Thursday, June 01, 2006

Off to the Races

Tomorrow I head to the other side of the state for a weekend with a friend. Now usually when we get together, it is to sew or attend a quilt show or, when we were still in business, vend. No doubt we will talk some about our quilting and I'll be taking along my painted fabrics, but the primary reason we are getting together is to spend a day at Road America watching AMA Motorcycle Roadracing. My friend has had to put up with my enthusiasm about this sport, so I decided it was about time she experienced it for herself. I've attended races at Road America at least 3 times and wanted to go once more before leaving the Midwest. If this seems a little out of character, well it's not. I'd ridden two-up with my husband most of our married lives and loved it. The interest in racing can be blamed on same husband who agreed to include in our first motorcycle vacation several days at the NQA quilt show in Grand Rapids Michigan if an equal number of days were spent at the races in Brainard, MN. It wasn't long until I was hooked, and I continue to follow both the American series and the world series via television broadcasts. Here we are on that first trip.

There is the question of why I'd attend the races if I can watch them on TV. U.S. tracks aren't generally designed to see more than a few corners of the racetrack from any given vantage point, weather can be iffy, and concession prices are through the roof. Why not just stay home and watch it all from the air-conditioned comfort of my living room?

This is why. That's me getting an autograph from the Canadian racer Pascal Picotte when he rode for Harley Davidson. Look at those biceps. Look at that buff body. And he's one of the older racers. Yes, these riders are incredibly buff - have to be to wrestle those machines around a racetrack at ridiculous speeds and lean angles. So we're going primarily to walk the pits and ogle the racers. At our age, no one would take us seriously; it's just harmless fun. As my friend's husband says, If you aren't lookin', you ain't breathin'.

And the racing's pretty awesome too. Seeing the bikes up close, hearing how loud they are, getting a real sense for the speed, mingling with the other fans - it's just a different experience that enhances my enjoyment of the broadcasts. It's not unlike the difference between listening to a musical recording and attending a live concert, or looking at art in a catalog and seeing it for real in a gallery. There's nothing like the live experience!

And no, there's not a quilt in this. ;->

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