Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A special kind of crazy......

Is what you have to be to do this, in my humble opinion :-)

Would you like an explanation?
We went to the Classic Bike race in Franchorchamps, Belgium over the weekend. Just an overnight. We left after Mike got off work on Saturday and got there right before the last race was run. The one from 8 to midnight..... A friend of a friend was racing in that one, and the main reason for going, but we didn't know the number,or even what bike he rides. Our friend is just getting into motorcycles, and isn't all that clear on things. We don't mind, because it always leaves room for a conversation. He doesn't mind, because he can learn things. But when you're trying to get information, it can get tricky LOL.

We decided we could go (wanting was not an issue!) on Wednesday, so we ran out to get the lawnchairs at my sisters on Friday, I did chores all day Saturday, like making sure there was no garbage, cleaned the fridge so noting would start a lab experiment in our absence, spend time with the fuzzy roommate, and wash the clothes I wanted to take....... Can you see where this is going? YUP! I packed Mikes stuff, because it was on the bag to pack it into, our toilettries, and completely spaced it on the clothes I was going to take! Blondy strikes again. LOL  And I didn't even realise it until Sunday morning, when I wanted to change shirts. Oh well. Both guys happily volunteered a shirt, but.... I had to say no. Wearing one of Mikes shirts to Tai Chi, or around the house is one thing, but to go out in public..... The women here only dress in women's clothing. Most not according to any fashion guidelines I'm familiar with, but still. They don't wear the stuff I used to wear in the States, like baggy shirts and T- and sweatshirts. What they do wear, is spandex, and a mix of flowers, checks and stripes, so maybe I shouldn't be bothered when I wear comfy clothes that match............. Now there's a thought :-)

BUT back to the racing. I'd never been to a road race before, and I swear, it's the scariest thing I've ever seen! They fly by at about 150  miles an hour, one knee almost on the ground in the corner, and passing eachother on the inside line...... creeps me out completely. LOL
The Classics race was cool, because part of it was ran in the dark. The bikes, had headlights, tail and brakelights, and other identifying lights on the bikes, so the announcers could keep track of them. But they never slowed down and I only saw brakelights a couple of times. Some had the numbers lit up, one had a really cool LED strip following the frame, and some just had the numberplates lit. The LED following the frame was freaky, because after a while it looked like some bizar streak of blue lights floating around the part of the course we could see, and sometimes a shimmer of it thru the trees, like fireflies. LOL. There were floodlights on the track, so it wasn't dark-dark don't get me wrong, but the darker it got, the more blurry the bikes got...

Needless to say, with the speeds they were going, distinguishable pictures were hard to find, but I got a couple :-)

Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast, discovered there was a bootsale across the hotel on the city square, and went there till check out time..... They have some really nice buildings and architecture in Spa, but it saddened us to see some of it be in the state it is. Plaster falling down, holes in the roof, black mold on the walls etc. It would be nice to see them use some of the tourist money to fix up their tourist attractions. And believe me... there is A LOT of tourist money to draw from in that area! AND, on the plus side... I got to smell real horses. There were about 10 of them, tied up right next to the hotel, offering pony rides.  I was strong though, and didn't bug Mike if I could go. LOL
So, after check out, back to the racecourse we went :-)
We saw some of the sidecar races............ They were S C A R Y! and oddly enough, a lot louder than the regular and super bikes..... The good thing was, most seem to be two-strokes, by the heavenly smell on the track. I'm not being a smartass....  I love the smell of 2-stroke engines. The "zijspans" as they're called here, are a whole different kind of scary than the classic race we saw Saturday night. The driver has complete control, and to the untrained eye, the sidecar rider gets flopped around like a rag dol. Now, I know, they balance the bike in the corners and on the straight stretch, and I truly believe there is a great deal of skill and guts involved, it just looks painful to me. :-) but, as evidenced by the pictures I took of some of them coming off the track, they seemed happy, be it tired.

It was kind of strange to us, the way they started the races. They would go out on the track and run a lap, and at the "finish" line, they would line up, start, run one lap, and line up again, in the same order. We are used to MotoCross, where every body lines up, and when the starterflag falls, everybody goes like a bat out of hell for 10 minutes, and whoever gets home first, wins the race. LOL At the end of the afternoon, at least for us, they ran the superbikes. To us it looked like the newer models, but it still seemed like every possible CC was on the track at the same time. You could hear the whine of the 125's, the cugging of the bigger engines, and the thumping of the 500+'s It was really a great experience, but for me, I think I enjoy MotorCross better. You  need a whole different kind of crazy for that LOL but there seems to be more action, and you're not pinned down to one spot. You can walk the track, or find a spot and stick with it.........

Besides the races there were acres and acres of bikes. New ones, old ones, and plates from all over. We spend as much time touring the parkinglots as we did at the races. We didn't know any of the riders, rules or what race was going on, so there's only so many times you can see them fly by. Or at least that was my opnion. We kinda picked bikes in the Classics but without knowing who was riding it, you could only keep track of wether they were still in the same cluster of bikes, and even than, we didn't know if they had fallen or upgraded their position. The announcer DID speak 3 languages, but with the bikes going by, I had a heck of a time knitting the bits and peaces together, and give Mike and Richard a short version of what I learned. LOL

Reading back, it sounds like a lot less fun than what we had, but it really WAS GREAT! It was a whole new world of bikes. One I had never experienced before. The whole event reminded me of folkwoods. Tents everywhere. Bikes stuffed in minivans, between the bedding, coolers and tools, vendors with everything "bike" Big motorhomes with a racingteam on the side, right next to a flatbed bikehauler behind a regular car, bikes loaded with tents and campinggear and the smell of campfires,  all sorts of people, and great beer! 

That last statement wasn't my fault! Honestly! When the water bottles are the same price as a beer, and the beer is double the quantity.... you're supposed to drink beer!  I read a rule about that somewhere..... LOL.

All kidding aside. The area was beautifull, and we have plans for short daytrips up there in the near future, especially since going by freeway it's a little over an hour drive to get there. Can't wait for the fall colors to emerge!

Well, I've bent your ear enough for one day, and I have to seriously catch up with things.... scrapping, house, fuzzy roommate, friends, family and the like, so I'll be back later this week, with a whole different story :-)

As always, enjoy the life you have, and don't forget to hug someone you love


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