These last few weeks, its been a little quiet on the biking front. This is mainly due to work and needing to use the car to transport documents and what not. I will admit, on a few of those days last week, I was glad as the weather was, in a word, torrid.
Normal service resumed this week and the ride yesterday was the first really sweaty ride of the year. You know the ones; the rides where you're hot when you get on the bike, are fine when out riding, but as soon as you stop, your body temperature just goes through the roof.
I know these hot and, often uncomfortably rides are a consequence of wearing full leathers, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. The benefits to full kit so out weigh any potential or perceived advantages, that given the choice, I'll always turn to the Alpinestars.
When I started riding and watching racing in 2007, I was drawn to Hayden, probably because of his demeanour, his talent on the bike and I'll be honest, his accent. I know that may sound strange, but there was something fascinating about the Kentucky Kid and for me, he was the coolest rider out there. The only rider who ever came close was Marco Simoncelli and Hayden clearly loved racing motorbikes professionally.
After Honda arguably mistreated him at the end of his Repsol days, as a Ducati fan, I was so pleased to see him on the big Desmo. With really high profile teammates, Hayden seemed 'forgotten' by the media, but his role for the Italian factory shouldn't be understated. The Desmo had the ability to nearly end careers and for evidence of that just look at Marco Milandri and Valentino Rossi. Rossi couldn't get on with the big red animal and spent a lot of time making his feelings known, but not Hayden. There has been lots written about the two years that Rossi spent on the Ducati and it was clearly six of one and half a dozen of the other, but Nicky just seemed to get down to business and gave 100% all of the time and rarely, if ever, publicly dismiss the bike. Sadly his riding career would never reach its 2006 peak again and for the last couple of seasons, he was fighting it out in World Superbike. With the new Fireblade Nicky had the potential and the bike to be the first rider to be crowned MotoGP and World Superbike champion, but sadly, this was not to be.
Thirty five is no age to die and in a strange twist of fate, his accident happened by the Misano circuit named after Marco Simoncelli, which itself is on Via Daijiro Kato, a road named after the Japanese rider killed in 2003 at Suzuka, Japan.
The world was a better place with Nicky Hayden in it and the motorcycle community and the world has lost one of its brightest lights. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Nicky, my thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends at this darkest time.