Friday, November 30, 2007

Who was the most spectacular rider in 2007

With Jerez the 2007 MotoGp season is officially ended. Now everybody will be able to relax, re-charge batteries, take care of shoulders and legs and gain a couple of pounds during the holidays. Before changing page, I would like to run a poll similar to the last one because I am looking to discover our emotional side.

Who was the most spectacular and fun-to-watch rider in 2007? It doesn’t matter how he ended up the Championship or if he has ever stepped on the podium because he is the man whom we still remember about.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Tell your wife that this one could be tax-deductible …

The 27th of November is the last day to bid on Valentino Rossi’s helmet made for the 2007 Gran Premio d’Italia in Mugello. Dainese, owner of AGV, organizes the auction, and the proceeds from the sale will be devolved to a non-profit association involved in the restructure of the Giannini Gaslini Hospital, specializing in children, located in Genoa, Italy. Only 3 helmets were made for that race: one was thrown to the crowd right after the race, Rossi keeps another and the third one will be assigned to the winner of the auction.
By giving away his personal gears Rossi’s generosity surpassed his well known superstition. After donating, for the same cause, his leather suit in 2006, I wouldn’t be surprised if the seven time World Champion will become more and more inclined in using his influence and money to help other people.

News found by Almos.
Via| Ebay

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The good old times: on board, Cinzano Rio Gran Prix, 2003

Even the English poet George Byron (1788-1824) who said "the good old times ... all times when old are good", would feel some sort of bittersweet longing for those MotoGp years.
Almos has found, in some Hungarian web site, this great on-board video of Sete, Loris and Valentino dicing in the first few laps of the Cinzano Rio Gran Prix, 2003.
The final classification was Rossi, Gibernau, Tamada, Biaggi and ... Capirossi.

via | motorrevu

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who had the best looking MotoGp bike in 2007?

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Who had the best graphic in 2007? Unfortunately teams with several small sponsors can not afford to have a simpler and more elegant painting scheme, so I wouldn't be surprised to see, as usual, the big teams leading the contest.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The other Roman …

As far as I know besides me in the Tri-State area there is only another Roman regularly attending road racing club events: my friend Luciano.
The first time I noticed him it was several year ago at one of the Pocono events organized by Nesba while inspecting bikes right after the registration. I believe that he had an old H1 or H2, a 3 cylinder Kawasaki, in perfect conditions and as soon as I opened my mouth to compliment him for that beauty he ask me in perfect Roman dialect: “ ma sei de Roma?” (but are you from Rome?) . Since that time I cannot recall how many perfectly restored bikes he has been bringing to the track over the years. I believe that he has a nice collection of 4 strokes but I have recently discovered that he has a boundless enthusiasm for 2 strokes. At the last event that we had in Pocono I had the opportunity to ride his gorgeous yellow Yamaha TZ 250: I had so much fun in shifting up and down those gears thru the twisty turns of the East Course. The bike is light and nimble, very conducive in carrying extra speed at the entrance of the turn to remain in the power band for the exit of the corner. And what about that urge to tuck as much as you can behind the windshield with the elbows tight against the tank? Only that generation of racing bikes can give you this kind of feelings. Modern four stroke bikes have shrank over the years to dimensions that we would have never imagined ten years ago but as Luciano claims a TZ 250 … “with 240 pounds wet and more then 85 hp on the wheel it is a joy to race it. In the right hands a well running TZ can give hard times to a liter bike”.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Winter is coming: do not forget that coffee maker! (part 2)

Twelve months ago I wrote a reminder about draining the "plain" water from your race bike cooling system, today I post a "to do list" written by our friend Almos:

* pour fuel stabilizer in the tank, then fill it up all the way but don't leave empty space in the tank, where rust can start developing.
* run the bike for few minutes with the stabilizer, so the whole fuel system gets flushed and treated.
* take the battery out and move it to a not-too-cold(your room) place possibly over 40 degree and connect the Battery Tender to it. You can leave it on until next season starts.
* if you have front & rear stands store the bike on the stands, if you don't have them ... get them; otherwise inflate the tires a little bit above the normal pressure like 50 psi. This way the tire won't get a flat spot by the spring.
* put an oil soaked rag in the muffler opening and in the intake, prevent moisture get in.
* change the oil and filter before storage!! Used oil has lot of bad things in it. You don't want your engine components get soaked during the whole winter in that thing ...
* if you have exposed bare(unpainted) steel parts on the bike spray it with fogging oil to prevent rust.
* get a motorcycle cover for your baby.
* try to visit your bike every day, and talk to her. She will be lonely for a long time!!!

VIA Absolute Cycle forum
Photo by Dennis Cuevas,

Should I go for it?

For a while I have been flirting with the idea of buying a 250cc after having so much fun riding an Aprilia 250 and a Yamaha TZ 250 in Pocono Raceway, last year. As a kid I owened a Laverda LZ 125cc and as everybody else in Italy I grew up riding two stroke bikes but never in a circuit. The combination of the size and the power delivery with the total absence of engine brake makes riding a 250cc similar to blasting my road race bicycle down the twisty roads of a mountain: you have to let her go as much as you can …
Our friend Luciano, owner of a gorgeous yellow Yahama TZ 250, has sent me this video to keep tempting my fantasies.

Video source

Friday, November 16, 2007

Would you have flipped that coin?

In joining the Team Green, that in my broken English I often refer to as the green tea-m, has Hopper tossed a coin in the air or not? From the money perspective I am sure that it was a no brain, but on the track, do you think that Hopkins is going to have a brighter future with Kawasaki versus what he could have achieved with Suzuki? If we looked at the time sheet at the end of the second day of testing in Sepang, he was damn right: 2’02”200, very close to Pedrosa’s pole position of 2’01”877 and ahead of his ex-teammate Vermeulen with the best lap time of 2’02”344. Now my question is: has he left Suzuki because he thought that the bike had reached the full potential? Was he afraid of missing the possibility to fight for the World Title with the baby blue Rizla Suzuki? But if he was concerned with the Suzuki potential, at the time he signed up the contract did he know that next season Kawasaki would use the 2007 model? The bike has certainly improved in the last two years but the marginal improvements of an “old” project are going to guarantee the level of performance needed to win? I am confused and at the same time intrigued to discover what has guided the MotoGp riders during the “Silly Season” as our friend Jimmy calls it in his Armchairbikefan blog

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Stoner and Ducati greeted by the Italian President

Stoner and DUCATI are still celebrating the magical experience of winning the World Title with a formal visit to Quirinale, the official residence of the Italian Head of State, Giorgio Napolitano. On November 15, Casey and his wife Adriana were received by the Italian President after “parking” two bikes in the precious gardens that surround the building. One the two was a red Desmosedici GP7 missile used by the Aussie to rule the 2007 season.

