Six days it took us, six days to travel over 2400 miles and to the far side of Arizona.
Six days of course is not counting any time used to prep for the trip, in this case making sure we replaced our tires. Mine because I had a tire that had carried me to Montana and back (and was the appropriate hardness to do so), and Joe’s because his previous attempt to ride this particular tire had ended with him growing a large hematoma on his buttocks. We took full advantage of a friend, Blaise, raiding his garage in the middle of what could have been for him a pleasant date, and commandeering his tire machine.
Oh well; better forgiveness than permission… and better surprise than dread. In retrospect it was well worth it, as neither my or Joe’s ham-fisted-throttle-happy-asses were tossed high and to the butchers.
The first leg was set at a 16 hour drive, which was quickly adjusted to 16:45 because we forgot Joe’s wheel at my house at the first attempt. The essentials of course were coffee for myself. A good strong kind with an exotic name like Kama Sutra or something of the sort. And for Joe, can upon can of Redbull.
We then pumped the pickup truck’s tires to the recommended 78psi for maximum fuel efficiency and floored it. From then on I remember long dark straights, a few gas station pit stops, then waking up somewhere parked along the Grapevine… how time flies when nothing at all memorable happens….
After waking up, we shook off the brake dust that had settled over everything in our sleep, and continued on towards Inde. Eventually daylight broke upon us, and we were woken by a howling wind. The Redbull, more coffee, Joe’s chainsmoking, and singing along to the Adam Lambert rendition of Mad World on repeat would keep us energized for about half the day.
We were lucky, because as the drive began to wind into itself, the desert coming close to claiming us as hapless victims, Joe remembered we were somewhat in the vicinity of Chuckwalla Middle-of-the-Desert-BFE-Nowhere Raceway.
We spent several hectic minutes fighting technology to get directions, and passed a tiny sign leaning against a fallen water tower twice, but with a mixture of determination and delirium we found it.
At most we had hoped for a glancing whiff of race gas, maybe a spilt patch of it in the middle of an empty lot that would get us through the rest of the drive, but what we found was so much better…
TrackDaz was hosting a day there! Full of A, B and delicious C groups!
Dustin would be our knight in sweaty armor who replied “sure, go ahead,” when Joe asked bluntly “ya mind if we get a few laps in?”
Tech’d bikes, suited up, sharpened our teeth, and got ready to learn a new track in C group. That was our given explanation at least… our given justification for Joe and myself riding in C… that we were learning a new track.
Our acts were awful. We were aweful. Joe and myself are awful people. “Jackassicity,” as I recall dustin calling it. We’ve been banned from C-group at other organizations before… There’s video proof…and maybe one day it’ll go public. ;)
At the end of the second session we had to confront a rather harsh reality, riding motorcycles at a super-C pace in the hot hot heat of a shade-less raceway was tiring. Mentally we had gotten our hit, but physically we had lost. Afterall, we’d only gotten a mere 2 hours of sleep…in a truck.
A big thanks to Dustin of TrackDaz for being a sweetheart and letting us get a few laps in. We really do appreciate it. :)
After loading up we were forced to turn to the long held tradition of playing road games. Joe made them up, and consequently had a distinct advantage.
Stupid games. Stupid Joe. Though, somewhere along the way, we’d entered Arizona The Copper State.
11pm we arrived on the far side of Arizona, past Phoenix, past Tucson, past known civilization and holed up in a motel smoking room for the night. For a split second we debated hitting the town even in our tired delirium… luckily there was no town to hit.
Willcox (with two L’s) is not known for its night life. I don’t think its known for its day life either, but I doubt I will ever want to know. Inde in the morning.
Waking up from a coma is always hard, you are groggy, only one eye ever wants to open and you are completely confused as to where you are, why you are there, and why Joe is butt naked stretching. Trust me, its always like this, and its never pleasant.
Stimulants ingested, and pants put back on we drove deeper and deeper along a badly paved road to the edge of white trash suburbia, and into the desert. What I expected was something along the lines of a ten foot kart track oval with lizards, scorpions and snakes surrounding it.
I was gravely mistaken. For the better this time.
The snakes and the lizards and the scorpions were still there of course, but they were hiding, and in comparison to the track they were small.
The toilets flushed, the showers were nicer than my own, and the facilities were so nice I would pay to live in them. As it turns out, that was the idea, and sadly someone such as myself could not even afford to park a car overnight. That would be on a normal day, and lucky ducky that day was not normal. Somehow, Take it 2 the Track had afforded, maybe blackmailed their way into a normal, not at all private trackday for motorbikes. Huzzah!
Inde was…complicated. Joe and I kept rolling with our luck, although this time we were forced into A and B group. Apparently, a past infraction involving Joe and Toe had us banned from C. I almost wished for the comfort of slower riders, but alas, not today. Back to complication, back to the labyrinth that Inde is.
I tried old tricks to learning it, I carried a ball of twine from the pit exit, and dropped bread crumbs on all my apexes, but sadly I ran out of twine, and my crumbs dried and caught fire between laps. Luckily the riders on track with us were friendly, and towed us around. Whats more, and most impressive is that they continued to be friendly once in the pits. Conversation came as easy and I was surprised. I would go there again, and not just because I forgot to copy a flash drive full of amateur animated housewife “video”.
To be continued….