In no real order of importance, these are the top 10 reasons that I cannot wait for the season to start.
1. The smell of race gas. There is nothing like it. My wife hates it, and that is ok. Man up, this is motorcycle racing.
2. Blisters that tear open and bleed. This typically happens on a double race weekend. You race on Saturday, create huge blisters. Then race again on Sunday. The result is a blister that gets torn open and becomes a bloody mess. Hurts, and is not really good for you, but it means you raced your motorcycle 2 days in a row, and that well…
3. The chaos of the first turn. Imagine that you have 20 or more motorcycles tearing forward around a first turn. Usually, that turn is in the open so there are lots of lines through it. You might wonder why a first turn matters in a 2-3 hour race. The first turn itself is not so important, but usually the second turn is where the track would funnel down to a singletrack in the woods. Getting there first does matter. But, it means that everyone hits that first turn hard to set up for the woods. It makes the first turn just chaos. I used to get nervous on the start line thinking about it. Now I just cannot wait. I love the chaos.
4. Flip flops. Flip flops equal summer. I usually wear regular shoes on the way to the race. You need the regular shoes for unloading the van and for walking the trail etc… But, after the race there is nothing better than freeing your feet. Scott thinks I am stupid, but it is worth the risk of toe damage to get that “I am not wearing anything on my feet” feeling after the race.
5. The passenger seat in the van. The van is not anything great to look at it, but it is the greatest race vehicle to dirt bag motorcycle racers could hope for. At this point I have spent a lot of time in that seat heading to races all over the country. That seat equals going to races for me. There is no one that has spent as much time as I have in that seat. Scott would be a close 2nd, but it is my place for viewing the world as it leads up to a motorcycle race. That passenger seat in my mind equals racing.
6. No snow shoveling. Snow shoveling is the polar opposite of motorcycle racing. It is not fun, there isn’t really much satisfaction that you get from doing it and, on the days you do it you are not racing your motorcycle. And even if you do it right, the next snow storm is going to come along and ruin what you did. I have never snow shoveled one day and then raced my motorcycle the next day – I’m just sayin. Snowshoveling equals no racing, ergo racing equals no snowshoveling.
7. My wife in a bikini. Racing happens in the summer, what else happens in the summer? – Duh.
8. Getting the whole race right. This only happens about once or twice a year. Sometimes it happens on a day when you win, other times it happens on a day when you get 5th. But, when it does happen it is really really great. It is why we all do this and what we are always chasing, and rarely achieve. I am going to have a few of them this year.
9. Brian-isms. Brian Terry is the D16 Harescrambles rep, a great guy and a friend of mine. But, he says whacky things. I don’t know if he says whacky things when it is not race season. But, I hear them during race season and therefore it makes me know it is race season. Read this earlier post and you will see how Brian-isms = race season.
10. New decals. They are so shinny. You know what I am talking about. Old decals look scuffed and smudged and dirty all the time. During the offseason, you don’t bother replacing them. “Ah, they will be fine for going down to Missouri and riding.” But, I really like to show up to a race with fresh decals. They are so shinny.
11. Putting fresh tires on my bike. I usually nick my knuckles. But, new tires are like decals. They just make the bike feel so neat. I don’t bother on a practice day, but for race day I like to show up with fresh meat on there.
12. TENNN..SECCCOONDS!!!! The starter at a GNCC race yells this out 10 seconds before the race. It means the melee of the first turn is about the happen, the fresh tires and decals are looking good, I can smell race gas, I have spent time in the passenger seat, I am not going to be shoveling snow that day, there is still the possibility of getting the whole race right, I am looking forward to flip flops after and of course there may be a bikini involved.