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May 31, 2013

Awaiting Summer

There’s been precious little ridding of the fantastic race bike since the covered arena in Salem shut down for the season last February.  I raced in two more events during the winter season and while I was never lapped by another rider, neither was I ever able to pull myself out of last place. Disappointing as that may have been, I do believe I was improving every time I hit the track.

I take that back. The one time, I succeeded in having my wife and friends from work come to witness my greatness, I ran into the back of someone as we were rolling out for a practice by looking back to make sure I wasn’t in someone’s way and as soon as I looked forward again – bam! Right in the back of someone and down I went. My poor sweetheart, filming her hero, caught the whole embarrassing event,  and never came to see me on the track again. That was bad, but on the day of my third race of the year, I was out practicing with a few others before the evening’s race events and as I was being passed on the outside in turn four I accidentally came up on the rider passing me. We tangled and both were thrown to the ground – he being ensnared by his bike about the foot and I was run over my my own bike where the back tire (still spinning full throttle) climbed up my let and sucked me into the rear fender loop and dragged me down the way, all the while chomping the small of my back for what seemed to go on and on. I wasn’t shocked that I smacked the ground so hard, but that the bike had somehow caught me and was propelling me along while grinding me in half seemed to last a long, long time. I was in shock and once free, scampered on my hands and knees to the wall and propped myself up in a seated position huffing and puffing in shock and awe! The kid I ran into had just been given a full sponsored ride with a pro road racing team and was heading to Houston in a week. Good thing he wasn’t seriously hurt. Me… well I did mess up my back – I knew it as soon as I took some steps, but a lady at the track gave me a handful of Aleve and the racing mentors told me to get back out there, so I did. i raced that night and had a blast – never looked back again, held my line, letting them pass me on the outside all they wanted. Concentrating on building the courage to go faster into the corners and being consistent.

Sadly, never again was I the only one in a class – hence my trophy collection has remained a lonely single (but quite large) memento.



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