Photographs by our friend Aldo Fabrizi

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My strategy for Rossi in 2008: garlic and red chile peppers.

Do you believe in bad luck? Are you superstitious? A lot of people for religious reasons or just to prove, at least to themselves, that they can make their own destiny, will consider the concept as an ignorant or irrational mindset. On the other end, if I rephrase the question as “do you believe in luck?” the same people would probably admit that they have directly or indirectly experienced it. Beside the obvious luck in gambling we could list numerous type of situations or fields where a successful outcome is normally labeled as lucky: career, family, health, investing, business and many more. The common denominator of all the lucky stories it’s always the action or risk taken by the person, the chance to loose some or everything he or she has at stake. Anyhow we shouldn’t forget other situations where luck is synonymous of case, fate or being blessed: typical example is the survivor of an airplane crash! So if luck (or what else you want to call it) or no luck exist, everybody should agree on the existence of bad luck too, at least as other side of the coin. In Italy, where we were pagans before becoming Christians there is a clear sense of awareness about the topic but what differs it’s how we deal with that.
Rossi’s pre-race procedure of “praying” while kneeling on his bike, adjusting his underwear leaving the pit out lane and then again on the grid has become famous because he has won 7 World Championships. All the MotoGp riders have their own steps with which they reach their mental focus and physical prowess while keeping at bay the negative energy. Negative energy …? But where does it come from? Well if we want to keep talking about MotoGp racers, it could come from an objective issue like a mechanical problem as well as the mounting pressure received by whoever is around them. Have you ever experienced the situation where you suddenly perceive that within your circle of people, family, friends or co-workers the atmosphere has changed? Now you start feeling the criticism and the pressure deriving from any of your actions: some people would love them while others hate them! Some are supporting you, others hope in your endeavors failure. For a famous actor or sport star the phenomenon assumes giant dimension because of the number of people that make “his or her circle”. Jealousy and enviousness are dangerous forces capable of bending the strongest minds, fold the best careers and reversing the best stories. Until a couple of year ago Valentino seemed to be immune from this peril but in coincidence with the peak of his popularity, and by default enviousness, he started experiencing some unusual difficulties or issues that in his long career he had already encountered but successfully solved in a short time. In 2006 I can easily recall the long straggle with the chattering, the faulty Michelin tires and at least one engine failure while leading the race. And what about that second place behind Elias by a couple of inches? After mysteriously low-siding on the last race, those five vital points meant losing the World Championship! At that time, he was greatly criticized for driving the F1 Ferrari during the pre-season months hence held responsible for failing to win the World MotoGp Title. In the 2007 season Valentino was not distracted by any particular lure (if we discard the friendship with the gorgeous Elisabetta Canali), indeed he gave 110% to compensate the substantial lack of power/speed at the beginning of the season and then for the miserable performance of the Michelin tires. In the last race in Valencia, in perfect compliance with the Murphy’s Law according to which “whatever can go wrong will go wrong, at the worst possible time and the worst possible way” Rossi lost the second place in the World Championship because of the M1 engine. The ice on the cake it was that the mechanical failure happened while he was courageously riding and defending his position with a wrist fractured in the free practice! And what about that blow received during the summer when he was notified of a multimillion-pound tax evasion on undeclared revenues between 2000 and 2004? He is responsible from a legal point of view but we know who “put” the young and inexperienced Italian fellow in such a predicament whose outcome revealed itself only after three years went by …

On the other end we have Stoner that after crashing bikes for most of his career until 12 months ago, on Ducati from day one was able to keep upright the bike each and every race! Mechanically he has never suffered any problem but one race when his slipper clutch was not consistent in the feeling. Also, during the season the young Aussie time after time enjoyed an edge on the competitors before with a 20kmh faster bike and then with winning-proof Bridgestone tires. That’s the beauty of life: anything can change at any moment, and sometimes magically or, let me say … luckily for the better!

Now given the circumstances if I were a consultant for Rossi I would remind him the old saying “there is never two without three …”. We cannot lose another championship in this manner, so besides dropping Michelin for Bridgestone, blustering the Yamaha engineers for a better bike and fire is friend and manager Gibo Badioli, I would recommend the old wives’ tale to hang garlic and peppers on your 2008 M1 to keep away negative energy and bad luck!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

MotoGp Poll: Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana

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The championship has already been assigned to Stoner, the true revelation of the season but, last year, we had the fingers crossed until the last race with Rossi and Hayden fighting head to head, single point to single point until the end, until Valencia where the Doctor low-sided serving the championship to Hayden on a silver plate. That race was majestically won by Bayliss in front a strong Capirossi, someone who was supposed to guarantee the results for the Ducati Team in 2007 while letting the young Stoner to acclimate himself to the rude Italian horse. Well, all of us know how things have gone …
Sunday race doesn’t have any particular importance if not for the racing numbers well listed by Among the different records, I would point out that another win by the Aussie, the eleventh one, it would elevate him at the level of Rossi and Agostini, and right behind Mick Doohan’s 12 victories.
Have said that let’s pick the second rider on the podium out of the first seven in the MotoGp World Championship! My pick is Stoner behind Rossi: I hope for an epical battle between the Italian and the Aussie and not their tires or bikes, just the two men.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Norick Abe: another victim of the U-Turn killer

How many riders have lost their lives because of a vehicle making the ominous U-Turn? I know too many but nobody as famous as Norick Abe. Yes, it’s another champion that lives us in a tragic and unexpected way, far from the circuits where he used to challenge destiny and physics of the fields along with his competitors. He died in the far-west of today’s city roads where driving is everything else except a technical discipline. The truck driver who took away Abe's life claimed that he made the U-turn after realizing that he was going in the wrong direction … Another time it was the view of a parking spot available on the other side of the avenue or because the driver wanted to drop the kids in front the school, or because the cub driver was looking for the building with even #s, those on the other side of the street. How many explanation or justifications have we heard over the years? I drive cars, ride motorcycles and road bicycles and you cannot imagine how many U-Turns I count every day in Brooklyn, but in all these year I have never seen a cop to give a ticket for someone making a U-Turn. Here in NYC it’s common if not well accepted: even the old and big American cars had incredible power steering, something that it allowed everybody to make a U-Turn spinning a finger against one of the bars of the steering wheel. Incredibly no one legislator in this country has proposed a tougher stance again the ominous maneuver, but then I am not surprised because with the exception of Arnold Schwarzenegger who was caught riding an Harley Davidson (and crashing without driver license), nobody else rides motorcycles when they can seat in their huge and black SUV s.
I know … I am raging while now it’s time to pray.

