Every October, hundreds of female motorcyclists from across North America gather at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Femmoto.
Femmoto is a female-only demo track day. Besides being able to ride on a track without pressure from testosterone-poisoned riders, participants get to try out many different kinds of motorcycles. The manufacturers get to market to a quickly growing riding segment with special desires and learn how they can better cater to those needs.
Manufacturers bringing demo bikes this time included Kawasaki, Buell, Ducati, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, and Kymco. See the Femmoto website for a full list of sponsors.
Having done the demo track day last year, I decided to try the MSF dirt course offered as an alternative. Carolyn (Bluepoof, from CA), Kristina (Krismark, from IN), and Yosh (Stargzrgrl, from IL) from Sport-Touring.Net also decided to get *dirty*. While we certainly bantered frequently on the internet, it had been a year since I’d met Kristina at the last Femmoto, and several months since I’d seen Carolyn or Yosh. I was very excited about spending time with them in the flesh.
Friday, October 6, 2006
The weekend began auspiciously.
I got to the airport in plenty of time to enjoy a Starbucks soy mocha before boarding the plane, where I was seated next to a guy who had never flown before. We had a few spots of very bumpy turbulence coming into Las Vegas. I love turbulence. I wonder if the newbie was encouraged by my obvious enjoyment or couldn’t wait to get away from the laughing maniac?
The trick with Las Vegas is to take a private shuttle service from the airport to your hotel. Kiosks outside baggage claim sell tickets (around $10 roundtrip). I’ve had fast shuttles and slow shuttles, depending on the number of travelers on the shuttle. I was the 2nd person off in this case, arriving at the Sahara hotel around 3pm, only to find that Yosh had given me an incorrect cell phone number. I called Carolyn to get the correct number and found out that she and Kristina would be delayed several hours. This left me plenty of time to cool my heels while waiting for Yosh to get back from a dirt bike gear shopping spree.
Carolyn showed up while Yosh and I were *enjoying* a light snack of nachos and a green sour-cream mixture masquerading as guacamole. The three of us had liquid refreshment, reminisced, and tried not to deserve too many dirty looks from occupants of nearby tables.
Kristina finally arrived, swooping through the porte cochere in a pimpin’ Taurus with leather and gps. After a short-lived attempt to roll over my foot, she settled down to merely scaring us while we drove out to pre-registration at the track. Let’s just say that I’ll never again view the friendly admonishment “Drive Safely!” the same way (especially when the marquee blinds the driver right before she needs to make a sharp right turn). And there was much screaming.
Having experienced the *grand tour* of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway last year, we had a good idea of where to find the motorcycle pit area this time. After ascertaining that we had missed pre-registration by fifteen minutes, we headed back to the casino for dinner and bed.
Carolyn modeling her new shiny boxers