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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mmmm'K, so this whole trip was ill-conceived and cursed from the start. Half the team couldn't make it so it was just up to me and VetteBoy to carry out the mission.

Our goal: To make it down to the Dec. 1, 2006 Track Day at the "Streets of Willow" track next to the Willow Springs raceway (near Lancaster, California).

When we planned everything all the way back in November, we did not expect so much snow days before our departure. It was a serious party-pooper.

Originally, VetteBoy was going to drive one of his many cars and trailer his and my bike all the way down to California. I didn't have the time to drive the whole way, so I booked a flight. I was gonna meet him down there.

The first little snag came when it became almost impossible to get my bike over to his house. VetteBoy was leaving Wed, Nov 29th and was going to drive for 24 hours straight with the help of "Trucker's Choice" pep pills.

I was trying to load the bike onto the back of my truck on Sunday night. However all the snow falling made my wooden ramp a little slick. The ice and snow on the ground did not make it any easier. It does not help that the bed of my truck is fairly high up.

I finally gave up and decided to rent a low uhaul trailer on Wednesday morning. I was able to load the bike up and take it to his house, however by the time we had everything strapped down, my front fork seal decided to spring a serious leak. I'm sure the cold and the ratchet straps I was using had nothing to do with it. There was no way they'd let me on the track with that bike, so the bike had to go back. I made a last-minute executive decision to rent a bike down there.

Fernando from Sportbikerentals.com hooked me up with a sweet 2006 CBR 600RR. They were great - more on them later.

Anyways, take the bike back to my house, wasted the entire day. To boot, it was snowing all the time. Vetteboy was delayed because of all of this hassle, which meant he'd have to up his pep pills dosage. Little did we know at the time the crappy conditions that the I-5 interstate in North Washington was at.

Anyways, here some pics of my bike and truck from Wednesday morning...trying to get the ol' gixxer to VetteBoy's house.
 
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geeze that ford looks familiar. does it have a fiberglass hood scoop?

oh, it's not a straight cab. can't be it.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Driving to Seattle

So I had booked a flight departing from Seattle to Burbank. I had everything reserved ahead of time. All I had to do was get to Seattle.

2006 Pontiac G6 waiting for me at Burbank, drive to Lancaster, hotel waiting at Lancaster, where VetteBoy and I would meet.

VetteBoy left Wednesday afternoon with a drug-fueled frenzied look in his eyes, much like the old days when we used to run recon missions in the Nam.

I decided to leave for Seattle a couple of hours earlier than planned because I was up all night counting snowflakes and packing. Hmmm...always leaving things to the last minute.

With 3 hours sleep, I left for Seattle at 6am Thurday morning. Streets to the Peace Arch crossing were quite clear. As soon as we crossed the US border, the I-5 had NOT been plowed or salted or anything.

The compacted snow had turned into brick-sized ice chunks and ruts that made if feel like I was driving a jackhammer. Should have packed my kidney belt. Speeds were limited to 25 MPH. At this rate, there was no way I could make it to SeaTac airport by 10am. Apparently only non-essential nuts and bolts fell off my truck.

Traffic was very light, because nobody wanted to drive in this crap. After about 2 hours of driving in those conditions, the I-5 finally was clear and I had to put the pedal to the metal to make up some time.

Fortunately, I missed all Seattle traffic and actually made it on time to catch my flight. I parked my truck there for a couple of days. The customs guards were remarkably gentle and they got to know me intimately with their rubber gloves.

Unfortunately, the plane was delayed for 2 hours due to some "minor repairs" (hmmm- that doesn't sound good), and I was forced to endure an Alaska Airlines "Stewardess of the Year" award ceremony. The dude with the beard won. The blonde on the right should have won.

We finally left Seattle for Burbank.

See pics. The driving picture below is JUST before the road got really bad. This was actually a nice stretch of road right after the Peace Arch.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
California!

The flight was uneventful save for the very large woman that was sitting in my reserved aisle seat. She pretended to not speak english, and fortunately one of the stewardesses hooked me up with an empty row of seats.

Landed in Burbank to a beatifully sunny, yet crisp evening.

The Alamo car rental folks were very quick. The car was great. Red 2006 Pontiac G6 was sure to not be a heat score.

Raced over to Lancaster to check into the hotel, and was irritated to find that VetteBoy's car and trailer had beaten me there by an hour! Curses! There goes $20 and three ass kicks.

Had some dinner and early to bed to make it to the track by 7am.

Finally here it was! Friday morning! We made a mockery of the hotel's free buffet breakfast and took off for the race track at 6:30am.

Here's some pics of the Burbank landing, me driving behind VetteBoy's trailer the next day (Note the UFO that was flying above and to the right of his car!), and pictures of the drive towards the race track.