Rest In Peace Abe

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

MotoGp Poll: A-Style Grand Prix of Japan

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Second place to? After Estoril and the resurgence of Rossi, Pedrosa and Hayden along with their much improved bikes, I don't really know! Today Rossi has openly admitted that the recent victory has improved the his team morale and he is planning to fight until the end of the championship: there are 100 points left with Stoner leading with a 76 points difference over Valentino. Last year Rossi was able to keep the cold mathematic at bay until the last race. The M1 got faster and Michelin tires are equal if not better than Bridgestone, as long as it doesn't rain. The goddess Fortune is always represented with a wheel to remind everybody that luck comes and go and it is about time for the Italian champ to enjoy a bit of luck after going up-hill for almost two years.
Now the statistics are totally against the Fiat Yamaha team with Bridgestone winning the race in the last three seasons. Also we shouldn't forget that last year Capirossi and his Ducati won the Motegi race with a 5 seconds gap on Rossi while the new phenomenon Stoner had crashed out. I am looking at last year classification with Melandri in third and I get even more confused .....
Ok, I made my mind and I pick Pedrosa again behind Rossi but do not ask me the third rider because in my heart I would like the show to go on until the last event

Grande Premio de Portugal: Welcome back MotoGp

Welcome back MotoGp! This is the type of show for which we are paying seasonal subscription with or Tivo. Often we have to get up early in the morning or in the middle of the night to watch our heroes racing. Over the years, even during the Robert, Rainey, Doohan and Rossi kingdoms we have always had good battles for the podiums, something that unfortunately have lacked this year. But last Sunday in Portugal it was show time with four different riders (if we count Hayden who had the pole) leading the race at some point. Once Pedrosa got the fugitive Stoner, the typical “time trial race” of the last few months became a real MotoGp race with everybody fighting on the brakes, holding stubbornly the outside lines when they were stuffed on the inside. Great show offered by Rossi and Pedrosa in the front but even in the back thank to Hayden, Melandri and Elias who did whatever they could to hold their positions against the faster guys. Sunday the commentators didn’t talk for one hour about Bridgestone and Michelin because too focused with the actual race. So many new things happen in Portugal! The Italian red missile has lost power over the summer …or better Honda has opened itself to some doping issues, but who cares because MotoGp is not Tour de France. The M1 too seemed improved but unfortunately my impression is supported only by Rossi and not by his teammate Edwards.
Pedrosa is still very petit but he has improved dramatically his …. determination on the brakes! He was able to fend several Rossi’s attacks without closing the door. He did it so many times that when Rossi overtook him going into that left turn with a couple of laps to go Danny had to pick up twice his left foot on the peg while going to the apex of the corner. At this point Rossi was able to create a little gap that he carried to the end, but still the little Spaniard did a hell of a race.
Stoner race was a bit strange: after the first third of the race everybody thought that his Bridgestone had started to deteriorate. As matter of the fact, after the race Rossi admitted that Sunday Michelin had an edge over the competitors. In reality later one the Australian explained that he had suffered a problem with a slipper clutch eliminating any engine brake. I believe Stoner, but somehow I do not understand it because Rossi and Pedrosa were not much faster than him on the brakes. What was clear it is that he didn’t have the usual extra speed on the straights and at the exit of turns: on the gas, out of the corners, his rear was very nervous, almost too quick in unloading the compression … but again he is Stoner and I am only a motorbike lover. Talking about bike set ups, even Hayden’s Honda seemed too nervous on the quick changes of direction and when he got really aggressive on the brakes it became difficult for him to keep a tight line in the corners.
What happened to the Suzuki? I have not been able to do my reading in the last few days but at this point my mind is already focused on nest Sunday, let’s just hope for another great show!

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Lombardi School, Lev 2: Pocono Raceway 9/4

As I have posted in the Absolute Cycle Forum:

I believe that last Tuesday the launch of the Lev 2 course was a success. I had 3 riders that at the beginning of the day displayed substantial differences in speed and technical skills, but still they looked compatible as group to me. Unfortunately one of them, Rich, had to leave the track after the second session to follow his friend to the hospital, because he had suffered a slight concussion in a crash. With only two students, Tom and Bob, Steven Lombardi and I had the opportunity to put together an extremely intense course. Both, Tom and Bob are motorbike veterans so it was like to teach " new tricks to old dogs". It's definitely easier to instruct someone totally new to bikes than someone with decades of riding under his or her belt. Regardless, I honestly believe that I was able to discover and correct hidden attitudes and frames of mind that were affecting their overall performance. Also, Tuesday I chose to adopt a teaching style where I was explaining: the concept, why it is supposed to be done in such a way and what we try to achieve from a technical point of view. A very intense approach to learn the art of riding that requires physical and mental concentration all through the day by the instructors as well the students. Both riders, Bob and Tom have improved dramatically their riding. By the last session Bob became much more proactive with his body and detailed in dealing with cornering while Tom almost seemed to be another person:by the end of day he was able to create calmness, smoothness and control in his riding. No more fish tailing on the brakes, no more sudden reactions of his front end during the turns, overall a new Tom, capable of being totally in charge of his riding.
Unfortunately my guys were forced to leave the truck a couple of sessions before the end of the day for different personal issues, right after having ridden their best sessions. They looked tired but extremely happy for their achievements. We were able to cover probably only half of the program that I had prepared for the event, but it was OK. The level two course is tailored exactly to the skills and the real needs of each rider so I take the person from where he or she is to escalate my instructing along with his or her improvements. For every topic I have created drills that could be used to facilitate the assimilations of concepts. Obviously every rider is different so there could be a person that can go from point 1 to point 9 of the program in one day vs another one who can only get to the point #5. Regardless, substantial improvements in lowering the lap time and in the technical skills are always guaranteed.
In our school we have always put a lot of passion and joy in instructing, and last Tuesday, even in the Lev 2 course, I feel that we laid out a new milestone for the Lombardi School. As always, you can find good instructors only with good students, so a big and honest thanks goes to Bob, Rich and Tom: you guys made my day.


