Friday, April 30, 2010

The new bike, a script, and a question

From Leesburg Bikefest -- 2010

As referenced in the last post, I spent the past weekend in Tampa/Leesburg/Ocala Florida at the Leesburg Bikefest. I had intended to blog and put up snarky comments and pictures on a regular basis during the event, but all the riding, eating, and gawking at people that should never wear tight clothing (and some who should only wear tight clothing) I didn't quite get around to it.

The first order of business on this trip was to pick up the new motorbike that was also referenced in the last post. I did manage leave Bob (my attention span impaired alternate personality) at home. I didn't want him around because I had already spent all my money because of him, and besides, he was perfectly content staring at SpongeBob cartoons with a box of fruit loops and some Tab soda in the living room. I really do need to thank my alternate personality though, because what I spent my last remaining fun dime on is totally AWESOME.

The red howling beast in the picture above is pretty spectacular in most every way. Brenna, my understanding and ever-so-perfect wife, even has taken a few rides on it with me. She said, "This bike leans a lot more than the other one, and it's LOUD!" after making a trip up winding roads to one of the local ridge overlooks at lunch this week. Yeah, it's a veritable plethora of fun.

Here is a brief script of our lunchtime ride:

Prior to starting the bike:

Brenna -- I have the sandwiches and a backpack, so lets go!

Brad -- Ok, Wait till you hear this thing! It's AWESOME!



Brad -- revving the motor with childlike delight and a demonic glint in his eye. WHAT?!?


Brad -- Still revving the motor as the vibration has set off every car alarm within a quarter mile and chunks of concrete begin to fall from the parking deck walls. WHAT?!?


I know you are simply riveted by this example of my literary prowess, but Bob (the personality with the short attention span if you forgot) has taken over again and is tired of the script format and all the format changing...


I was looking for some really creative way to write up the stories from this trip, but I am somewhat caught between simply posting pictures and making comments...which I have already done once...HERE. Or I thought of making up some alternate format where all the participants (Rod, Brad, & and the GhostRider) take on superhero personas and I could describe the events with a fictional subplot of our endeavors to capture (or at least really annoy) the Evil Dr. Squid von Rev-Limiter. Yes, I do think of these stories while I am sitting on a bicycle for hours...welcome to my spastic mind...

Since I am stuck between lazy and creative, could you guys pick the format? I'm sure that out of the vast number of my readers (vast in my dictionary means a number less than 12 or something there abouts) one of you may have an opinion. That means, if you actually pick how you want the posts to go, you will probably be the only person voting, hence, you win and get the story your way...Like a Whopper or whatever...

I can't promise to post anything regularly because it's too nice outside, I have a new Motorcycle, and mountain biking in MOAB is coming in a few weeks. All these items seem to keep me away from my creative and chatty time in front of a computer. I'll try to post something once or twice a week until I run out of family oriented topics related to the Bikefest. Now that I say "Family Oriented", the list of posts may be quite short...Heh heh...

Happy Friday everyone and have a fun weekend!

From Leesburg Bikefest -- 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mid-Life Crisis part...uh...what were we talking about?

I think, that as of late, I have completely lost my mind. Much like I lost my liver once in New Orleans, but that is another story...ahem

The inspiration behind this post comes from a friend on a certain social networking site that rhymes with macebook, spacebook, or lacebook...hmmm the last one sounds kinda sexy...whatever.

This friend commented when I posted an ad about selling my relatively recently acquired motorcycle, "Wow, that was a short lived mid-life crisis." Of course it wasn't short fact the only thing short about it was my attention span. This alternate attention span (I think we should name Bard, or Darb...or Bob...or...uh...Hey look a squirrel!)

Oops...I appear to be off topic again. Sorry...

Well, "Bob" took over my brain one evening, called up a friend and made the decision to buy yet another motorcycle. A Honda Interceptor VFR, and I am really excited about picking it up this weekend and riding around Florida for the second time this year. Unfortunately, Bob (Mr. Short Attention span if you are like me and forget things you just read) hadn't noticed that Brad (the actual owner of this body) hadn't sold the first bike yet. This total disregard of financial logistics or cash flows puzzled me greatly (and got Brenna to roll her eyes so dramatically that I thought they would get stuck up there...again) Eventually, I made peace with Bob and got around to the fun part about being really excited about the new bike.

