Indy 500 followed by an RTA!


Well, after waking up on the sofa feeling hideous, and not looking too great either, I was a good girlfriend and struggled to make it to the speedway for the Indy 500. On the way, we were overtaken by huge convoy of school buses filled with military personnel as they were given a police escort, which some other normal people got after paying $200 for the privilege. It seemed very appealing as we were sat in quite a bit of traffic watching them sail by. However,  after passing a place which I thought sounded perfect for me  (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) we were parked by an army man wearing a t-shirt saying ‘I’m going commando’. I sincerely hope that wasn’t true.

We followed the line of red and blue wheelie cool-boxes to the speedway. There was lots of these cool-boxes as the Indy 500 is a bring your own beer event. Can you imagine a U.K.  footie match being like that? On the way we passed lots of families sat outside their houses having mini parties and offering their parking space for a small charge (on the way back there was also people selling lemonade and singing, we were asked to buy some lemonade and were jovially heckled as we said no and walked away). We headed into the enormous stadium and were greeted with lots of lovely food smells and little stall selling everything you need for the Indy 500. Ranging from seats to ear plugs, and believe me the latter was a definite must have.

Now I discovered what the best cure for a hangover is not! It is not being in 34 celsius heat; It is not listening to thundering Indy 500 cars ; It is not being sat on a crowded bleacher in direct sunlight and it is almost certainly not being amongst very loud crowds of people! I thought I would make it after being able to stomach watching the Hot Wheels amazing stunt.

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However, after lots of getting up and down when military members passed by in the pre-race parade,
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and lots of motivational speeches about America. I had to scramble, very quickly, over various benches to get off the bleacher and boy did I choose my timing well! Right in the middle of ‘God bless America’. That earned me a few evil stares I can tell you. Especially when I came back to get my bag from Luke just as they were playing the Bugler. Fantastic! I hastily retreated underneath the bleachers, to the sound of ‘ Drivers, start your engines!’. I hate alcohol! The underneath of the bleachers looked like I felt.
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However, from my shady spot underneath the bleachers I could see and hear all of the match but without being hemmed in or scorched by the unbearably hot sun. It was also great for people watching and my were there some sights! It’s amazing what alcohol does to people and believe me, I definitely felt that one this morning. Yet even the hangover couldn’t dampen the excitement of hearing the roar of engines and knowing that Luke was in his version of heaven. When he had come to rescue me from underneath the bleachers, where I had been joined by more people escaping the sun, we went for a walk around the stadium accompanied by a famous Indiana pork sandwich.

We met up with Dan again (Luke’s colleague from last night and who we had given a lift to this morning) and watched some more of the race from a great vantage point near the VIP box. However, the family members of the racers were all reading books and texting instead of watching the race ( I felt secretly pleased that I wasn’t the only one who felt a bit bored of seeing cars go round the same track 200 times).

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Once the race had finished, with a rather dramatic crash on the 199 lap by the driver in the lead!, we ambled back to the car. Once there we had to wait a while untill we were moving. This ‘moving’ included being constantly redirected by the police left. It was never right, we always had to go left. We finally made it out of this leftism way of driving and got on to the freeway. Whilst on the freeway we saw lots of other cars with Indy 500 flags, as well as a young couple on a motorbike wearing shorts, flip-flops and no helmets. Mental! especially as they weaved through the traffic. I commented that the girl was either stupid or trusted the boy far too much. We all commented that if they fell off they would get some serious damage.

Not so funnily enough that is exactly what they did do when they left the freeway. We left at the same exit and as we turned the bend I heard an ‘o’ from the boys in the front and then as I looked through the windscreen the motorbike wobbled and then the boy swerved and ditched it (at 40mph) to avoid going head on and probably over the barrier. They both went sliding off and Luke stopped the car. Daniel went over , as did Luke , and I eventually did once Luke had switched childlock off the backseat ( honestly! I don’t think he trusts me!). I went racing across, after Daniel had stopped oncoming traffic, with my trusty wet wipes and tissues which the lovely team at Landau Forte had given me as part of my leaving present. Who knew that they would end up having such a worthwhile usage? I used them for the horrific cuts, burns and grazes that the young couple had received from their fall.

Amazingly the couple were not more severely hurt! We stayed with them and in no time a group of five bikers had stopped to help and they called the police. It was unbelievable to see the camaraderie between fellow bikers as they all slowed to help or waved in sympathy.We all asked why they were not wearing the proper gear but they were too shaken up,  and bleeding far too much, to receive a telling off. The girl was very shaken and the boy looked very agitated. As we waited for the police, stood in a very precarious spot on the bend which was evident as a huge truck squeezed passed us (not good!),we chatted to the other bikers, whilst making sure the couple were ok.  The other bikers were local and were telling us of the crashes, and showed us their scares, that they had at the same spot!

Just as the fire engine pulled up the guy actually got on his bike, even with some bone sticking out of his leg, and drove off. He really did just drive off and leave his girlfriend with us. She definitely needs a new boyfriend, which I told her. She said he had to leave as he was in the military and, although Indiana has no helmet law, it is illegal for a member of the military not to wear a helmet whilst on a bike. We informed the three police cars, ambulance and fire engine of this when they all pulled up.

Luckily Daniel had taken a photo of the bike , and the other bikers knew what make it was (Yamaha), so hopefully the police will catch him. He will be in a lot more trouble now for leaving the scene of an accident. The girl (Anna) was taken away on a stretcher and then we had to give the police our account. Daniel emailed  the photo of the bike to the police later on. They thanked us for staying as most people wouldn’t have, although quite a few people did slow down to help but we let them  know that the police were on the way. However, when Daniel stopped the traffic earlier there was a Sheriff in the car but he just carried on driving! I was going to inform the policeman that of course we stayed as that is what the Brits do, help the Americans. However I didn’t think that was the best thing to say for diplomatic relations.  I think all the patriotism feeling at the race had gone to my head. Either that or sunstroke.

The lovely bikers left and then we had a quick chat with the firemen. They said it was helping international relations (if only it was that simple!)

and they even let Daniel have a photo with one of their hats on! It also appears that lots of people know someone who works for Rolls Royce, just like Derby! The fireman’s brother works in the same plant as Luke.

 

We left after the police man stopped the traffic for us (but no escort unfortunately) and we had a ‘beep’ exchange with the firemen which I didn’t mind the beep this time as the fire engines was way cooler than ours :). We arrived back at Riley Towers with quite a bit more sunburn and odder memories than we planned for. Tomorrow I am not leaving the flat. I shall sunbathe on the balcony eating watermelon because, apparently, that makes you more immune to sunburn. I shall test this theory and see if I can save a fortune on suncream.

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4 comments

  1. You two are not safe to be let out!!!!! Are you sure that you’re not making all of this up -it’s definitely better than Eastenders.

    • Of course not! I could not have made this up. Things just seem to keep happening. I shall try to get the picture of Dan in the hat to show you.
      Thank you for the comparison to Eastenders. I’m glad my life provides amusement for you.

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