"Another great event organized by Absolute Cycle, our boutique-style local road racing club" ..... thanks to Roy, Mark and the rest of their crew

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I decided ... I wanted to go racing

From our friend Tim De Bell:

I decided I wanted to go racing. We’ll get to that, but first a little background.

I never rode a motorcycle until 4 years ago. I convinced my wife Jen that having a dirt bike to ride on the trails near our house would make my life complete. The only stipulation was that I would not get to the dealership and buy a street bike instead. “Why would I want to ride on pavement?” I replied.

Off I went and bought an XR250. It’s a good bike, fairly nimble, plenty of grunt and most importantly, sturdy. I rode that around the woods for a year or so and had the bright idea that I could save money riding the XR the 16 miles to and from work. After all, it wasn’t really a street bike, it was a dirt bike with a baja kit and DOT’s. That rationale proved to be somewhat weak, but ultimately I was commuting on my, now a bit scratched up, XR.

After learning the basic street survival skills, I started to look at street riding in a different light. With a bit more bike I could have some real fun and technically be safer. I had enough sense not to get on the highway with the XR, but, for those who haven’t ridden them, there is no such thing as good DOT knobby. I still rode dirt with it so SM wasn’t an option.

I had a picture of a Ducati Monster on my laptop desktop and managed to convince myself that the sun wouldn’t rise and set with any regularity if I didn’t have one of those in my garage. I picked up a used one, stripped it down even more and made it what I wanted.

I love that bike….it’s got curves like Sophia Loren.

The 2V Desmo is a well balanced motor and I had more than my share of grins, and a few gasps, honing my riding skills on that bike.

I was a fan of WSBK and MotoGP prior to really considering going for a track day. After all, I didn’t have a bike I wanted to chance wadding up and renting a bike takes it well out of the “recreational” budget.

Jen came home one day a said she met a guy at work who is a track instructor and I should meet him. We’ll call him Tod……because that’s his name. Little did I know that he had already been on the case explaining to her that going to the track would make me a better rider and, if you are going to go fast that’s the place to do it.

A couple of months pass and I found myself at Pocono, at the East Course, astride Tod’s SV650. After a couple sessions flailing around the track, I finally got into a little groove with the acceleration followed by heavy braking and dipping the bike much deeper than I ever had on the street. Tod explained that you can really get on the front brakes after the front end settles and that made the afternoon that much more enjoyable. I got some good laps for a first day, some passes, and felt very satisfied with the progression of skills I gained during the day.

Skip to a couple months later and I am trying to figure out a way to get back to the track. I had trouble justifying spending the money on a bike that I would ride for a matter of days per year. After many conversations with Jen and many track days missed, we decided that if I wanted to take up track days as a hobby, I needed to do it on my own bike.

I struggled with the decision of which bike to get but ultimately decided on a 600 I4 as I owned a twin and riding different bikes would round me out more as a rider. Besides, I heard they were really fast.

Alex, one of the instructors at Pocono, was selling a 2000 R6. After staring at the pictures of that bike on this very website for a couple weeks I called and he told me that, yes, the bike was for sale but he had an incident at Summit Main the week before and the right side was rashed up. I was realistic about the likelihood of watching my track bike sliding, or worse, tumbling, across the track with my backside rapidly heating up and bruising in places I didn’t even know I had, so we made the deal.

I picked up the bike at the track and rode it for the day to varying levels of success. Long story short, now the left side matched the right.

I went to a couple more track days and gradually worked on my skills. I wasn’t super fast by any particular means, but improving at a gratifying rate. Moving to the intermediate groups in a couple clubs was key in that the freedom on the track came at a good time in my riding education.

Having some friends who race with LRRS encouraged me to at least ride that track. I decided to attend the basic road racing class and stay up to ride the rookie race. I sincerely feel that earning the license is an accomplishment. In retrospect, it takes dedication, specific knowledge, and a not inconsequential set of stones.

I packed up the truck and headed to the 8/31/07 Penguin school with a good friend of mine. We arrived to nice weather, which proceeded, disappear and was replaced with 40 mph winds and heavy rain. We ate and played some cards while holding down the easy-up tent and retired when the weather finally abated. I was more excited than nervous, but wound tighter than an outhouse door spring.

Waking up early, I headed to the Penguin garage about 10 minutes early. This was a treat because I could drool all over the new Ducati’s in the paddock. The 1098 and Hypermotard are both bikes I would compromise my morals to ride. Maybe not, but I really want to ride them….

The morning class session was the standard intro to the track, pit out, pit in, flags and some discussion about body position. We were out in follow the leader sessions by 10:45 which was a pleasant surprise The follow the leader was good in that it provided plenty of time to find the line and markers along the track.

The layout of the NHIS track is challenging and amazingly fun. The elevation changes add another dimension to the riding I had done in the past. The two blind spots on the track are under full acceleration so the approach line has to be spot on.

The afternoon was open session as the track is open for Saturdays racers. The track was never crowded and you don’t sit in the grid for very long on the way out. I was feeling pretty good gradually working up to speed. I spent a couple laps following the CR’s and that really improved my speed through the middle of the circuit. Coming down off the hill through 10 and 11 looks so short as you come out to it but proved to be a sprint through the infield on the line.

We were called into the classroom a couple of times during the afternoon to discuss what the CR’s were seeing on the track. There were a few incidents at 3 and 10 and Steve N. talked about technique through that section and answered any questions we had. At 4 PM we had a scheduled class session that focused on the more procedural aspects of the race. Racer calls, pre-grid, grid and start procedure were all explained in detail as well as a review of the most common wrong answers in a quiz we had taken earlier. It was really to ensure that you didn’t sleep during the class time.

Everyone who completed the course received a card that allowed them to register for the rookie race anytime in the next year. Steve said that it would get you on the track for other club races as well and I have no reason to doubt it.

At that point folks who weren’t sticking around for the races were excused and the rookie racers stayed to review starting procedure again and some Q&A. It was obvious that they intentionally took the time to be repetitive on certain aspects of the class.

