Pretend that in two months you’re going to be racing motorcycles. Every day.
You’ve never raced motorcycles before. You don’t even have a motorcycle. Your brother and sister have a few, but that’s about the extent of your experience with them. You’ve been told that your motorcycle will be a Yamaha, but you don’t even know what model, nor do you even know what day, exactly, the motorcycle stork will drop off your new baby and your racing career will begin.
You also have nothing by which to transport your motorcycle. You’ve got a van, but no wheel chocks, tie downs, or canyon dancers. You don’t even know yet that you want canyon dancers. You don’t have any tools, tires, gas cans, spare wheels, tire warmers, extension cords, or a generator. You don’t have that thingamabob that keeps the rear caliper together as you change the wheel. You don’t know what thingamabobs, thingamajigs, and gizzywhizzes you really need, and which ones are a waste of money. You don’t know that having a lap timer is really awesome, which bike stands are the highest quality, or if you’ll have access to natural fuel, or be required to supply it with formula.
Zero to racer in two months. Of course, I’ve had seven months to prepare, but the first three were spent planning a move. The next three, a wedding. And now it’s time to shop.
No, I’m not actually considering a return to motorcycle racing; the stork is actually bringing me a human baby. But I’m trying to register for my baby shower right now, and feeling a little overwhelmed. As the analogy suggests, we have absolutely nothing baby related. A few hand made bibs that my aunt made for me, and a Raiders onesie that a colleague of James brought him. I did pick up a seriously bad ass Bob Revolution SE jog stroller off Craigslist a few weeks ago, but that won’t even become useful until a couple months after the big day.
As for racing technique, I’ve been reading some books, and James and I will be taking some classes. Pretty incredible that the worst case scenario is, well, not having a baby anymore, and all you can do to prepare are take some classes and read some books. The reassuring thing is that people have been having babies for thousands of years, and most do an adequate job of it, at least well enough to get the child to one day procreate himself.
Here’s a photo from the last day I ever raced a motorcycle. California Speedway in Fontana, January 2012. I’m not sure I remember exactly what was going on that day, aside from the vexing cold and wind, but the look Amanda Upton captured here is not too dissimilar from how I feel right now. Searching. Trying to piece together clues to an uncertain future, perhaps.
So, what are your favorite baby thingamabobs and gizzywhizzes? Baby gear advice. Bring it.