August 30th, 2005

racing, motorcycle

Practice this weekend

So this Saturday I went out with the Fox Shock, got it tuned by Dave Moss, and right away did quicker lap times. But oh, god, the track was full of idiots. 600s and 1000s just flat out stopping in the corners, and falling down like it was going out of style. 10 or so crashes in just the morning!! Needless to say, I got no clean laps and really didn't feel like I was improving anything except my passing skills. But I was consistently in the 2:22 at ease, which was a pace I had to struggle for the last time out. My fastest recorded lap of the day was a 2:20.4 which was only half a second faster than I did in the June AFM race. Not happy.

Sunday I was in the A group, and LOVED IT. Some people are afraid of A group because of the close passing done by the really fast riders. I loved that everyone in that group knows the racing line, and is well, faster than me! So it meant I could chase them around through the corners instead of cursing and avoiding them ;-) Right away I was doing 2:20s at ease, 2:19s consistently, and I even dipped down for a 2:17 lap here and there. (my lap timer was inconsistent on picking up the beacon, so I'm missing a lot of laps)

Late in the day I looked down as I was pulling from turn 8 to turn 9, and realized that with my current lap time I would get a 2:15 on my timer if I just stayed consistent until the end of the lap. Right. So I flew through turn 9 pushing the front right over the top, did turn 10 faster and harder than I've ever done it (and didn't push the front - keep that in mind!) handled 11,12,13 with aplomb and hard on the gas down the back straight. All good! Just the 14/15 180-degree turnaround and back down the straight and I'm golden, right? Braking down from 125 to 50mph or so, I pushed the front, recovered, lost the rear, recovered and realized I wasn't going to make the corner. I stood it up and rolled onto the new pavement beyond the candystripe, stopped, checked to make sure that the corner was clear, and then went down the straight. I still had a 2:20 on the lap timer, which really makes me wonder what the lap would have been if I hadn't blown the corner.

Happy to be in A group, and nobody was annoyed by me ;-) Happy to be in the 2:15 range, but annoyed that I couldn't get a good recorded lap in that range. Happy to see that I can pick it up and still stay up, there's more room to grow.

ANNOYED that I left myself get so out of shape. The extra 10 pounds was really hurting me. I could only do 8-10 fast laps before I had to pull off because I was distracted, meaning I only used 2/3s of most of the session time I had available. I'm assuming the distraction was related to body unhappiness, which was usually barking up around the same time.
racing, motorcycle

In no sense nonsense

I think I need to reconsider what I'm doing with motorcycle racing. It has been fun, and I really do enjoy it, but I think I've gotten everywhere I can get easily, and I'm probably just setting myself up for more and more frustration soon.

  1. I learn slowly: most people go out and practice a little and put together a good race. I'm really only good if I get hours and hours and hours of practice. And then I seem to lose it between Saturday practice and Sunday race half the time.

  2. I'm competing well as a Novice, but I've been a Novice for far too long. They have to make me Expert, and that means I'm going to just be back of the pack. Probably forever, given my inability to learn.

Okay, so this is definitely frustration talking, and I am constantly learning and I am getting better over time. But DAMN slowly, and I seem to need constant re-inforcement to avoid some pretty basic mistakes. You can look and see that I'm learning and getting better, but I've been doing this for 3 full racing seasons now, and it's far past time that most of this should be just plain easy for me.

Part of me says "Look at how far you've come" but another part says "Look at how many years, and you're still failing the basics"

It's really easy to be depressed right now.