MotoGP '09 - The Awesoming

I am putting this together piece by piece, much the same way my memory is returning to me. Bear with me, Dear Reader, for this may end up with the continuity of Pulp Fiction.

Through the week leading up to D Day there had been signs of the impending event.
VicRoads had replaced their usual Carnage On The Roads billboards with motorcycle related signage, including the rather spectacular "Motorcycle Gloves Can Save Your Fingers".
More and more bikes, heavy with gear, were seen heading South.

Then, suddenly, it was Friday. I got home from work and promptly set to finishing all the little jobs that need finishing before I could set off.
Thommo was waiting for me at Sandy's place as I first unwound from work and then set to rewinding for the weekend.
I figured a relaxed approach would be the way to enter into this and music would help.
I turned the volume up to rampage and loaded up Motorhead.
So with the dulcet tones of Lemmy & Co hammering through the skull I set to getting away.

A message from Sandy told me that Thommo couldn't wait and had buggered off.
I did the same thing and promptly rode straight into a nasty little squall that had me and the bike doing Torvill & Dean impressions.
Pah, says I, I've had worse.
It soon cleared up and the road dried out.
I made short work of home to the Shell at Lang Lang where I had to see to the tanks. Fill the bike's and empty mine.

From there it was a series of short squirts with an eye on the favourite parking spots of Plod.
Just an observation here, Wire Rope Barriers have a plus. Plod can't hide his car in the bushes where the WRBs are.

The leap frogging came more often after Grantville where the road goes to single lane and the roadworks have 60 signs just for the cars.

Motorhead was still on loop in my head, the 9 was screaming its hardly baffled fury to the cars we blitzed and all was good in my little world.
Until that Commodore.
It was plain white with extra aerials and a mesh shade in the back window.
I propped in behind him until I could tell if they were the tops of the headrests or boxes with little red & blue lights.

I sat behind him from just South of the Giant Worm until we were on the Island, trying to keep the bike quiet and cursing him all the way.
As he turned off for Rhyll I got a clear view of him that revealed he wasn't a cop.
I cursed him lots more.

I rolled into Cowes and spotted Mr Sparkle, with Resn8 on board, parked on the side of the road.
I had a quick chat with Res about his battle plans while we watched the constant stream of bikes heading into town. This lead to one of my favourite quotes of the weekend;
Having watched a handful of hardcore pirates burble by on V Stars and Shadows, Res was inspired to utter "looks like chicken, squawks like chicken but tastes like rabbit".

The U-Boat surfaced and Whale and I decided to head for Casa del Awesome while Res set to finding his motel.

The first few tents and bikes were already at Mick's when we pulled in. I had promised Sandy that I would have the tents up by the time she got there so, obviously, I opened a can and promptly lost track of time.

She arrived a bit later with my boys in tow and the tents were pitched. Small points for me though as I did at least have the basis for our tent set out and half up.
Others started to arrive and in no time at all Mick & Mel's yard looked normal again.

Tents & Bikes: The Complete Yard

The Concrete Pad Of Power

A few others started to wander in and the sound of arriving bikes grew to a regular tempo.

Quoll was happy and prepared

Whale and Cricky were eager to get into it

Jamie stayed true to his brand of motorcycle

Thommo was strangely excited by the whole thing

Once everything had settled, Sandy & I took the boys into Cowes for a bit of merchandising and a bite to eat.
Sandy caught up with Greg and set off for fish & chips, I took the boys over to the souvenir traps.
Sweet Bejeebus, they know how to up the prices for the fans. We saw beanies for $70, team shirts for $210.
We wandered back to the cafe and had a nice little feed with Greg & Sandy before heading back.

By the time we got there the crowd had grown considerably and the party, like Mick, was in full swing.
The rest of the Southerners and a fair smattering of the Northern Horde had gathered.

Shirt By Ramjet, Moobs By iMick

Scrambles, Ktulu, Ross, Baron To The Left.
Jamie & Bly Try To Convert Gromit

Pirate Discusses The Finer Things With Scrambles

Cricky Turns On "The Smooth"

A Rare Photo Of Wayne Not In A Tree

So it came time to crack things along a bit. Time for The Sound Off.
This year meant a change of format due to the return of The Neighbours. This meant mufflers on. Sadly.

It also meant a trophy. I had replaced the rear disc on the ZX9 earlier in the year and had wondered what I could do with the old one. Ideas formed quickly around a trophy of some sort for the GP.

I spoke to a mate, Pete, a wizard with wood, about turning up something appropriate. Designs were cobbled together and promptly thrown out until we settled on this;

 Rear Brake Actually Serves A Purpose

Mick started proceedings with a quick twist of the Aprilia. Some people jumped as though they hadn't expected a large, free-flowing twin to be started up just behind them.
I backed the Kwaka up to the gap in the shed door and lit 'er up. The level of noise was only matched by the level of blue smoke. I really must get those carbies sorted soon.

