My Summer Road Trip

August 10, 2014


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On race day I got to IMS early but I didn't bother to watch the warm-ups. Instead I hung out at the Vendor Marketplace and the Plaza. I met Joe in the Marketplace. Joe is also an educator but his charges are a little more difficult to work with. He works in a correctional institution for young people. We traded philosophy especially about how to handle discrimation.
In the Marketplace each year, there is a store which sells autographed paraphenalia. This picture of Marc Marquez "doing a Valentino Rossi vs Casey Stoner" against Valentino Rossi was an eye-catcher. For those who don't understand the last sentence, Rossi beat Stoner at Laguna Seca in 2008 by going through the gravel on "the Corkscrew" to pass him. Marquez did this in 2013.
On the Plaza, there was "The Pagoda Show".
People were displaying their (unusual) bikes using the theme "Why we ride".
This US trike was pretty tricked out.
Note the trailer on this Suzuki trike. The chock allows another bike to be towed behind it. The previous day I had seen it towing the US trike but hadn't managed to get a picture of the unusual sight.
This bike had a scorpion theme.
I can only imagine that the rider wears a Scorpion helmet.
His passenger? a scorpion, of course!
Another trike. Note the solid wheel rims. On a motorcycle (2 wheels), in a high wind, solid rims can be potentially dangerous when it is a cross wind... the bike gets blown to the side. With a trike, I SUPPOSE this would not be as much of a problem.
The lines on this motorcycle were awesome. Also check out the powdered exhaust.
Whoever painted the flames on this bike might have been busy doing it for a month... there was just SOOOO much detail.
Monochromatic... Neat concept!
If you're looking for colourful, this is the bike. Also note how wide the back tires on the last two bikes are.
Speaking of large back tires, get a load of this Can-Am Spider. Although the Spider is manufactured in Canada, did you know that you can find it for a cheaper price in the USA? Weird or what?
This is the front end of the Can-Am Spider. The headlights and Windscreen remind ME of a cow... hmmm... Maybe the bike moooooos instead of beeping.
You'd certainly be noticed on the road on this bike.
Two of these three bikes are MIDI. The one in the center is a race style but the ones that sandwich it are much smaller. I wonder if either (of the smaller ones) is street legal? They did have a (weird triangular) headlight.
What was neat about the race style bike was its swing arm.
Some might say that a vintage bike is just another vintage bike but I liked the way this owner displayed a bit of the bike's history by laying all of its license plates down beside it.
It was time to get to my seat for the races. Before the race, I chatted with these people from New York, NY. We talked roads and traffic. I told them how brave they were to ride bikes in urban New York. I also told them that I wouldn't even attempt to drive a car there. We also talked road conditions. I had made the comment that Winnipeg (my home) streets were bad - potholes, cracks, etc from winter weather - but Indianapolis was surprisingly worse. THEY told me about roads so bad in New York that one guy bent BOTH rims on his bike when avoiding one bad part of the road only to hit a killer pothole just past the first.
The Moto3 race was everything I hoped it would be. The lead changed an average of 3 times a lap for 23 laps. Do the math. That's more than 69 changes in the lead. The lead group was also large. These bikes would have been within a second of one another... actually less. They whiz right by you.
To illustrate "change in lead", on this lap Miller is 1st, Marquez 2nd, Vazquez 3rd, and Fenati 4th...
... now the running order is Fenati, Vazquez, Rins, Miller, Marquez...
... now Fenati, Miller, Vazquez, Marquez, Rins.
Yes, Fenati is in the lead NOW but earlier in the lap it was Marquez, now second.
Vazquez now had the lead. IN the FINAL lap, Fenati had a bit of a lead coming into this (last) corner but Vazquez (2nd in the corner) caught Fenati's draft and beat him to the line by 0.065 of a second. Miller finished 3rd.
Have I mentioned that I travelled 7000 km+ on this trip only to sit by Canadians at the race? This group of 5 is from Quebec. From the left: Sylvie, Sylvain, Daniel, Dominique, and Christian. During this break I found out that Sylvain rode a Yamaha and I asked him why he didn't have a Yamaha visor. He replied that he wasn't contributing $30 to Yamaha's coffers. I explained that my Yama/Rossi/Lorenzo visor was a give-away. I pulled out my Yamaha schedule and we found that there would be one more give-away between the Moto2 and MotoGP race. Two of the five went down between the races and on my advice got visors, went back in line, got two more, and back in line got the 5th for their group. Hahahaha! Mission accomplished!
The Moto2 race was also good. Early in the race, Mika Kallio pulled away but the others were having a huge battle for the rest of the podium positions. There was an accident then a red flag. The race was re-started but it was shortened for a total of 16 laps.
Kallio pulled out to the lead once again and Rabat stayed with him for awhile but eventually, Rabat was overtaken by Maverick Vinales (2nd) and Dominique Aegerter (3rd). Tito Rabat finished 4th.
To be honest I thought the MotoGP race would be completely boring. BUT... Dovisioso and Rossi pulled out in the lead with Marc Marquez well back. As you can see in this picture, Rossi has now passed Dovisioso (turn 11) for the lead and other bikes are not yet in view.
Rossi held the lead for awhile with Dovi 2nd and Ianonne 3rd.
Still Rossi and Ianonne...
... but then behind them Marquez and Lorenzo.
On the following lap, Marquez had claimed the lead with Rossi 2nd, Dovisioso 3rd and Lorenzo 4th.
The cheers from the crowd were deafening when Rossi took back the lead...
... and though he and Marquez switched positions a couple of times, Rossi held onto the lead onto the straight until lap 11 where Lorenzo joined the mix and...
... in the skirmish, Marquez took the lead, Rossi 2nd, Lorenzo 3rd.
Marquez held the lead until the end. Eventually Lorenzo overtook Rossi and that's how it ended.
I walked over to the tunnel to get a view of the podium. Marquez was pretty pumped.
After the trophy presentations, out came the champagne.
Another pose for the media.
As I left the raceway, the Harley Davidson event was just beginning. I came across these two BLUE vested (grid) officials and was curious. Corner workers are orange. Medical are red. What's blue?
Remember how there was no room in the garages for the Harleys? These two guys were in charge of getting all those bikes FROM the infield ONTO the track at turn 9. They even had (minute by minute) instructions saying exactly what they had to do.
I went back to the Super 8 for my final night. Because of the rain (and predicted thundershowers), I skipped the idea of riding to Noblesville for the Chicago concert and packed instead. The only break I took was a walk across the street to dinner at the Steak and Shake. Perhaps it was a good thing that I didn't go to the concert because it took some time and effort to fit everything back onto the bike.
I include this picture of the Super 8's garden because it reminded me that I had the supplies to make (not footprint but) flipflop stepping stones for my garden and I hadn't done it yet. As I write this, I've completed 4 of the 8 stones I intend to make for my yard.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
My seat was in Section J:
Section 2, Row FF, Seat 1

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