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I just wanted to share some of my reflections on the track days I did from my particular perspective. Hopefully someone can relate.

Many people have read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence," which relates some aspects of philosophy to motorcycles, and there are some good books out there giving good technical and some theoretical lessons on how to "go faster."

What i've always been interested in the what you might call the "meta-speed," or, what makes people want to go faster, and those attitudes and actions that actually make a person go faster on a motorcycle. In effect, the voices in your head that tell you what you should or shouldn't, what you may or may not want to do. In the end it is up to the riders will to go faster, and his or her ability to translate that desire into reality... without letting the inevitable laws of entropy tear the rider from the motorcycle and the motorcycle from the road.

Motorcycling is, in essence, the path to that hallowed spot on which the rider gazes undisturbed from the high-cliffs of "ever-faster" down into the depths of chaos and ferring-smashing entropy--but the true seekers of "Going Faster" stand facing that potential and inevitable demise with a calm countenance and the steady hands of a skilled surgeon. Remember Dr. Claudio Costa using telemetry on Biaggi and Rossi during a race to measure cardio-activity. Rossi's heart was calmer and than Biaggi's, and most importantly it was so when there was mid-corner surprises and problems.

I was at the track with Snake the other day, and I remember both he and myself making comments about wondering if we could go faster. One side of me said, "no, I was going as fast as the bike would allow." The better side of me said, "there is always faster, you just have to find it." Fatigue, fear, and lack of knowledge all play a part in our excuses, and Snake and I both had a very difficult time coping with out lack of physical conditioning--your body convinces your mind that you can't go faster because your too tired, and in a way its right.

Humility is needed. I've found that in order to learn to go faster, you have to learn from those who go faster. Take their advice: try it, test it--then keep looking for more speed! When Moto told me to use some rear brake, or get my body over the front of the bike: I went faster! When Ross showed me the tight line to take into T2, i went faster! When Lash and Lateapex told me to slow down and relax a little, I went faster!

The second day during my first session I was running 7 seconds slower a lap than I had done the previous day, and that felt very fast to me and I wasn't sure I could go faster--at least my brain told me so. But as I became comfortable with the speed I slowly got back to my fast times from the day before, and what seemed fast previous became slow; even my fast laps I began to see as not as fast as they could be. I think thats how "going faster" works, your mind gradually slows everything down as you get comfortable with it; you senses become sharper and more subtle; you see and feel things you didn't before--especially things that allow you to go faster!

~jafar
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