During the time we were in the classroom it started to rain again. The track quieted down but Steve talked a bit about the importance of riding in the rain. After a long day and some quality seat time I was thinking of packing it in for the day but at the end of his instruction, Steve said, “Now go ride in the rain.” and I went. This was the best decision I made all day. I was the only one out there without DOT’s (of the three that actually went) and I was acutely aware of that sitting in line, but the simple fact that I was able to feel the bike move around as a result of a wet track made it well worth it. After that, I was much more aware of the position of the bike relative to my body and more sensitive to the feedback of the bike. I am sure it improved my riding the following day.

Jen had arrived while I was in the afternoon session and the infield began to fill up with campers, trucks and tents for the weekend. As she was walking around checking things out and seeing if I was on the track, she heard someone say “Hey, look, only three numb-nuts went out in the rain!” Laughing, she walked up to the two guy’s vantage point and saw that indeed, one the numb-nuts on the track was her beloved husband.

We had an evening meeting for all riders in the rookie race at 6 pm. Other folks who had come from other clubs and previously taken the course attended and we talked about the grid and starting waves, received the forms for the morning registration and told stories for a while. Steve, having ridden and raced for 35 years, had quite a few as you would imagine.

The evening infield camping was great. The people who participate in this sport are a special breed. The sport that you are all passionate about is the one thing that brought you here, the only thing. Because of that, you already know something about everyone there. They either love motorcycle riding or love someone who does. Folks are more relaxed, gracious, and eager to share their experiences with like minded people.

I woke up at 4 and stayed in my sleeping bag until 5. It hadn’t rained overnight, but everything was still soaking form the morning condensation. I got up and started to coals for coffee, completed my paperwork and got out to registration. It was a touch like going to the DMV. Get in one line, get your number and pay some money, get in another line and pay some money. I was given my tech. form and transducer and ran over to the parts trailer for my numbers and a transducer bracket. When I got back to the truck I was completely taken back. My buddy had replaced my rear axle with the one he had to drill out while I was on the track the day before, Jen had coffee and breakfast for me and everyone was as excited as I was.

This wasn’t the first time over the weekend that I got a feeling of modesty mixed with amazement. These folks took time from home, traveled to an unfamiliar place and took care of my needs because they want to and because they wanted to see me safe and successful. I am truly fortunate to have people like this in my life.

I got to tech too late to make the first practice but I knew that would be the case the night before. There is just not time to go through the registration process and make an 8 am practice. The window doesn’t open until 7am and, as a rookie, you have a couple of extra stops to make.

While waiting for my practice call there was a 4 bike incident at the end of the front straight. Someone had blown their motor and a few folks went down into the tire walls in the south end of the oval, attributed to oil on the track. We could not see what happened from our camp but I had a pretty good idea based on the sounds. One of the riders stayed down for a while, however, we could hear him and everyone was relieved it was apparently not a head injury. We got the word later in the riders meeting that he had sustained an injury to his hip and was transported to the hospital lucid and communicating.

I made the second practice, which was red flagged after two laps. Uh-oh, I don’t have tire warmers and my race doesn’t start for 40 minutes. Well, I would have to get some good heat in them on the warm up lap. When the time came I was out to pre-grid in the 1-A spot. Easy to remember however I still wrote it on a piece of tape on my tank just in case. My adrenaline had been up since 4 am and, with so much going on around me, I didn’t want to be the guy pushing his bike around the grid because I lined up in the wrong spot. At this point, I still didn’t have my license and any bone-headed move could eliminate me. It’s a good policy and mainly there to ensure the maximum factor of safety on the track.

I went through the first race launch 100 times in my mind over the last day, but when I got to the starting line it was like nothing I had imagined. I thought a lot about my inputs to the bike to get a jump and keep it in control. What I didn’t think about was the heat, the noise, the people and the scenery of the speedway. It was surreal. The 3 card came up, spin the bike up, the 2 card came up, oh crap, my visor is up, flip the visor down, spin the bike up again…1 card…green flag!

I slipped the clutch well keeping my weight over the front. I had the jump and was leading the pack. When I went to shift into 2nd I missed it and dropped a few positions. After some creative language in my helmet I grabbed 2nd gear and got on the throttle. I managed to recover up into 5th position before leaning into turn one. As I rounded the apex there was a fall in front of me. I didn’t react to it other than consciously focusing op the track on my line.

As the raced progressed I knew I was near the front. I was passed approaching turn 3 in which I held too tight a line and didn’t carry enough speed through the turn 2. I kept my focus following the rider closely and made another mistake in turn 12. At the end of the straightway I overtook the rider ahead of me on the inside. This was the last lap and didn’t want to give up the position.

Coming out of 6 I went faster to 8 and through 9 than I had all weekend, noticeably faster. My turn through 12 and out to the straight was not great. I lost so much speed I was sure the rider following me would be by quickly. As I approached the finish line I was well on my way to 5th gear and the finish flag waved faster and faster. As I crossed the finish line I let off the gas and was passed quickly…whoahhh. He was right there. Neither if us was sure who finished first but we congratulated each other on a good race.

As I took my cool down lap it occurred to me that I had just earned my license. I buzzed around the track giving the thumbs up to the corner workers and with a smile they could probably see through my tinted visor.

When I got back to the truck friends we had made and my crew congratulated me and we talked about the race while enjoying the beautiful day it had turned out to me. I wasn’t sure what place I had come in but I had accomplished what I had come to do. Relaxation quickly turned into another cycle of race prep as I had entered the middleweight superbike race as well.

In that race I was in the 7-A grid, back of the pack. I got a good launch to the middle of the pack by turn 1. There were a lot of bikes there with me but with everyone holding their line, there was some spread by turn 2. Going up the hill into 5 there was a high-side in front of me and an immediate red flag. Restart.

I ran through the race with a good line but it felt a bit slower. 8 laps is a short race by many people’s standards, but the energy spent focusing is significant. After some passing and being passed I crossed the line at WOT and didn’t let off until the turn 1 early braking point based on my experience in the previous race.

I was done for the day and I was proud of myself. My bike performed exceptionally and the experience was beyond my expectations. Lessons I learned about riding, racing and myself won’t be forgotten.

We took a break form packing up to watch the MW Twins race. One of the new friends we made was running and ended up taking 2nd. Watching the race with Jen was tremendous as we chatted about our friend’s performance, the lines we were seeing people riding and what my next challenge will be.

As we made our way home a friend called to congratulate me on my 4th place finish. He had seen it online. That was the first time I had confirmation of my finishing place and it was an awesome feeling. In the MW Superbike I finished 21st, ahead of only 8 people, but the 3rd rookie and even better, my fastest lap times were within 2/10ths of each other for both races. That excited me more. I made mistakes in both races but pleased with my overall consistency.

