Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2008) *lots of pics*  (Read 2312 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2008) *lots of pics*
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:30:59 AM »
Had a great time at the MotoGP races, thought I'd share the trip report.  You can read the whole thing at my website, http://www.kendenton.org/ducati, complete with videos.  I'll post the report here as well (no vids though)

Wednesday, September 10th

Rode the bike to work fully packed, tried to get some work done, then went to do some banking and then an early lunch with the work crew. Headed out at 12:45 to meet Jim, who was waiting at the rendezvous point when I got there. Topped off the tank, hit the head, and we rolled out onto the highway around 1:15.


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Ready to roll


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Heading over the Delaware Memorial Bridge

The NJ Turnpike and I-95 passed without incident before we exited, and we soon found ourselves riding through the middle of the packed UDel campus. I had plotted the route through to PA through this area, just as I do when I go to the First Sunday in Ephrata once in a while. I neglected to take into account that 8am Sunday morning riding through Newark (DE) is a lot different than 2pm on a Wednesday. Crossed the Susquehanna on US-1 over the Conowingo Dam, and made our way to PA 851, a great twisty road suggested to me by JamminJere from STN. I only did about 1/2 this road on the way back from the Region 6 Winter Meet due to construction - it was completely open now, and a lot of fun. We did find ourselves stuck behind cars a few times, but still made good time.

PA216 and PA194 brought us down to MD77, which was a hoot on the way to Thurmont. Lots of jogs in the road just after the crest. Coming into Catoctin Mountain Park there was a long line of stopped cars, and no traffic coming the other way. Turned out there was a motorcycle accident ahead they were working on clearing. Knowing the road ahead was fun, and wanting to ride the park road up the mountain, we decided to stick it out for a while and hope it was clear soon.


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Accident in Catoctin

While Jim and I were stretching our legs a bit, a guy on a Ducati 996s rolled up from about a dozen cars back. I was intrigued by the big luggage tailpack on the back of his bike - didn't expect that on a 996. Turns out his name was Grant, and he was on his way to Indy from Maine! He's got over 69,000 miles on the Duc, and has outfitted it with tons of upgrades (carbon-fibre this, magnesium that). I made him fire it up so I could hear the motor through the Termi's. Nice. He had no maps, and no real directions to follow. He wanted to be in WV Thursday, and in Indy by Friday. I pulled out my marked-up WV map and gave him a few route suggestions (33, 250, basically any E-W route over the mountains). We chatted for a few minutes, and then they opened the road. Grant asked if we'd mind if he rode with us for a while - no problem.


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Grant's gorgeous 996

We did the gorgeous section of 77 that goes through the park, with perfect pavement and great turns. I was in front, then Jim, then Grant. We then made a run up the main park road for a few miles - that was fantastic. No traffic, just curve after curve in the deep woods. At the turnaround point we reversed order and followed Grant back down to 77. I thought his brake light was out, but turns out he never braked until we got to the stop sign at the intersection - smooth!

77 to 66 to 34 and through Boonsboro. I made a pass that turned out to not have enough room for the rest to get through, so I just tootled along for a while. Then I see Grant in my mirror doing an uphill pass, with a truck coming the other way. He tucked in behind me with perhaps a second to spare - scared the crap out of both Jim and I. Jim found a passing zone soon enough, and we were on our way to find gas for Grant, who was 10 miles from pushing. Sharpsburg appeared, and we were saved. Tiny little gas station, complete with restroom-key-on-a-chain-with-wood. Classic!


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

On the way to Sharpsburg, Jim on the Road King, with Grant's 996 in the back

A couple of backroads later found us passing Summit Point Raceway, and looking through the gate I was surpised at how small it looked. I missed the GPS-indicated turnoff just after that, so had to detour onto some really small roads for a bit. Saw some deer hopping across the road in front of us, and encountered the first bit of gravel. Mostly at intersections, it was pretty fine and gray colored. You would look at the road and think "why is that road kinda gray?" and then feel the bike moving around on the fine covering of gravel. Jim had a little wiggle at the intersection, but that was about it.

We got to the Red Roof in Winchester, got our rooms, and Grant took no time rolling his 996 into his room! We got settled in and walked across the busy street to the Texas Steakhouse for dinner. Good food and good conversation ensued. Grant's longest day ever on the 996 was 1200+ miles - yikes!


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Home for the night


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Cozy parking


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

That's a lot of miles! I like the 55mph callout.

Quick stop at the convenience store for supplies (Mr Pibb!) and then we went back to our rooms for the night. We told Grant we'd be on the road by 8, and he said he'd listen for us to leave in the morning while he slept. So long, Grant, nice to meet you!

Total miles, about 200


visitors can't see pics , please register or login
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2009) *lots of pics*
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 09:31:23 AM »
Thursday, September 11th

Let me begin by saying this was one of the best riding days I've ever had.

Garry over at STN had layed out a great route for us, from Winchester, VA to Columbus, OH via WV and OH twisty roads - 350 miles of no-slab, countersteering fun. We got off to a chilly, cloudy start finding our way out of Winchester - which is not the easiest thing to do. Passed right by DucPond Motorsports, but they weren't open yet. Jim was in the lead as we headed west, and we stopped after about an hour in Romney's McDonalds to warm up and get some caffeine. So far 50 was just OK, but was getting better the farther we went.

