The spectator's point of view is something I know that racers don't really have time to think about, especially through all of the craziness that goes on at the tracks while preparing for each race event. I have learned some interesting languages from riders as I see tools fly in the air, and witness the stomping of the feet that could almost become it's own form of dance. I have seen frustration and hopelessness turn into exciting anticipation as each race event slowly creeps up on them. As a spectator in the pits, I am witness to the emotions of each rider that are displayed, at times making me feel as if I were in a broad way show or even at times, in an insane asylum. I enjoy the feel of these emotions as every time, it gets me pumped up for each race I am getting ready to watch. The excitement the racers give off is something that is really indescribable in words. All I know, when I hear "3rd call," it's like a timer going off in my head, telling me I have to get to the best viewing area as fast as I can... all I can say is thank goodness for pit bikes.
As I watch every one grid, I find my hands grasping on to the fence so hard in anticipation that my knuckles turn white. A good start is always exciting to see. I find myself leaning back, and then instantly leaning forward as the bikes jump into their forward motion. I feel for the guy who doesn't get the greatest start, however, I find myself gravitating towards watching them more to find out how they come out of it. I know their focus is off for a moment, but within the next lap or two, I find myself watching them more than the leader themselves. There's a lot to be said about any rider who has a bad start, but then quickly regroups and puts on an awesome show of determination. They may not finish where they would like, but to us spectators, you've given us what we expected, an opportunity to feel as if we were with you as you high tail it through the other stream of riders, passing whoever comes to be in your way.
I know there are many of you riders who "feel" slow, and I've heard utter the words, I'm not fast enough, nor good enough to be out there, but you should really rethink what you're saying to yourselves. It's not always the "fastest" ones that put on the show we are looking for..... it's the skill in itself. Don't get me wrong, leaders are cool to watch, but the rider that starts out in the 10th or 12th place on the grid and then works their way up to 3rd over all, now that is the rider that will be mostly watched. And kudos to Mark Tenn for doing just that in Jennings earlier this year. The riders in the back of the pack that fight for the opportunity to get a head even just a spot or two with the other riders, are also the ones that are watched more over all than the leaders. Seeing multiple bikes come into a corner, is an exciting view to watch, many times I don't realize I am holding my breath, as the riders come in leaning far into the corner - two to three at a time together go by... then I feel that big rush of air come out as they all go by making it safely through. And as I do so, I just think in my mind, OM-Freakin-G! These riders make it look so easy.
From the rider in lead to the very last rider, many of you just don't realize that you have us spectators mesmerized by what we are seeing. Even when there is a crash.....you may not hear us, but we gasp out loudly and hold on tight praying that you and your bike are not badly hurt. We feel your pain with you. Out of all of the races I've been to, I must admit, there has not been one time that I have walked away from any race saying it was a boring one.
After reading through many interesting topics, I wanted to add a word of encouragement to all of you riders mainly from the spectator point of view. I know many of you get so discouraged because you don't finish where you'd like to, but by getting out there to just have fun, you've accomplished more than you think. Without the riders, us spectators to say the least, would be very bored...lol.
To me, the best racers are not always the ones winning, but the ones who can bring the spectators to their knees and make them feel as if they were on the track themselves. The last races at West Palm Beach, Fl. were some pretty impressive races, I watched two racers by the names of Mark Tenn and Chris Sullivan come into the last corner together side by side, they were so close and I thought for sure one would go down, in anticipation it brought me to my knees and then quickly up again as the riders went flying past me in the straight away. The excitement was incredible. They made it look so easy, I know if I tried something like that, well let's just say it wouldn't be a pretty sight...lol.
I am sure many riders have valid arguments about adding new classes or revisions needing to be discussed, and I agree with some of the riders that at times there are too many riders in a race at one time. I strongly feel if there has to be two waves, then there should be two separate races. As a spectator, a mother of three who enjoy coming to the track with all three children as well, and a cheerleader for my "racer team," the changes I would like to see in CCS Racing is more practice and racing together on Saturday and Sunday. There would be more opportunities for families to come if the races could let out earlier on Sunday's. It makes a difference with travel if the races, along with the awards ceremonies could end around 3pm instead of 6 or 7 at night. With more families being able to come along, I could only surmise that would also increase the amount of riders with families to start coming once again.
But however each race goes, each rider needs to be proud of getting out there on the track. Half the time I don't even know what class I am looking at, what leaves me smiling and filled with excitement, is just seeing the riders giving it their all and displaying one hell of show.... so to all of you riders.....