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Thursday, April 17, 2014

...so there i was heading into this left hander...

While the process of riding a motorcycle is a very individual act, the sharing of experiences generated while riding is very much a social thing. Call it what you will, Bench Racing, lying, exaggeration BS-ing over coffee, reliving those harrowing moments of sheer terror (or glory) is as much a part of riding as putting your helmet on.
I had ridden to Newcomb's Ranch on Angeles Crest with my wife Sunday, and as we sat down to have coffee and a snack, I was telling her the stories of my Crest conquests on my GSXR (oh do I miss that bike, it enabled me to ride much like Kevin Schwartz--and as soon as I sold it, I slowed down about 40%, it was all the bike, you know?) and how back in those days we would get up to Newcomb's for breakfast and each table would be full of guys in varied amounts of riding gear, inevitable with one guy using his hands to gesticulate the position of his handlebars in relation to the road. If you could have mounted a ceiling camera it would have been fun too see all 26 miles of that hill explained table by table.
I love the social aspect of riding that comes when the ride is done. Reliving those exciting, scary or amazing moments with people who ride--and understand what you are trying to say--is great. It saves you trying to explain it at the dinner table that night to a crowd that just looks at you funny and wonders why you still own a motorcycle. Clearly when I go out riding with friends, I could get home 2-3 hours sooner if lunch and coffee stops didn't include reliving those corners where the back end stepped out, or that perfect left hand corner exit in second gear that results in a perfectly controlled power wheelie--but what fun would it be if that stuff couldn't be shared?
Did I ever tell you about that time I was on a ZX9R dropping onto Latino Canyon from PCH when.......?