This inspired a couple of others to step up to the plate, including RZ and the Speed Triple and Res with Mr Sparkle.
This was going to be close, there is only a poofteenth of restriction in those mufflers..
I left it to crowd choice to pick the winner. The Triple got the nod over the Hayabusa, just.
I think that because a) it's black and b) it made flames may have influenced some voter's decision.
RZ was presented with the trophy and, somehow, Mick accidentally got in the photo.

There Is No Caption To Explain This

Saturday dawned at an early hour. I was up at 6ish and realised that was a stupid time to get up and crawled back into bed.
I was woken up much later by Sam telling me the bacon and eggs had all gone. This was also a stupid time to get up.

I couldn't help but notice how people find different ways to deal with the aftermath of a Turn 13 party.

Snowy Relaxed With The Paper...

...Whilst Thommo Dealt With The 21st Century

I found myself propped in front of the telly inside watching a bit of the qualifying and waiting to go to the hall to help the setup. Others found me propped and watching the inside of my eyelids.

Mick surprised us once again with something special he had arranged just for us.

The Roulettes on show..

.. over Turn 13

Jonesy: Impressed

A Mayoral Farewell

Unfortunately, Jess, my oldest, had to work that evening, so I piled him in the car and made the run back towards home. I had contemplated taking him up on the bike but the bucket of rain and the amassed police at the bridge checking every bike confirmed my decision.

The traffic was heavy with bikes and cars towards the Island.
I hadn't actually calculated that into my timing and started to panic a bit but it all came together quite well.

Back at Turn 13, Sandy had the boys prepped and was ready to go herself. She looked absolutely stunning and made me very proud.
I threw the suit on, checked the look and we left.

The arrival at the hall was nothing short of breathtaking.
Breaking from the treeline we saw a mass of black suited bodies on the verandah and in the surrounding area.
The boys and I had hoped for a few chuckles from our attire. We had aimed for a "Cognac at The Raffles after the tiger hunt" look. Judging from the cheers and laughter as we alighted we had come close to the mark. Or Undertakers, as was mentioned.

Pip, Pip, Eh What?

I Gots Me A Live One This Time

The crowd started to grow quickly from there on in. The marvellous Buckets and his delightful wife, Jude, joined us with an entourage of eloquently dressed (read part Versace, part Joe Rocket) guests.

Lord & Lady Colligan. 1st Earl of Bonang

Mick had made sure that his off-site mates had places too. These blokes are of the same ilk as Mick, Jonesy & Cricky. Instant mates without a judgmental bone in their bodies.

Pumpy & Benno

Mick Gets A Moment Of Peace

The night wore on, as nights sometimes do, and new and old faces swam into view. As usual, I regret not being able to cover more ground and meet/catch up with more people.

Janice, just Some Jerk y'know?, seemed to bounce up everywhere, defying even Wayne's ninja powers.

SJ Shares The Love.. Or Rates Wayne's Chances.


Cowboy.. What a bloody champion. Steps in to rescue Ems after she had been left stranded by so-called friends.
Ems, who stood by her claim of short skirt and heels, looked a treat even after having to walk most of the way to the hall thanks to those friends again.

The Baron had me laughing like a loon every time we spoke.

Baron, Scott & Stone

Stoney, Lisa and their top kids. Great to see all of you again.
From the always smiling Whale to the ever sublime Bly and all people in between.
Pete Hermans, Frog, Cletus, Owen, Stubbsy and a few more from the Island itself.
So many people to say G'day to and so little time to actually do it.

There was never a hint of trouble. Mick had made sure everyone knew who the replacement Head Of Security was and that he took his job seriously.

You Don't Want Trouble Now, Do Ya?

Highlights you say? Well. sifting through the fog that I use for memory these days, I would have to say seeing little Xavier for the first time, with Jonesy & Sab was very high on the list. What a champion kid. He took the whole thing in without a flinch.

Waddya Mean The Shirts Don't Come In XXXXS?

Watching The Earl Of Bonang deal with a personal dilemma;
Beer? Rum? Beer? Rum? Both..

Watching the same bloke later in the evening become disillusioned with the ineffectiveness of plastic knives as proper stabbing weapons. Still, you have to give a bloke points for trying.

There were, of course, the ladies.
 Sandy & Dettie

If you were in the right position, at the right time, you could see the rising of the Aurora Zingiberis
 Red Dawn?

 Then there is Uncle. A man with the elan and finesse of a cavalry dress sabre and the morals of a sharpened toothbrush handle.

What? I Am Being Happy

I'd like to throw in a quick word about my boys.
They had been so excited about this since I had first told them of the plan.
We had a ball hunting through the second hand shops finding suitable jackets for the evening. Then to the costume hire shop for top hats and monocles.
Alterations were made and photos had to be taken.
This may have lead to a little sillliness..

I got the call from Jesse to say he had finished work so we all piled into the car to go and get him.
By the time we got back to the Island we decided just to head for home and get a bit of sleep.

For tomorrow was Race Day...

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