I woke up nice and early to ride my local back roads with my buddies. For those in the bay area it was the traditional Mines Rd to Patterson and back over Mt. Hamilton.
Mines is a narrow, treacherous, bumpy road - but it's still a ton of fun. However, the road to Patterson is where I really enjoy my SV when the road gets somewhat smoother. Among my buddies this is the road where I'm the "master" - it's not easy to keep up with me, especially after I learned a lot at the racetrack running in the A group.
Anyway, at the Junction we stop for a breather and we see a DL-1000 Strom pull in. The man, in relatively used leathers that may have seen asphalt, takes off his helmet to reveal a 40ish year old face and balding head. He's a big guy... anyway, I take a look at his tires (one my my visual cues to someone's riding ability), and I see no chicken strips anywhere, front or rear. I can't remember what tires they were, but I swear the fronts looked just like Michelin Macadam A50 tires.
Off I go with my buddies to Patterson, leaving the Strom parked at the junction. We have a good pace... I'm at about 75% of my top speed. Halfway to Patterson we're buzzed by a motorcycle - I almost jumped out of my seat it was so unexpected. It was the DL-1000, a complete missile. The rider gives us the peace sign and buggers on.
I give chase, upping to 95% of my top speed. Adrenaline just spiked sky high and the race is on
. No way will I, the "master", be buggered by a freaking enduro-bike on my road!! I'm on his tail, full concentration on not crashing while dealing with the many bumps and holes on this road. One one particularly bumpy corner between two very close left->right handers the Strommer pulls up into a full stand-up wheelie
before dropping it down just in time to sweep full speed into the corner.
That sight did me in
... I realized the strommer was just on his weekend stroll, while I was racing to within the edges of my abilities. I stayed with him for a few more turns at which point he zinged past a car and I called it quits for safety's sake...
What did that leave me with? Actually, it left me quite happy. Happy to be rightfully placed back onto an enjoyable weekend ride, out not to kill myself, and to realize that I have years more of learning to get better, possibly faster, on a bike... on any bike, even a freaking wobbly, heavy enduro with crap touring tires on. It really is the rider that makes the ride.
Sometimes it's good to get a good