Was this experience worth the time, cost and sacrifice? Absolutely!

Did it improve my riding? Without a doubt!

Will I do it again? If you have read this far you already know the answer to that!

Track map source

Our first PMP girl track rider

Hello everyone,

My name is Krys and I am honored to be the first PMP female track rider. One thing a woman will never tell is her age. I believe age is relative to how you “feel”.
However wisdom and experience are two things I embrace with age.
I am the Service Manager at Global Auto Mall for the last thirteen years. I have 5 car lines. I have been with the company for approx 18 years and have had dealership service experience for the last 22 years. (I started young. Wink wink). My father owned a service/gas station for many years. When I was a little girl, I pumped gas for $2.00-$5.00/day. As time went by, I was managing the shifts at the station. Dad was no dummy. At 17 he had me pumping gas in shorts during the afternoon commute. Thank God he had more class than having me on stage and riding a pole. LOL! No Jerry Springer for me. Being around cars my whole life you’d think I’d be into Nascar.
Even then, I never ever wanted to be one of those provincial women with a conservative if not bigoted attitude.

When I was approx 12 years old, my brother came home with a Honda CR 125. I would sit on it in the basement learning shift patterns. This came easy for me because just a few months earlier, I had a dear uncle teach me how to drive a Toyota with a manual transmission. Not too much later, I was sneaking the CR125 out onto the street.
I eventually became friendly with some people who did trail riding at the Meadowlands landfill and invited myself. I started on I YZ80 and gradually up to a CR250.

Unfortunately, I was on my own at a tender age and was forced into taking on a lot of responsibility and not much room for fun. I had to find my place in the world. I don’t want to bore you so……

Jumping ahead, approx 6 years ago, I met Pete. Pete had a CBR 600 F2 and a Suzuki Bandit. Pete and I work at the same dealership. One day he rode to work. We were chatting and he asked if I knew how to ride. I told him of my earlier days. He handed me the keys and said,” here. Go. “ I instantly became so excited. Pete and I started dating and eventually got married and I became addicted to riding and watching AMA, MotoGp and World Superbike races. I took the MSF course and every bit of free time I had, I was on the bike, becoming better and more confident.

My friends went to Pocono for a track day and took the Lombardi School course. They came back from that day somehow different. I liked what I saw. I wanted it too.

In 2004 I had my first track day with the Robert Lombardi School. I didn’t know what to expect and I was very nervous. The instructors were so knowledgeable, kind, patient and perceptive. By the 3rd session I knew I wanted more, more, and more! I also knew I wanted to be around these people. Positive, helpful, and solid people. I instantly bonded with Rob Lombardi and became friends with him. I followed his career and kept in touch. I also adored Alex and Todd from day 1.

Unfortunately, with my crazy hours at work, I could not be aggressive with my track days and because of my job, I lost a whole season. I am now learning to put myself first and will not allow my work to dictate my life.

This season I have dedicated myself to be the best person I could be. Mentally, spiritually, and physically.

I am now traveling to different tracks, I have taken motorcycling vacations, and I am expanding.

I will be great at this!

I have a personal trainer and I do Bodyflow. (Copy write Les Mills… which incorporates Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga. I will be writing about this form of exercise for the PMP blog. It’s great for a solid core, balance, strength, and a clear and healthy mind. It balances blood sugar, cholesterol and helps you sleep better.

Whether at the track or just enjoying each other’s company during a meal or a couple of cocktails, the friends I have made from this sport are the best friends I have ever had in my life. I will never jeopardize these friendships. They have helped my riding skills. But more importantly, they are helping me to shape the real person I am. They have helped me grow as a person. Instead of sympathy, empathy or pity, they offer love guidance and solutions to whatever plagues me.

Rob, Alex 555, Todd…….Thank you for all your support, encouragement, guidance and love. I am eternally grateful to you guys: Mike, Naim, Frankie, Uncle Steve, Antonio, Pete, Maurizio, Diana, and a very gracious Bill Jones. Thank you for being so loving and generous. I couldn’t ask for better friends. Diana.. stop work enough to breathe and get on the bike! You’re the best girl!
The list continues. Almos, Mario, Alex, Alex, Dave……I can’t wait to get to know you guys. Thank you in advance.

All good things
Krys aka Gearheadgirl

Friday, August 31, 2007

MotoGp Poll: Gp Cinzano di S. Marino e Riviera di Rimini

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Melandri was the fastest under the rain in the first day of practice in the new Misano circuit. I have been there once, many years ago when Randy Mamola used to race in 500cc for Cagiva, the Castiglioni brothers' creature. The race was stopped for rain conditions and with some discussion among riders I recall that it was won by Frank Chili (not every body raced afterwards). Also about Mamola I believe that year the American rider received a Ferrari Testarossa as present for winning a race with the Italian bike.

Rossi was second, with Stoner separated by the doctor only by a few tens of second. I believe for the first time in the season we find Capirossi right behind Casey (it must be a question of pride for racing at home)and then Edwards and Hayden. Curiously the rain specialist are not leading the time sheet, and as of now I have not clue why. Anyhow for the first time, following the new rules, the race will be held clock wise so the old circuit, that was recently up-graded, to host MotoGp it's really a totally new track for everybody. Who is going win the very special derby among the Italian DUCATI with Stoner, and the local riders Rossi, Capirossi and Melandri? No that some foreign guys like Pedrosa, Hayden or Hopkins are not hoping to ruin the whole Italian party, but somehow I believe that it's going to be "cosa nostra". As usual with the PMP poll we try to pick the second place so, as Italian, I will be happy with Stoner behind a revived Rossi

Picture source

Thursday, August 30, 2007

PMP Event: VIR August 25-26-27

Last weekend we were in VIR for a three-day event: South Course Saturday and Sunday, and the beautiful North Course on Monday.

NESBA was the organizer, and as usual this big club put together an impeccable service for the 100-150 riders attending each day event.
Saturday we experienced temperatures above 100F. The heat was brutal: I was working as CR with the club so I must have ridden 7 beginner and 5 advance seesions drinking at least one half liter bottle during each brake and I think that still I went to the bathroom only once, maximum twice all day. I cannot wait for the announced Dainese leather suit with the cooling system: in a day like Saturday I would have spent even 3K for such a luxury. By the way, as reported by MotoinSight next Sunday in Misano we will see some Dainese prototypes with the airbag system.
Going back to VIR, regardless of the heat, we had a blast, laughing and joking the whole trip. Naim and Frank, as usual, entertained the rest of us (Antonio, Steven, Almos, Rosa and myself) with their endless comical situations like those in the videos.

