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Waiting for godot


Ottawa Safety Counsil

Friday, May 21st, 4:30am
I'm driving Dan's rustbucket van down the 416 seesawing my way down the highway while Dan sleeps blissfully in the back seat.  I'm too nice a guy.  When Dan told me he'd been up all night working on his bike, at 4am I volunteered to drive him to Shannonville.  Now, I realized I'd been rooked out of my comfortable ride in the leather seats of Yves' Durango.  Time to hit the rumble strips.
Friday 7:30am Trackside
Dan's bike was ugly.  And I mean ugly.  After I bought his 1999 R6 off him, a deal came up that he couldn't refuse.  He bought J.F. Cyr's 2003 Yamaha R6 B-bike.  A B-bike, which, apparently didn't come with nice bodywork.  In fact, it was ugly.  After 5 years of racing, I was no longer the one who had the ugliest bike in our pits.  And it made me sad.
Rich's bike, however, was beautiful.  A 2003 Suzuki SV 650, all kitted out with the racing go-fast parts and cool bodywork/paint job to boot.  There's really nothing quite as beautiful as a new bike especially if you've ever spent hours trying to wash your own bike.  You just can't get all those parts as clean as new.
Myself, I was also on a new bike.  I bought Dan's old 1999 Yamaha R6.  In fact, it was Victoria Day weekend the year before that I came down to Shannonville and fell in love with Dan's yellow bike.  Dan broke the Shannonville amateur Pro Track record on that bike and went on to win the first Amateur 600 race.  But that's not when I fell in love with the bike.  Two hours later, in a regional race, Dan slipped on some oil and cartwheeled the bike at 120 km/hr.  It flipped and spun through the air and then bounced across the Canadian Shield breaking every useable part, including the frame and both wheels.  That's when I fell in love with the bike. 
4am Chauffeur from Ottawa to Shannonville  $400Admission through Shannonville gates $404 pieces of duct tape $0.36Unlimited use of my tool box $30
Having Dan rely on my help:  Priceless
Friday, 11am
Yves Dagenais, our pit buddy and Orleans neighbour, who has been kind enough to give me a ride to the track in his Durango and enclosed trailer the past three trips, has just crashed.  I know it's Yves since he's socializing with someone else who dumped it in Turn 3.  Well, at least he looks unhurt. 
Yves rides his GSX-R600 back to the pits but he's visibly upset and fearful of what his wife will think .  Some think it takes courage to go into turns fast and deep.  The courage is most often needed for other things.
Dan now returns with damage to his bike.  He's lowsided and the left side is all scratched up.  Hardly noticeable.
Sunday, May 23rd
I'm riding at high speed into Turn One but I'm nervous since I'm on street tires on the F2.  Right behind me, though, is a guy on a friggin EX500 and Pro #78 Steve Walker is chasing him on his new Ducati.  I've chosen the wrong tires for the race but the weather has been unpredictable and I thought it would surely rain if I went out on dry race tires.  This intermediate choice at least leaves me some peace of mind for the big upcoming AM600.  I'm ready to do the race on my old F2 if it starts to rain.
On the back straight, I can see we're about to put Rich Peillard down one lap.  I slow down so we don't spook Rich but, without hesitation, the EX pilot and Steve Walker fly past Rich on the inside of FABI Turn One.  Crap!!  Rich looks over his shoulder and I take that as an invitation to pass but I chose to go on the outside of the turn so Rich can have the inside to himself entering the chicane.  Yikes!  I squeeze by with barely enough room.  If Rich doesn't need new underwear after that pass, I'm sure I will.
The Heavyweight Sportsman race ended without crashing and Rich and I congratulated each other on our heroic riding.  I didn't, of course, catch the fast guy on the EX500 but now I'm all the more determined for the next round.
AM600 action was as hectic as the ads have promised.  It didn't rain so I ran the new R6 but forgot to fill up with gas.  After all that hard work I ran out of gas on the second last lap.  I puttered off the back straight and took the FABI exit where I watched the rest of the race with Steve Plummer and gang.  Next time, I'll add more gas.
Now, if only I can pack the hell up in a hurry and watch Rich ride his SV in the race and directly onto the trailer, we can head home!

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