Did I mention I went to the Misano World SBK round? Because I did. For one day. I rode my friend’s trusty Aprilia Tuono down to San Marino, about a 3 hour ride on the highways (bleh) and actually it should have been shorter but yours truly here gets Lost when she turns her back to the door to the place she sleeps.
I rode around Firenze and Bologna to the East coast early Sunday morning and arrived to see the second Superbike race and the Supersport race. I didn’t ask for a pass, I figured I would be fine buying one. I have never bought a race ticket, I don’t think ever, so I was fine with buying a ticket. That is until the man at the window said it was EIGHTY EUROS for one day stadium seats. My god! Is a one day ticket always this expensive? Oh that’s right, we are in Italy, where everything is ridiculously expensive!
So I watched the races and you all know what happened – and anyway this isn’t about the racing and that isn’t why you are here.I will tell you that like in Spain, the Italians LOVE Spies!
One thing I like doing at the races is checking out the food and other crap they sell. Every country and even every track is totally different. I cannot say that San Marino had anything distinct, like say, the mountains of dried fruits, nuts, spicy fried fish and other food in Jerez, or the chicken wraps and Jagermeister at Laguna, donuts, hats and the worst coffee I have ever had in my life at Indy. Here they had a ton of ice cream (not gelato) and underwear.
Then I contacted my friend Olaf, who is the Arai racing services guy for SBK. He met me at the paddock entrance with a pass and we went in. I walked around while he worked and showed his assistant from Japan the ropes. Japan was super cool. Evidently in his country he begins work in the helmet factory at 6:30am and works until 5pm. 6:30am to begin work is obscene, so kudos to that guy. I also give him kudos for his fashion sense which was typically Tokyo (=crazy).
We went into Cattolica, a touristy seaside place right beside Rimini that had it’s charms. Olaf’s hotel was 70 years old or so, sported bunk beds and french doors that opened to a balcony that overlooked the main street that ran along the coast. The hotel across the way had the most pathetic looking mini golf course I have ever seen in my life. It was a tiny, weather beaten legoland looking thing with formerly red obstacles bleached pink from the sun and shredded looking fake grass, all held in maybe a 1/16 acre lot.
The street held some damn fine restaurants, and we ventured 50 yards up the way before the three of us sat down in a restaurant that smelled amazing. Olaf, the wussy conservative Netherlander, ordered steak and potatoes (how very Dutch of him). Japan had pasta, of course, because this was his first visit anywhere outside of his country so he was going to live a little. I ordered fish, seeing as we were at the SEASIDE and mate, I was glad I did. Best seafood I have had in Italy and that wasn’t because I hadn’t eaten all day. For as much traveling as Olaf does, he doesn’t even try with other languages. Between him and Japan, my Italian was practically advanced – and that is sad.
We stayed until around 11pm and could have gone to the bars and a SBK after party, but since I had a ~3 hour ride and had to work in the morning, so I booked it back North on that Tuono, doing 90-100 MPH the entire way, except through the tolls (SIDE NOTE: Tolls. They are ridiculously expensive. But the roads are nice and smooth!) The Tuono has no wind screen, so after 2 3/4 hours and getting lost for 10 minutes, I finally arrived home .
I could have stayed in the bunk bed and left really early in the morning, but then for sure I would have gotten extremely lost and probably would have spent hundreds in tolls trying to find my way to work. It’s too bad, really, because that bunk bed was kind of calling me.