Monday, September 25, 2006

Faster...

The weather was nice today -- OK, really nice -- 75 degrees, low humidity, and sunny. But, what the heck!? 35 mph felt like 25, 55 felt like 35, and 75 felt like 50 (or would have, if I'd been that fast). And, ranging from 8,000 to 11,000 RPM, acceleration still seemed "slow."

I have a theory....

On Saturday, I watched Faster. It wasn't the first time, I'd watched it the weekend before, and held onto the DVD (before returning to NetFlix today). Something about the music, the filming, the history, the rivalry, the bikes... and the speed. I had to do it again; watching high-sides frame by frame to see where it all went wrong. Ouch. And the music...


Whatever Happened To My Rock 'n' Roll
by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Spoken: 1...2...3...4!

You want a part of me
You want the whole thing
You want to feel something more than I could ever bring
You want it badly
You want it tangled
I want to feel something more than I was strangled

I fell in love with the sweet sensation
I gave my heart to a simple chord
I gave my soul to a new religion
Whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to our rock'n'roll?
Whatever happened to my rock'n'roll?

She wants it hallow
She wants it tainted
She wants to feel something more than she was naked
You want to hide away
You're scared to touch it
I want to feel something more than I care to take

I fell in love with the sweet sensation
I gave my heart to a simple chord
I gave my soul to a new religion
Whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to our rock'n'roll?
Whatever happened to my rock'n'roll?

She wants your image
She wants your kiss
She wants to get inside your head and tell it like it is
You want it badly
You want it so completele
I want to feel something more cos I can't f***in' breathe

I fell in love with the sweet sensation
I gave my heart to a simple chord
I gave my soul to a new religion
Whatever happened to you?
Whatever happened to our rock'n'roll?
Whatever happened to my rock'n'roll?

In my Motorcycle Diary a while back, I wondered if anyone has written about "rider's high" -- the answer in this song is "yes!" And, while "I fell in love with the sweet sensation" could have a lot of interpretations, all bikers will agree on what this is all about. Harley riders may have first coined the phrase, but motorcyclists of all sorts have adopted it... "if I had to explain it, you wouldn't understand." This sensation is part of the reason why.

So, my theory is that watching MotoGP racers at 200 mph, blowing through turns at 120 mph+, over and over again, reset my expectations for what "fast" is.

Your theories welcome....

2 comments:

Will David said...

I like velocity and I like distance, but if I had to sum motorcycling sensations up, I'd have to include the descriptives of "aroma" and "temperature".
Not just talking about the smell of the oils and exhause from a hot runner at the end of a twisty section, but also about passing a field and smelling new mown hay, of going into a little dip in the summer and finding it 5 degrees cooler from a little stream at the bottom.

Speed is magnificent, but for those of us without factory sponsorship, crashing REALLY sucks. I watched a police training course a couple of months ago with an eye towards measuring it out and learning some of those tight handling methods they use. Yeah, right. Many crashes. Who cared? The bikes were govt property and someone in the city/county/state shop would fix the damages. A little different for me practicing stunts on my V-Strom. I drop it and guess who pays for all the repairs? Fiscal cowardice? Maybe. I have enjoyed Deal's Gap and moreso Cherokee Mountain, on my 84 BMW K100JD but there was always that hedge that kept me from pushing the envelope too far. It's a long walk home.

Mark Poesch said...

> I like velocity and I like distance, but if I had to sum motorcycling sensations up, I'd have to include the descriptives of "aroma" and "temperature".

I totally agree with "aroma." A couple of streets around our area are bordered by flowers that have the most extraordinary aroma ever. I've driven by repeatedly trying to capture their scent, but smell nothing. On the bike, it's like the scent of heaven.

The other sensation for me is acceleration. I'm actually not a huge fan of speed / velocity. Over 100 mph just makes me nervous. But, 0 to 100 mph in six seconds... what a rush! (Not that I ever ride like this on the road!)

Crashes, I don't worry about repairing the bike so much... I worry about repairing me!