He swooped down on me like a jet fighter, an unknown rider on an Indian Scout flying out of nowhere and on me like glue. I got on the gas again and off we went. The smaller Scout was giving me hell in the turns as we jockeyed for position, but to the Heritage's credit, it turned in lighter and was more agile than expected. We pushed the Cruisetecs to their edges and tested the edges of the cruisers' performance as well, the spirit of lighthearted competition reflected in aggressive twists of the throttle. We summited Mount Magazine Scenic Byway in tandem. As I pulled to the side of the road to wait for the other riders at the turn-off to the lodge, my friendly adversary came up beside me, an ear-to-ear grin visible beneath his clear face shield, and slapped me a stinging high five. The grin belonged to Metzeler's head of testing, Salvo Pennisi, who had charged past the pack to track me down. Pennisi once helped Massimo Tamburini develop the Ducati 916, just one milestone of his illustrious 40-year career. One by one, the other riders quickly filled in behind us, their eyes aglow with the same excited energy. Pulling into the lodge, Pennisi demonstrated his elation one last time with a smoky rubber donut he left in the parking lot.