We had heard from several people to take a detour down 42 at Mt Storm, so we did just that. Road was very straight for a bit, right up to where the giant windmills are on the ridge. The scale of these things is really hard to grasp until you're right underneath them. At the bottom of one of the blades was a rig with a person working on it. Over the weekend we say several of these fan blades being trucked on the interstate - the first time you see one you're scratching your head going "what the heck is THAT?".

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Then the road starts getting very twisty, which would have been great if there was 1/10th the truck traffic. Lots of dump trucks coming and going up and down the road, hard to get a long enough stretch to get in the groove. We took 42 down to the intersection with 93 at Scherr, then turned around and headed back up. Stopped along the way to get some shots of us in the curves. It's hard to strike a good balance between riding and stopping for photos, and I was hoping to do more photos than usual on this trip. Unfortunately (fortunately?) the riding was so terrific I never wanted to stop the flow.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim was then nice enough to get some shots of me

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


On the way back up 42 we split west on 93 through Bismark on the way to Davis and WV219. 93 was very...odd. Quite straight, deserted, it just felt very different from anything we had done up to that point. At one point the road ahead was being covered with what looked like clouds, and the left side of the road was bordered by a large concrete wall, like the sound barriers you sometimes see on the interstate. The clouds appeared to be rolling over this wall, and as we passed I caught a glimpse of some giant factory or plant down there, looking like some scene out of Dante's Inferno. I really should have gotten a picture of the place (no one to blame but myself, Jim had made it clear we could stop as often as I liked). We also passed this enormous power plant:

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


About halfway to Davis the sun just suddenly appeared in the sky. I'd never had such a quick transition from overcast to sunny blue skies before, it was quite startling.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Just outside of Davis we stopped for gas, snacks and water. We also adjusted our clothing to suit the much warmer day this was turning into. We thought of stopping by Blackwater Falls State Park, but that looked like too far a detour south, so when we got to WV219 we turned north to head back to our original route on US50. 219 was terrific! Very little traffic, lots of woods to ride through, and curve after curve.

Our next stop was in Rowlesburg, WV. There were a ton of bike gathered in the parking lot of Cool Springs Park, so we pulled in to see what was going on. Turns out it was a group of sportbike riders from VA on their way to Indy. Many of their bikes had been turned into streetfighters, and not one of them had any chicken strips left.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

At Cool Springs Park

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Love that headlight!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Right to the edge

50 from Rowlesburg to Grafton was incredible! Left, right, left, right, repeat. We were about 10 minutes out from Cool Springs Park when I noticed a sportbike on my tail waiting to pass me. Now we had been going a brisk pace (Central-NJ group ride style), and when we left Cool Springs Park that group of guys was still hanging around eating and drinking - my first thought that it was the guys we saw earlier, and they must be tearing up the road at an insane pace. Waved the first guy by, and saw that he was not part of that group. Two others went by, including a guy on a loaded Concours14. They passed Jim in short order, and were out of sight in just a few turns.

We stopped for lunch in Grafton at Biggie's, where we had some pretty good chicken sandwiches outside watching the traffic go by. The VA bikers passed and waved as we were finishing up.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We stayed on 50 for a while, then took a couple connector roads to pick up WV20. As I mentioned before, we had been keeping a good pace, with Jim really throwing that Road King around. More than once I heard those floorboards scrape. WV20 was more intense than much of 50, and the marking for the turns was more generous. What would be a 20-mph marked turn on 50 was marked 30-mph on WV20. I had been leading since we left Biggie's, but waved Jim by after a bit on WV20. The next turn we come up to was the first 15-mph marked one we'd seen, and as Jim got into the uphill right-hander he began scraping...a lot. Then I noticed him wiggle and stand the bike up a bit before settling it down again. When we talked later on he thought he had levered the rear off the ground for a second, and had a serious "Oh Shit!" moment. Props to him for not pulling over for a bit after that incident - I might have needed a moment to compose myself.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Some construction on 20

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

Cooling off on 20 for a bit

Eventually we connected with 7, and that took us over the bridge to Ohio at New Martinsville. OH536 is a twisted roller-coaster of a road. Lots of elevation changes, in quicker succession than the roads in WV. Signage was vague at best for turns, maybe just a left arrow with no mph guidance. What fun! For the first part of the road we were behind a guy on his Sportster, and he was keeping a great pace and riding very smoothly. When we pulled off into his driveway it was clear why he seemed to know the road so well.

536 connected us to 78, and we stopped in Woodsfield to decide how much farther to go and by which roads. I had booked hotels in both Columbus and Dayton, figuring we would see where we were late in the day and cancel one of them. We had just finished 300 miles of twisties and were starting to feel pretty beat. Jim's Road King weights nearly twice what the Multi does, so I'm sure he was doubly tired. We knew we didn't want to do another 100 miles of something like 536, but we weren't ready for the interstate and 78 didn't look too crazy. We briefly considered making the run all the way to Indy that night, but quickly dismissed that.. We decided to make it to Dayton, taking 78 for a while longer unless it got crazy.

78 turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. Very little traffic, pleasant sweepers, and easy to make time on. As a matter of fact, in just one hour on 78 we had beaten the GPS estimate by 35 minutes! We passed OH555, the infamous "triple-nickel", but that would be for another day. 78 to 13 to, finally, I-70.

