Just when I think I know what I'm talking about...
Once, I wrote something, equally long winded, about how great it was to be in I, primarily because you get the CR's attention. I wrote that it would be a bittersweet day to get the A bump.
Well, that bittersweet feeling didn't last long at all, as it turns out. Tony gave me my A sticker after a pretty rocky start at Labor Day BHF, with a double pass double stoppie combo rideoff into the wet grass in T1 in the morning. Taped it all up and just reset my head and rode to move that tire wear bevel a bit further towards the edge of the tire, working the body position, etc. Last session of the day, put in a couple of fun laps with Tony, came in early, and he popped me with the sticker out of the blue.
Sunday morning in A was just fine (actually hard work never slowing down for anyone for 20 minutes) and the 2nd session...wow. Dang. It is very hard to describe just how much sandbagging is going on by the CRs in B and I. Basically just took the top of my head off, all my ideas (and most of my pride) just fell right out. It showed me just how committed these A guys are to getting it right. Whatever limits I thought I was getting close to, well, that's all out the window now.
And A continues to blow my small mind every time now. I followed the A train at Putnam during their warm up lap (I didn't know what was going on), and it was pretty amazing to see 12 guys in front of me all running hard, and well, not getting away from me too fast, though they pretty much all did after 2 or 3 laps. I make 1 to 3 passes in a session now, at most. I'm passed twice as much or more now, and it's better than ever.
An A pass is a pretty amazing thing. You run hard into a corner, at your personal limit, and somebody will come inside you with more lean angle, and more speed. So you just smile a little and try to put yourself right on their tire as hard and long as you can, and you've got the best seat in the class for the best show in the world. Sometimes a guy named Alan on a taped up R6 with the plate still on it will pass clean and close into BHF 7, and then casually back it in to 1 right in front of you, and just blow your mind. Sometimes a rider (...let's say a rumored ex-AMA guy on a Ducati 1098) will run by you outside, riding the sealer strip that defines the edge of the track and the grass, all the way from the bus stop to his turn-in to Dead Bear at Putnam. Sometimes you'll be there in T9 and pushing as hard as you dare, and a guy (say... with "Stymie" on his leathers) will come by you, and choose an even deeper lean angle for T10, and do it with more gas, all at the same time. Sometimes a CR you've seen in I a million times who was never really pushing it, who you thought you might have even "dropped" a few times there, will casually buzz you into T9 with a little wave...maybe you'll keep up long enough to figure how he got the drive out of Dead Bear that did you in at T9, and just maybe you'll have to ask him later because the only place your going to catch him today is in the pits.
The I group is high school, the A group is college. Both are lots of fun, but college is a lot more serious, and costs a hell of lot more. (Freddie Spencer's is grad school - get another loan!) I'm now burning a rear tire per day, so it's time to buy that 600 to bring me to the next level.
It's been a great season, I met some great new friends this year, and it is great personal accomplishment to be acknowledged by NESBA as an A rider. I can't really thank all the many CR's at NESBA enough: Tom, Wink, Tony, Ron, Alan, and all the rest of the orange shirt devils that work as hard as they can to make people better riders, on and off the track. NO chance that I'd be here all by myself. Can't wait to finish it up with a (CCW?) weekend at Gratten and kiss that big old RC51 goodbye, proper-like.
Last edited by borgnsr; 10-17-2007 at 10:31 AM.
Reason: missing sig