March 24, 2007Race with a Harley
I raced a Harley today and after some really hard riding I managed
to PASS the guy. I was riding on one of those really, really
twisting sections of mountain road with no straight sections to
speak of and where most of the bends have warning signs that
say "MAX SPEED 50 KPH".
I knew if I was going to pass one of those monsters with those
big-cubic-inch motors, it would have to be a place like this where
handling and rider skill are more important than horsepower alone.
I saw the guy up ahead as I exited one of the turns and knew I could
catch him, but it wouldn't be easy. I concentrated on my braking and
cornering. Three corners later, I was on his mudguard. Catching him
was one thing; passing him would prove to be another.
Two corners later, I pulled up next to him as we sailed down the
mountain. I think he was shocked to see me next to him, as I nearly
got by him before he could recover. Next corner, same thing. I'd
manage to pull up next to him as we started to enter the corners but
when we came out he'd get on the throttle and out-power me. His
horsepower was almost too much to overcome, but this only made me
more determined than ever.
My only hope was to out-brake him. I held off squeezing the lever
until the last instant. I kept my nerve while he lost his. In an
instant I was by him. Corner after corner, I could hear the roar of
his engine as he struggled to keep up. Three more miles to go before
the road straightens out and he would pass me for good.
But now I was in the lead and he would no longer hold me back. I
stretched out my lead and by the time we reached the bottom of the
canyon, he was more than a full corner behind. I could no longer see
him in my rear-view mirror.
Once the road did straighten out, it seemed like it took miles
before he passed me, but it was probably just a few hundred yards. I
was no match for that kind of horsepower, but it was done. In the
tightest section of road, where bravery and skill count for more
than horsepower and deep pockets, I had passed him. Though it was
not easy, I had won the race to the bottom of the mountain and I had
preserved the proud tradition of one of the best bits of Brit iron.
I will always remember that moment. I don't think I've ever pedaled
so hard in my life. And, some of the credit must go to Raleigh
cycles, as well. They really make a great bicycle...