While gassing up just before getting on I-70, we were joined by a couple of H-D guys from PA on their way to Indy. We chatted for a bit, and after the one guy left the pump we heard the unmistakable sound of a bike hitting the ground. When I looked over, I was surprised to see gasoline gushing out of his tank and all over his bike, and the ground. They had gotten the bike picked up before Jim and I could get there, and it turned out he had not put his gas cap back on when leaving the pumps. Probably not a good idea to pour gas over a hot engine.

I broke out the beaded seatcover for the first time on this trip, and we hit the interstate. Jim was in front on I-70, and I was starting to get pretty tired. My knees were sore, and my neck was pretty sore as well. At one point Jim passed a truck that was in the right lane by pulling in between two left-lane trucks, one behind and one in front of him. He was hemmed in on 3 sides by 18-wheelers, and he later said that was probably not the best decision, the long day to blame. Nothing happened, and it wasn't a big deal, but it's interesting to note that you certainly don't ride better or smarter when you're tired at the end of a long day. (I'm not without sin on this account - watch for my much-more-boneheaded move at the end of Saturday's ride)

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

On I-70 in Ohio

visitors can't see pics , please register or login

With 200 miles on Wednesday, we did about 480 miles today, only 100 of them on the Interstate. (I took this pic Friday morning before we left, which explains the 7:05am time)

We "freshened up" and made the walk across the street to a place called Tumbleweed's, where we enjoyed a late dinner and cheap beer.

I had been toying with the idea of a motorcycle trip to the Alps lately, and that's something I would rather do with someone I know. Since Jim and I weren't at each other's throats yet, and our riding styles meshed, I put the question to him.

Me - "Have you ever thought about riding in the Alps?"
Jim - "Only from when I go to bed at night until I wake up in the morning."

We spent the rest of dinner talking about how that might work.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2008) *lots of pics*
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 09:32:43 AM »
Friday, September 12th

I woke at 6:15, and was surprised (I shouldn't have been) that it was still dark outside. A little rain was coming down by the time we went to breakfast - Jim couldn't pass up a visit to the Waffle House next door, it takes him back to his time down south. After a pretty good breakfast we bundled up for the rainy ride to Indianapolis and headed out.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


First time the Ducati has been in Indiana

Very crappy ride on I-70, rain went from just drizzling to full-on downpour a few times. Never really let up until we got to Indianapolis. I had the GPS programmed to take us to the 16th street entrance to the Speedway, not the 30th street Gate 10 entrance we needed - figured we'd adjust once we got there. Not the nicest neighborhoods we passed through on the way. Passed the Triumph and BMW demo trucks in a parking lot, had to resist the urge to stop for a demo. Once we got near the Speedway we started to see some other bikes - and who did we see in the queue for the Ducati Island parking but our friend from Maine, Grant! We were heading to the free parking at Gate 10 (since Jim and I were riding together I didn't want us to get split up by me parking on Ducati Island and him who-knows-where), so we waved at Grant and circumnavigated the whole Speedway to find our entrance.

Once we got to Gate 10, there was no checking of parking wristbands, just staff waving us in. We rode closer and closer to the actual facility I was getting more and more excited. Soon we were right behind the grandstands and I was thinking this was pretty good parking - then they waved us into the tunnel underneath the stands! We came out ONTO THE TRACK! We got to ride onto the back straightaway of the main Indy track (not the MotoGP track) and park right up against the fence. I was totally psyched!

There was an army of attendants there giving out MotoGP kickstand plates, and they insisted you using them immediately. "Once in a while we make A LOT of money with this bit of road".

It was very hard to slow down and get everything squared away - I just wanted to run over to the track and see what was going on. I think I left my camera on the seat the first time I walked away - could have been my gloves, it's all kind of fuzzy.



visitors can't see pics , please register or login


You couldn't pry the grin off our faces upon arriving

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Getting everything squared away

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Our route onto the track parking

We took advantage of the free gear check and started the long walk in the general direction of the engine sounds we were hearing

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Thank you, ABATE!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Looking back at the bike parking

After quite a trek we came over a rise and got our first look at the track. What's the first thing we see?

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Valentino whizzing by, followed by Toseland, Rossi, Hayden and the rest of the GP crew - we had arrived just in time for first MotoGP practice session.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I can't describe how overwhelmed I was at being there. The sound of those machines roaring by, seeing Stoner and Rossi, the whole thing was just sensory overload. From the "grassy knoll" we had a good view of turns 6-7-8-9, not fast turns but you could watch the guys swing between full left and right lean, and then listen to them power down the Holman straight. We basically just stood there and watched for a while, then I headed down closer to the fence to see what kind of pictures I could get. I could get good shots shooting close to the fence, as the depth-of-field would make the fence disappear, but there were sections along the fence that had a big horizontal section of fencing missing (like a very long mail slot) that was even better. Had to squeeze in with the rest of the photographers there, but chatting with them was part of the fun. Some of the guys there were fans with decent equipment (like myself), others were pros with really decent equipment (like $8k 400/2.8 lenses).

