Thursday, August 16, 2007

I may have been dropped on my head as a child

That Ducati 1098 Tri-Colore isn't at the dealer any more. Someone snatched it up on Tuesday.

The problem is that 'someone' was me.

Here's my 12-step program for Ducati ownership:

1. Lose mind.
2. Find a banker who has also lost thier mind.
3. Buy Ducati and race bodywork.
4. Break-in Ducati.
5. Figure out how to paint fiberglass.
6. Service Ducati.
7. Get extra bike protection widgets.
8. Break-in Ducati some more.
9. Paint fiberglass.
10. Install race bodywork and widgets.
11. Go to track.
12. Try to stop giggling.

So far I'm on step 4. (Well, a little bit of step 12 too.) With some luck I'll get comfortable with it and get it to the track this season.

It's a little hard to get a truly accurate picture since I'm limited to < 6000 rpm during the break-in picture. But early indications are that it's scary powerful. It's 100lbs lighter and has 60hp more than the Daytona.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sweet dreams are made of these.

Wow! March 4th?! Eeek, I'm not very good at this am I? Oh well, you get what you pay for and I'm sure none of you are paying for this.

What's happened in 5 months? Well, the weather got nice so I got out from in front of computer and did stuff. What stuff? I can't remember but I'm sure it was fun.

... Uh ... Hmmm..... 5 months? .... What *did* I do? ...

Track days! Right! Three tracks days at Pacific Raceways. June 2nd + 3rd, and July 30th. On June 2nd I snapped the chain during the first session. I thought it was going to end my whole weekend but luckily I had an extra link and with some help I was back in the action after missing only one session. Here's one of my laps:

BTW, that's a new camera setup on the bike. I replaced the Archos AV500 recorder with an Aiptek MPVR. The Archos couldn't handle the vibration very well since it writes to an HDD. The Aiptek writes to a CF card and it works pretty well. (And it's smaller.)

July 30th I was at PR again. I was pretty sick so I only ran 4 or 5 sessions and most of those I came in early. Much to my surprise I was able to get a knee down in turns 2, 3, 4, 6, and 9. (Six really freaked me out, it was totally unintentional.) My lap times weren't spectacular but I did manage to see 133mph on the computer at one point. (No, mom, I wasn't watching my speedometer at 133mph. The computer records my max speed and I check it when the session is over.)

My group at work was given the week of July 30th off. (Hence being at the track on a Monday.) I thought I'd take some time to myself and drive out to Glacier National Park. In preparation I finally had the other 5 Redlines put on The Triumph. I know my dad thinks I'm crazy (for many reasons we won't get into here) but the Redlines really do make a difference. They somehow just look right.

Gentlemen, please remove your hats as we observe a moment of silence to commemorate the loss of our beloved original spare. .............. For 32 years it sat patiently in the trunk. Ever vigilant. Always ready to step in when needed. It was a fine old tire and I'll miss it terribly.

But in the end I decided it wouldn't be too smart to drive 4 days with the top down if I was sick. So I never did go to Glacier. (No, I could not have put the top up. I have a convertible. If the top is up I might just as well be driving a coupe. And that's just silliness.)

The same day I had the Redlines mounted I had new tires put on the Daytona in preparation for the track day. While they were being mounted at a local dealer I made a strategic error: I went upstairs to sales. Why was that an error? Because I found one of these on these on the floor. Whoever had put a deposit on it couldn't finish the deal and there no one else was waiting for a Tri-Colore. (The other 1098 models have a waiting list almost a year long at this dealership.) I tried it on for size and woudn't you know, it fit!

I talked with the sales guys and the service guys and they were clearly conspiring against the sensible part of my brain. But I managed to escape with new tires and before their Jedi Mind Tricks forced me into a new Ducati. I got in the car thinking "Whew! That was close! Good thing someone even dumber than me will snap that up. And probably even before my credit union opens again."

Except... I stopped by the dealer today and it is still there.

Waiting for me.

Calling to me.

It must be a sign.

Maybe it's the re-incarnation of that original spare. ... Maybe I should get it. Maybe it's trying to keep looking out for me. ... Right?