Of Dragons and Asphalt

Every time we get the idea of heading up the mountains there is always a huge effort of timing, preparation, and planning.

From loading 350 pound bikes onto a rental truck, a NINE HOUR drive, packing, to getting vacation time from work there is much to be done. It always seems like a lot of work for just a few days away.

Helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, camera, video camera, memory cards, batteries, cash… Jesus, where am I going to put all of this on that little sport bike? White knuckles, check. OK, let’s go.

That first ride up 28 instantly erases the memory of all the painstaking effort and time, the planning and weather watching, the overtime and crazyness of the preparation.

Clicking my bike into 3rd gear and laying into the throttle, hearing the scream of the engine bouncing off of the canyon walls, the natural laws of physics start to make sense in a Taoist kind of way.

When riding at high altitudes at a “reasonable” rate of speed (lol), your ears will deafen and pop like they do on an airplane. I always try to avoid swallowing or popping them, because when your lean angle is just right, you can actually HEAR the relationship between the road and your tires over the screaming exhaust. Like the soft murmur of a distant conversation. I’ve never been a religious man, but that sound is as close to enlightenment as I’ve ever been.

“Fast” is a word I used to be comfortable with

Those of you who read my blog (I know right!? There’s actually a LOT of you out there!) know that I am an avid motorcyclist. This past weekend’s trip to the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee taught me (yet again) that I draw a very fat line between my riding and truly “fast” riding.

Now, in the defense of my ability (limited as it is), I was riding on worn-out tires that had no business on mountain roads. I really should have swapped them out before heading north. One ‘sideways’ incident on the first day we rode on wet roads, and I scrubbed off 20% on every turn afterward.

Anyway, even with my tires being out of ideal condition, you can really get a feel for the difference between my riding and “the guys out front”. First, check out my video (remember, all of my video clips are sped up 125% – 150%):

Now, watch this one. This is one of the leaders on our last ride (this video is NOT sped up at all):

Yeah, I’ll stick to the back of the group. LOL

It’s on like… Well, it’s on.

Dragon LogoBack to the Dragon in ’09!  Those of you who didn’t book are really going to miss out.  There is some questionable weather, so wish us luck!

Photos, videos and other Dragon madness will be posted on KeyboardDevil.com over the weekend.  Stay tuned for updates!

Last year’s trip photos can be found here.

Last year’s video:

See you all next week!!