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Tough spot to photograph through, not enough field of view to get the camera to track-focus the bikes

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The best place to get photos of close on-track action

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The GP riders (Toseland in this picture) did their launch practice in front of us. Toseland was playing to the crowd.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Rossi gets some air under his front wheel during his launch

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


A very happy Jim

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Made our way to Ducati Island (over the Red Bull bridge, not for the last time) - quite a long walk, and not very obvious how to get there. Showed my registration and got a wristband, and one for Jim as my guest. It was nice to return the favor, as he got me into the ROK tent at Americade which was a big relief from the heat.

http://www.kendenton.org/ducati/2008-09-14%20MotoGP/D20_7549.JPG

Jim (far left) enjoying the complimentary water at Ducati Island.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Me

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


"Entertainment"

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Parking lot at Ducati Island

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We saw Grant's 996 in the main Ducati Island parking section

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim taking a little sip of the Kool-Aid

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I thought this guy was a big fan....

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


...until I saw this guy!

Walked around checking out all the vendors, no big deals to be had that I could find. Got a lunch of an Indy Dog, which was pretty terrible. Prices for food and drink weren't too bad for a captive audience, nothing like the $6 sodas at concerts.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Man, this is a big place

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim got to check out Rossi's old bike

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Eye candy

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We watched the 250's practice from the free Buell grandstand, which overlooks turn 9 and the Holman straight. Couple guys going off-track at the exit of turn 9, pretty entertaining.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The Buell grandstand

We then thought we should check out the other grandstand between turns 4 and 5 on the other side of the track, so we began a long trek through a no-man's land of tunnels, deserted bleachers and rain. It started to really come down hard as we passed the KTM, Yamaha and Harley demo areas, and by the time we got to the grandstand it was pouring. Sitting down on a metal bleacher seat with puddles was not one of the day's highlights. We watched the first session of 125 qualifying, but they didn't stay out there too long. The rain was just pouring down, visibility was terrible.

From there we headed back to Ducati Island and the rain finally subsided for the day. Jim enjoyed an espresso, and I tried to get a little drier.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Interesting paint scheme

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Ducati Island in the rain

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Um, OK....

We watched the second MotoGP practice sessions from the viewing mounds again.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Not a shortcut for Alex De Angelis

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


A very wet track

Ant West put up the fastest times on the wet track, Rossi was fast as well. Stoner had highsided at the end of the first practice session, but we didn't see that. The Ducati's sounded like nothing else out on the track.

After that we stayed to watch some of the Rookie Cup practice

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


These guys were hard-chargin'

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


When we got back to our bikes, there were a lot of workers there collecting the MotoGP kickstand plates they had given out in the morning. They'd stand there with a stack of them, clacking them together and watching you like a hawk. No souvineers today....

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Back at the hotel

We rode back to the hotel to clean up, and figured we'd head back into town to check out the action on Meridian Street. Indianapolis had closed a few blocks of Meridian Street for just bike parking, and that sounded like fun. I almost got taken out leaving the hotel from a car coming out of a blind spot in the hotel parking lot, locked up the front I think. Yikes.

Meridian Street was pretty cool - we got there early so there weren't a lot of bikes there yet. Had dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory (not bad), and then roamed the streets for a while. There were cops checking VINs for stolen bikes, which I had never seen before. Later in the evening they were putting some bike on a flatbed, with lots of flashing lights and a crowd gathering. "Nothing to see here, move along". I disagree, there's plenty to see! The crowd was behaving, it was a nice vibe.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Our parking spot off Meridian

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Indy had put up street signs for all the racers

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Must be a big fan

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Have to report this to Ducati - you can't have flames and skulls on this!

We hit a sandwich shop on the corner to use the bathroom before the ride back to the hotel, and I think the counter guy had had about enough of this. He got right in my face, "You going to buy something to eat?!" I bought a water.

When we had checked in earlier, the clerk had mentioned about secure night parking next door at the Marriott. When we got back to the hotel we had a chance to check that out. It was a pitch-black parking lot, right next to the road, mostly surrounded by a temporary chain-link fence with a huge opening. No one minding it, and maybe 5 bikes parked inside. Pass.

Jim's Fog City fog shield had developed a case of permanent fog thanks to the rain today - odd. I spent the rest of the evening drying out the contents of my wallet, looking like a counterfeiter with all these bills laid out neatly on the desk. I also MacGuyver'ed a lens cover for the big telephoto, as the weather for Saturday was supposed to be just as bad if not worse. I had to wash the bottom of my pants in the sink as they were beyond filthy from all the mud and grass we trudged through - my wife would have been so proud!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim's Foggy Fog City Shield

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Mr Handy!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 02:59:22 PM by kendenton »
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2008) *lots of pics*
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 09:33:28 AM »
Saturday,  September 13th


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


We had decided to meet for a later breakfast and not try to get there early for demos since the forecast was bad. So, of course, we woke up to bright sunshine. We scarfed some cereal quickly, and hightailed it to the track. Took a better route this time (exit I-65N at 28th, take 30th straight to Gate 10) and got closer parking on the oval. They were checking for parking wristbands, but seemed to direct everyone to the same place regardless.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Heading towards the grandstands

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


This is SO COOL!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


On the back straightaway

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim's enjoying this as well

We lugged all our gear over to the KTM and Yamaha demo areas, which is a LONG way away from the parking area. I was really hoping to get an FJR ride, and had made sure yesterday that they had one. Got in line, and the lady said they had taken the FJR to the Yamaha Product tent for the rest of the weekend. Dang it! Over to KTM, signed up for a 10:30 ride on an Adventure (again), and, what the hell, a 1pm RC8 demo. Jim signed up for the new VMax at 10:30, and an RC8 at 1 with me.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


By this time it was getting very hot out, and dragging our stuff across the track had made us pretty miserable. We watched some of the 125 practice, and then the start of the MotoGP practice before it was time to head over for our 10:30 demos.

