Discussion in 'General' started by long path/road, Jan 27, 2022.
Surprised nobody's said " my wife " yet.
Mine was the one who bought me the FAST school certificate and got me started in the whole mess lol. She loved the races and the track life and even helped out in timing and reg. She wasn't very good on a bike though, and well, let's not talk about that lol.
for me it was a combination of Rheumatoid Arthritis and renal disease. Both started to become a hindrance around 2002 but I kept riding. Basically I was a very active hare scramble guy, moved to MX which was less overall physical and then arena cross until I didn't have the strength or energy to compete. I had been running a supermoto to mainly work on corner speed and helping to support a few local guys running WERA so it was a logical move to give roadracing a try. Unfortunately too little too late.
I still ride and received a transplant kidney last year. Already feel better than I had in years and getting ready to try a few track days. The dirty bike is undergoing a refresh and if everything works out I may give WERA another try.
Same here as far as drinking goes....I quit at 37....Never been tempted to drink 15 yrs later.
Gonna do a sober February to get things back under control.
Here is my story…
What got me hooked on the track was the sense of peace.
With ADHD, social anxiety, claustrophobia, and a mild Sensory Integration Disorder, combined with a complete lack of patience, a short temper and zero tolerance for people being in my personal space…something is going to set me off if I leave the house. That is just a fact.
Especially when you factor in my (uncontrollable) obsession with competition. It isn’t even a conscious decision. It just happens if I find myself doing the same thing someone else is.
Driving down the road, walking to a door, refilling a drink, it doesn’t matter. If I find myself doing the same thing as someone else, my immediate thought is “this motherfucker won’t beat me”, and if I “lose” it aggravates the fuck out of me. It might sound funny, but it is a daily struggle.
The only times I was able to find peace is on the court, the field, or in the ring. My overactive mind and lack of concentration was an asset, because everything was happening fast and I HAD to think of many things at once. Plus I felt justified in my competitive thoughts because it actually WAS a competition.
Then I got out of college and stopped sports. I found myself getting more angry, and more often.
Then I found motorcycles.
I can’t describe the sense of peace I had when I first went to the track. It was like everything made sense. Knee-down at 100mph, I’m relaxed and calm and it is like therapy for me. I still remember coming off the track at the end of my first hot session. I pulled in the pits and just sat there. The feeling of peace and relief I felt was indescribable.
It felt so good, it was addictive.
In my 2nd track weekend, I was taken out at TalladegaGP and it was bad. Had a major concussion and was unconscious for a while, short term memory loss, etc. Plus a shattered collarbone and cracked pelvis.
Didn’t care. I never considered not riding again.
Then I started racing.
So then not only did I get the “therapy” of riding, it also filled my need for competition.
I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t do enough races in the weekend.
Had multiple injuries, broken bones, surgeries, and even concussions over the next 10 years. Didn’t care. I felt nothing could keep me off the track.
Then this fucking spine bullshit. The risk of paralysis is what is holding me up at the moment.
I still can’t feel most of my thighs or knees (nerve damage), but I relearned how to stand, walk and do everything else without that feeling. I am sure I could retrain my legs how to ride also.
My twisting and bending is limited because of a lot of my lower spine being fused. But I’m sure I could work around that also.
It is the increased risk of paralysis that scares me. There is so much hardware in and through my spine. I don’t know where that shit will go in an impact.
I don’t know if I will ever ride again. And to be honest, that thought scares me almost as much as being paralyzed.
I want to say...thanks to all responses and my lord! I've been busted up..but few I can't even imagine what yall have gone through... ! Blessed yall are still involved. I agree with GG... for me it was always a way for peace. I was always kinda a loner but found great people, competitive or not that were always there...
for me was peace/ a way to relieve frustration etc.. because of the speed and focus needed. block all the other BS out of my life!
I know I can't even try to be competitive anymore..but just alot of this feed back is telling me, what can't it hurt to just get out there...and get back some personal therapy, regardless if in first or last. I'm still sorting that out.
regardless thank you all for sticking together and nothing else being open and honest...greatly appreciated..
X-wife..Money,and like others have said booze.Honestly,the booze have probably been the worse.Some bad get offs,concussions,and broke the same damn shoulder 3 times.
I'm finished with the drinking for good,bikes or no bikes,drinking would eventually kill me if I kept doing it.Everything in my life suffered from it.
There i said it.If any of you ever see me holding a beer in my hand at a race,slap the shit out of me!
Im focused on this up coming season,however slow I may be at 53.I need it in my life!
I guess I would consider myself lucky, I drink like a fish at the track but can literally turn it off at the drop of a hat. I bet many people at the track think I'm am absolute alky tho lol.
I still love to ride and love the track but I have two small kids and it feels selfish as fuck. Also riding at 80% because I know I can't "afford" to crash is just not the same. That's part of the reason I haven't been back racing because going out there and riding around half assed is not my style. It's not that I need to be the fastest guy there, but I want to be able to hang it out. And at this point in my life I just can't do that.
This shit has been a blessing and a curse.
You are one tough pain in the ass..........Tolstoy.
I have the EXACT same thoughts.
To be honest, racing while having the thoughts or worries of crashing, almost scares more than the thoughts of actually crashing.
Shit. That didn’t make sense. I know what I’m thinking, im just not sure how to say it.
I have never worried about crashing. Even in my first race back after a big surgery and recovery, I was WFO in the first practice session. The thought or worry of crashing never entered my mind.
If you are scared of crashing, you will never be fast.
If I go back, I will be worried about crashing. And the thought of riding with that fear, almost scares me more than not racing at all.
If I am not willing to take an opening when it is there, or make one even if there isn’t, or if I am not willing to risk tucking the front or sliding the rear, then what’s the point?
I will never be the guy who can ride at 80-90%, only take the easy and obvious passing opportunities, finish 17th and be ok with it and “just have a good time”.
I admire the guys that can do that and just enjoy the weekend. I’m just not that guy
If I can’t give myself every opportunity to win, then I am better off not doing it at all.
The aggravation and stress of doing it half-assed and losing would heavily outweigh any “therapy” I might get from doing it.
I get the "therapy" thing. The sense of mellowness that I've experienced as I would drive home from a race weekend was really cool. I've always thought it a bit odd that something so intense could wind up being so relaxing.
For the most part I've never thought about the injuries I've sustained as a reason to stop racing. Except for concussions. From that perspective, I can't imagine not being able to think clearly during a typical day, and as much as I love racing, I love being able to exercise my mind as an engineer even more. I just don't know if I could deal with living in a fog due to some sort of brain injury. I don't think it would be fair to my wife either.
I really have nothing to complain about as I've been able to race bikes for nearly 40 years and for that I am truly grateful.
Even so, I do think that being out on a racetrack with less risk doing something like instructing at trackdays might be a good compromise.
I would tell you to look into kart racing but that's probably not the ideal sport with your obsession with being bigger than your natural size. It's probably the closest you would feel to riding a motorcycle, though.
Karts are pretty okay. Motoards might work for the big doofus.
I’ve seen videos of them doing that at Roebling. I’m not sure if it’s an actual series or what.
Good call. I need to look into it.
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