We also saw a valley full of giant electric fans. I believe these are turned on when it gets really hot in California, to generate huge winds. See pics.
 

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Banned
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It was a motherfucking long way in this piece of shit arrangement.

Fucking fought with my girlfriend there and back.

Track day rocked though.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Track Day!

The track day was put on by Fast Track Riders. They were militant about running things on time. Things went very smoothly.

Tech checks had to be done by 8am. No time wasting. VetteBoy's bike passed with flying colours. My rental bike was waiting for me there, as the guys from SportBikeRentals.com had a trailer and pit crew there already set up. It was great! Full tank, fresh tires and tire warmers between heats. They were super friendly too. I highly recommend them.

They had 3 levels of riding, taking 20 minutes each at a time.

I signed up for their rider's course which essentially filled up the 40 minutes between sessions with some great classroom lessons.

The course was fantastic for technical riding. Not much in the way of long straight-aways, but lots and lots of corners.

Here's a map of the course as well as some other pics of that day.
 

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Hehehe...glad to hear you made it back in one piece!
I didn't. Broke up with the GF five minutes ago. My trailer is at her place. As you are aware I don't have a tow vehicle.

Would you mind picking it up and taking it to my place with your truck? Whenever you can come down with me is cool. Maybe tomorrow night or something? I'll pay for your gas. It has a 1 7/8" ball.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Willow Springs

The whole day went quite well and I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day. I had to bail out a little early because my old battle injuries were starting to hurt and my riding started getting a little sloppy. I didn't want to risk crashing the rental bike and being on the hook for the damage.

Here's some pics of the action that day. Next to us on the main Willow Springs track, they were doing some huge Porsche racing event. J_Scott, you missed out! You would have been drooling over some of the Porsches they had there!

There's also a pic of VetteBoy and myself standing next to a very famous racer - he happed to be in the toilet at the time, but you get the idea.

I'm the one wearing the Team Troll shirt...and the black boots.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I didn't. Broke up with the GF five minutes ago. My trailer is at her place. As you are aware I don't have a tow vehicle.

Would you mind picking it up and taking it to my place with your truck? Whenever you can come down with me is cool. Maybe tomorrow night or something? I'll pay for your gas. It has a 1 7/8" ball.
Are you saying she's available? Sure I'll go pick up the trailer at her place. No charge for a good friend! :devillook
 

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The Philosopher King
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1,345 Posts
looks like a pretty sweet trip...what did the retal cost you?? and what were the stipulations??
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Team Troll splits

As the moon rose over the track, it signaled the end of another great track day at the Streets of Willow.

VetteBoy and I went in different directions. He went to hook up with some of his homies in Compton, while I went to party it up in Vegas.

Remarkably enough, it only takes a couple of hours to get to Vegas from Lancaster - when you average 105 MPH.

Vegas was great at night. But I was exhausted and the sight seeing would have to wait until the next day.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
looks like a pretty sweet trip...what did the retal cost you?? and what were the stipulations??
For use on the street, they charge $100 a day. For use on the track it's $500 a day. They had it all set up though. The rental bikes were waiting for me there on stands, warmed up, tire warmers on, all the gas you can go through and fresh rubber.

Between heats, all I would do is hand off my bike to the SportBikeRental.com pit crew and they would hang it up, make adjustments as requested, keep the tires warm, etc. All along they were smiling and super friendly. You can tell they love doing what they do. It seems like a lot of money, but if you're flying, it's the only way to go.

Trailering a bike down there takes an extra day each way, plus the stress of driving, plus having to worry about your equipment, etc.

The only stipulation is that they hold on to your drivers's license and credit card. You crash the bike, you pay for the damage. If it's a write-off, you pay for full retail replacement. The bikes were brand new by the way. Mine was a 2006 with 1K on the odometer.
 

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Happy Camper
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2,698 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds like a interesting trip.
Gotta love I-5 road maintenence...almost as bad as the coq.
You said it! What's the deal with the I-5? It's like driving over speed bumps the entire way.
I thought someone had installed square wheels on my truck. Had to keep pulling over to make sure that wasn't it.
 

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The Philosopher King
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1,345 Posts
$500 damn that is an amazing deal…but I would be so scared about crashing and having to replace a brand new bike I don’t think I could enjoy myself...still an amazing deal
 

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Premium Member
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$500 damn that is an amazing deal…but I would be so scared about crashing and having to replace a brand new bike I don’t think I could enjoy myself...still an amazing deal
Yeah, I've always just crashed the free bikes I've been given instead...never stopped me from having fun. :p It did eventually stop people from lend me their bikes though...
 
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that 105 mph on the clock may show up as a surcharge on your visa when it's all said and done.

rental companies in the states like retrieving gps data on that stuff and charging you accordingly.
 
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