Just got back from the Dallas Show - Part II

I couldn't figure out which "icon" to put with this post. I was both interesting and disappointing.

I just finished editing and uploading the close to 50 pics to my photo account. NO... you'll see them when I do my "opinionated reviews" and I have a bunch! I'm just too damn tired to write any right now.

I figuring they'll be about 6 different "topic threads" so the pics won't all be on one thread. They'll just cover the "sportbike" offerings from major (and a few minor) manufacturers. I won't go into the cruiser, dirt or ATV models.

You'd think that all my "bad karma" was used up on my trip down there Friday, I know I did. The way my Saturday morning started, proved that to be incorrect. After actually getting up fairly early and taking a shower, I had plenty of time (I thought) for breakfast before the show was to start.

The hotel's breakfast buffet made the food at our local detention facility look pretty good (I won't say how I know). Between the runny scrambled eggs, greasy hash browns and uncooked bacon, I'm not sure which one I'd blame for the stomach cramps I had later that day.

When I asked the "hostess" (read: cashier) where the smoking area was, she just pointed over to the "bar area". It wouldn't have been that bad if they would have bothered to turn on just a few lights. I guess I really didn't need to see what I was eating anyway.

After that "delightful" meal, it was back to my room to get my camera and ticket (thanks again, Doug!) for the show, then it was off to do the few block walk to the convention center. There was just one little problem. After I got my stuff and grabbed the door handle to leave, this happened.

The whole inside handle assembly came off the door and was just hanging on by the 3 wires of the electric door lock. Hmmm... interesting. Being of the belief that I'm a little "mechanically inclined", I figure that if I just carefully run the two long screws back into the outside assembly, I could open the door.

Though I tried to be as cautious as if I was dealing with explosives, as I was guiding the first screw back in, I heard a loud "thud" on the outside of the door. I came to the conclusion that it must have been the outside door handle assembly that was now hanging on the door by the 3 wires of the electric lock.

Okay, no big deal. I'll just finish putting the inside assembly back on and open the door. Uhhhhhhh... it's not working. It is now official. I can't get out of my room. A call to the front desk reminded me that I should have paid more attention during the 3 years of Spanish I took in high school.

"Yes, this is McCoy in 1106. My door handle has just come off the door and it seems that I can't get out of my room. Excuse me? Door handle... come off door... locked in room... can't get out! Huh? THE DOOR HANDLE CAME OFF AND I CAN'T GET OUT OF MY ROOM!"

After a "brief" 10 to 15 minute wait (Okay... it was 11 minutes and 37 seconds), Pablo and Juan (hotel "maintenance") came with their rolling plastic cart and opened my door. I thanked them for letting me out and started out the room with my briefcase and laptop bag, figuring a $2500 laptop and a briefcase with my Glock in it would be safer checked in at the front desk.

As I waited for the elevator, one of them came running at me saying in broken English, "Sir! Sir! Your jacket!" Puzzled, all I could say was, "No, I won't be needing it this morning" He replied, You not checking out?". Though the thought had crossed my mind, I just nodded "no" and got into the elevator.

Figuring that I was now out of the hotel ("of horrors") and I wasn't driving, I'd likely be free of any more "bad karma". This belief became stronger when I arrived at the show. As I headed towards the entrance, this is what I saw.

I couldn't fit the whole line in just one picture. The line ran the whole length of the convention center and on to the bike parking lot outside. Convention center personnel were walking up and down the line with megaphones, trying to assure people that they would be able to buy their tickets after just a "short" wait. At first, I thought they were trying to evacuate the building, they looked so "panicked". Did I remember to say THANK YOU FOR THE TICKETS, DOUG!?

I have to include a pic of the "ticket girl" at the show entrance. This girl was taking tickets and checking "hand stamps" of us smokers that were going in and out. She stood there for the entire day (10am-5pm) and was always very nice and ALWAYS had a huge, teeth showing smile (except for the picture). She did the same on Sunday.

During my smoke breaks (and there were many), sometimes it was more interesting to walk through the bike parking lot then the show itself.

Needless to say, 75% of them were Harleys of every model and configuration, but there was kind of an interesting mix of other bikes as well. The Triumph looked brand new, but the BMW looked like it had seen better days. I do have to give the Beemer guy (or gal?) credit though. The bike had dirt caked up all over it. I just can't imagine hossing around that big ole heavy bike out on some trail. There was hardly any sportbikes though. I guess the average sportbike rider in Dallas doesn't get up early enough to get the good parking spots.

The was a trials bike demo held by the GasGas folks with their world champion rider. Their 280 trials bike is pretty cool and weighs around 190 pounds. This ain't your dad's old Montessa (even though they still make the Cota) or Bultaco, that's for damn sure. Their rider on the other hand... KICKS ASS! Besides doing the "standard" climbing up the sides of trailers and various other obstacles...

... he also bunny hopped over "volunteers" from the audience. The most impressive stunt was doing a stoppie on the slick concrete. How was that impressive? His front wheel stopped less than an inch from this guy's CROTCH (who was laying on the floor... SPREAD EAGLE)!

The rider had a microphone in his helmet and would talk to the host of the show and the audience. When he wasn't in the middle of a stunt, he'd just stand on the pegs while the bike wasn't moving. I don't think he "tapped" (put a foot on the ground) for the whole damn show. Pretty impressive.

There was also plenty of accessory vendors there as to be expected. The majority of them seemed to lean towards the cruiser and touring riders, but that too is to be expected. I did buy myself an "obligatory" (if you go to a show, you gotta buy at least one...) t-shirt from Reeper Wear (http://www.reaperwear.com/Tip%20Toe%20Large.htm). I also got my 4 year old grand daughter a shirt that says, "NAPS SUCK! LET'S RIDE!". The only other thing I bought was a fairly neat little battery trickle charger and tester set up, called the "Battery Doc" (http://www.operatingtech.com). HEY! It was just $40!

I could go on with the BS, but you lucky this time. Tomorrow night, you'll get the REAL scoop on the Show. Okay, so there's no "scoop". Everything about the '03 models are already been covered by every bike rag out there. Ah... but they won't have the "Elk Spin" to it.

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story