The only way we're going to bail out this economy is if we let a few hard-earned greenbacks fly. We just took it a step further with a Ducati 848 Superbike.
Raceday. The scene is Northland Mall, which sits precisely on the border between the Dirty D and "The Center Of It All" Southfield. With a trademark pop, the Ducati rumbles awake as we glide through the front doors.
Snap forward to turn three near the Dollar Dog, just past Detroit Gator Shoes. The Ducati holds the line tight as my soles drag on the polished tile. Barely on the edge of traction, an octogenarian piloting a hopped-up Amigo electric wheelchair veers sharply into my path and the game is on. We duel; Italian racing purebred versus Prius-shaming high-voltage horsepower. One thing is for certain: After this knock-down-drag-out Battle Royale, one of us is going home to eat applesauce. The pace heats up as we vie for position before the next curve. I pour on the power, 134 horsepower flowing through the semi-slick rear. She jabs me in the helmet with her cane and my balance is violently unsettled.
Thinking fast, I use my steel-toed boots to kick the Commemorative Matlock Collectors Edition DVD Box Set out of her basket and into the ether. She glances back, mourning for a brief moment, before continuing the fight. Now it's personal. We shoot for the quickly approaching turn when; catastrophe! The Amigo loses rear grip and goes into an uncontrollable slide. We haven't seen a wreck this intense since April of 2009. The driver seems to be uninjured as she straightens her wig and takes off her Nomex gloves. I glide through the predetermined finish, which stands as the visual line connecting the TJ Maxx and Payless Shoes. Victory is mine. Defeated, the old biddy turns slowly off into GNC to pick up the 3-gallon bucket of Metamucil she so desperately desires.
That's the risk we take living this life of speed. Sometimes you get the champagne — other times it's the stool softener. We both lived to fight again; only honor has traded hands this day which will live on in the annals of racing history.
Photo Credit: Alex C. Conley