Tuesday, June 20, 2006

AMA Superbike at MMP - Hopefully the First of Many

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the AMA Superbike event at the brand-new Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. AWESOME.

The new track at MMP is sweet. Rave reviews were given by pretty much everyone who was asked. The fast, wide track, extensive runoff areas, and amenities make it the new standard by which American road courses will be judged. Hey, don't just take my word for it. I think it was Jake Zemke who said, "It is nice to finally have a world-class road racing facility in the United States." Most comparisons I heard were not to other road courses in America, but to Formula One courses around the world, which represent the cream of the crop when it comes to racing venues.

Congratulations, Larry Miller, on creating an awesome racing venue. Hopefully you can get the support you deserve to keep the events coming.

As for the event itself, well, the AMA Superbike event was the first ever sanctioned race at the new MMP, and in one of the best races of the year, Ben Spies managed to pull out yet another victory over Mat Mladin and Ben Bostrom. It was SUH-WEET.

Of course, visiting the vendor area is part of the appeal of these events, and this one was no exception. I was surprised at how small the vendor area was, but I expect that it will be bigger next year.

Here's some pictures:

Here's a picture of me standing next to a sweet MV Agusta. Oh, yeah. Italian motorcycles.

Here's a brand-new Triumph Daytona 675. Cycle World is raving about this bike, calling it the best middleweight sportbike available today. Oh, yeah. British motorcycles.

Here's a picture of me standing behind Ben Bostrom's racing Ducati, or at least a replica of it. Oh, yeah. Italian motorcycles again.

Finally - the start of the AMA Superbike race. Yes, these people really are insane. They are taking that corner at, oh, let's say 90 mph.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Some Rich People are Still Stupid - But I'd Rather Be Smart

Just because you are smart doesn't mean you will be rich - and just because you are stupid doesn't mean you can't be rich. As evidence we need look no farther than this article which tells how Ben Roethlisberger recently crashed while riding his 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa. Without a helmet.

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is stupid.

This story hits home to me because my father, who is smart but not rich, was also recently injured in a motorcycle accident. My father has been riding motorcycles for over forty years. I have never known him to be injured in any way in a motorcycle accident prior to this one. In fact, I don't think he's ever even received a traffic citation during all of that time.

He was taking a corner on a highway at a very reasonable 25 miles per hour. Who knows exactly what happened next. Apparently, the front tire lost traction as the bike high-sided and threw my dad into the rocks that were piled next to the side of the highway.

Here's what happened:
  • Broken right ulna near the wrist, and multiple fractures to right radius near the wrist, requiring surgical repair
  • Broken left humerus and severely dislocated left elbow with ligament and tendon damage, requiring surgical repair
  • Broken left tibia and fibula beneath the knee, and torn left patellar tendon, requiring surgical repair
  • Broken left ankle in multiple locations, requiring surgical repair
  • Burst fracture to fourth thoracic vertebra, which has not required surgical repair - yet
He is in the midst of a two-month stint of laying on his back, waiting for the bones to heal, and meanwhile not ever getting up - EVER.

Here's what didn't happen: He didn't die. He didn't split his head open and die. Because he's not stupid.

For those of you that are stupid: Can you see the scratches on this helmet here? The impact cut entire sections out of the shell. Some of those scratches, like those more horizontal ones on the side, are about 1/8 of an inch deep. The impact was so hard, it burst the face shield completely off the helmet.

I love this helmet. Without this helmet, my dad would now be dead.

If you are stupid, like Ben Roethlisberger, it is time for you to wise up. You might be a great rider. Unfortunately, it isn't always about you. You might be riding properly until you get cut off by some idiot driver in an SUV. Or you might be involved in some freak accident, high-siding into the rocks unexpectedly while going carefully around a corner at only 25 miles per hour. Don't be stupid.