Pursuit Horizon Blog 15 – Moto-GP at Indy. National Moto+Cycles24 Aug 2012, Posted by The Journey in
The worlds best only 50ft away. Fish tongues anyone? Sign this please. 50cc fun rocket.
Arriving in Indy in a bad storm but eh, we’ve ridden in rain before. We set up camp and decide to go off in search of food as the rain turn to a light sprinkle. The weather holds long enough for us to eat at a place about 10 minutes away, and pick up toiletries at a Target. And then WHAM torrential downpour. We are soaked by the time we get back. I was literally ringing my socks out and emptying water from my boots. The rain continued, pinning us in our tent all night. So much rain that it actually penetrated my aftermarket LED turn signals. As i was emptying and righting the postiton of them, i managed to pop a fuse. So out come the tools and off comes the rear tail section of my bike, as well as my turn signals; right in the Indy camping area. If putting my warpaint (makeup) on in the mirror of the bike didn’t make me feel like a tomboy, working on my bike out here sure did. Worst rain yet; but enough about rain. We are in Indy, and I am attending my first live MotoGP courtesy of DUNLOP! (Thanks again, you guys are a great support and sponsor!) I am an avid MotoGP fan, so this is a dream come true!
Practice today and we meet our camp neighbors who refer to themselves as “Newfies” or Newfoundlanders. Steven and Sean are cousins who are as warm hearted and kind as anyone else we have encountered along the way. Steve has a great sarcastic wit about him, and is a well-traveled adventurer and explorer. He generously offers us some Cod tongue, (Yes the tongue of a fish) which he batters up and fries for us to try. Apparently this is good ole home-style faire there. I’ll try anything once but Zach, well not so much. But I will give him credit he tried, after a bit of peer pressure. The results for me were…FANTASTIC! The flavor was like a nice filet of mild fish and the texture; a bit like a mussel. I have quite a few. Zach’s interpretation of the tongue was…well his face said it all.
Qualifying today and I am excited! Pedrosa, Stoner, Spies, Rossi, Bradl, Hayden, Lorenzo…oh my! I am a wide eyed child watching these men fly past me in the Parts Unlimited Hospitality Suite on turn 10. The riders are less than 50 feet from me, and only a guardrail separates them from me. What an incredible view. With only 7 rounds left, the guys are pushing themselves and their bikes hard in the hunt for points! Not only are they reaching crazy speeds on the two straights, but as well in the turns! I am just overwhelmed by the skill!
Turn 13 and down goes Stoner on his Repsol Honda, high sided violently and hurt his ankle. Down goes Spies, high side as well, and looks as if he hurt his hand. And then BAM Hayden high sides, violently enough to knock himself out.
Honda’s tent is offering a chat with Pedrosa and Bradl, after qualifying and I am so there. Commence staring like a crazy fan. Parts Unlimited has granted us access to their Hospitality Suite where yet again Pedrosa will be making an appearance and autographing a few things. Ok, I must get him to sign my ticket! Parts Unlimited also hands out a commemorative shirt which Pedrosa signs for me. He signed something else as well; I think I embarrassed him. I was so nervous in front of this man who I’ve followed, admired, and swooned over; and he’s set a new track speed record and is pole sitter for tomorrow’s race!
Race day and I barely slept last night. Partly because of the parade laps of drunken motorcyclists flying
by the tent all night, and partly because I am thrilled for the race. And it does not disappoint. Pedrosa takes the win and Stoner fought through a fractured ankle and hurt ligaments to take 4th. What a great team and incredible resolve on Stoner’s part!
While walking through vendor alley at IMS we came across some turn of the century styled motorized bicycles. How freaking sweet are these?We talk to Matty and Foxy the owners for a while and decide we must know more about them and their outstanding creations. Zach and I meet them at their store in Indy, where we are greeted by an amazingly well put together showroom of incredibly artful National motor bikes, Tern foldable bikes, Pedego bikes, and gorgeous Vanmoof bikes. While the others are interesting to look at, the hand built National Moto+Cycle bikes are the ones we are after.
A 48cc two stroke engine powered, moving piece of old fashioned cool. Not only are these bikes breathtaking to look at, but they are a hell of a good time to ride. (And yes you must wear some sort of old fashioned leather helmet and goggles to really fit the character of these bikes) At first I was a bit confused… is it a bike or a motorcycle? It’s a bit of both! This thing is fun either way, and it functions perfectly as both. The old school feel of the suspension, the vibration, the exposed motor all appeal immediately to my “I need one” reflex. You are guaranteed to get looks and questions on one of these highly personalized vehicles. All of the components are easily maintainable, affordable and all are great quality. I am totally in love with the attention to detail in these moving pieces of art.
While riding the yellow National bike all I can do is smile. I think that is what Matty and
Foxy created these for; to bring one back to the roots of motorcycles, and create pure joy in the heart of the rider. And they did a damn good job.
The ride from upstate NY to Indy had some of the best scenery yet. It was a ride to remember for sure. Then as we approached Indy on came the rain.
The Brickyard – There it is the Indianapolis motor Speedway aka “The Brickyard”. I have been watching the Indy 500 on TV ever since I was a small child and I’ve always wanted to set foot inside Indy. It’s Moto-GP weekend and Dunlop and Parts Unlimited have made this possible. I can’t thank them enough.
Friday – As we walk around Indy I can’t help but notice that it not what I imagined from watching on TV. It seems smaller than I imagined and they put huge trees to shade a Golf Course in the infield of the track. Great for golf but it blocks the spectators view of half the track. I thought this was a racetrack not a golf course. Hopefully COTA acquires the rights to Moto-GP; that track is going to be awesome. Despite the track not living up to what I had built it up to be in my head I’m loving it.
Saturday – We are being escorted by Steve a Indy security manager on our bikes into the infield. We park our bikes in the Parts Unlimited VIP area at turn 10. We are literally 50ft from the riders and there is no tall fence blocking our view. There is shade, TV’s, food, seating, and more. Parts Unlimited has the best location and set up at the race.
Sunday – Is race day and it doesn’t get any better. I really enjoyed watching the pre-grid and all activity that takes place before the race. We watch the start from the grandstands and then back to Parts Unlimited. After the race we catch up with Bill from Honda HQ and Amanda gets a chance to meet and make Dani Pedrosa blush.
Camping at Indy – If your a light sleeper this is not the place for you. It seemed easier to sleep at Burningman. Late into the night people are partying and ripping around on bikes. More the Nascar infield feeling and not the Moto-GP crowd. Saying this I must admit I did challenge our neighbors to to a scooter short track race in which I ended up crashing their Honda Metropolitan scooter twice. I also tried fried cod fish tongue. Yep disgusting; even fried and dipped in ketchup.
National Moto+ Cycle = COOL – I noticed a vendor at Indy that was getting a lot of attention and after stopping I could see why. They are building vintage looking bicycles converted into 50cc motorcycles and they just bring out that kid in you. I talk to Matty one of the designers and owners of the company and find out that the bikes are affordable at $2600-$3600. They look so cool I thought they would be more. Monday morning we ride to their shop. Matty and Fox started as a design company so the shop is cool inside and it’s now obvious why the bikes look so cool. Matty outfits Amanda with a vintage looking helmet and goggles and hands her a bike to test ride. Amanda’s has an intense look on her face as she races around the block tucking to get the maximum speed out of the bike. She’s intense and serious but every now and then she can’t control the huge smile while zipping around on the bike. I couldn’t take it any longer I needed to ride it. I basically was grinning from the go up until it was time to give the bike back.
Now to concentrate on what lies ahead. The Trans American Trail is only days ahead.