Apr 19, 2012
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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From left: race fan Jana Graham, 99X's Debra Cantu Graham, Chris Ulrich, 99X's Lewis Alston and Blue Competition Cycles' Chris Pic and Daniel Stallings on pit lane at Road Atlanta. Photo by David Swarts/Roadracingworld.com.
The GEICO Suzuki Two-Seat Superbike Rides with Chris Ulrich program wowed two Atlanta radio DJs, two VIPs and a lucky race fan during pre-event media activity Thursday at Road Atlanta.
Lewis Alston and Debra Cantu Green, both on-air personalities with radio station 99X, Atlanta's Alternative at 98.9 FM, rode with Ulrich and came away with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
"You're kidding me, right? How cool was that?" shouted Alston. "That was amazing! I think we hit 150-160 mph, something like that. The front end came up. You could feel the whole bike go just whoop, whoop! And I heard his knee pad hit the pavement. I was like, 'We've gotta be going fast.' Ah, that was awesome! That was the coolest experience of my life. That was really cool."
"Oh my God! That was the most intense thing I've ever done in my entire life," said Cantu Green. "I was thinking roller coaster, but that was like a roller coaster times a million. That was so phenomenal. It was fast, slow, fast, slow. I felt like I was going to fly off the bike for a second, but I didn't. Chris was great. That was so awesome. There's no better word than awesome."
Both Cantu Green and Alston shot extensive video footage of the experience, which was supplemented by on-board footage shot by Ulrich's team using GoPro Hero2 cameras. Cantu Green said she planned to compose a video for the radio station's website, , while Alston said he planned to use his footage on his website, , and his reality TV show.
Ulrich also gave multi-lap rides to two VIPs -- Daniel Stallings and Chris Pic -- from Blue Competition Cycles, a bicycle company located in Norcross, Georgia, and Jana Graham, race fan and supporter of Dane Westby, Ulrich's Team M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki teammate.
Graham said she rode her 56,000-mile, 2006-model Suzuki GSX-R1000 from Oklahoma to Road Atlanta just to attend the Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta, and as a reward for enthusiasm she got a thrill ride with Ulrich.
"I always wanted to do a two-up ride, so to get to do it on my favorite track was really awesome," said Graham.
Ulrich said he came close to 170 mph on most of the rides but reached a speedometer-indicated top speed of 172 mph with both Cantu Green and Pic, which is a new record for the GEICO Suzuki Two-Seat Superbike Rides with Chris Ulrich program.
On Wednesday, the GEICO Suzuki Two-Seat Superbike Rides with Chris Ulrich program worked with Paul Milliken, a correspondent for Fox 5 Atlanta's Good Day Atlanta. Milliken did a live segment with Ulrich at Road Atlanta.
Ulrich and his team have offered rides on two-seat racebikes to local reporters to help promote AMA Pro National Guard Superbike events and motorcycle road racing in general for over 10 years, and Ulrich has given over 500 two-seat racebike rides since 2003.
Ulrich also gives rides on his two-seat racebike to the general public to raise funds for the Roadracing World Action Fund (~), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which advocates and promotes the use of soft barriers to help prevent rider injuries at racetracks.