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Track

Posted January 26th, 2012 at 03:49 PM by alex.s

there's something about motorcycles. something about speed. something about the vulnerability of doing 100mph at full lean, inches away from the ground. it must be what skydivers feel. the adrenaline rush that comes from knowing the fact that at any moment, if you fail your bike or your bike fails you, you will be sliding across the pavement or flying through the air towards disaster. its why we ride canyons. its why we drive like assholes. not only is it amazingly fun and enjoyable. its extremely addictive.

so what could possibly be better? i didn't know until recently. a friend told me about a racer who he had spoken to. the racer told amazing stories about racing and the track. he offered to help him get started. he hauled his truck, helped him with tools and the essentials and helped him get everything ready. i immediately dismissed it as too expensive. too much work. too much output for not enough reward. whats better about the track vs my local canyons? canyons are free. they are close. they do a good enough job, right? well after that day my friend couldn't shut up about the track. on and on he went about how much better it was. what was better? he couldn't adequately put the feelings into words. he eventually convinced me to try one, so the next time he went, i tagged along.

I didn't expect anything amazing. of course it would be fun, riding is always fun. but fun enough to justify spending the money to get there? only time would tell. i spent the next few weeks getting everything ready. the anticipation of the unknown was exciting and new. it was a feeling i hadn't felt since i first took the MSF and bought a bike.

finally after 3 weeks -- what felt like years -- the day was upon me. i rode to my buddys house the night before. we loaded everything up. we tried to sleep in his living room, but another friend of ours was a deeper sleeper than the rest of us. so deep it sounded like a chainsaw cutting through a car. i dont think i slept at all that night. i probably wouldn't have slept even if it was completely silent. my mind was racing just thinking about riding. it couldn't be stopped, but really i didn't want it to stop. morning came, we drank our coffee and headed out well before sunrise. it was a long ride through nowhere to get there. we got to the gates and my heart was pounding a mile a minute. we unloaded everything, did our paperwork, got our bikes OKed to take on the track, and finally it seemed, we were ready to have some fun.

nothing i've experienced comes close to what i felt that day.

at first it was a normal ride. i didn't push too hard because i was scared of running wide and crashing. the fear of something bad happening, like hitting a car that's in the middle of the road, or missing a turn and going off the side of a mountain kept me from pushing myself. but after the first session, something clicked in my mind. i decided to start pushing, and sure enough, i blew a corner and went off the track. "oh **** i'm done" instantly went through my mind. on the street, i would have been right. what happened? nothing. i went in the dirt, the corner worker waved the yellow flag to alert the other riders to be careful until i was out of the impact zone, and everything continued as if nothing had happened. such an amazing concept! being able to screw up with little to no consequence. after that, i was hooked. i started pushing the limits of the bike without being scared of failure. I was free to find the real limits, not the false limits your mind places on you to keep you alive. my riding skill grew exponentially in a single day simply by removing the limits you are forced to live with on the street.

it was after that that i realized something. its not the fear of failure that gives you such an amazing adrenaline rush. it's the process of failure leading to success. it's trying something new and blowing away your own concepts of what fast really is. its finding out that what you thought was good before is so painfully bad that it's almost scary. thinking about a specific turn you are having trouble with. planning a new way to take it. talking to others about how they take it. going out there, trying something new and having it work so well that it feels effortless and magical. its like nothing else. its something you could never come close to on the street.

Success feels amazing. I'm addicted.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Vampyre's Avatar
    Very Nice!!!!
    Posted January 26th, 2012 at 04:26 PM by Vampyre Vampyre is offline

  2. Old Comment
    Gorilla25's Avatar
    Nice. I wish i had access to a track
    Posted February 15th, 2012 at 11:45 PM by Gorilla25 Gorilla25 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    krolinked's Avatar
    That was incredibly well worded.
    Posted April 2nd, 2012 at 06:03 PM by krolinked krolinked is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Mocha Man's Avatar
    Wow, I really enjoyed this blog! You're a good author!
    Posted April 17th, 2012 at 07:22 PM by Mocha Man Mocha Man is offline
  5. Old Comment
    ally99's Avatar
    You really captured the essence of my experience with track days too. Every single word of your blog hit home to me, but especially this single phrase:
    "nothing i've experienced comes close to what i felt that day."

    I also loved when you said this:
    "it was after that that i realized something. its not the fear of failure that gives you such an amazing adrenaline rush. it's the process of failure leading to success."

    Well-written!
    Posted June 29th, 2012 at 07:57 AM by ally99 ally99 is offline
  6. Old Comment
    1ER6F's Avatar
    Awesome read! I love the first paragraph! Thanks for posting!
    Posted November 22nd, 2012 at 09:35 PM by 1ER6F 1ER6F is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Trailerboy531's Avatar
    This is adorable. And to think, you wrote this after your third track day. The man that wrote this post would be BLOWN AWAY by the man you are now. Your 250 is now a beautiful race bike and you hammer on that thing. So cool to see how far you've come.
    Posted January 26th, 2013 at 01:00 AM by Trailerboy531 Trailerboy531 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    alex.s's Avatar
    haha awwww
    Posted March 6th, 2013 at 03:39 PM by alex.s alex.s is offline
  9. Old Comment
    alex.s's Avatar
    i should write a new blog about racing huh
    Posted March 6th, 2013 at 03:39 PM by alex.s alex.s is offline
 

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