A view from inside the cabin of the TTBC.

The editor is on an eight-day tour of Texas that started yesterday with his arrival at the Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot Camp near Lake Conroe and will culminate with the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on Sunday in Austin. He’s promised a daily blog of his travels. We’ll see if he lives up to that.

My butt hurts and I’m sore, but watching James “Hamburger or Steak” Rispoli go over the handlebars during our braking drill at Colin Edwards Texas Tornado Boot Camp was worth the price of admission.

With the Speed TV video crew filming it all, Rispoli got a bit overzealous and went completely over the bars right in front of God. And Edwards, who was judging the drill that had us starting three or four abreast and heading down to two white chalk lines. The first one to get their Yamaha stopped with the front tire between the two lines was the winner. Let’s just say Rispoli didn’t win this one.

Today we rode, we rode and we rode some more. If you ever go to any sort of riding school and come away disappointed that you didn’t get to ride enough, I can promise you won’t leave a four-day Edwards camp feeling that way. Can you say monkey butt? I’ve almost single-handedly gone through a bottle of baby powder and I could still swing through the primate cage at the zoo and fit right in.

Simply put, I’m exhausted. On one trip to my room to get my powder fix, I ended up sneaking in a quick nap on my bunk. Only the sound of shotguns being fired woke me up. I will never, ever, ever say that I didn’t get enough riding time at the Edwards camp. And I’m pretty sure I’ll still be walking funny this weekend at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

I’ve had the chance this week to get to know MotoGP racer Bradley Smith. The young Brit came out a week early to ride with us at the Boot Camp and he’s definitely quite handy on a motorcycle. He’s also a nice kid and takes abuse well. He’s also brave enough to ride close to me. Even with a race coming up in just a few days.

I will throw this in just to make up for telling you about Rispoli’s crash in the braking drill: He did win Superpole today, beating Smith by a few tenths.

My Superpole today quite frankly sucked and I ended up with a lap time identical to what I turned yesterday. Since everyone else showed improvement, this didn’t bode well for me.

I also cost my squad a victory in a team race this afternoon when I couldn’t get my bike fired after the baton was passed to me. I almost rode straight back to the house and threw my stuff in the trunk of the rental car and left for Austin, but I figured that would be childish. I also knew we were getting Texas barbeque tonight. And more beer. Did I mention that I like Texas?

I sulked for a while, but we bounced back and won a team race later in the event, so at least my teammates don’t hate me anymore. In fact, everyone here is really nice to me. But I’m putting that down to the power of the pen rather than my quick wit, charm and handsomeness (is that a word?)

By the way, did I mention that I’m tired?

With my contract calling for a column a day, I’ve barely made the deadline on this one. But it’s done. Tomorrow is another day and I can honestly say that I’ve never ridden motorcycles for four days in a row. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything four days in a row. So we’ve got that to look forward to. Then it will be off to Austin for the MotoGP weekend. As Edwards said when I asked him if he thought that they will get a big crowd there… “Seems like with just all the people I know that are going half of Texas will be there.”

But first things first, the final Superpole tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s Redemption Day for me or it’s going to make for a long weekend. As Rispoli says, “steak or hamburger?” You go fast and you eat steak. You go slow and you get hamburger. I’m sick of hamburger.

To read part two click here.

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Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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