In the race track there was not too much to laugh about with the local riders flying in a full fledged open race-practice atmosphere.Until the new track, Thunderbolt in South NJ, is ready we will have to leave with only two present options, Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania or Summit Point Main in West Virginia, that I personally consider too dangerous. In these conditions it’s very difficult to be able to compete head to head with the riders from South who normally practice in racetrack as VIR or Barber.
Anyhow, we are not racing as of now, so the main goal it is always to have fun and you can bet that … we do have fun.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

For the series ... that's how we instruct.

In almost ten years of instructing or couching in road racing clubs, it's normal to receive positive feedbacks from students or riders, especially since the explosion of web sites forums. The following one was posted this morning on the NESBA bulletin board and I believe that the author wrote it with passion ... the same pure passion that we, in the Lombardi School, have always used in helping people to improve their riding skills and in general their track experience.

"How I Became a better rider, Thanks Alex!"

Author: Littlefish
I attended my first track day ever at VIR on August 25, and it was even MORE fun than I had expected. While I did expect to enjoy it, I did not expect to learn so much about riding my bike. I rode a couple of sessions and then spoke with a control rider (Mike I think) briefly about trying to go faster, which helped. I rode another session and I was going slightly faster each time.
Then the miracle happened.
Towards the end of my first session after lunch I had a Control Rider (who I found out later was named Alex) signaled me to follow him. I followed him through five or so laps. He patiently waited for me to catch back up when I made mistakes. I was not only able to see his line, but I was able to get a solid idea of how late I could wait to brake and how fast I could go into the corner. The first time through Oak Tree, I started to brake at the same spot I had been, when I realized he wasn’t slowing down….I got off the brakes. I was amazed to figure out how fast you could enter the corner, and then lightly brake in the first section. I didn’t get it right, but “I GOT IT”. For the first time I was able to SEE how the two separate turns were best taken as one continuous turn. It wasn’t just Oak Tree; I followed him through better lines on every section of track. Just that information made riding the corners much easier to negotiate at speed.
I was also able to watch his riding position and his head position. Alex’s riding position was vastly different from mine, but I wasn’t able to figure out how it was different. Every time I noticed his head position, I realized he was looking much further ahead that I was (when he wasn’t looking back to see how I was doing). I started trying to look as far up the track and through the corners as he was. I was amazed at how much things started to slow down. I was riding as fast as or faster than before, but everything seemed to come at me slower, and I had more time to plan and execute my turns. Before I had been reacting to the corners, now I was riding the corners. After the session I spoke with Alex briefly, he gave me some advice and said he would follow me next time so he could observe my position and the way I ride.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to work with Alex the next couple sessions because he was helping other riders, and I could hardly begrudge someone else getting the same expert tutelage I had gotten. It was probably just due to good planning on his part, because in the next couple of sessions I worked on riding the lines, braking and looking ahead that I had learned from him. No one was behind me and I didn’t feel pressured to impress or do things right. I was amazed at how much more controlled I felt and I assume I was going faster because instead of getting passed into and out of every corner, I was almost never getting passed. I also put my knee to the pavement for the first time. The feel freaked me out a little, but as I’m sure you all know, it exited the hell out of me at the same time.
Luckily, on the final session of the day, Alex pulled up to me just before the start and told me to fall in behind him. The first several laps I followed Alex again. More comfortable with taking the corners at speed, I was able to pay better attention to when he was picking up the throttle, his position, and the exact line he was using. Following Alex was so much easier than riding on my own. I didn’t have to worry about when to brake, how fast to enter a corner or where the line was. On just the second lap of the session I dragged my knee through a couple corners. I didn’t panic and stand the bike up like the first time; I was too intent on what I was doing. The next couple of laps it just became another thing that happened when I managed to stay on Alex’s line and not slow down more than I should at the entrance. Like all good things, the time to follow came to an end.
Alex pulled to the right and signaled me past. I tried to continue to ride the same, but with the added responsibility of thinking for myself, my riding suffered a little, mainly on the corner entrance. It seemed that if I got the corner entrance right, the corner flowed nicely. I rode several laps with Alex behind me. About half way through the session I made a big mistake and ran off the track exiting Oak Tree. I stood it up and rolled through the grass, more than a little embarrassed but happy to still be rubber side down. Alex signaled me into the pit. He told me that my riding position wasn’t right and it was causing me to fight the bike. He started to explain what he meant, but I guess it was obvious I was confused. He told me to follow him and brought me to his pit.
He patiently explained and demonstrated the proper position. Then he showed me my position. I had to admit that he had it right, and I had to admit it was ugly. I knew that my position was bad, but I have become comfortable with it. I had looked at my pictures in the Pics Of You trailer, and I remarked to my friend that I wasn’t going to buy the pictures because I looked so bad. With my poor position established, Alex told me to climb aboard his bike (which was on a stand now). He had showed me how to lock me knee in, bend my elbows, lean parallel with the bike and get my body AND my head down, but when I got on his bike I immediately took up my bad position without thinking. Then he put me into the correct position as he explained why I needed to be in that position. It made perfect sense and it FELT RIGHT. He also pointed out that I was tall (6’3”) and that the bike was built for someone significantly shorter that me. He explained how I could compensate for this and still use the bike to lock myself in with my lower body instead of holding myself in position with my upper body. This let me lower my upper body into a good position, and allowed me to use my arms to steer. I watch great riders on T.V. all summer (I have for years) but I have never been able to emulate their positions. It wasn’t until Alex forced me into the correct position that I finally got it. By the time Alex finished getting me into the right position, the session was over, and I wasn’t able to practice using it.
I came to the track expecting it to be fun and expecting that I would figure out how to get faster. After the first session I was certainly having fun, but I realized that I had no idea what I was doing. At the beginning they announced that the Control Riders would regulate the traffic, keep it safe and help out the riders. It amazed me that someone would actually take the time to really teach me how to ride, but that’s what happened. My short time working with Alex has been more valuable than all my years of riding and watching Speed T.V. When I returned to my pit and told my buddy that about my last session, he said that it was too bad that I missed half of the track time for that session. I explained to him that I would have given up all the track time I had that day in exchange for Alex’s help.
There are just two things left to say. Thank you NESBA, and THANK YOU ALEX.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grand Prix Ceske Republiky: Stoner crashes his competitors

