November 14, 2005

Shots of Valencia Proper

The morning after I woke up early and went on a walkabout through Valencia. I left Felix sleeping on the bathroom floor (sorry Felix) but I needed to use it and I ended up rushing downstairs and using the hotel lobby's one. After using the bathroom I couldn't remember which room I was staying in and my keycard didn't work on any of the doors on the eleventh floor, so I had no choice but to set out walking. It sure was bright at 8.30 in the morning! This is an older section of town with some great restaurants in the rear part. I really like the colors.

This is the Tram Station in Valencia, where I would catch the train back to Barcelona five days later. A huge rainstorm hit on the second day of practice and the next week (almost) was filled with water and puddles. Not fun at all. Still, I captured this shot in the dry and I'm happy about that!

What would pictures of my travels be without bike pics?!? Here's the ER-6N everyone is comparing to the SV650. In person. . . .it's still not cool, haha. Got to admit, though, the headlight cluster is kind of neato.

During the race, my hotel was very expensive and needed to be booked almost a year in advance. After the race (most people went home on Sunday night!!) the hotel opened up and many of the teams stayed there. Here's a small group of Kawi people (about a third of them, actually) having some beers after work. They mostly spoke English so I was able to eavesdrop and then join in. Topic of the night? Should the best rider in the championship be forced to take the worst bike the following year? Complete order reversal. It would be a neat thought if only Hondas and Yamahas were running, haha.

Karlitos showed up the next day and we went looking for numbers for his race bike. He was slotted to run a regional in the Spanish Championship but that was eventually rained out. We went to some bike shops in Valencia looking for numbers but no one carried any! We ended up buying electrical tape at El Corte Ingles. Here are some of the bikes that I saw. A 1000 Kawi! Look out V-Strom! The Ugly is catching up to you!

Also found this neat Derbi 125 racer. It was fully street legal and was 4600 Euros. . . . that's $ 5750 US!!

Lastly, I found this sitting in a corner. I couldn't get a good angle on it so I had to go outside. In Person, it's a little bigger than I thought it should be, but then, I like skinny bikes.

We all had dinner at a Crepe joint. The kitchen was in a remodelled bus! Four Barfers are present:
Karlitos, Voo Voo, MilleRBoy, and Robo50! The other girl was a guest of Kat and Andre from Maui. Hawaii connection!

Naturally we had to go out and celebrate my final Barf Meeting for awhile. We went bar hopping, then clubbing. Here's Kat with two girls we found. Does the one on the right look familiar to anyone?

She was Rossi's umbrella girl from the race on Sunday. As with everything, the night came to an end and the following day I took the train back to BCN. It was a pleasant ride and I took this shot of the countryside. I really like the movement shown. Big thanks to everyone involved in my Valencia trip and thanks goes out to Karlitos for all the assistance and driving. We couldn't have made it without you!

I forgot to throw this pic up. It's from Monday, following the race. The changeover from team and sponsor happens quickly and already the teams were swapping paint and colors. Here's Sete's old crew preparing Elias' new ride. They've ripped the Movistar logos off the walls and have new clothing already. That's Pedro in the front. He's from BCN and a really nice guy. He spoke more English than the rest of the crew and we got along. I'm not sure if this is post-able (maybe I shouldn't have taken the shot, savvy?) but who knows.

It's difficult to see but they even had decals to place on the tires! All for the show, and for the media attention these bikes would be getting.

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