Monday, August 19, 2013
GP Practice Day
Got to Bruce's place in the early hours after gliding across the rural back roads, stoked on Adderall® anticipation and caffeine, atop the trusty Galaxy Traveler.
I intended to photograph some of Bruce's collection of bikes. He has a number of vintage Guzzis, a pretty sweet Shovelhead, some two-stroke Kawi triples and a couple of Ducati's in various states of repair. But they were all under tarps, bed sheets and shit. Some day we'll roll them out of his packed garage and take some pics. He has an obsession for cheap transportation, so he also has a motley assemblage of misfit scooters. He opted to ride his $700.00 (only bike he ever bought new) Chinese scooter, much to my chagrin.
On the road I hung back and acted like I wasn't with him.
We parked on the backstretch of the famed two and a half mile oval. I've had some good times at this place over the past twenty-five years, most of which I can't remember. The second turn grandstands can be seen in the distance. All four corners of The Speedway are blind corners, couldn't imagine taking them at two-hundred plus mph as the Indy Cars do.
You could spend a whole day just checking out the thousands of bikes of the patrons, without even going in to the infield where the real stuff is.
The infield pagoda. Why the Oriental motif, no one knows. This is the fourth since The Speedway's inception. The first one, a flimsy wooden structure burnt down in 1925 when Cosmo Kramer dropped a lit cigar in a waste paper basket.
The very first race run on the Speedway in 1909 was actually a motorcycle race. It was a two lap affair (5 miles) an Indian motorcycle won the day.
Funky V-rod sidecar.
There was a Sportster spec race run on the GP course while we were there. Got to sit in the pits, get pleasantly drunk on $6.00 a can beer, and talk to drivers and mechanics.
All in all a pretty cool day. I used to attend the Indy 500 in the eighties and nineties. Saw the NASCAR boys run once, but it was a snooze fest. The cars looked like they were crawling after years of watching 220 mph on the straightaways for all those years. The GP course is laid out in the infield, using only a short stretch of the main straightaway. The bikes have to come out of a tight turn, roar down the straight and hit another tight turn way sooner than the Indy Cars do, and one rider managed to clock 209 mph! It's awesome to live close to one of the few venues in The States. Watching these bikes is incredible when you can sit close to the track and get a real feel for their speed and power. The riders are badass too.