Living in Australia and having no intention to go to another UK Moto GP (due to crap weather and even crappier traffic control) yet desperate to have a 2 seater ride...... watching with shear adrenaline from the side lines at the 15 or so worldwide Moto GP's myself and my husband had attended just didn't cut it anymore..... so I made it my mission to "convince" him it would be money worth spending.... for charity, of course!!!
So, the initial intention was to pick up the old rat bikes we keep in South Wales and drive up.... Blighty being Blighty and the fair weather rider attitude kicked in and we decided to drive instead :-/
My ride was scheduled for midday on Friday (best day for the ride as the fella's aren't too pre-occupied to give you some time), and it had been lashing it down for what seemed like an eternity, all I could think was that it would be likely called off..... fortunately (and like a miracle) they delayed the rides (6 in total) until 7pm, they saw a good weather window and as a consolation prize offered us a full day of Ducati hospitality..... BONUS! So while I was running around between puddles grabbing the boyo's for an autograph or a photograph (and in some cases a little cuddle), everyone else was enjoying the Italian cuisine and espresso.
Had a long chat with Mr and Mrs Stoner (and later his Mum) who where a bit confused when I said I had come from Australia.... There we where in the UK and I'm British... anyhow, the line worked on all the Aussies, Jeremy Burgess, Chris Vermulen where both charming and very pleased to have their photo's with me... capirossi, Rossi, Stoner, Vermuelen, Burgess, Hayden, Hopkins, Edwards, Mamola, Elias, even young and wonderful Bradley Smith "my personal favourite, smart and lovely lad" and loads more..... too many to list!
Actually no-one seemed to mind at all (except Nicky "deaf ear" Hayden), some squeezing my waist or shoulders tighter than others (thanks Rossi, you made my day holding my waist as if you have a short breaking distance ;-) ), chatted with Andrea Dovizioso's Dad, which was so funny as he only spoke Italian and I was mixing it up with Portuguese, Spanish and English.... Lovely bloke and hope to meet him again on one of our trips.
I was like a child in a toy shop. .... Pete (Colin Edwards' self proclaimed bitch) was a laugh, he had been gifted the ride by Colin and some other riders came to watch and where winding Pete up big time, nice bloke, fun and friendly!! I was in my element....
Then came the ride.... I honestly didn't get nervous until I was sat ready to hit the gas, as you will see from the photo's, like a switch, I suddenly realised the scope of what I was about to do...... unbelievable, totally amazing, such speeds, on such an amazing track, the curves the hills, the brakes, the lean (remember as Randy had a passenger he had to leave his bum on the seat and we still had mega amounts of lean), the shear speed, the anxiety, the fear..... ok, was only a few minutes, but every emotion, every piece of energy, all came together and when I got off the bike as well as complete elation... I was totally exhausted and my wrists where throbbing as they where doing all the work keeping my arse safely stuck on the seat!!
I struggle with words for this one, only to say, I have flown supersonic in a Tornado jet, jumped out of aeroplanes, jumped off cliffs and many other adrenaline junkie adventures, but nothing prepared me for this, if you ever get a chance..... do it, your having a life experience and helping raise funds for a worthy charity....
Randy Mamola is a legend in his own right, you couldn't wish for a better person to sit on the back with: I can't really explain the experience, except to say, if you where on a the back of a world class motorbike, with one of the worlds greatest racers on one of the most thrilling circuits in the world... pulling 1.5 g force on breaking and hitting speeds of up to and possibly over 180 mph while holding on with your teeth grinding, struggling to keep your fat arse on the seat and fragile feet on the pegs, how would you feel???? It was mental, completely and utterly mad; I loved it and would love to do it again.
I met so many wonderful people and some of the world's most amazing sportsmen and support staff..... The best present a young girl could ask for, all day smiling, look at the photos and there shall be the proof. The rest of the weekend was a little flat in the sense that it rained constantly, and our favourites didn't win (although Colin Edwards had a cracking qualifier.... and race), and we had no hospitality suite to rest our weary and wet bones!! But what an amazing present from my amazing old bloke! Visit the following web sites for more info on how you can get a 2 Seater Ride: http://www.riders.org/en/html/home.php
Incidentally, following the weekend, we bombed down to Italy (on bikes) to go to the World Ducati week (Party on the Red Planet) and can safely say..... unless you own a Ducati, don't bother..... was expensive and shockingly crap entertainment 9some spitting swearing slapper called pati Smith... "very in-appropriate considering most Ducati owners are from a completely different era and class") and well, utterly dissapointed so popped into Rossi's home town Tavulia also, which made up for it..... wonderful town and amazing people, if you go..... pop into the Cafe and say hello to Antonio from me!!
PS Since bought my lovely man a Triumph Speed Triple for Xmas..... wonder what he will get me this time??