Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pirates and Power Rangers


For those who have not dabbled in the motorcycle culture, or even those who have, there is one common mistake made: confusing Pirates with Power Rangers. Allow me to essplain. No, there is no time. Allow me to sum up.

Pirates drive slow, kicked back, arms long and forward, clad in black leathers that generally are doused in a bit of fringe and insignias of orange and black and white, and while protection may not be the top priority for these garments, you will see that there is a reason for this based on their riding habits. Their head-ware may consist of goggles and a bandanna, and on rare occasion a half-helmet, but facial hair is often an important part of this fashion. Elite branding includes Harley-Davidson, and chains, goatees, fringe and females clad in leather leftovers are common affiliates. At a glance, these riders may appear daunting, however, despite the culture associated with Pirates, this class of rider is commonly concocted of wealthy lawyers and doctors seeking an outlet for a more adventurous life, yet another arena that demands respect when a group of such riders appear swarming through a small town. Social networking is a strength of this crowd, and often lends to their general effect on outsiders. Their en masse arrivals are often announced by a slow, growling rumble which gradually increases to a towering roar as they draw closer.
Power Rangers look, well, like Power Rangers! (see above) This attire will include a protective spine, elbow and knee structures built in. Often multi-farbige, colors may fall anywhere in the spectrum and may also include black, although generally devoid of chains and fringe, and more commonly including stripes and/or insignias of some sort. Helmets are the rule, no matter what type, although full-face modular helmets and Shoei (pronounced show-eee according to the NWerners) branding is desirable for supreme protection. Those who choose to ride in shorts and a T-shirt with no helmet are often termed 'Squids' because that's what you look like when you hit the road. Power Rangers not only believe in protecting themselves, but their fellow riders as well, and do not allow their beloved blondie to ride in skimpy shorts and tank tops without a helmet either. Proper gear allows these riders to wreck, and if the bike is still operable, drive or walk away without a scratch. Power Rangers also have a firm belief and understanding of centripetal force (think gyroscope), which allows them to lean left and right at incredible angles without losing their balance.

While these worlds may not cross paths too often, they really aren't too far apart with a love for the open road, and the two wheeled (sometimes three) inventions that are capable of jaw dropping speeds (and we didn't even touch dirt biking here!)

With this much needed knowledge, let me share with you a few sights from the Super Bike World Championships (Power Rangers), where, after our Memorial Day cemetery visits and proper respect for our deceased took place, we honored the skill of men and women Power Rangers from around the world. Surrounded with the smell of burning rubber, where brand-loving minions advertised their favorite bike manufacturers in every imaginable fashion, we observed crashes and jaw-dropping speeds of cyclists from Turkey to Czech Republic, and Japan to Ireland.

There were plenty of kids, but not just the little kind...
In memory of...Burning rubber (see video at the end)...
Race 1 winners, 1000 cc:
His lens is bigger than mine...
What you might need to race: they keep the tires warm and clean to help them stick better...
Miles of bikes...

Yours truly, grateful that the blue porta-potties had a nicer counterpart...Speeds up to 190 mph were thrilling and breathtaking to watch!
Going into the straight...
Below is crash corner, complete with medics on hand. Despite our grandstand reserved seating on the straight, where we sat for all of 20 minutes, we spent most of our time in general track side at the curves (mental note to self to save some dough next round)

Aprilia:
Note, a bit of fringe!
Beemer:
Pretty... er, Ford GT
Opposing camps of motorcycle loyalty...
Sadly, BMW didn't create a bike parking arena for THEIR riders. Marketing folks, take note. Missed opportunity?
Ducati, on the other hand, had bikes from every corner of the country:
Lots of military nearby, enjoying the sights
C's binoculars came in handy...
Ducati's specialized proprietary engine (desmodromic valve system) - look ma, no springs!
Ducati are hand-made Italian motorcycles that cost a bundle.
The good old days... these are the bikes C loves most, especially this old Honda:


I'd hate to forget my sunglasses while driving around in this shiny Shelby!
Geico joined the fun with this old fella... Progressive's moto insurance price is MUCH better, though...
S-curve: to appreciate the drastic change in leans, see the video at the bottom.


Heading off track to avoid a malfunction crash...



video video video video video video

1 comment:

  1. Your surprise was a hit! It looks like you two had a ton of fun. Even though you DID skip the porta-potties.

    ReplyDelete

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