Mickey What are you talking about?
I haven't written since the start of the racing season. That's pretty lame on my part since there's been plenty to write about. The problem is that I'm not happy about where I am and what I'm doing so I've been unmotivated to write. That's not OK. I'm supposed to write no matter what. Ideally I do that writing on the Monday following a race weekend when everything is fresh in my mind, but 2 of the races I've had to work on the Monday after. I tell you that is rough. Racing is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Having to go to work at 7am and be focused is really hard.
Here's the racing synopsis for the last 3 rounds. We show up on Friday, I ride around for 3 days, I suck, we go home. Fun right? I'll get the meat of that shortly.
The Sears Pt round started off with so much hope. After the first round I installed my new engine, and had it tuned at Spears Enterprises. The bike on the dyno made more power in a better way than any engine had ever before. I did pretty good at Buttonwillow, I had a new engine, and Sears is my best track. Let's kick ass and take names! It didn't work out that way. I started the weekend tired. For what ever reason I was really nervous and not sleeping well. Not being rested is a huge hit to a race weekend. And the weekend started early as I was racing in the AHRMA series which started on Thursday. That's 4 days of racing in a row. By Sunday I was wiped out. I rode poorly in all my races, and was really disappointed. As a bonus I skipped my last race because my friend Peter crashed in Turn 7 and got his arm ran over. He had to transport in an ambulance and we stuck around and loaded all his, and Alex's gear into Peter's trailer, and I towed it the short distance to his home in Sonoma.
The following race at Thunderhill had a similar theme. Again I didn't sleep well leading up to the race, and It showed again in my lap times. I'm being very cerebral and for sure going better in some parts of the track than I had before, but I'm not going any faster overall. as a bonus I was sick. Not terribly but a small fever. There's nothing like racing a motorcycle with a fever in 90° weather. After the F40 race on Saturday I pulled into the pits and handed my bike off to Peter, and laid down on the ground. I was so spent I couldn't even back my bike up. Again I missed my last race on Sunday because my friend Aaron had an amazing front end highside out of Turn 6 and he had to be helicoptered to Chico. We packed all his stuff into his truck and Kate drove it to the hospital where we were to meet his wife. A very disturbing trend was forming.
Here's an amazing video of Aaron's crash
The last race was again at Thunderhill and this time I was well rested. I was finally sleeping normally before a race weekend. I'm going to chalk this phenomenon up to not racing for over a year. I was pretty well prepared and in a racing mood so once again expectations were high. I did OK. I got a decent start a couple of times and ran with some of the front guys for a little while. This time however it was the heat that got to me. I did my best to stay hydrated but I'm a city boy and triple digit temps beat me up. Next time before we go to Thunderhill I'm going to take some bikram yoga classes to condition my body to the heat. Again I missed my last race on Sunday but this time it was because I was so wiped out from the heat I knew I wouldn't be competitive, and if you can't go full tilt you're "just burning tires, and gas" so I withdrew. At least we didn't have to pack up anybody's stuff.
|The Wife giving me the signal of how many, and how close are behind me|
|Turn 4 at Sears Pt|
So why do I suck? That's the magic question. The bike is in good shape. I'm in decent shape for a 43yo. I have been going to gym regularly, but I think the program I'm doing isn't enough. To try and get my fitness in a better place I've taken up mountain biking again. When I say again I mean I used to mountain bike (sort of) when I was in my late teens, early twenties. I was so into it at the time I switched from smoking Winston regulars to Winston lights. That was big deal. I stopped with the bicycle thing when I got into motorcycles. I bought a new mountain bike in 2003-4 and rode it a little, but only in the park or the presidio. Last week after getting my bike tuned up at a new bike shop here in our neighborhood I went for a real mountain bike ride. Since Marin county is the birthplace of mountain biking I figured I should take advantage of it. I did my research on MTB Project and picked a route that said was beginner/intermediate. That's me right? After crashing 4 times, and coming home bloody and bruised I had some doubts. Then I figured out I missed a turn on the trail and was way off the bunny slope. I ran the route again this week, and stayed on the correct course. It was lovely and I didn't crash at all. I'll be doing that more often.
But fitness is just a small part of the sucking. My problem is all in my head. I tell everyone that I've recovered from my injury in 2013. But have I really? I don't really walk right. I can't run. It hurts just to put a shoe on my left foot. Am I racing with fear in my heart? If so I need to pack it up. I don't think so though. There is a wall there. A mental barrier and I need to find a way to break through it. Thinking back to my last 3 races I can honestly say I'm not really pushing anywhere. I'm going decently fast but I'm not stretching the limits. Racing is pushing the limits. Your own limits, the bikes limits, the tracks limits. Racing is finding those limits and finding ways through them. I need to dig in and figure it out. It's time to "ride fast, and take chances"
The next race is the first weekend of September at Sear Pt. There's going to be a hell of a shindig at the end of the day on Saturday. You should come. It'll be fun.