The route KTM had setup pretty much sucked. Granted, there was not much they could do given the location, but there was maybe 3 of 4 minutes that wasn't on traffic-light-controlled crowded surface streets. Saw lots of folks advertising secured parking, and backyard camping. Not much I can add to my feelings about the Adventure given this ride. Jim said he fared better with Yamaha's route, but we both agreed to skip our afternoon RC8 demo.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I so want to like this bike more

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The ride that was not to be...

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


...for either of us

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim liked the ride....a lot

We dropped our gear at the Ducati Island gear check, did our souvineer shopping, and trekked back to the bikes so I could get the 'real' camera gear for today.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Bike parking had filled up quite a bit by now

Camera gear in tow, we headed back to the viewing mounds again. Grabbed a not-bad Philly Cheesesteak and made my way to the fences for what would be the best photography session of the weekend. Watched Randy Mamola give 2-up rides on the Desmosedicci. I can't even imagine how exciting/terrifying that has to be.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


A great place to watch the action

Next up was the 125cc qualifying

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Efren Vazquez

Then it was time for today's big event for me, the MotoGP qualifying. Unlike the smaller classes, they only get one qualifying session. Weather today was bright and sunny, and I think I saw them at their very best. They get faster and faster as the session goes on, with the track announcers keeping you up-to-date on everyone's position. For the last 10 minutes everyone comes out and does a hot lap on their qualifying tires, which usually turns out to be the fastest lap of the weekend. Certainly was in this case, as it was the only really dry session.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Woo-hoo, Casey!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Shinya Nakano tried to save it in the grass, but it was not to be

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Corner workers looking for loose change on Nakano's bike (yes, I know the focus is on the fence but this picture was too interesting to toss away)

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Crossing the track from helping another rider, this corner worker fell and couldn't get up again. Mind you there's a thundering herd of MotoGP bikes coming his way one turn away

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Nicky Hayden and his Colts helmet

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Some little Italian dude

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Go Casey!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The Speedway had some giant screens scattered around the venue, but not enough

Rossi took pole position, with Stoner 2nd and Hayden 3rd. Ant West, who had been the fastest in the rain, qualified dead last. It was getting really hot, and we joked about how we were always complaining about the weather - "It's hot, it's raining, I'm cold". We hadn't seen over half the track yet, so we thought we'd take a walk around and see the rest. Oh man, what a walk that turned out to be. The line for the Red Bull bridge was hundreds of people deep, so we were glad we weren't trying to do that. The walk up until turn 10 was good, as you could see the track and you're walking on grass. After that, you get pretty far from the action and then you're walking around the backsides of the grandstands on the asphalt.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Our walking route around the Speedway

We guzzled some root bear floats and eventually found ourselves a seat in grandstand C, with a good view of turn 16 and the beginning of the main straightaway. You could kind of see turns 10, 11, and 14, but it seemed miles away. I think for future visits I'm going to pretend the track doesn't go past turn 9. It was nice to be shaded though, so we sat our butts down for a while. We had arrived just in time for the Red Bull Rookies Cup race.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


This was a race of attrition, as several riders crashed out, and several more pitted out of the race. With identical bikes and leathers, it was very hard to tell who was who during the race.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Pretty cool to see the trophy podium in person

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


These guys were flying around after the race

We made our way to Ducati Island in search of refreshment, but they were out of water this time. Went to get our gear, and Jim's guy gave him his stuff still inside the trash bag, making for easy carrying. I commented that was convenient, at which point the guy giving me my bag of gear took a knife and split my bag open. WTF?

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I bet that's bright! Doesn't much help the Multi in the looks department though.

Ran into always-smiling RDoug and his friends on the way out, and we chatted a bit. I couldn't really bust on him about not riding to the race, as they had come up in a friend's private plane. Nice!

< insert picture of RDoug I should have taken here >

We made the long, hot walk back to the bikes, and tried to decide what to do next. We wanted to go see the Indy Mile flat-track races at the Fairgrounds, but we also were mighty hungry. A plan for a fast-food stop was nixed en-route due to lack of time, so we figured we'd get something at the fairgrounds.

When I took my GPS out of my side case at the track, the screen had started to bubble, and it wasn't really acting right. It had misbehaved once in a while before, but this was almost constant. I finally got it to show us the route I had planned for Indy to the Fairgrounds, and off we went. Halfway there it went crazy again, and we had to pull over while I banged on it (not really) to try to make it work again. I had not memorized the route before, but I did as soon as it showed it to me again. Once we got onto 38th street the road became a parking lot. 10 minutes of that and Jim asked if we could detour as his bike was not liking the heat. We took some pretty ratty sidestreets, and came out right next to the Fairgrounds - for which we got in line and waited. And waited. They were collecting a $3 parking fee from everyone, and had traffic backed up quite a bit. By this point we were both hot, tired, hungry, and fed up with traffic. Found a bikes-only parking spot, and walked over to buy tickets. The line to buy tickets was huge, and not moving. It was already 7pm, so the race(s) had started, and we were looking at maybe an hour wait to get tickets. Plus, the only food we could see inside was corn dogs and cotton condy. We "had lost the love", and decided to just head back to Meridian and do that for the evening. This was a big bummer, as we were both really interested in seeing the races. From what I've read later, those that were there loved it. Nicky Hayden was there walking around, and a bunch of other racers. Next time...

