I am 34 years old. Got into CCS racing at 19, and ran a few races for a few years. Got out and became an "adult". Played on the street for a long time, then got back into track days, which, of course, lead to getting back into CCS events. I guess what I am saying is I've seen both sides. Back as a kid, I had a ton of drive, and wanted to do nothing but go faster and faster. And like every "kid" I wanted to be the next Wayne Rainey/ Kevin Schwantz.
As an adult doing it, I care less about getting faster, and focus more on smoothness and technique. I find that the track side comradery is more important to me than just the race by itself. I suppose all of this can be contributed to growing up, but if you ask anyone who knows me...that is still an elusive realm I have yet to discover! lol
The thing about your post that really rang a bell with me, was how- after all the years I was away from racing, that so little has changed.....besides the bikes, of course!
Basically, there is still the same enigma going on in club racing.....perhaps a dichotemy...maybe an enigma wrapped up in a dichotemy of a conundrum....but I digress. One camp in the mindset of club racers (hard core, younger racers) tend not to like the "sometimers". The ones who are so dedicated they put every last dime into racing, and appear, at times, to get offended by those who run a race here and there. Conversely, the "sometimers" also tend to get a stick up their butts about the "hardcore" group, saying they should chill out, all while giving constant reminders that this is "just club racing". The reality is that in club racing, neither camp is "right", and neither camp is "wrong".
Club racing encapsulates both camps. It IS the starting point for the fast young ones, and it IS the comfy spot us older folks enjoy competing in, albeit in a more docile capacity!
I like the conundrum. I like being on the track and watching a new and upcoming racer blow my old ass off the track! For me, it's awesome to see our sport keep growing. I love hanging out with good friends, and after the day is done- cracking a few beers and talking trash. I love prepping a bike over the winter with my friends....again, while cracking a few beers and talking trash!
Racing is different than most other pursuits in life. Its funny how those who we battle on track, and curse from our helmets as they pass us, tend to be our closest chums- folks who will do anything to help you out. I love it, and hope I can continue to keep doing it for as long as possible.
Cheers to all of you- racing for whatever your reasons may be.