Please try to look past the arrogance.
Last night I said goodbye to my GSXR1000 and a part of my life that I will remember fondly. It's been a good ride the last 10 years.
The proverbial question, why? It's a combination of a few things, one of which is the changing face of the rider community, at least from my perspective. The second contributer is that the thrill is gone. Allow me to elaborate further.
Back in the day, it was Steve, Kevin, Harps, Sushi, ZX9'r, Kim, Flyin', Chops, RatRacer, Cosworth, Chromedome, BMXR, Good 'ole Pete, and a handfull of others like Adamantium, AtomLowe, Mr. Murphy, and Big Jim, all great riders in their own right. Trusted them with my life a couple times every week. Yeah, we were crazy fast at times, but rarely did one fuck up the other. Kind of like Cirque on asphalt without the leotards.
Now I am sure there are riders out there today that fall in or near the same category, but outside of Saint Nick and Brad I haven't ridden with you. Which brings on an interesting subject: Who is King of the Hill? I admit, I challenge each and every one of you every time we ride, I just don't say it out loud. Numerous times this season I have arrived at the church with 20-30 bikes waiting, asking "Has anyone gone up yet? I need rabbits you see, otherwize its boring as Hell riding up front all by myself. Yes people, I, like you ride sportbikes for speed, adrenaline pump, ego stroke, whatever you want to label it. Anyone who claims that they have a 150hp sport bike "just to tool around" is, for the most part, lying to themselves.
"Frank, the fast group already left. Probably 5- 10 minutes ago, probably won't catch them".........so I wait a few minutes more and then the chase is on. I am quickly disappointed that by Lion's Bay I am riding alone, with a handful of bikes behind me, and I'm going a blistering 60km/h waiting for them to catch up so I can burn through a couple more turns with them in tow, only to have to repeat the waiting game again 5 miles down the road. This, and I'm probably running at only 80% (which is my street limit anyways). As I said, try and look beyond my arrogance here.
No one to chase anymore, its not the same ..........I'm done.
Second contributing factor: the PoPo. Never have I had a season where a ride through the mountains has me so throttle nervous. Fast for a few turns, then off throttle as I see what appears to be a white car 2 miles ahead in the opposite lane. I cannot ride a GSXR1000 120km/h for longer than 5 minutes. Doing it for 20 minutes up in the mountains is the most painful experience I have had on a sportbike. More so than even crashing.
On, off, on ,off, on, off, not fun, ...........I'm done.
Now, for the regular riding folks I have met this year, you're all great people. But let me offer you some unsolicited advice, and newbies need to listen up.
Whenever I have been with a group of riders (squamish crowd as one example), the conversations are very different than what we engaged in "back in the day". Today, these dicussions are about people, bikes, social events, bike modifications, .......heck! Label it all gossip. People don't talk about technique, tips and tricks anymore. Most of our discussions were around cornering techniques, how tires behave, how to surf gravel, how to concentrate, distance between bikes, etc. Wherer are the mentors? I sure as heck was asking questions at every break we had. Why aren't you?
No one wore fucking headphones and everyone was in full gear!
So I am done with speed for now. That's what these things are made for and that's what I use them for. Plain and simple. Track days? Sure, I'll still do a couple each year to enjoy the chase, but for at least the foreseable future, I'm going to enjoy the scenery.
See ya 'round.