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim in shirtsleeves in line at the fairgrounds

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Cooking

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


There was an Aprilia Party at the fairgrounds

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The line to buy tickets

GPS went wacky getting to Meridian again (time to go Zumo shopping!). We got detoured around some, and traffic was crazy as we neared Meridian. We lucked out with some spots right in the middle of the action tonight - our moods were improving. Ran into a guy from multistrada.net and we chatted for a bit. Jim and I were really hungry, so we made a beeline for the Rock Bottom Brewery. There was a 20 minute wait, so we sampled some Indy GP IPA at the bar - not the best beer I've ever had, not sure what I was expecting from something that says it has a "grassy bitterness".

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Good spots in the thick of the action

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


As we sat in the lounge waiting for our table, an attractive young lady asked if she could sit with us. Sure, no problem. That she started to talk.


"I can't believe I burned my leg on the exhaust! I'm used to a sportbike with pipes under the seat, but this cruiser had pipes on the side. That's what I get for riding sideways. I'm wearing a miniskirt, and I rode sideways so I wouldn't be flashing everyone my crotch. I should have just shown everyone my crotch, it would have been safer.
"

At which point the guy she's obviously with joins us  and starts talking with us as well. I asked where they were from, and they're Indy locals. "Indy 2012, baby!" says the girl. Huh? She explains that the Super Bowl will be held at Indy in 2012, and everyone's excited about that. When I told her we were from New Jersey, they both wanted to know how we liked the city, and that everyone was so thrilled that we were all here for the race. It was very midwestern-nice, something I'm not used to in Jersey. They said they were both trackside EMT's, and I wished them a boring day tomorrow.

Dinner was good, even if the service was terribly slow. We walked around Meridian some more afterwards, things were much more crowded than Friday night. A LOT more bikes with Indiana tags this time, and people were trying to get a little crazy. If the street wasn't so packed with bikes and people I'm sure it would have been burnout and wheely city. Reminded me a bit of Saturday night on Canada Street during Americade.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login
 

Fireworks were a nice touch.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Nice ape-hangers....on a VROD!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login
 

Very interesting exhaust on this Monster

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The scene

visitors can't see pics , please register or login
 

This spot on the block was always very crowded....

The strangest thing happened while we were getting ready to leave. I was getting my suit ready (Olympia Phantom), and 2 middle-aged couples in black tie came over to Jim and I and started talking.

"Where are you guys from?"

"New Jersey"

And then it was almost exactly the same speech from the girl in the brewery:
 
"We're so glad to have all you motorcyclists here, how do you like Indianapolis? How do you like the Speedway?"

As I was slipping into the suit, one of the wives got close to me:

"Are you putting that on because you're leaving?"

"Yes...."


Very strange, and very nice at the same time.

On the ride back to the hotel it was time for my bone-headed moment of the trip. Making the right onto the street our hotel was on (with Jim right behind me) I noticed a car coming toward me on that street. I adjusted to the left a bit, and he adjusted to his right so he was still heading right for me. I'm thinking "what's with this a**hole?" when I notice the median to his left - I was about to turn onto the wrong side of the divided street. Jeebus! He was just moving into the left turn lane of his street, I'm sure wondering why this stupid motorcyclist is trying to ride straight at his hood. I swerved back to the correct side of the street, and mentally kicked myself the rest of the short ride to the hotel. Stupid, stupid, stupid.


Fell asleep quickly, ready for the big day tomorrow.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 03:00:26 PM by kendenton »
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2008) *lots of pics*
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2013, 09:34:14 AM »
Sunday,  September 14th


Met Jim for a quick breakfast in the lobby, and went out to get ready to go. Looking over my bike I noticed something stuck in the rear tire. Didn't know if it was a rock, a nail, or what, but it was in there pretty deep. I wasn't sure whether I should pull it out or not, but I really didn't want to miss the race so I just left it in and hoped for the best. We were on the road by 8:30. The weather was looking very nice, and we hoped it would continue. More bikes heading into the city, but not a huge amount. My GPS locked up again, but by this time I knew the route to the Speedway. We did the same Gate 10 parking, and parked on the back straight again. Packed the Phantom in the sidecase this time, and the helmet in the other case. No more dragging my gear anyplace today. Jim grabbed a couple of rain ponchos "just in case" and we headed over to the track.


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Race day!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


That didn't look good

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Under the grandstands we went

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And out onto the track

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Very nice

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


My GPS screen had bubbled yesterday in the heat of my sidecase, and now in the cool air it cracked off

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Watched the 250 warmup from our usual spot on the viewing mounds, one good crash right in front of us. Amazing how these guys can have a nasty looking crash, pick themselves up, shake off the bike and be back on track in less than a minute. After that it was GP practice, and we were getting more and more psyched. The weather was beautiful, the crowds were thicker (but not bad at all), and everything was going great at the track.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim watches the MotoGP warm-up session

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim took this picture of me at the fence. I'm sitting down with the red shirt, middle of the frame.

