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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming:
"WOW, what a ride !!!"

It’s All that Noise behind You

A long time mentor of mine once told me, and I’ll never forget it, that people change for two reasons: Fear or Inspiration. I’m all for the inspiration part because that’s the one of the two that, at least to me, is the most rewarding. Think about it, nobody likes fear or pain and to change because of that means something not-so-good is happening in your life. Now if you just can’t make that change in times of fear or pain, you are bound to discover the deep downward depths of your existence. I’ve seen it over and over again along this rocky road that is labeled ‘My Life’. I try to keep things in perspective as I move along and I don’t like to take other peoples inventory, but from my drivers seat it’s very interesting to watch the decisions folks make either sober or in an altered state. I always wonder which one of the two change-motivators is at work as they pull the trigger when challenged. What baffles me is when someone sees the epitome of pain coming like a slung arrow, why they don’t speak up or make some kind of ahead-of-time change? Is it the fear of fear? Is it a kind of perpetuation of fear like the theory regarding photons in a Kline’s Bottle? Sorry to get all fourth dimensional on you guys, but the world of racing motorcycles sparks my inquisitiveness into the action-reaction reality.

What the hell does all this have to do with racing? Well, how fast are you willing to go? Are you inspired to twist the throttle or is it all that noise behind you that tweaks your adrenal juice of urgency to push your limits? Perhaps a combination of both? I suppose that if you’re in the back of the pack you’ll be inspired to play catch-up….right? Or if you are in the lead with clear lines and the plangent of engines roaring behind….. will you take that extra risk? Where does your particular instinct take you? How do you react when you take a nice spill?… disoriented, a bit shocked and all the while the race is in full swing being rammed down your throat. Do you react from fear or inspiration? That other funky feeling hits when you can’t get your bike fired up when your gate is called….Uggg. You know, at the races here in the Northeast, Dr. Abbate gets $5.00 a pop to start a bike under gate panic. I’m pretty sure he covers his entry fees or at least a cache of cigars from this special talent.


Jimmy freaks as
Nigel launches some BBQ Love!

On another note, Hollingsworth has been my houseguest for the past week as he flew in to race the ACR event at Southwick with me. We’ve had quite a time at my crib with Bruce Rounsaville, Tom Long, Jerry Cantone, Doc Abbate, Mike Mitrione, Richie Vassallo, Dave Meakem, Chilly Richardson, Bob Leskanic and even Jim Pomeroy along with his trusty MX school assistant Tami Rice, all stopping by for a BBQ Diamond Don style, to rant haphazardly and incessantly about the innermost human mechanics of Vintage Motocross racing. The fear-inspiration issue brought about tale upon tale of victories and losses, with the typical plea for the consummate anodyne. Amidst all of the brilliance that graced my humble abode this past week, I must say that the high-time was watching Hollingsworth, pissed as a skunk, climb up on my pristine MotoLifted, 1970 AJS Y50 and bronco-buck his way to volumes of well aimed BBQ projectile vomiting. We were all in tears at the expressions on Bimbo’s face as he was the innocent recipient of Nigel’s culinary bile. It was all I could do to hold myself together for the remainder of the evening with reminding thoughts echoing in my head that I had to be in surgery the next morning. I didn’t particularly want to reveal it here in the sanction of my column, but I’m a Neurosurgeon by day, writer by night and weekend binge Motocrosser. How I got involved with this cast of garlic mashed potato heads, I’ll never know, but it sure spooks me. I can still hear Tami’s shrieking force just wailing into her cell phone with Brad Lackey’s gravel voice bleeding out in between…..”Jimmy just got puked on! Oh Brad I don’t believe it! Holli just puked all over Jimmy!!” Talk about fear?….the last time I talked with Brad, he told me never to mention his name in my column, or on this site… Ever! Ok Brad, I promise not to and I’ll let you beat me in our next race together. Now there’s some inspiration for you!


Just another day of Brain Salad Surgery

As special as that evening was, I’m still grieving over the cleanup costs. My white berber carpet is now ‘BBQ’ carpet, the wall mirror is shattered and I have to order a new gas tank from England for my now not-so-pristine Stormer. The things I put up with in the name of friendship with Hollingsworth….Jeez!

Southwick was not my day as I dislocated my shoulder in the first moto and sat out the afternoon popping AleveŽ and watching the races while balancing an ice bag. Hollingsworth on the other hand was amazing as he duke’d it out with Mike ‘Too-Tall’ Bell. Together they raced the same five classes with Holli beating him in seven of the ten motos.

It’s been one crazy month here at McCookRacing and I’m glad all that noise is behind me….. for now I’m off to Tuscon with Nigel to hook up with an old friend of his. When I get back, I’ll see you all at the races.

Cheers,
Michael

Next issue: Just when you thought you knew all the answers, all the questions changed.

P.S. To my friend ‘Jammin’ Jimmy Weinert… Keep coming back brother.


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