Why Do You Race?

photo by NVUS Images

I sometimes get asked why I race. Especially when I’m still a fairly new rider working on making lots of improvements during track and practice days.  I’m not saying you can only get these during racing, I’m just giving a few of my personal whys (in no particular order).

  • Competition.  I crave competition. It’s something that I just love. It gets me excited, and fills something in my soul.  As soon as I started, racing filled something in me that had been missing since I stopped doing auditions for bassoon playing gigs.
  • Experience.  There is no personal bubble in racing. The experience of close passing, of being passed anytime, anywhere, is something that you (hopefully) don’t learn during track days. Just last year, I learned how to make quick, small adjustments, instead of completely changing my line (and then crashing). However it took that crash experience in order to learn that lesson.
  • Breakthrough Improvements.  Something about race pace occasionally leads to huge leaps forward in performance.  I’ve seen it happen numerous times, and it’s happened to me a couple times. When I do track days, incremental improvements are usually the order of the day, but there are times when a massive breakthrough happens – and they often occur during races.
  • People.  I’m not sure if we’re just crazier or what, but one of the reasons I love racing is because of the people we see and hang out with over the course of a weekend. Even the safety crew and officials are awesome!
  • FUN. Success and fun comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s finishing a race upright (a.k.a. still on the bike). Sometimes it’s a close contest throughout an entire race. Sometimes it’s a podium finish. Point is, racing is FUN for me. That may change, but for right now?  Let’s go racing!