself across the sky, but never could hear the thunder, which I found strange....It poured for all those 10+ miles up until we pulled into the hotel parking garage. We looked like two drowned rats, I found the whole scene hysterically funny! We made our way up to our room and immediatley noticed it had stopped raining!! This just added to the hysteria!
We pulled garments off assessing what got wet and what didn't. Cathy faired the worst as she discovered her waterproof gear wasn't so waterproof, with wet pants and wet socks. Her top was the driest.
I did pretty good, , wet gloves, wet feet and the lower portion of my shirt got wet. Still can't figure that one out??

Needless to say, after 2 hot showers and some dry comfy clothes, we weren't going anywhere for the night!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Part 3 Riding Colorado and the AMA Women & Motorcycling Conf.

Day 5 Keystone CO

Today was to be an early day for Ellen, Laura, Cathy and I. We had to be at the Coach 2 Ride dirt bike school in the Tenderfoot parking lot at 8:30AM. While waiting for everyone to show up, I was able to sign up for a demo ride for later that day at the Ducati tent to finally get my chance to ride the Streetfighter, a very fast and aggressive bike. I signed up for the noon time slot, thinking that would give me plenty of time on my return from the dirt bike class that was scheduled to finish at 11:00AM.
A dozen or so women lined up on the 250 dirt bikes in preparation to go down to the dirt lot that was just down the street, to practice the rules and techniques of dirt riding. A quick 5 minute ride and we were soon standing in a half circle listening to Andrea and her assistant, Carolyn give us the needed instruction to get us started.
After gearing up and firing up our bikes, we did a lot of slow maneuvers, using the clutch and throttle. We learned how to lean and steer, stand and steer, counter balance, and ride over obstacles, among other things.
Andrea and Carolyn were great in their teachings, especially in such a large group, being we were the last class of the conference. Because we were a big class, it was taking longer in between turns and I had too much gear on for a progressively warm day. I would take my jacket, helmet and gloves off while waiting my turn, but with only one bottle of water per person and the consistent loss of fluids, I was starting to dehydrate.
At one point, I thought I was going to have to bow out and go back to the Tenderfoot parking lot. But, I had come too far and I made a commitment to complete my goal, so I pulled it together and headed for the hills with the rest of the girls!
After several hours of practicing the techniques, we were ready to then ride to up to one of the chair lifts at Keystone ski resort at the 10,000 ft level, it was pretty amazing, standing most of the way. It was mind blowing, how the center of gravity shifts when standing, the new experience had all of us beaming with big grins on our faces as each one of us arrived at our destination.
It was quite an experience and I am so glad I participated, even with being as uncomfortable as I was. Unfortunately, because we were a bigger group, it took us over our time frame and I missed my highly anticipated demo ride on the Streetfighter.
After losing out to my ride, I then went to the conference building to attend some seminar classes again. And once again, I had no success.
Feeling frustrated after losing out to my demo ride and not coming out any smarter, just hot and bothered, I rode back to the "funky" house to join everyone else. It seems, they were a lot smarter than I!
Later that evening, Laura, Cathy, Jane and I went to the closing ceremony to the AMA Conference. We had a great dinner, chitchatted a little and listened to a few of the speakers. One , was Lois Pryce, a very funny British woman with bright red hair and English lisp! She has written several books, her first being "Lois On The Loose", where she rode from Alaska to the very tip of Argentina. Traveling over 20,000 miles in 10 months on a Yamaha 220 motocross motorcycle....ALONE!
Lois was quite an amazing lady, with a very entertaining wit. Another fun filled day and we were ready for bed, so we headed back around 10:00PM and crashed!