Steven and I sat out for the 20 mile ride over to Road Atlanta and had an enjoyable ride. I still get a kick out of people at stoplights reactions to seeing a Harley and a BMW riding together.
Once at Road Atlanta, we made a stroll through vendor row and chatted with the folks at Nomar who produces and sells motorcycle tire changing equipment. Steven's beemer was needing a front tire and they made him a good deal on a Pirelli and offered to mount, balance, and change it out for free. So, we put them to work. We were quite impressed with their equipment and speed. I've never seen a dealership change a tire out that effortlessly. Their equipment and tire mounting lube made all the difference. Steven was tickled to kill two birds with one stone. Now he doesn't have to schedule time at a bike shop.
After a couple of weeks of enjoyable fall weather in the biggest city in the South, Summer returned Saturday for the Suzuki Spuerbike Showdown. It was hot as standing on the sun and shade was a premium. The vendors selling Gatorade and beer were staying busy.
We took in qualifying and consumed a couple of Gatorades while sweating like stuck pigs. Found a traditional track burger and did a little wandering the 750-acres of Road Atlanta. The track has enforced a rule that motorcycle riders, scooter riders, atv riders, etc must wear a helmet while riding on the property. So we observed geniuses complying with the rule by wearing skateboard helmets (some of which were not buckled). One guy was wearing a floppy hat with his fullface helmet sitting on top of the brim of the hat - but I guess he was technically wearing a helmet. The one that took the cake was the trail biker the was wearing a Bellsouth bump cap - again I guess that technically is a helmet.
I hadn't been to Road Atlanta in 20+ years and was impressed with the improvements they have made, including the addition of the hillside stands in turns 12-14. They've also added shuttle buses to help folks get around the huge facility, and they were a huge hit as well.
As the race was sponsored by Rockstar, and everybody wants to be a big rock star with a house on a hill driving 15 cars, we consumed a free Rockstar beverage. It tasted like a hyped up cranberry juice. I'll stick with drinking Izzie.
Racing finally got in gear around 4pm, and it was amazing to watch them manuever downhill turns under full acceleration. Despite the heat and the pounding heat induced headache I ended up with, we had a large time, and I'd recommend it to anyone. Just take some portable shade.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Another business trip out of the Atlanta airport. I figured I'd be left with the usual burger choices, but much to my suprise we stumbled upon Paschal's Restaurant. Just a few minutes sitting at a table will have your mouth watering at the smell of Fried Chicken, Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Cornbread, the works. I couldn't resist. A few minutes later I was putting Tabasco on a fried chicken leg quarter and on a bowl of greens. And, I'm happy to report it tasted as good as it smelled. And yes, they know how to make REAL sweet tea.
Paschal's has been in Atlanta for over 50 years. It originally was on the outskirts of Atlanta. and moved thru several buildings as time progressed. Eventually it was expanded to include a hotel and the La Carousel Lounge which hosted some of Jazz music's greatest names, including The Ramsey Lewis Trio, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1996 the original hotel and restaurant location was purchased by Clark University. But Paschal's is still serving traditional southern cooking at two locations in the Atlanta Airport and at Northside Drive.
If you're flying thru the south's busiest airport and hungry for some true southern cooking or if you're looking for some good chicken in Atlanta, look 'em up.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Note: this is not the actual picture from the events described, just found on the internet
“Somethings in this world you just can’t explain” – Charlie Daniels
The company I work for has an office suite in an appealing office building north of Atlanta. We share a floor with several other companies. A few weeks ago I went down the hall to the men’s room and while attending to my business I heard loud snoring coming from the end stall. At first I thought it odd but brushed it off as someone congested and perhaps breathing hard to expel some matter. But then the snoring became more intense, and it was intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer that the person in the end stall was sound asleep.
I returned to my work and put the occurrence out of mind until a couple weeks later when I encountered the same situation. I was amazed that the opening and closing of doors, running sink water, etc did not disturb “the crap napper”. I reported this odd experience with my coworkers who found it odd and humorous. We even submitted the term "crap napper" to urban dictionary, but they never posted it, party poopers.
Last week one of my coworkers encountered the crap napper and returned to our office to report the sighting of this natural phenomenon. Several coworkers went down to the men’s room to experience the crap napper first hand. Those who were once skeptics have now encountered and believe in the crap napper.
Finally someone called building security. I can just imagine a security guard banging on the stall door with a big aluminum flashlight and confronting the crap napper. That had to be an “odd” conversation.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Like my new helmet? :)
Around 50-60 Bikes showed up. The folks from XL supplied us with great music, good BBQ Sandwiches, homemade baked beans, home cooked desserts, and lost of ice cold drinks. The ride was 60 miles in the country side north of Rome. It was a gorgeous day and the ride was quite enjoyable. A good bit of money was raised for a good cause and a good time was had by all.
