Sunday, July 23, 2006

Just about a year ago today was the start of one of the most amazing week of my life. It's no secret that I have a bit of an obsessive personality. I have to be very careful starting something new. I'm not one of the guys who picks up a guitar today and puts it down next week. Mostly it's petty things and they're manageable but sometimes their big and bad and they take over everything from my best dreams to the scariest nightmares.

Something happens to me when I see a superbike. It's a primal urge and I try to push it deep down inside where no one can hear it. I know that it would only take one ride around the block. My wallet would empty, my free time would cease to exist and I'd probably end up as a puddle on a little square of pavement. But last year someone saw a little glimmer in the back of my eye as they talked about the Motorcycle Grand Prix in Laguna Seca, California. Next thing I knew they were putting a VIP ticket in one hand and dragging me to the track by the other.

For a weekend I just soaked it all in. The smell of gas and rubber and red bull shot through with the adrenaline of speed. And then if life couldn't get any better, work paid me to go to the Playboy Mansion. I couldn't cling to my shell. So I brought along the hottest blonde I knew. There I was at the mansion, watching girls fawning over celebrities and football players and my date when I noticed the two small guys in the corner. The thing is, the fastest motorcycle racers in the world aren't big and bulky. They're small and light and streamlined and there were two of the best hiding out somewhere by the grotto. I think I was the only one to recognize them all night. All it took was a handshake and a hello and I was on my way. By the end of the night I had two new friends and the blonde I had brought couldn't understand why I was too busy to pay attention to her.

If that wasn't enough, two days later they packed me off to the ESPY awards where I pretty much met every sports hero I ever had. The week ended and I could die happy. Then I realized how easily that could be arranged. All I needed to do was call one of my new friends and ask them to lend me a bike.


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