Our Trip to Italy, Part Two.

On our 2016 Italian trip (described in VS. A Trip of Non-Tragic Disasters.) we traveled from Venice to Bologna to Florence to Gabicci Mare, and finally back to Venice for the flight home. Much of this travel was driving the Fiat Ducato van down the autostrada and was not interesting. We took a couple of non-autostrada travels and found things that would surprise U.S. Motorcyclists. I’ve described them, with photos, on the page VR. On the Road in Italy.

The Allure of a Club Race

This week’s story is a nostalgia piece for me. It’s about the special allure of a club raceday back in 1974-1975 time frame. This will bring back memories from the folks who were there back in the day, and I hope it will give the younger folks and non-racers a bit of the feeling of the special excitement of a raceday. See the page WE. Raceday!

Ask me Anything Session


There was no story this week, but I will have a new one on Monday. In the meantime I am doing a “ask me anything” session on the Ducati sub-reddit, this Sunday (tomorrow). The Ducati sub-reddit is at https://www.reddit.com/r/Ducati.

My intro post will go up at 2:00 pm U.S. Pacific time (5:00 pm Eastern) and I’ll be back 2 hours later to answer questions people have sent in.

I’m not that familiar with reddit. To watch you may need a reddit login (go to https://www.reddit.com/login). If you want to ask questions you may need to subscribe to the Ducati sub-reddit. There’s a ‘subscribe’ button on the right of the sub-reddit page. You might need to scroll down a bit.

Here’s a chance to ask me anything about my racing adventures during the mid-to-late 1970s. You’re all welcome to join in.


New! An Index.

There was no story this week. I started writing one, a good one, and when I got to about 500 words I thought this sounds too familiar. I looked at the early stories and found that I had already done that one. Whoa.

There are now over 60 stories in this blog, in simple chronological order, most recent first. There’s no organization — it’s just a long list. It needed some kind of index, so I made one instead of writing a story. Of course it took much longer than I expected.

I’ve named the index page “An Index” so it will stay at the top of the page list, while the most recently added page will be listed just below it. Each new page will result in a new entry in the index. Hopefully this will help people find stories they’re interested in, and will keep me from putting in a story that’s already there. Take a look at it — the first couple of paragraphs explain how to use it. You may find a good story that you haven’t noticed before.

Three Announcements

One: This week’s story is from 1976, the tale of the Garbage Can Special. See the page titled “WY. The Garbage Can Special.”

Two: Dee and I are going to the World Superbike and MotoAmerica races this weekend at Laguna Seca and I will be signing books. Look for us near the gear check on Ducati Island at 2:00 to 3:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. If you’ve already bought my book “Racing the Gods” (https://www.octanepress.com/book/racing-gods) bring it by and I’ll personalize it for you. If you haven’t bought the book yet we will have some for sale. In any case drop by for a chat.

Three: A milestone of sorts, this blog has just passed 20,000 views from nearly 10,000 viewers from dozens of countries. That’s not much compared to some viral blogs, but it’s not bad.

The Stars at Night are Big and Bright…

Post #2 of a 5 part series. Scroll down to see post #1. All photos by Dee Ritter.

Thursday, April 9th, was our first full day in Texas and it was indeed a full day. We started with lunch at Ironworks BBQ. There’s lots of kinds of BBQ in the U.S. — some feature the sauce, some places only BBQ pork. In Texas they do both pork and beef and it’s all about THE MEAT.


The napkins are a roll of paper towels on the table, the food comes in a paper plate on a plastic tray with plastic utensils, beer is served in the bottle — it’s all about the meat, baby.

After lunch we went over to the Time Warner studio to do a TV interview about the book and to plug the upcoming races. They edited the conversation but they did a good job and I don’t come out sounding stupid or silly. Dee tried to capture the section I appear in and posted it on Facebook. The segment was broadcast on a local Austin station at 10pm that night. Let’s see if this link works (warning: I say “Colorado Springs” but I mean “Steamboat Springs”). https://www.facebook.com/dee.g.ritter/videos/vb.100000411739133/969978823025833/?type=3&theater.

That evening we made an appearance at a party put on by Ducati Austin, where I did a reading from the book, answered a few questions from the Master of Ceremonies, and signed books folks bought. Toward the end of the evening the teo Ducsti MotoGP riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, made an appearance. They spent about an hour sighing posters, caps, t-shirts and what not, then they were brought over to my table where I gave them each autographed copies of my book. That was pretty cool.
The guys standing are a Ducati Corse staff, Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso. Vicki Smith is right between the two Andreas. I’m shaking hands with Dovi.

Tomorrow: The first day at the track.