After the ride and dinner, we hung around to XL's service and listened to the cover band and a message from Rev. Big Daddy.
My buddy Steven rode over to Rome with me for the ride, so even the trip over and back was enjoyable.
Friday, August 08, 2008
March of Dimes Bikers for Babies...more than 45,000 riders all across America riding to raise money to prevent premature birth and birth defects, educating expecting mothers and supporting families dealing with sick or premature babies.
Go to their website and find the dates and locations of the ride near you.
Bikers for Babies Website
Atlanta - Sunday, Oct 12
Ft. Myers - Sunday, Nov 2
Huntsville - Sunday, Oct 11
Kansas City - Sunday, Sep 14
Las Vegas - Sunday, Oct 25
St Louis - Sunday, Oct 12
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Ok, what if….
What if you are making your morning commute down a crowded four-lane Atlanta highway? Traffic is running 60 mph. You see a flash of something out of the corner of your eye. You turn to see what it was – nothing. A car started to weave into your lane, but they saw their error and corrected. You look back up and the cars in front of you are all on their brakes and sliding to a stop. You grab your brakes. The back tire locks up and begins to slide. You are staring at the back of the car in front of you and considering the stopping distance. The backend of the bike starts the death wobble. It slides to the left then the right. Someone stated in a safety briefing you heard a few months ago to not release the rear brake in this instance as the bike will “High Side” if you do. The presenter said, “Ride it out. It will usually right itself”. On the fourth left to right motion of the rear sliding tire, the bike gets way out of shape to the right and you go down. You begin sliding face first on the asphalt and you can see the bike slide and bounce into the right lane and stop.
You are now lying face first in the right hand lane of a very busy highway during morning commute. First thought, “Am I alright to get up or do I have any injuries requiring me to lie still?” Second thought “I have to get out of this highway before the 2.5 million cars behind me run over me like a speed bump.” You decide that you are a bit bruised but ok. You can feel an abrasion on your wrist where the glove pushed up a little and the sleeve pushed down just a little. You can feel an abrasion on your cheek below your protective glasses. A full-face helmet would have prevented that one.
A kind-hearted gentleman helps you get the 800lb bike up and off to the side of the road. You inspect the damage to the bike and realize that it is all cosmetic. You convince the kind lady that was driving the car in front of you that you do not want an ambulance or a fire truck. You put the bike in neutral and start it. You inspect again, no runs, no leaks, no errors. A co-worker stops to check on you as traffic starts to move. You convince him that despite the blood trickling from your cheek that you are ok, and you are going to continue on to the office. You co-worker notes that the left shoulder of your Joe Rocket mesh jacket has sustained some damage but it has done its job. The body armor in the shoulder has been roughed up but you have not wounds under the jacket. You notice your leather chaps look seriously scuffed up, but they also have protected you. Your gloves are seriously scuffed up but other than your wrist where the glove pushed up. They also protected you. The right lens of your protective glasses have a huge area that is worn down that you can’t see through, but they are still intact and also protected you.
You look down at your right boot and notice the leather on the toe is scraped away enough you can see the steel in the tip of the toe. Those steel-toed boots were worth the price as well.
On your way to the office, you stop and pick up some 2x2 gauze pads, tape, and Neosporin from the local drug store. The lady behind the counter notes your cheek bleeding. You thank her for the information. You ride up to the office and head to the bathroom to cover the two abrasions. You walk into the office to a couple hundred questions and assure your co-workers you are ok. Your Monday has started a bit rough, but could have been a lot worse.
What would this story be like without the gear? No protective glasses – perhaps a damaged right eye. No helmet – perhaps the whole right side of your face and ear would be ripped up. No Jacket – damaged left shoulder. No Chaps – serious road rash on both knees. No gloves – road rash on both hands. No steel-toed boots – some seriously messed up feet.
Why do I wear protective gear all the time? Because I cannot predict when something like this is going to occur. I cannot stop, get off, and put it all on when I see it starting. Monday was a tough day of commuting in the biggest city in the south, but I am grateful I had on my gear. I am grateful neither I nor the bike struck anything and I did not break any bones. I am grateful for all of the kind folks that stopped and offered assistance. I am grateful I could ride on to the office and work a full day. I am grateful I can ride another day. The rest of the week I have evaluated what went wrong, what I did wrong, and what I can do to prevent this in the future. Lessons learned. Experience gained.