We made the walk over to Ducati Island, stopping for a while to peer over the fence at the back of the garages. Standing on a golf cart that was parked there (paparazzi-style)I could see quite a bit.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And then it happened. Unfortunately I had the Panasonic P&S digicam at the ready, the DSLR with the big lens was tucked away. Riding in from the track, with his wife on the back, was Casey Stoner on a scooter!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The only pic I manged to get, as the Panny took forever to lock focus and take the shot.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


A crop from the above picture, you can see Casey (in leathers) just behind Adriana, his face is between hers and the doorframe. Crappy shot, I know, but one of the most exciting moments of the weekend (good timing, shooting over a fence into a restricted area, etc).

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim was convinced this was David Allen Grier - my shouts of "Yo, David!" did not produce any results

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Givi giving away hats

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The Ducati Island grandstand

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Ducati Island on Race Day

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The guy we decided wasn't Peter Egan, despite his Slimey Crud Motorcycle Club t-shirt

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


There was a huge screen behind us, and everyone would turn around when the announcer said something big had happened

Picked up our Ducati goodie bag when we got the stands (hat, shirt, cell-phone necklace). I ended up losing my bag later on, and with it MY Ducati Mechanica hat. Went back for another goodie bag, and made sure NOT to lose it again.

Watched the Red Bull Rider's cup race, then Christian Pfeiffer and others put on a stunt show. They made their way around the track doing their thing in front of each grandstand before moving on. To get a little personal: The Indy burger I had eaten before the race was starting to wreak havoc on my insides, and I missed part of the Rider's Cup race. All I can say is I'm SOOO glad they had real bathrooms right at Ducati Island.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The start of the Red Bull Rider's Cup

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Christian Pfeiffer doing his thing

We watched the 125 race from our seats in the Ducati Island grandstand, and the weather was getting increasingly nasty. I left my seat mid-race to go down to the fence to get better shots, and that was a lot of fun. They ended up red-flagging the 125's and cutting the race short. The rain started coming down in buckets, the wind was howling, and we left to go find shelter someplace. Ended up in the Ducati clothing tent, along with what seemed like 200 other people trying to dry out. Lots of folks checking radar on their iPhones while the wind howled outside.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The start of the 125cc race

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


One of the 125cc guys taking a rest

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


At the fence. And no, I'm not a recent amputee, I just haven't gotten this poncho thing down yet

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Hiding from the rain

The rain let up for a bit, and an obviously annoyed store worked made the annoucement "OK Folks, the rain has stopped...." He had definintely had enough of wet folks pawing through the merchandise with no intent to buy. Walked around Ducati Island a bit, wondering what the schedule was going to be. No track announcements was kind of annoying, everyone was trying to guess what was going to happen.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Saw this cool Multistrada, obviously he's serious about long-distance riding

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


I like the Marsee cover over the aux fuel tank

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


What can I say?

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Notice my right hand - I was afraid touching the girls might cost me extra :-)

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Cute Ducati girl

The rain started up again, and this time we waited it out in the Ducati new bike tent. At least you could lean again a bike for a while giving your back a rest. Word finally came down that the MotoGP class was going to race at 3 - what about the 250's? No one knew. So back to the fence I went, and Jim headed back to the stands. He used my seat this time, as it was above the fence-line giving better views. Of course with everyone standing the whole time that didn't make too much of a difference. The rain had stopped, so I gave Jim my poncho to reduce the amount of junk I was carrying.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The MotoGP on the warm-up lap. Check out those rain tires!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The starting line-up (Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo, Hayden on the front row)

Finally it was race time, and I was ecstatic. Jim had said earlier, and I agree completely, that being here for the whole weekend makes the race so much better. You've spent time watching everyone practice and qualify, see who's faster in what conditions, who's really pushing it and who isn't, who's crashing and who's running off the track. It's a great buildup to the race, you feel much more vested in it.

The place went nuts as the riders came around turn 1 with Stoner in an early lead.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The first turn on the first lap, Stoner in an early lead

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Turn 2

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The Doctor dogging Hayden lap after lap

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


How long can you lead with Rossi at your back tire?

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


And then Rossi was gone...

It was a great race to watch, with Hayden in the lead for a lot of it, and Rossi right at his back tire. Every time they came around with Hayden in the lead there would be huge cheers. It was not to last though, and eventually Rossi got around him and then pulled away further every lap. Then Nicky was fending off Lorenzo for 2nd after that, and on the 21st lap Lorenzo just passed him as they left our field of view. Big shouts of disappointment from the crowd, then the red flag came out ending the race. Fortunately for Nicky the 21st lap didn't couny and he got points for second place.

The weather got worse and worse over the course of the race, with driving sideways rain and howling wind. At one point I was hunkered down below the guard rail, popping up for a few seconds when the riders passed to get pictures, then dropping down again to cover up the camera gear. Jim came down during the worst of this with the poncho I had left with him - thanks buddy, I was freezing down there! He stayed to watch the rest of the race from the fence, which I think was preferrable to the seats by a long shot.

After the red flag there was a long wait, and the weather improved dramatically. Nobody knew for sure what was going on, with announcers saying the "parc firme?" hadn't come out yet so they didn't know if the race was over or not. Eventually they made the announcement that there would be an 8-lap race - woo-hoo! Then about a 5 minute delay, then we hear "It's official, Valentino Rossi has won the race!". Huh?

