Monday, June 23, 2014

Motorcycles 'N Music Make Austin's MotoGP weekend a Gasser...

Ah, the joys 'O being visually challenged, a slow typer and too busy running around having fun! As I've just not been able to  uncork this 'lil gem from the cellars of Nofendersville, alas better late than never, eh?

What a  GURR-REAT!!! Weekend your humble No Fenders scribe had recently in Austin, Texas - which I learned on my connecting flight from Salt Lake city that apparently many Texan's' are jealous of Austin's reputation, as I couldn't figure out what A-L-L of the Guffawing over the various references to "WIERD!" Were all about? As the final joke I heard cracked upon the Aeroplane was, I've got one better: "Pflugerville, between a rock and weird!"

As apparently Austin's referred to being weird; Huh? Being my only destination city in Texas I've ever visited, I rather enjoy the city, which makes me wonder about the rest of Texas? Not to mention that Austin is the Capital no less...

Arriving on nearly Wednesday morning, (11:45PM local time) naturally when Claudio took me for a nearly three hour Walkabout, later in the day I-T was HOT! At least for this Western Warshintonian' Boy; Hya! As the weather was in the high-80's (Fahrenheit) up 'til Raceday, which is about 30deg-f more than Seattle was; but I digress...

Thursday morning we decided to ski-dattle off to Geo. Phillips most favourite named track in 'TexArse; Circuit Of The Americas, nee COTA to procure our MotoGP tickets, to where we not only acquired two 3-Day General Admission passes, but tickets to a band who a Texan warmly called Arcadia Fire; Hooah!

As we began our weekend in style by attending Arcade Fire performing at COTA's 360 Amphitheatre Thursday evening, which I believe seat's 25,000 spectators outdoors near the COTA tower, as i could even see the multi-coloured red & blue lights running up the tower's base - before looking skywards to see the moon as we waited for the main act to begin.

Even more surprisingly was being seated in two overstuffed "rocking-chairs" in our very own cordened off ADA seating area! Our seats being on the left hand side of the stage's hillside bluff, as Arcade Fire is simply an AWESOME group who were currently promoting their latest album Reflector.

VIDEO: Reflector

And I know it's probably cliché, but! I found the group to be overly progressive. First announcing that $1 of every ticket was being donated to the Haitian relief fund rebuilding the Hospital where all of the Nurses were killed during the earthquake! Along with telling Austin to keep it Weird!

Then later on, the lead singer told us what the song We Exist is about, as in the problems of being Gay in this world to which he emphatically said is all HORSESHIT!

VIDEO: We Exist

As it was great fun having the band open the show with two larger-than-life puppets of Barac O'Bama and Governor Rick "good Hair" Perry on stage making fun of themselves, with another puppet "O Pope Francis rocking out at the end of the show.

With the only disappointment towards this band being the fact that they're coming to the faraway nether regions of Washington, playing at The Gorge, in George, WA for nearly FOUR TIMES the ticket price we paid to see 'em in AUSTIN; SHEISA!

2013 picture of Arcade Fire Band Mates. (Image source:
As our morning wake-up came way too FREAKIN' early! As it was off to COTA for Friday's MotoGP practice sessions, where I learned a few tidbits, being totally unaware that Marc Marquez has a younger brother named Alex currently contesting the Moto-3 category. Along with the sport's only female rider Ana Carrasco, also hailing from Spain a la the Marquez brothers - as the 17yr old female teenager is the first woman to score points in Moto-3 and races on a pink & white Scooter' in pink & white leathers 'N helmet!

Or the fact that American Josh Herrin is contesting the entire Moto-2 championship this season - being totally unaware that he's the reigning AMA Superbike champion...

As 1993 500cc world champion and motorcycle ambassador for COTA gave a pretty insightful speech Sunday on the current state of American Up & Comer riders lack of progression. Especially since thee "Texas Tornado," aka Colin Edwards just announced his retirement at the end of this season, (having celebrated his 40th birthday this February) while surely "the Kentucky Kid" (Nicky Hayden) is in the waning year's of his B-I-G BOYZ' Scooter career at the not so youthful age of 32. (turning 33 on July 30th) As we'll have lost two-thirds of our top Yank' riders in just two seasons, after my Boy ELBOZ' (Ben Speis) surprising retirement last year and hence, who will there be for Nicky to hand the baton off to in the future?

As Schwanz correctly pointed out how American riders will never be able to catch up performance-wise to the Europeans by not competing Internationally as early as possible, noting how they'd never catch-up by starting at 20 vs. European riders making their  debuts at 16, as our riders need to learn what it's like living out of a suitcase for nine months of the year...

We tried avoiding the hurricane wind-like conditions on Friday, as there's simply NO trees at COTA and the only place we found to duck the buffeting wind was by utilizing an empty Grandstand's perimeter, keeping my hat from blocking my limited view, as we moved all over the grounds, watching those "Madmen" from several vantage points - having even gotten chased out of the "High Rent District" after watching the Scooters' close-up for about 5mins during the weekend's first practice before some very 'Officious blue shirted woman said Yuhs CAN'T be in here, Y'all need to leave the way you came in!

NOT to mention the most ridiculous BULLSHIT of the entire weekend when a short little man SCREAMED at me that I couldn't take my bottle of water out  of the racetrack, zealously guarding his 55-gallon trashcan with some policemen nearby; SHEISA! As I still cannot comprehend what's the issue of taking water home with you? And that's before we even get into the Environmental aspects, a la Texas currently having a drought, etc; Oh Never Mind!