OK, I would say I suck, but I don’t. I rock. Here’s the last two days.
Friday I got up early because there was a little red boy that was ready to head up to the rescue. I hadn’t been up there since I picked up Rita in January 2008 so I thought I’d take a ride. What I was thinking at $4.07 a gallon is another whole story. Round trip 354 miles. I’ve got to say that Toyota just builds a tough truck. I’ve owned that thing since December 31, 1993 and it’s still rolling along. Which is why I want to shoot the guy who stole the cat in the face. Anywho, we got out of here around 8am. He spent the night here and was quite a nice boy. He was about Rita’s size and played well with her. We loaded up and made it to Red Bluff in two and a half hours, staying within CHP tolerances of the speed limit.
He got to play with Pretty Girl when he got there and they did really well together. We were sitting inside chatting and all of the sudden we heard this screaming outside. He’d pinned her down. I don’t know what she did but he just schooled her. Not a cut on her and they played the rest of the day.
Then another rescue friend had invited me down the Thunderhill Raceway for “a ride”. I had no idea that she was a coach for a performance driving school. Arguably the last thing on the planet that I need to know about. My friend is easily in her 60’s possibly 70’s. She what? I’m still working that one out in my head, but she’s been doing it for about 10 years and is quite well respected. When I got there she said “I’m going to ask Don to take you out. What would you like to ride in?” I don’t know. “You can ride in anything you see here. How about the ZR1?” Right there the Queen of Bad Decisionmaking stepped up to the plate. My little brain was whizzing. ZR1, the fastest production automobile made in the USA. For the record it has a top speed of 205. If I struck lightening and made $10 million in the next three years I still couldn’t own that vehicle because I couldn’t act right and would lose my license. Yes. The ZR1.
I felt a little like Cameron describing the Ferrari.
Cameron: The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion.
Ferris: It is his fault he didn’t lock the garage.
There’s a reason I love that movie. I want to be Ferris.
Don is a big powerful looking man. Easily 6’2″+. Shaved head, probably in his 50’s. Confident. Yeah, the guy you want to go fast with. We have to wait, he needs to coach somebody in a Lotus and then ride a couple of laps with another guy, then it’s my turn. I put on my helmet certain that it’s so tight it’s going to crack my jaw, but it’s point is to not crack my jaw or my noodle. We walk up to a shiny new, so new you can smell the new outside of the vehicle new silver ZR1. It’s show time. Ann leans into the car and points to the handle on the armrest. Grab that. It’s the “Oh Jesus” bar. It’ll help. It gave me something to hold on to, but by the second lap I knew that wouldn’t matter.
Turn 1 was no big deal the first time around, then we came to Turn 2. Adventuresome but fun. The map doesn’t show that between 4 and 5 you come up a rise and dive into the cyclone. The tires were chattering and there was a little separation from the road there which he corrected by accelerating. Why wouldn’t you? By the second lap, I’d figured out that the helmet was for show only. This car was fiberglass. We missed one of these turns at 140mph and we were going to vaporize.
That did not give me solace. I figured if we got airborne and then didn’t come down properly I would be blowing into a straw once to say yes and twice to say no, but Don was an amazing driver. He’d accerate into turn 2 then jam on the brakes while staying on the gas for the first part, get off of the brakes and we’d shoot out of the turn. Big fun. Satiated my need for speed for a while. Now I want to learn performance driving.
Yesterday was A Day On The Ride. It’s an event to give the riders for the Lifecycle an idea of how the ride works. They start with check in, a safety meeting and everybody holds hands and asks their God, higher power, universe whatever for a safe ride. They word it really nicely. Not with irreverance like I just did. And then we hit the road. There are rest stops just like the ride, lunch just like the ride and dinner when you get in just like the ride. Only there’s a little something they don’t tell you about this ride. It’s designed to separate the riders from the pretenders. My cycling rep told me afterwards that there is nothing this hard on the Ride itself. If you can do this ride, you can do the Lifecycle.
That’s good news. 7939 feet of climbing yesterday. Soul crushing. But I finished it. My legs were completely blown up by the end. But I must be in good enough shape because I feel fine today. I’m tired after two days of big adventures, but I’m not crippled. Not cripped by going through hairpin turns at 140mph and not crippled by climbing 7939 feet yesterday. Life is good. A friend once asked me what I think about when I ride. Generally I sing to myself. Yesterday’s song:
I still have $1200 to go. If you can, please sponsor my ride, every little bit helps.