Every year since I met my husband, we have met up with Dan’s daughter, Emily, to attend the motorcycle races at WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca, just outside of Monterey, CA. Nothing in my previous experience prepared me for motorcycle racing. While I am not much of a sports fan, I know the basic rules to football, basketball, tennis, and baseball. Initially, motorcycle racing was a complete enigma to me. There was much to learn about the motorcycles themselves – the different manufacturers, their strengths and weaknesses, and some general history. And then there is also much to learn about the racers – their backgrounds, the different approaches to the sport, and their attitudes. This was my 4th year at Laguna-Seca. And now, I can at least have a semi-intelligent conversation about the sport. I have both my husband and step-daughter to thank for their many patient explanations.
Two groups of racers were competing – MotoAmerica and World Superbike. MotoAmerica takes place only in America at American race tracks, whereas World Superbike takes place in tracks all over the world and the riders are from a number of different nations.
Here’s a little taste of the action: (click for video)
Yes, it’s loud, which is why earplugs are necessary. The noise is also why we don’t take Valentino the doglet to the track. No way to do earplugs for him.
Besides the races, there are a large number of vendors. There are those directly related to the races themselves – motorcycle manufacturers, helmets, leather riding gear, t-shirts with your favorite racer / motorcycle / track, and hats. Then there are those vendors who are just happy to be in a crowded venue – Range Rover, sunglasses, and massage chairs. And the food & drink vendors. Lots of items to see. I came across this Honda motorcycle:
(My apologies for the poor photo – too much glare.)
I loved the purple and gold paint on this bike. Also, you might notice a nod to Joe Camel in the paint design. A reminder of the days when one of motorcycle racing’s biggest sponsors were cigarette companies. Sponsorships from cigarette manufacturers have since fallen out of favor – for obvious reasons.
Race weekends are very festive and busy. This can be a challenge due to my having fibromyalgia. I don’t mention the fibromyalgia often because I don’t want it to define me, and I am more fortunate than some in that it is not completely incapacitating as a rule. But race weekends entail far more walking than I usually do. Even in trying to manage how much walking I do at these events, it’s usually a good hike just from the stands to the bathrooms. Also, while the races are a fun place to people watch, it can all be a bit overstimulating. Lastly, there are the efforts not to get sunburned. I screwed up in not reapplying sunscreen on Sunday. Arms, hands, and lower face (I was wearing a hat that protected part of my face) all sunburned. And all pretty painful. My wrist and elbow joints ached. I assume this was some sunburn – fibromyalgia phenomenon. Luckily, today it has subsided.
But when not at the track, I rested. We ate well. And I slept well every night. Now at home, I am tired, but not sick. I consider that a win.
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