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Roadcraft Motorcycle Academy

Roadcraft Motorcycle Academy

2017 Pre-Race Report – And Then It Was Time

For a lot of years I’ve had to merely survive the winter, biding my time and waiting for the first glimpse of spring to get out on that first real motorcycle ride in the crisp spring air and the early morning light. That first real ride to someplace fun, that first track day, or that first race has been something I anticipated like a young child waiting for Santa Claus. Sure I ride all year and as much as I have enjoyed commuting on a motorcycle it’s not the same and we all know it. For one thing you always seem to end up at work! Well at least half of the time….

I had a great year of motorcycling last year, maybe it was a little too great I’m not sure but I managed to do something I never thought possible. I somehow actually did too many motorcycle events and managed to burn myself out. For the first time ever the riding and racing season seemed longer than I wanted and the long rest of winter was actually quite appealing.

Not that the end of the season means too much resting, or a break from motorcycles. It means the beginning of my motorcycle maintenance season but it doesn’t take all winter and there is time to relax. Well not enough time this year, but some time at least.

As spring approached there were more than a few days I wondered if I still had the motivation to teach at Roadcraft, to do a lot of riding or even to race, and I know that when I’m actually in a race I love it. The “buzz” you get from racing is incredible and I’ve never found anything else like it.

In my teenage years I raced BMX bicycles and at the start of each race when all the riders were at the starting gate with their front wheels pressed hard against the gate, feet balanced on the pedals and all eyes fixed on the starting lights, the starters voice would ring out;

RIDERS READY……… GENTLEMEN……. WATCH THE LIGHTS!

Sometime in the next 2 to 5 seconds those lights would change from red to green, the gate would drop and then it would be ON! All the training and preparation was over it was time to go elbow to elbow and pedal to pedal against the competition to see where you stood that week, and the “buzz” was powerful.

To this day just thinking the words “gentlemen, watch the lights” continues to send chills down my spine more than 30 years after my last BMX race.

These days those words have been replaced by the equally spine chilling moment at the start of a motorcycle race when the starter pulls in the red flag and turns on the starting lights. Every motor on the grid screams, fingers twitch waiting to drop the clutch and all eyes are fixed on the lights as we prepare to hurl ourselves towards turn one as fast as we each dare. Sometime in the next 2 to 5 seconds those lights will turn off and once again it will be ON!

Today is Friday and the sun is making a rare 2017 appearance. As I sit at my desk typing and sipping coffee I can feel that buzz starting to stir inside of me once again. This weekend I have the opportunity to share my riding experience with another fresh group of students and next weekend we go racing.

There’s that buzzing again. I guess I’m ready after all.

The next Roadcraft course is running May 11, 13, 14 and it looks like this one will sell out soon so don’t wait too long if you’d like to be a part of this one.

Thank you to all of the people that support my racing efforts: Roadcraft, Racer X Leathers, Burnaby Kawasaki, SV racing Parts, MSpeed Performance, and of course Patty. Without her support none of this happens and if you are close to Roadcraft or the #49 pit you know how very true that is.

See you at the track!

Steve McKenna #49