I expected an increase in that of-late-so-elusive commodity known as spare time when I made the recent shift in career focus. But to be honest, I’ve only just found the time to surf and read a bit this past week.
So, I bought a few motorcycle magazines (Sport Rider and Motorcyclist) and poured through ‘em over the last few nights only to discover that I’m still unable to relate to 90% of what’s being written these days. But, I will admit to enjoying the “Why do we ride” piece in Motocyclist and as I peck away at the keyboard, I’m slowly working up to the fact that I don’t have a personal response to the question.
Other than the thrash session required to ready the F1 for Calabogie and pecking away at Patrick’s bevel, I haven’t been in the new shop lately. And I’m sort of cruising e-Bay half-heartedly for the bits required to build-up the Belt Fed Weapon, but I just can’t get back to that rabid enthusiasm that used to drive me. Ditto for the notion of putting together a new street ride for the next year. As I often do when I find myself in a funk (regarding things motorcycle related), I called Fran up to see if he could offer some words of encouragement or at least a bit of insight. I obviously caught him at a bad moment, because the best he could offer on the subject of why we ride was “It’s healthier than golf”. Really, Fran… When was the last time you heard of a golfer suffering multiple compressions fractures on the course? Obviously, a trip up the Shawville is in order if I’m to expect a less frivolous response.
But the net is that the past season has left me with a moto-hangover that’s going to be hard to shake and this means that I really don’t know why I ride any more. I’m truly disgusted with street riding here in The Nation’s Capital – appalling pavement conditions, increased policing on the Gatineau Parkway and a seemingly weekly increase in the number of doddering old fools in Oldsmobiles and Buicks… The track scares me and I’m burned-out from 18 months of building bikes for others.
I can talk about why I used to ride, but living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way.
I think the topic is getting a bit dark for my liking and best left alone for a while.
On a positive note, I stumbled upon one of the finest examples of moto journalism I’ve read in a while during a bit of surfing yesterday evening. I dare say that not since Cook Nielson’s chronicles of the Overdog/California Hot Rod saga have I been so wholly immersed in a piece on racing. With a wit that echoes that of John Burns, One Wheel Drive’s Neil Johnston takes readers inside this past season’s Canadian Thunder series and gives an intimate view of the personalities and challenges that make the series so compelling and unique. Neil’s three-part work in progress HERE.
And finally, catch the drama (if you have the patience) unfolding as DucatiToronto’s
team go for a class win at the MOTO-ST 8-hour endurance race at Daytona this weekend. Live scoring is available HERE.
Yet another page turned in the Dime Store Novel this past week with the sale of the loudbike e-store
to Indianapolis, IN-based enthusiast Anthony Creek.
Anthony and I spend this past weekend in Toronto working through all of the details of the deal and developing a plan for the transition and found some time to hang out with Robert Trottier at Ducati Toronto and do a bit of serious bench racing.
With a SBK, Monster, 250 single and KTM motard bike in the stable, he continues to try to cope with MBD (multiple bike disorder) and has the technical background and enthusiasm to continue the store’s success. The store will be business as usual with Anthony retaining the existing product mix, store platform and branding although he’ll have a more intense focus on the business as his key source of income. I’m going to continue to stay involved through December as Anthony gets his feet wet and prepares for the peak season frenzy.
It’s kind of a bittersweet experience – passing the store on as I really enjoyed the interaction with customers and the creative challenges in building the business, but it’s the final stage in my transition to my new career with Digital Gateway.
It’s mid-October and I’m wearing sox again, which means bike season (such as it was) is officially over. I managed one last ride the weekend before last courtesy of Neville – who loaned me his (gasp!) R1 for day trip up to Calabogie. We were treated to a brilliant Indian summer day with temperatures in the 20 degree Celsius range and a surprise lap of the new track. The R1 was an eye-opener. Neville’s is the special edition with mag wheels and stuff and I was completely surprised by the refinement and handling of the machine. Still, I just couldn’t get comfortable with the fact that the engine made all the wrong kinds of noises…A fitting cap to a totally weird season; baffling the loud bike and pulling my season finale on a Jap bike.