Monday, December 31, 2007

Wind, Wind, Go Away

It's a beautiful day out today, but unfortunately the wind has been picking up. Wind and distance jumping aren't friends, so here's hoping it settles down in the coming hours.

I ran into Robbie and his fiancee, Amy, in our hotel this morning. Robbie is brimming with excitement and Amy is the picture of calm, at least on the outside. I bet today is going to be a long, long day for that couple.

Tonight's going to be great. Besides the big jump, Angels and Airwaves is playing, and one of the best DJs in the world, Mix Master Mike, will be working the crowd. Stoked!

Live from Las Vegas!

With this post I am officially out of retirement. That’s right, Julie Gives Good Interview is back. Well, not back to give good interviews, because I didn’t remember to bring a tape recorder, but back to write about our trip and actually use the journalism degree my parents paid for. Forgive me for any misspellings and/or run-on sentences - it is Las Vegas and I'm nursing a bit of a Red Bull and Grey Goose induced hangover.

Speaking of Red Bull, did you guys know that the only people allowed to wear anything with a Red Bull logo on it are their athletes? How cool is that?

The meet and greet yesterday was a cool experience, especially to see all the details that go into hosting such a large event. I made Bryan do all the real journalism - there was no way I was walking up that ramp to take a photo! It was scary enough just standing at the bottom. I am really looking forward to tonight though. I was so stoked to hear that Robbie made it 350 in practice.

After the meet and greet we were invited to to Bruzio's, a restaurant right here in the Rio, for a media dinner. If you ever stay here, eat there. The food was amazing and the drinks were smooth! We got to hang out and chat with Ryan Cropley from the Mulisha, Jordan from Red Bull and we also met an assistant editor from Maxim named Jesse. This "experiment" sure is getting some mainstream media coverage. And I'm here to watch it live!

After dinner we were invited to the VooDoo Lounge patio for a Red Bull party. When Red Bull does something, they really do it right! Bottle service with Grey Goose and Red Bull at a club overlooking the strip? I don't think it gets any better. Here are some photos from our night.

Happy New Year to everyone!

This is the view of the ramps from the VooDoo Lounge. I know you can't really see them, but they're there!

We were hanging out high above the Strip.

I wonder if Ryan Cropley will like this photo?

We'll see what Jesse from Maxim thinks of the show.

Bryan and Julie are reporting live from Las Vegas!

Mandatory crowd shot.

Jordan from Red Bull never stops working!

Chris Tedesco trades his camera for a Red Bull and vodka.


Maddo went 350, or very close to it, in practice tonight!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Eve With Robbie Maddison

Wow, it's been a long time since we've updated this Racer X travel blog! Now seems like as good a time as any. Production Manager Julie Kramer and I (Managing Editor Bryan Stealey) decided to jet out to Vegas with our spouses to watch Robbie Maddison attempt to break the distance record at the stroke of midnight tomorrow night. And by midnight, I mean East Coast time, as it'll be 9 pm out here. You don't want to miss "New Year, No Limits: New Year's Eve on ESPN," so if you'll be out getting your groove on tomorrow night and can't watch it live, be sure to set your Tivo. If you're at a bar or a party, tell 'em a dropping crystal ball's got nothing on this.

We just got in today and got the chance to check out a small bit of Robbie's dress rehearsal, which mainly consisted of Robbie doing little press junkets and climbing to the top of his custom-made ramp over and over for photo ops like this:

It looked kind of fun, so I gave it a try. Here's the view from the lip of the ramp:

Hard to believe Robbie's going to jump this, seeing as how it sort of freaked me out just to walk up it. Imagine hitting it at close to 100 mph on a CR500! You can probably tell that this "football field" isn't as wide as a real field, and that's because it's been specially constructed for this jump in the parking lot of the Rio All Suites Resort. The base of the landing ramp starts at about the far 45 yard line, but by the time Robbie lands on the down slope, he's hoping to nail 360 feet. That's 120 yards, which is a football field, from the back of one end zone to the back of the other.

Thing is, for him to get that much distance, he's pretty much going to need to break 100 mph, and Vegas is so cold right now that his mechanic is struggling to get that much power out of his Service Honda CR500. They're juicing the gas as much as they can, and tomorrow they're going to gear his bike down, so we'll just have to wait and see how much power they get out of it. Trigger Gumm currently holds the record at 277 feet, so Maddo could come up well short of his goal and still get his name in the Guinness Book of World Records. Again, that is. He already holds the top marks for a jump on a 125cc bike and for a jump with a trick.

I was just about to mention how much mainstream press this is garnering when I heard Robbie's name mentioned on ABC News on our hotel TV. He was on Good Morning America this morning. Here's a cool story on him on And whatever you do, don't miss this video. "Google News" him and you'll see just how much buzz this is generating. He's been working hard for years to establish himself as a top freestyle motocrosser, but he's getting more attention from this jump than from everything else he's ever done combined.

I can't tell you how much I hope everything goes well and he sets this record. This guy is smart, down-to-earth, and just extremely cool. He's also a hell of a jumper. I'm going to be crossing all of my fingers and toes for Maddo during his big moment.

That's a long enough blog post for now. I'll try to do at least a few posts during out trip. Comments are very welcome. Gotta go, now -- I don't want to miss this bit on ABC.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Morgantona SX

Friday night Davey invited us to his house to watch the Daytona SX on the Jumbotron. Good times were had by all. Most of us lost 20 bucks in the betting pool. Then we had a post-race victory celebration at Farber's dad's bar.

Good. We're on the right channel.
Rebecca (who took most of our money), John, Davey, Shannon, Vance (asleep under the blanky), "Billy", Bowyer, and Fleming.

