So Ben sits down, Kevin Duke is next to me and Waheed is across. Banter begins and all we do is talk bikes, racing, traveling and more bikes. Mr. Spies was super cool. He was suffering from allergies and not feeling very well, but expended the last amount of energy he had talking to all of us. We talked a little about long rides (cycling, he's a rabid cyclist) and he entertained the table with some pretty f'in funny stories of him and Schwantz and bloody hotel rooms (literal, not figurative). And he talked about some of the downsides of being a professional motorcycle racer...like the fact that you spend months out of the year on planes and in airports. You definitely could tell that he was a little shy, not exactly comfortable with attention and very modest. Anyone who didn't know who he was would think he was just a normal guy from Texas.
Absolutely riveting to see someone with superhuman abilities who doesn't think everyone around him is a demi-human. The Ben Spies Method, in action. Great guy and I wish him much luck in 2013 and beyond.
Once dinner was over I figured all the journalists would head to strip clubs and bars, but everyone piled into the elevators and up to our rooms we went. What a bunch of professionals! Alarming and refreshing. These guys take their jobs seriously.
I walk into the lobby and see this:
I get restless and need to roam. Yes, I know what's coming in the AM, but I can't sleep so I wander around Austin, which I've now spent more time in than any other city outside of places of residency. Lots of good memories.
And a little sorrow, perhaps:
At night cities stop. SF stops. NY stops. Paris stops. So of course Austin does, too. Maybe not on Friday and Saturday, but on Mon, Tues, Wed, Sun, denizens and party-goers, coeds, bus drivers, business people and anyone else who feels the sting of responsibility, retreat. I wandered alone in the cold and saw a total of three people. Surreal, tantalizing. At night, in solitude, the world reveals so much more than it does in the presence of others.
The morning felt like Christmas in a shuttle filled with a bunch of 9 year olds heading to the North Pole.
If there was a Lexus "December to Remember" or a "De Beers" ad that aspired to answer the question, "how can I show how much I appreciate, love and appreciate (yes, I said it twice) my man, the love of my life?," this is what it would look like, minus the glare on the perspiration-coated bus window:
Unfortunately there's less women in the world who ask that question than there are 1199 Rs in existence. The only way to not feel slighted for all your unrewarded good deeds is to buy one for yourself.