The next few posts will be my absurdly entertaining (or at least just absurd) recounts of this week's trip to Tampa to purchase this new bike along with stories about riding with my Dad and the Ghostrider to Leesburg to go to a Harley Rally. The Ghostrider and I will be bringing down the average age of the attendees of the Leesburg Bikefest by quite a bit, but our wives think that our maturity levels should pretty much match up though...

In the meantime, anybody need a motorcycle?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Indy Grand Prix Alabama

Life has been pretty slow it seems recently. The repetitive nature of things doesn't lend itself to posting much. Why would anyone want to hear stories about getting up early, making the kids lunches, running around trying to figure out why they only put ONE shoe in the basket by the front door as the bus is pulling up in all it's yellow glory. "Grrr!!! WHERE IS THE MATCHING SHOE? THE BUS IS HERE!!!" That's excitement I tell ya! But you still don't want me to blog about it as regularly as it happens...

Fortunately, this past weekend has presented me with some interesting stuff to report. The family went out camping on Saturday night at Rickwood Caverns State park after visiting Oak Mountain State park and finding that there were NO tent sites available in the whole place. As a side bit of commentary, I inquired why there were no sites since from personal experience there are always some. "Why is the place so busy?", I inquired. The ranger informed me with the kind of tone that says, (WELL DUUUUH) -- "It's spring break." As I walked back to the car contemplating this tidbit of knowledge, I wondered, who the heck goes camping for a week when it's spring break? Who wants to spend a week somewhat less than well showered, reeking of campfire smoke, and eating ash sprinkled cookies and hotdogs? Wow...I love the outdoors, but if I'm off of work/school for a week on spring break, I'm not going to stop at Oak Mountain. Anyway, we did find a campsite at Rickwood, another of the local state parks, and had a ball biking at night among other activities, which will probably be part of another post.

Now for the well executed segue into the real reason for the post as you might have inferred from the title. On the drive home from camping (Hey, speaking of driving...yep there's the segue), I got a call from a friend of mine that, for some unfathomable reason, had 5 tickets to the first Indy Grand Prix out at Barber Motorsports and could get nobody to go with him. Bryce and I jumped at the chance to go and see these amazing machines race around while enjoying vendor supplied food and drink from covered seating. PERFECT!

Holy cow those cars are loud, and really really fast. That part was amazing, but even more so is the dye they put in those $5 slushies. Will their tongues stay that way??

I was truly impressed at the quality of the pictures I got with the Canon once I started editing. I don't have a zoom lens, but having a 15 mega pixel image allowed me to crop down these pictures and still have them fairly clear. The cars were going by so fast that I couldn't freeze them without a shutter speed of 1/640th of a second or faster. You can click on the images to get a larger view of them.

Here is Brenna's favorite car...for sure. (At least it's not Versace or something)

Below is Danica Patrick in the green Go Daddy car flying through the turns at over 130mph and accelerating to over 150mph by the time they passed us only a few hundred yards later. How do I know this? The Versus channel had in-car telemetry displayed for the race, and it was enlightening to say the least. I guess the speeds are relative, and the brain fails to put good guestamate on the how fast they are actually travelling. The cars look like they are fast, but without a normal comparison (e.g. a mini-van driven by Brenna being chased by Ninjas) it was impossible to figure out just how fast they were going until the numbers started appearing on the telecast of the event. 75mph through a hairpin turn and just seconds later over twice that pace was mind boggling to imagine.

My lone action shot of a guy going off the course chasing Danica... Yeah, I'm a victim of marketing. Go Daddy...

Marco Andretti in the Venom Energy Drink car. I guess if Daddy and Granddad (love the hair in this link picture) have quite a racing pedigree and you grow up stumbling over the bags of money just to get to the door in the morning, you have a shot at becoming good at most anything.

Unfortunately, Marco had to pit after leading quite a while and Helio Castroneves, in the Team Penske car, came away with the victory. He even stopped the car and climbed the fence close to us. I had bagged my camera by that point so here are the fruits of my frenetic struggle to get it back out of the backpack. Alas...too late.

The 90 lap race was just the right length for the overly-sugared up kids and we didn't have to run around as is normal for most sporting events. As a parent, for those of you that don't know yet, you don't get to actually watch games/races that the kids attend with you. You make laps to the concession stand and potty over and over. This event had a great setup with food and such right there next to us. I have to give a big thanks to John for having Bryce and myself along.
I do wonder how Brenna would have fared racing the Mini-Van...