Saturday, September 11, 2010

VIR Motorcycle Races

The weekend of August 14 I traveled to Alton, VA for the AMA Superbike races at Virginia International Raceway. I left home Saturday morning and got to the track around 1:00. Throughout Saturday and Sunday I watched qualifying action and 5 races, interspersed with visiting the vendor booths and the paddock. Both evenings I headed down to Raleigh, where I stayed with my friend Hanna. He used to live in Columbia, and we worked together at USC. We had a good time hanging out and catching up and eating Hanna's good cooking.

Nice custom paint job showcasing the desmodromic valve system unique to Ducatis.

Nice exhaust

One of the Michael Jordan's team's bikes

New this year is a Harley XR1200 race class; there were around 10 racers in that class. The bikes went surprisingly fast and with decent lean angle for Harleys, but they were a far cry from the other classes.

Bike belonging to one of 3 females racing this weekend.

I stumbled upon this covered bridge between the track and Hanna's house. It's relatively new and not historic, but cool nonetheless.

Another site found between the track and Hanna's. I love building murals.

Monday morning I departed Hanna's and headed to Raven Rock State Park, about an hour southwest of Raleigh. Its namesake is a 150-foot tall rock left behind from erosion of the softer rock around it. There are several trails in the park; I took the Raven Rock loop that goes to the top of the rock, and the "fish traps trail" spur that leads down to the Cape Feat River. It made for about a 2-hour, 3-mile hike.

Now atop the rock looking down at the river where I previously had been.

Steps take you down to the base of the rock; looking up at it is quite impressive.

From there I took back roads to the east side of Charlotte, where I enjoyed a very tasty barbecue dinner at Sonny's, followed by a bit of shopping at Concord Mills and Ikea - I scored some drapes for my living room and a cool print for my bedroom. Sufficiently pooped, I headed homeward, and what should have been a 2-hour drive turned into about 4 thanks to a collision between a tanker truck and a car on I-77 just south of Charlotte. The tanker exploded, resulting in all southbound lanes being blocked, and with it being rush hour, all diversions were clogged. It was a mess, but I safely got through it and arrived home around 11pm. A quick feeding of the cats and a bit of sleep, and I was back at work bright and early Tuesday morning. :-)


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