is in the air, Daytona is in the books and my Mac is coming out of the
misconception I have to deal with in my job is that people mistakenly believe
that I live in California. Most US motorcycle magazines are located and
or based in California, so I get a strange look now and then when I tell
people that I donít live in California.
I actually live in Minnesota.
Yep, the great
white frozen north, home of Fargo (ya know?) and ten thousand lakes. I
do get to California like eight or so times a year (okay, five, but it
seems like eight) so it's not like I never see the 101 or the Golden Gate
to Minnesota. Has the weather there been as weird as the weather here has
been? Jeez, it's like Ö I donít know, kinda almost livable here this winter,
which for Minnesota is really saying something. Believe it or not, I was
riding my GSX-R750 on February fifth this year.
It wasn't one of those
Ďmy hands are blue and I canít feel my feetí kind of winter rides where
youíre so afraid of crashing, not because youíll damage the bike but because
your limbs are so cold youíre afraid theyíll break off if they hit the
It was warm! It was in the fifties! In February! In Minnesota!
Iíve lived here since, well, forever and thatís never happened before that
I can remember. Itís usually so cold in February that you have to leave
your car running 24 hours a day just so that the engine won't freeze, and not covering your skin on crisp days will mean the flesh will soon
been in the air since about, oh, November, and hell, if a guy was demented enough
he could have ridden almost every day this winter. I'll tell you what
: the 98 Suzuki GSXR750 really rips and it runs better than any carburetor-equipped
bike I've ever owned. But the true beauty of that bike is wandering out
to the garage on a slow-moving yet chilly Saturday afternoon, sticking
the key in the ignition, pushing the button and it starts. Did I mention
it was five below, and at five below not too many bikes will start? Sorry.
The fuel injected Suzuki purrs like a kitten at five below, when the other
modern Japanese motorcycle in my garage, which will remain nameless (okay,
it's the Daytona-winning 97 YZF750) wouldnít even fire the headlight.
Fuel injection rules!
over my post-Daytona depression and simulated physical dismemberment. Daytona
is incredibly draining, you know what I mean? Thereís just a price to be
paid for going non-stop for fourteen hours a day in the sun, with Daytona
pit guards yelling at you, and your ears being traumatized by 800,000 of
the loudest Harley-Davidson motorcycles you've ever heard. For the whole
week after Daytona I stumble through life in a half-stupor, my nose peeling
and ears making cool popping sounds when theyíre not ringing. Could be
worse though, I could be Aaron 'Jaws' Yates.
was in typical form this year, meaning he waxed the field in a way most
riders donít really like to talk about. He is Mr. Daytona, isnít he? He
was cruising around the paddock one afternoon, riding that FatBoy (say,
doesnít Yamaha make a cruiser?), in shorts, with his only head protection
being one of those one flap up, other flap down Australian cowboy hats.
Scottís legs have not gotten any tanner for those who care to know. Yamaha
gave him one of those cool 1998 YZ400 four-strokes for winning the race
so expect that in a year or so youíll see photos of it rusting away in
an Atlanta storage garage next to that trick ZX4 (that has not had a wheel
turned on it since I rode it at the old Road Atlanta) and his old Muzzy
I did find
the smokiní-est coffee spot in Daytona this year. Itís at the Barnes and
Nobles across from the track and down a stretch on Speedway. Books, bikes
and coffee, what else could a guy ask for? Well, for the Honda team not
to bogart in on my new cool coffee spot for one, as they followed
me there one night and then proceeded to ruin it by actually tipping the
counterpersons and making the usual Ďyou find the nicest people on a Hondaí
small-talk that garnered them free coffee and the absolute devotion of
the aforementioned counterpersons who tended to feel from that point on
that I was the invisible man. I had to beg for a hot chocolate. Steve Crevier
went there on race day morning for a little caffinated pick-me-up and he
had his race face on so he didnít have the inclination to say even hello
to poor old Dean. Iím sure itís a karma thing and thatís why his chain
fell off in the race.
and Kel Carruthers were at Daytona this year. They both looked up in the
stands on race day and were pretty surprised at the number of people who
forgot to show up. At least thatís what the expression on the faces told
me. I might be wrong. But I doubt it.
WERA went to
Road Atlanta last weekend and I guess the track has been slowed down quite
a bit in its new configuration since the last time the A-crowd went there.
I donít care what they do with it as long as they donít make it into another
hillbilly redneck oval with stadium and front teeth optional seating sections.
Nobody is building any long roadcourses anymore, notice that? Nobody is
asking for tax-increment financing to build another Road America or Mid-Ohio
or Laguna Seca, not even a Brainerd. Scary times for guys who like to turn
right on a racetrack.
pretty wonderful things in the right hands, we all know this, right? That
means they should be forcibly taken away from those dolts on some un-named
newsgroups who are always popping off about ďclipping the anti-wheelie
wire in my bikeĒ; but hey, thatís another story. Anyway, Iíve always been
a PC guy. An IBM/Clone/Win95 guy, if you know what I mean. I did spend
one anguish filled year with a Macintosh PowerBook as my portable but God,
that computer infuriated me. It refused to work well and on a couple of
occasions it just turned itself off, right in the middle of a story I had
been writing. Sorry, the little apple said, the six thousand words youíve
spent the weekend writing are gone to some Mac cloud in the sky.
Where I come
from themís a fightiní offense and that Mac received a very painful and
well-deserved beating at my hands. I was bragging to AMAuperbike.c's test
rider in residence John Ivy about the thrashing that Iíd given that Mac
last year at Sears Point and he looked at me and said, ďDean, itís a machine.Ē
Like that had anything to do with the subject.
And then he
really slid the knife in by saying, ďIíd have bought that thing from you
if I knew you didnít want it.Ē Heís a bastard that John Ivy, for the simple
reason that most are bastards: because he is 100% correct all the time.
Itís a gift from God.
Like a $3000
anvil, the Mac has since been a doorstop and its been a fairly interesting
toy for my son to cart around when he pretends to be a writer like his
pop. I always gave a big chuckle when heíd drop it on the kitchen floor
and parts would scatter. ďFrigginí tree hugging computersĒ Iíd say as I
searched for the Mac parts under the table.
But now, as
I grow older and more patient, something is coming over me. I now have
some kind of Mac sympathy gland in my brain that has been pierced and the
venom is trickling down my brain stem, sending Mac-soothing vibes throughout
my whole body. For some inexplicable reason I have the near uncontrollable
urge to fix the Mac, to make it whole again. I own two perfectly good clone-type
IBM models that I use every day. I have scads of back-up parts for both.
I can handle anything short of Armageddon and still be able to transfer
PhotoShop files with the office.
Iím one step away from becoming a Macintosh-loving tree-hugger if some
guy in Colorado will sell me the Duo parts I need. Iím going to put that
270c back to itís former hopefully useable greatness. Why? Well, I watched
Microsoft CEO Bill Gatesí testimony on C-Span last week and his testimony
kind of made me sick to my stomach. Iím not sure, after seeing him talk
his pompous talk and with his smug grins when he talks in kind about stomping
out competitors lives, that I want to be part of this PC revolution any
new Apple G4 is the desktop equivalent of a fuel injected GSX-R750, smokiní
Just hope it
starts when its cold out. Ė Dean Adams
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