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So I've been inducted into CTA, the Cycleworld Thugs of America. They're coming to Texas (Austin, to be exact) sometime this Spring, and we'll all go riding. Yah!

I have a friend named sgimonger (because he works for SGI) on the CW forums. We were in chat the other day when his clan somehow came up. So I realized he plays UT, and we got to talking. His UT name is |AoC|Irix (AoC standing for Art of Capture and being one of the well-known clans). He invited me to play. So we went and played a game on the Roost, which is currently playing some of the new bonus pack maps. I think I made an impressive showing, especially for maps I'd never been on before. He asked me to join |AoC|. I said I'd think about it. This marks about the 8th time I've had somebody try and recruit me. It was odd but cool to play with somebody who I know from a completely different place, kind of like when you were a kid and a school friend got to go to church with you or your teacher hung out with your parents.

OK, I know I've only had the 454 for a short time and haven't put much mileage on it yet and it needs fixing. But I'm already looking toward what I might buy next. As I see it, I'm going to buy a sportbike. The first question is new or used. If I buy new, then the next question is twin or four. If I go for a twin, it's probably between the Suzuki SV650 and the sweet Cagiva Raptor 650. If I go for a four, it's between the Yamaha YZF600R, Honda CBR600F4i, and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Of all these, twins and fours, new and used, I'm probably drooling over the blue ZX-6R more than any other. I sat on one at the bike show, it was a MAGNIFICENT piece of work! I've even inquired about having either dual pipes or an underseat pipe put in, and both are possible and not too difficult or expensive.

I had thought about a Nighthawk 750, the Interceptor, Katana, Bandit, Ducati Monster, and even the Ninja 500, Super Hawk, and GS5000E. But I've ruled all those out for various reasons. The Kawasaki ZX-6 (not 6R) is still a dark horse in the running, I think. If I buy used, there are way too many choices to list. I'd love to find a late '80s 700 Interceptor, but I wouldn't even object to something like a 2nd gen Katana 750 in good shape with low miles and some performance mods. I may go the route of a used Ninja 500 or GS500, but the 454 is already kind of fulfilling the role of the learner bike for me.

Just speculation at this point, but it doesn't hurt to drool. I plan to put many thousands of miles on the 454 before the thought of selling it starts to occur. I really like it alot for what it is (i.e., not a sportbike), it just needs some obvious shop attention.

So I've been to two of my classes so far and they seem like a breeze, fun even. Not fun as in intellectually stimulating the way UD was, but fun as in easy, light, somewhat entertaining, lenient, etc.