Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tombstone AZ run

I wandered down to Tombstone AZ on a whim this weekend. Some of the AZ gals were getting together there for dinner, and I thought I'd tag along. Besides, I haven't spent too much time in southeast Arizona. Now, you have to understand, Tombstone AZ is a pretty long ways away from me, almost 600 miles, so I got up early in the morning and rode rode rode for most of the day. Boring interstate miles are still more fun than not riding ;) I pull into town somewhere around 4:30, and by the time I get parked and get my camera out, there are re-enactors milling around on the main street, and soon they go into a whole routine, playing out the actions of the Earps and the Clantons and the leadup to the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It's essentially a running shouting match that walks the entire length of Tombstone ... all four blocks of it. Of course by the time they are down by the Corral, that's where you have to pay admission to see the re-enactment of the gunfight itself. I decline. :)

To me, the whole thing had a kind of funtime Disneyland feel to it, until I remembered that the street I was walking is the actual site of the event. Wyatt and Doc and the Clanton gang trod here, these dusty alleys, where I now stand. This gives it a sort of different attitude, I'm not exactly sure why.

After the pre-Gunfight show, I run into Worm and Debbie, and we shop until it's time to meet everyone else for dinner. This is easier said than done, since Tombstone shops close up seriously early. Only a few are open for us to browse, most of them having locked up around 5:00.

Dinner is at the Longhorn Restaurant (a famous landmark, but next time I am going to Big Nose Kate's) and is quite good. Turbo and Dan are there, and I get to meet Twiggy and DynaCat, who both live in this part of Arizona. Afterwards, we retire to the cute little hotel that Turbo's found, and we stay up late talking in the courtyard with a bunch of other motorcyclists. Ahh, life is good! In the morning, I get up, pack my ittybitty bag, and head back 600 miles home after this nice visit with friends.

And that's my trip to Tombstone AZ, "the Town Too Tough To Die." :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Femmoto 2007

Off to Femmoto, the women's demo/track day in Las Vegas NV. This was my second year at the event, so I knew what to expect this time around. I wasn't able and/or willing to take time off work, so I bombed across the desert late Friday and checked into the Ramada close to the speedway after 9 pm. A little traffic, a little cold, but not too bad.

Saturday morning up bright and early, out to the track to sign up for my rides. This year's dance card consisted of:
1) Kawasaki ZX-6R (last year's favorite ride)
2) Kawasaki ZX-10R (the liter version of the above)
3) Buell Ulysses
4) Aprilia RSV
5) Honda CBR

The first session was pretty cold and windy but it died down after that, making everyone happy. The rules for the novice groups were a lot stricter this year, no passing allowed on the track, which meant our first run around was much more like a stately parade than a race ... yawn! Not once did I get to open it up on the ZX-6R.

However, on the next go-round, the Femmoto staff riders managed to herd the inevitable slowpokes out of the way and I was able to get a few good laps in on the 10R. Ooooeeee, that bike is fun. When you get on the throttle on that one, it responds in a hurry. I was doing the dick showoff thing coming back to pit lane, revving the engine just to listen to it go VRRRRrrrr VRRRRRRrrr VRRRRRrrr and laughing the whole way.

the filling-rattling Buell!The Ulysses was not much to my liking. Last year I rode a Buell Blast (250cc) which made me look like a circus bear on a bicycle & felt like a badly tuned lawn mower. So I thought I would try the larger Ulysses, which is 1200cc and is so tall I can barely tippy-toe it, and it still felt like a badly tuned lawn mower. Oh well. The Buells just aren't for me.

Didn't like the Aprilia that muchThe Aprilia RSV is a 1000cc supersport, and seemed like a very nice bike. However, once I got on the ergos didn't fit me (riding position required me to tuck my legs up more than I think is comfortable ... not a good bike for fat chicks) and I didn't enjoy that session too much. I never felt like I was in the proper part of the powerband so it wasn't a responsive machine. Overall, an "ehhhh" ride.

Loved the Honda! But, in this picture, I am stuck behind slowpokes & can't carve the corner.Fifth and last, though, was the one bike I for-sure wanted to ride this year, and that's the Honda CRB. Ever since Honda came out with the redesigned CBR line for 2007 I've had a thing for these bikes, and I wanted to give one a bit of a workout to see if I liked it as much as I thought I did. The answer is HELL YES. I rode a 600cc, and it was comfortable and powerful and smooth as silk, a real joy to ride. It was my best ride of the day, too, I was lucky to get on the track just in front of the bottleneck (the inevitable slowpoke) so I had a mile of empty track in front of me & I could go as fast as I wanted without worrying about traffic ... it took me about three times around before I finally lapped and caught the back of the slow pack (I don't ride that fast, I don't have the skills for it) and let me tell you those three most FUN laps I did all day. Honda has those machines dialed in perfectly, and I now have a new favorite sportbike (the Kawi Ninja remains a close second.) I tell ya, if I had a spare $9,000, there'd be one of those in my garage. I can't ride it for a long time, but it sure is fun for play.