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The final results

We then waited around for the 250 race. And waited....and waited....and after maybe 20 minutes they announced that it was not safe to run the 250's in this high of a wind (it had gusted to over 60mph earlier).

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The littlest (and cutest) fan. I asked Dad's permission to take his pic.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


After the MotoGP race, waiting for the 250 race to start (which was eventually cancelled)

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim at Indy

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


That's a lot of red. Couldn't have had a better time

So feeling somewhat anticlimactic we left trackside and walked back to the bikes. I was hoping to check out some of the vendors outside the track for a Rossi shirt for my son, but that was not to be. Instead of leaving however we wanted, everyone had to leave via the 16th street exit and head East. Police had blocked all the sidestreets and opened up all lanes of the divided road to head in one direction. No way without a GPS was I going to try to venture around the other side of the Speedway - they'd probably all be closed anyway.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Leaving the raceway

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Everyone had to head the same way out of town

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


For most of the ride out we were behind a guy on a bagger who either had a nervous tic or was the craziest rider I've seen. He could not sit still for 5 seconds, his bike was heaving left and right as he moved his bodyweight around constantly. Very odd. I had neglected to close the vents on my suit so it was a chilly/wet ride back to the hotel.

We got cleaned up and walked over to the Marriott next door, completely missing the very obvious entrance and heading into the alleyway behind the hotel - we blamed it on being blinded by hunger. Had a couple beers over dinner as there was no riding to do, and talked MotoGP with the Ontario couple at the table next to us. Back in the room early, went through pictures and wrote a lot of notes. Even with trackside editing, and nightly editing, over 900 photos for the trip - around 800 just of the on-track action.


Set the alarm for 5:25am for the long ride home.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 03:01:01 PM by kendenton »
IBA #37902

Online kendenton

  • Member
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Posts: 643
  • Motorcycles: '15 Aprilia Caponord
Re: My trip to the Indianapolis MotoGP (2008) *lots of pics*
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2013, 09:34:40 AM »
Monday, September 15th

I've been tossing around the idea of doing an SS1K, and today would be a good test to see how that would go. We planned to ride the entire way back in one day, which for me would be about 675 miles (add another 70 or so for Jim). My longest day in 15 years had been Thursday's ride, just over 450 miles. Way back in the day I had done a number of back-to-back 650 miles days on a trip out to Colorado, and my longest day ever was 848 miles coming back from Cincinatti - but that was a long, long time ago. We wanted to get the earliest start possible to minimize the chance of finishing the trip in the dark when we were likely to be pretty tired. So, up at 5:25, at the bike at 5:45, and on the road at 6:05am.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Man, that's early

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The GPS info for the trip up to this point. The Max Speed number is imaginary - the 2610 has trouble when it loses reception for a while.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


The GPS was predicting a 4:34pm arrival, with no stops.

We meant to get gas the night before, but forgot about it. So made our first stop not 2 minutes from the hotel to fill up. What is it with Indiana's pumps not shutting off? Jim had a 'splash' incident a couple days ago, and now I was cleaning up the bike from a gas overflow. Great way to start the day.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Rode through Indiana as the sun was coming up - well, at least it was getting brighter as there was no sunshine to be found yet. I had put on my Aerostich raingloves over my regular gloves to keep my fingers warm, but it was still pretty chilly on the highway. We stopped for coffee/restroom break at a McDonald's, and ended up spending almost 45 minutes there. The power had gone out the night before (and thousands of residents were still without it) and they couldn't figure out how to get the coffee machine brewing again. Add to that the slowest register crew I've ever seen, and a long line, and we ended up killing a lot of time in there. Still, it was good to warm up a bit.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Not much to say about much of the ride back - it was all highway, very little traffic, and no major incidents. Jim's tailpack came undone once, and was hanging off the side of the bike, but that was the extent of the drama. It rained a little bit in western PA, but mostly the first half of the ride was overcast and dreary. Once we got through the rain and stopped for lunch (Quizno's, mmmm) the sun came out and it started to heat up. Passed some other bikes on the road, but not a whole lot. Passed the AMA Museum.

I was checking my air pressure at every gas stop, and it was holding steady. At some point in PA whatever had been in my tire was gone and everything was still fine. At the Sideling Hill rest area on the turnpike I was surprised to see my tire looking pretty shaggy - never noticed this before, and I was concerned (looked the same when I got home, the next morning it was back to normal looking) but not TOO concerned.

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Shaggy tire, and you can see the cut on the left side where whatever was in the tire came out

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Truckin' through PA

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Go Rossi!

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Jim waves goodbye as we split off at the Schuykill

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


My last stop of the day, the Super Wawa to get a drink

visitors can't see pics , please register or login


Again, ignore Max Speed. Not too bad an average for a long day in the saddle.

Arrived home safe and sound at 6:37, with about 12 hours of riding done. I am now a firm believe in the power of the beaded seat cover! I could have ridden another couple hours no problem, my butt was not the least bit sore. I think an SS1k would be doable on the Multi, just need to get going earlier (4am? 3am?) and really work to minimize stops. I'd pack food and drink to eat roadside, maybe stop for 5 minutes every hour or so to nibble/hydrate.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 03:01:44 PM by kendenton »
IBA #37902