The Gp Cinzano di San Marino is only a couple of days away and the luckily all the expectations for the race in Misano are erasing the questionable taste left by the race in Brno. The trinomial Ducati-Stoner-Bridgestone has once again ruled against all the limits imposed by conditions and reasonable outlooks. As Jim has pointed out in his blog, next year it would be auspicious to have only one brand of tire to bring guarantee a “standard” field where are riders and motorbikes to win and not tire manufacture.
I watched the race in the middle of last week, and then I left NYC for a 3 day event in VIR, so, at this point I am not avoid to summarize the actual race because it would taste like re-heated leftovers. Anyhow, I still would like to post a couple of things that, somehow, are still vivid in my memory:

- I am still debating what it’s going on with hats among racers: Hopper and Hayden use these giant baseball type hats that look more like pots than a fashionable item. Unfortunately here in NYC that kind of hats are common among young kids brainwashed by rap music. In the future, the last think I would like to see it is MotoGp bikes with chromed rims used by rappers in their own videos.
- Anthony West had the umbrella girl next to him whose silhouette was so good to win the attention of the cameraman.
- Is Kawasaki paying Hopkins enough to renounce to his Suzuki, the best MotoGp machine after Ducati? Also, why Hopkins was using tighter lines than Stoner? His riding style or something Suzuki related? I am going to pay attention in Misano, to see if it was only my own impression or not.
- I have read that Ben Spies could have a shot in getting a MotoGp bike and if that’s the case I cannot wait to see his “gorilla” style on the new miniature 800cc bikes. Until then, let’s enjoy Elias’s unique if not questionable body position: he keeps his head against the tank but flipped on the opposite side of the turn. Anyhow, his performance was admirable after only 8 weeks from the terrifying accident in Assen.
- Last consideration, or better speculation, it is that I had the impression that initially Capirossi let Rossi to overtake him: for what reason? To let him to bridge the gap or because he didn’t want to steel precious point from his ex-friend? Maybe it’s crazy, but I think that he wanted to give Vale a chance to fight for the podium, and only when he realized that this was not a Rossi-Michelin day (as proved by Vermuellen) he re-took the position that belonged to him. Regardless, Capirossi is going to Suzuki and probably prefers to see Rossi on the podium than Pedrosa or Hayden. In these days both Rossi and Capirossi, once very good friends, are having problems with the government for taxes due and not paid in the last few years. Rossi, in particular, has had a very difficult summer, at professional and at personal level, with his life screened by the European media almost on a daily basis, to the point that two weeks ago he sent a video to two Italian TV with his own version of the facts and his obvious intent to eliminate rumors and lies on his person.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My 2001 GSX-R 600cc for sale

My beloved 2001 GSX-R 6000 is for sale and it comes with:

Suzuki 750cc type up-side down forks re-sprung and re-valved by the Thermos-Man
Suzuki 750cc type swing-arm
Rear shock Penske with high & low speed compression adjuster
Brembo rotors
Brembo Master cylinder
Steel braided brake lines
Power Commander
Quick shifter
Slipper clutch
Scott steering damper
Woodcraft rear set
Woodcraft clip-ons
Engine covers
520 conversion, gold DID chain
Akrapovic exhaust system
Quick release tank cap
Double bubble windscreen
Completely safety wired
Pirelli Supercorsa tires good for another full day.

Extras: complete set of well maintained painted plastics with a brand new tank and a few spare parts ..

If interested, please email me at

Friday, August 17, 2007

MotoGp Poll: Grand Prix Ceske Republiky

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Second place to Capirossi: I watched an interview on the Italian news after the FP1 and he seemed very confident and relaxed. At this point of the season and with the new contract with Suzuki signed, he can just go and see what happens. He knows and we know that given the right conditions he is a tremendous fighter. On the front tires, I imagine another difficult weekend for Michelin and his riders, lead as usual by Valentino Rossi. Thumbs up to Guintoli: in the tire war between Bridgestone and Michelin he was able to lock a great time on qualifying tires. Capirossi was my first choice but he is 8th in the championship and we need to choose a name among the first 7 riders so my pick is another Bridgestone man ...Hopkins! Or maybe Stoner behind Vale ... (in that case Monday night at 8:00, when we will meet at Matchless we will have another round of beers while watching again the race)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

That's how we ... ride

In the last few years I have been reading of more and more professional riders that have made of bicycling their favorite form of training . Indeed, Robert Lombardi and I met because of our love for bicycles. Back in 1996 Robert was already a NJ mountain bike champion and a mutual friend of ours told him that there was a new “ginny” in the neighbor who used to road-race bicycle professionally in Italy. So one day I was in front his shop making eights on my Italian Scapin and Rob while looking at me thought “that guy is fat, but his legs …. and the way he keeps the balance on the pedals ….he must be the famous ginny!!!”: Robert approached me and here we are …
Today we race at local level (yes, recently he has convinced me to compete again after 23 years) and we consider bicycling as the best tool to improve our physical condition. There is not other sport that you could practice for hours with such precise control of the aerobic/anaerobic stages. Yes, running is easy, cheap, and quick but heavy onyour feet, ankles, knees and back and it doesn’t really matter how slow you go because it still causes physical stress. A long list of riders has chosen bicycling to control weight, strength their legs and improve their stamina, all critical variables in racing motorcycles at professional level. I definitely recall Bayliss, Stoner, Melandri, Capirossi, Hopkins, Biaggi, the Haydens, Mladin, Duhamel as passionate riders hitting the road 3 to 5 times a week as part of their training program.
Personally I integrate bicycling with rowing in order to maintain a healthy muscle balance between legs and torso. A few years ago I had a surgery to fix a dislocated shoulder and our “Dr. Costa”, Dr. Hausman told me that several weighlifters end up with arthritis on their shoulders because of the excessive stress caused by that type of exercise.
Anyhow, the road bicycle fever has been spreading among the PMP crew and recently Antonio, Naim and Mike have committed to start riding with us: someone to loose a few extra pounds, others to stop smoking. Either way, once they start enjoying the results of their training they will joint the increasing group of motorcycle racers in love with the way we …. ride.

Picture source:,,

A special thank to: Tichetti, BVF Team, Bay Ridge Bicycle,