Racing gets into your blood. You
can't race and then quit and go do something else without it constantly
tugging & pulling you gently back. What is it like? Here is
a description I wrote in 1997.
Race is about to start- I sit on the right end of the gate, revving
the engine with my throttle hand, the fingers on my left hand
twitch in anticipation of the start; a blitz to the first corner.
The long day of racing is waning, and the sun is low. This is
the last race- the Gran Prix. I am exhausted, dirty, but determined
that THIS time there will be no prisoners taken. My bike is my
trusty old yellow 77 YZ400
feet ahead of me stands a man with the 30 Second board; a square
piece of white plywood with a large number 30 on it in black.
The board turns, the gate opens- and KLONK- down it falls. I roar
up the hill with the gang to my left, and see my brother Jonathan
has gotten the holeshot on his 79 CR250R - and behind him Jon
Morgan going great guns on his 74 MX250.
There were a few others in front of me, and I struggled by them
one at a time using up my first lap - and then the chase is on.
Jonathan and Jon have opened up a space- and I strive to cut it
into ribbons. Ive lost my fear of flying on the YZ. The
jumps which had almost pitched me off in the morning, I now find
myself going far faster than I had earlier- and Im clearing
them- and concentrating on not slowing- and Im in the rhythm
that I needed all day.
I retreat into a silent world.....
of dusty light and long shadows slit the grass blades at the sides
of the track.
sound has long since dimmed down into nothingness, and I fly along
slowly through syrup, the monster beneath me growling to itself:
now twitching, now bucking, stretching its muscles like a cat,
with me holding on in a dream, at one with the machine
can see Jon Morgan ahead of me. I begin to reel him in- bit by
bit, and suddenly Im on him, and to my surprise he yields,
waving me by- Im almost disappointed- having caught him
I wanted to take him in anger. I can now see Jonathan ahead. I
am going so fast, that I am clearing the tabletop and sometimes
landing in the corner itself and wondering if I was even going
to make it.
am now reeling Jonathan in, but not fast enough. At the very end
my brother slows and we go over the finish line, his front wheel
a foot ahead of mine . A fitting end to the day- Im never
sorry to lose to Jonathan. It feels as though we both won. I try
to gasp out a howl of victory as we pulled off the track, but
I have no voice or energy left, and it is lost..