Month: March 2001

  • Well, I took the plunge and bought a motorcycle! It’s a 1982 Suzuki GS450L. I’ve heard this kind of bike referred to as a “UJM”, a “Universal Japanese Motorcycle.” It has 5100 miles, and is scrupulously clean. I think it’s a really good deal! Now I can start acting extra cool (sarcasm.)

    I’ve been looking for protective clothing, and have been fascinated with Aerostich suits. They’re made out of Gore-Tex and heavy cordura, are waterproof for 30-45 minutes in a heavy downpour with no fairing on the motorcycle, and are reinforced with body armor! How cool is that! So I’m looking at colors, and I need your advice. Should I go with the hi-viz yellow and silver, so I’ll look like a Danish highway patroller, or should I get the gray suit with the red trim? Let me know!

  • I finished Motorcycle school today, and … I passed the tests! Only one student scrubbed out today – a tall stockbroker who owns a Triumph racing bike (the same as in Mission Impossible 2), and a really cool Arai helmet. During the stopping portion of the skill test, though, he hit the brakes too hard, skidded, and dropped the bike. Seven of us were left – when the test was over, our instructor Phil walked over to us. Phil’s a short, peppery Freemason, retired lawyer, and Harley tourer. ‘I’ve got good news and bad news for you’, he said, shaking his head. ‘The bad news is that we’re gonna give all you bastards licences!’

  • Motorcycle Safety School is held on a large asphalt range behind the track at Yonkers Raceway. I arrived at about seven, as the morning warmups were still going on for harness racers.

    Behind the track, three steel shipping containers were full of the Honda and Suzuki 250s that the class rode all day. The bikes are styled like highway cruisers, but are diminutive in size, with the result that I spent the day feeling like a tottery Shriner. I’m having a blast, though, and have made a lot of progress — I can actually upshift, accelerate, then brake and downshift simultaneously to take a tight corner. Of course, this is while a semi-religous mantra courses continuously through my head: “front-brake-right-hand-rear-brake-right-foot-clutch-in-left-foot-downshift-look-through-the-turn-lean-roll-on-throttle,” whew!

    So far, of the twelve people that started the course Wednesday night, four have scrubbed. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! But not on my right hand. I need that to brake.

  • I’m on the BxM4C bus from Manhattan to Yonkers Raceway for Motorcycle Safety School. The bus is full of night workers coming off their shift. Everyone knows the driver’s name, and vice versa. As we cross into the Bronx and stop at a light, the low morning sun slants into the front. The driver (Dave) gets up and pulls down the sunscreen over the passenger side of the windshield. ‘Let me get this for you, Roz’ he says to the young woman in the front seat with a green spiral tattooed on her earlobe.

  • All Your Base Are Belong To Us

    Somebody set up us the bomb!

    Click on the link above IMMEDIATELY. Turn your sound card up, LOUD.

    You have no chance to survive make your time.