Erin Bates still looks good, even while blurry.
Apparently this is the 450 start. Young Vance and I had lunchbox races before nighty-night time. I got 3rd in the Lights class.
Fubar, Fubro, and bartender joined in the post-race celebration.

That's it from Morgantona. Next: MorganVegas. Later.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Racer X Trivia

We haven't heard anything from the Racer X staff in FLA today. I'm calling out the Sunshine State staffers to a little office trivia. Guess who is gracing us with these brand new, patent-leather Adidas in the Morgantona offices today ...
... a hint ... with all the sunshine flowing through the windows, gleaming off the heels of these beauties, I'm forced to wear my sunglasses at my desk.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Morgantona Karaoka

Karaoke and motorcycles go hand-in-hand. At least in WV. This time of year we tend to lean more toward K than we do the switchbacks of the Appalachians. Daytona definitely doesn't have karaoke like this. Here are some snapshots from Gibbie's Pub in downtown Morgantona. Home of the 2006 High Point party (Write this down, this year's party will be on Friday, May 25. Stay tuned for more details. All are welcome.) The crowd was extra giddy last night since the WVU basketball team putteth the smacketh downeth on Providence. While the Daytonians are resting their clutch-hands, we're going big with extreme karaoke and extremer crane freestyle. Enjoy.

Before karaoke, we stopped off at Chic 'N Bones for Red Bull's presentation of the latest Nitro Circus flick.

Yes, "Skaggs" wears his skunk-hat EVERYWHERE.Bowyer points out the elephant in the room.Good news folks, the little 80-ton crane that could was back on all eights by mid-afternoon.

Morgantona Mayhem

I've had a few slips and slides, mostly on purpose, the past few days while on the roads here in Morgantown. But I can't say I had a ride anything like the man who was piloting this 80-ton crane, backwards on ice, over the embankment in front of the Racer X offices here in WV.

Now is a good time to plow the road ...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Madness in Florida

What a wild couple of days! First Tuesday was the opening round of the Can-Am GNNC series. All eyes were on David Knight and long time verteran and former GNCC champ Shane Watts stole the show. I’ve never seen someone so fiery on the podium. He was so adiment about the victory being for everyone who buys their bikes and parts. Unfortunately we didn’t see the insane burnout we were all hoping for.
After the race Weege and I had planned on going back to Tampa to stay with Racer Production IT/score guy/ahhhhh-Tim Boryk. Enroute from St. Louis to Florida Weege had run into Chad Reed in the airport. We started talking about how cool it would be to meet up with him during the week here and get a Racer X Films with him. One thing led to another and it seemed like it was going to happen. A warm trail went cold when we hadn’t heard anything back from “Camp Reed.” At that point we sort of were hoping he hadn’t been hurt for a second year in a row before Daytona. After calling back to check in with the boss we figured out that Chad had been busy with teammate Nathan Ramsey and his wrist accident.
Over dinner at Steak-N-Shake we decided to skip out on Tampa and head north to Daytona. We made a few calls and met up with Road Racer X Senior Editor Laurel Allen. We were bummed on the whole Reed deal but things happen. Our back up plan was to head into downtown Daytona and have a little fun on video. Internet problems in the hotel had us up late and then some Russian (as per LCA) bikers we’re having some fun next door. Needless to say our wake up call came a little too early. We got it together and were off to get credentials and some much needed coffee when DC called and said he had just talked to Jason Thomas. Evidentally JT$ was heading out to Grant Langston’s place to go ride for the day. A few calls later and we were on our way to Orlando. Once we finally found the facility we were absolutely amazed. Grant has a huge chunk of land with an outdoor track and a SX track. It was even cooler that we were there on the same day he was cristening the SX track. Check out Racer X Films later tomorrow to get the scoop on Grant’s SX return!
After everyone had their fun on and behind the camera we had to rush to the Orlando airport to pick up ad man extroidinaire Jason Berry. We had heard rumors of some nasty weather in Morgantown and Jason confirmed the rumors.

Life in the Pressroom

Well, I think we've had better weather than our colleagues back in Morgantown, but I can't be sure because I've barely set foot outside the DIS pressroom all day today. Laurel and I have been proof-reading pages for our next Road Racer X deadline, so apart from one walk by the garages and up and down pit row, I've pretty much just been in front of my confuser all day. We made good progress, though, and I'm hoping to head out to Daytona Municipal Stadium tonight for the dirt track races, which are always a good time.

Morgantona: Weather Check

While it's 72 degrees and sunny in Florida, we're enjoying 27 degrees and a little snow.

Fleming poses for the yesterday/today photo splits.

Hooper measures six inches.

Morgantona (con't.)

I'm late with this post, 'cause "work" got in the way this morning. This is a continuation of our Morgantona diary. Florida doesn't have all the fun this week. Here are some shots from our bowling league night. This is week 7 of 10. Racer X has 3 teams out of the 16. As you can see, actual bowling is secondary during the course of the evening. Enjoy.

Alisa (Weege's GF, but we just call her Weegette) does the victory "waitress" dance.Amanda (Bowyer's GF) does the pistol dance.
Reyna celebrates with the Shake n' Bake.Mrs. Farber to be, Jules, temporarily poses as my Pit Tootsie.

RXI team 1's "A" Game.
Farber and his pre-strike celebration.Farber and his post-strike celebration.
Fleming thought he was at the WVU football game all night.

Hooper guards the man-purses.

Billy and GF Kara take a breather from laughing at Farber.
Bowyer and Amanda swap bowling tips.
Davey finds "Pinky" right where he left her last week. RXI in post-bowling celebration. That's Fleming throwing the "Mountain-Eers."