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Dec 17, 2002

Reader Reaction To Mark Miller's Essay

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Readers react to the essay posted December 13.<BR><BR>You are right on point! Wonderful article!<BR><BR>George Leavell<BR>Gilroy, California<BR><BR><BR><BR>Say Amen Reverend Miller!<BR><BR>I'm given pause to wonder though, why, so many people go for the NASCAR stuff? Maybe there's a certain breed of fan as well?<BR> Phil Burre<BR><BR><BR><BR>I just finished reading Mark's opinion. Mark Miller is an excellent writer. You should provoke him to write for you more often.<BR> <BR>Todd Hoekstra<BR><BR><BR><BR>I was reading Mark Miller's "First Person/Opinion"<BR>piece, thinking I mostly agreed with him--based on my own long analysis of my life-long speed jones and a recent day spent on the track (the first time since my fourth retirement from road racing ("Never say never again..."). (Aside: In fact, on that recent day at the track, I lost sight of the fact that I was actually trying out to be a riding instructor for a very well known "cornering" school and just focused on turning the fastest laps that I could on my street bike. It didn't matter that I didn't have any way of knowing my lap times--I could tell. And, no, I didn't get the instructor position.)<BR><BR>Then I got to the end of the article, where Mark wrote "I guarantee you, though, the young men you're watching up front on TV don't come more competitive, and are probably saying in a continuous loop in their heads, 'F--k those guys, I'm better.'"<BR><BR>And I knew with those last five words that he'd hit the nail on the head. Because that's what was in MY head every time I lined up on the starting grid, whether I was dead last on the back row--early on--or up near the front. It didn't matter whether it was true, either. It was simply what I believed every time. It was my personal motivation for beating the guys (and two women) I rationally knew were faster than me. It was my personal motivation for saying "F--k it!" and keeping the throttle screwed to the stop longer than I had before, longer than I thought was possible and to keep the bike on two wheels, only to find out that I could keep the throttle open that long, that I could ride like those faster riders, that I could go as fast, and that I could beat them.<BR><BR>But I never told them what I was thinking. In fact, I don't think I ever told anyone. Like Mick Doohan recently said in an interview, trash talk just makes the other guys work harder to beat you. And you always have to make good on your trash talk or you look like twice the fool.<BR><BR>And Mark is right about the fact that it doesn't matter how one who needs speed to live gets their fill of it--I progressed from running to bike riding to skateboarding down the biggest hills to skiing ridiculously fast and finally to motorcycles and road racing (and throw in ocean sports and now snowboarding, too).<BR><BR>And the fact that I have no way of presently affording to race or even do regular track days actually causes me to suffer. In reference to myself and those like me, I've always used the term "aficionado," as used by Hemingway in "The Sun Also Rises." I might not make a living in the world of motorcycling, but I still eat and breath it and live for it.<BR><BR>But one day, I'll be back on the track. Like I<BR>said--it's my fourth retirement.<BR><BR>Not my last...<BR><BR>And f--k those guys, I'm better.<BR><BR>Evan Kay<BR>Team Pro Bono<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>I really enjoy reading stuff like that...straight-up and REAL. Thanks. <BR> <BR>Happy Holidays,<BR><BR>Jodie York<BR>Ventura, California<BR><BR><BR><BR>I enjoyed reading the first person/opinion article by Mark Miller a great deal. It reminded me of that great quote by Ernest Hemingway:<BR><BR>"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games."<BR><BR>Regards,<BR><BR>Jesse Seitz<BR>