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What you see below is my brain-addled, inter-continental world-wide attempt to arm-wrestle, out-fox, discover where sleeps fear.

Basement, U.S. eastern seaboard

Used to be I couldn’t bear to look at The Crash Pages in Road Racing World magazine.  Now I too, however, have flown through the air.  Dared young man on the flying trapeze.  Now, the fear.  Where does it live?  Where, like the seventeen-year cicada, where does it rest ’til the a-waking?

Continental U.S.
A guy wrote online,

“gotta wonder what the circumstances were that a helmeted man of (I’m assuming) reasonable health could injure himself badly enough to expire under those circumstances.”

Rubber Chicken, Pennsylvania

“It is possible to die from a fall even when wearing a helmet, and when going at pretty low speed, like 10-15 MPH… Motorcycle riding can kill you.  If you or your loved ones cannot accept that fact, don’t get on the bike.”

Over greasy eggs at The Summit Diner, Cutter said to me …

“wierd shit happens.”

Somalia

He refused to speculate on why the man had shot himself.  But he said he had used a small calibre .22 gun.

“He was in a lot of pain and dazed. He stumbled out into the road, when he was hit by a truck.”

Monza, Italy

Near the end of the first lap, Derek Warwick demolished his Lotus at the Parabolica, hitting the guard rail at an estimated 140 mph … Warwick, miraculously unhurt, ran back to the pits, jumped into the spare car …

“During the twelve years of my Formula One career I lost 17 colleagues … my little brother was killed in a race car at the age of 22”

The 1990 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on 9 September 1990 at Monza. Ayrton Senna, dead.

Ronda, Spain
Dona Ordonez sent the bullfighter’s son to a military academy in the United States.

“Asked what it was like the first time he fought a bull, Cayetano tells Simon,

“It was scary. I saw it so big”

“Jubilation was short lived … watching one of his men get gored … femoral artery was severed. He would live but he may not walk again.  Cayetano and the rest of his troupe had to move on. There was a fight the following night. This is the way matadors travel.”

“The brothers don’t like to fight together. They’re terrified when the other is in the ring; something awful can happen”

Antarctica

Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates when he walked from a tent into a blizzard, with the words

“I am just going outside and may be some time.”

The Crimea

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!

“Charge for the guns!” he said:

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

Basement, eastern seaboard, United States

There is no space on the pillion for pollyanna.  There is no divan in Shangri-La for those
1.    who softly-pedal the dangers to those who would love them
2.    don’t get mortgage insurance
3.    are averse to someone else wiping their ass, or
4.    are allergic to oxycontin

Yes, what Cutter said …

“wierd shit happens.”

Virginia International Raceway

Do you have an interest in confronting fear, loathing and panic for fun and profit?  Consult Mssrs Pridmore and Code — men enough to have that conversation.

Pick your religion, pick your poison. Body-Steering, Counter-Steering, b.s. or not.  Those two know that fear and panic are breathing, spitting things.  Ask any Infantryman what its like to get chased by a tank.  Ask Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

North Carolina

Since the wreck I’ve ridden.  I rode the Yamaha VStar 1100, the Yamaha R6 at a red-light and a buck-thirty and the Ninja EX500 in the racetrack paddock.

On that R6 in north cackalacki I scared myself, yet again.  That was on a mailbox farm-field drainage ditch lefthander way out front of the friends.

Summit Point Raceway, West Virginia

After that highside at Summit’s Shenandoah Circuit I went back there.

Yes, what Cutter said …

“wierd shit happens.”

Hyattsville, Maryland

Lucia, the sixteen-year old niece wants a tattoo on her foot.

“Uh, wait until your age starts with a three.  It’ll take that long.”

You, rider you, as with war stories, use your powers for good.  STFU about the WTFO.  We each find our pace and poisons.  Think twice before you show or

“tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory

Dulce et decorum est”

Pro Kawasaki mori

It’s brain scan time 

… Aug 23 for concussions suffered in ’08 and ’09.

The first I had calculated wrongly that my Texan skateboarding skills would impress my daughter snowboarding.

The second, daring young man on the flying …

Maybe it’s the drugs, but my memory seems truncated.  Remembering strings of numbers, computer commands, phone numbers, text strings.

Perhaps I can stay white-collar long enough to not resume the  cedar-chopper’s fence-line workday and trailer-park shit-beer.

Ronda, Spain

“Francisco says when the time comes, he wants to die in the ring”

Summit Point Raceway, West Virginia

What Cutter said to me last April:

“I cant wait to see you on the starting grid.”