I wake up at 3.30am to kiss my wife good bye, and to head out to Buttonwillow Raceway. I had a job to do, a Track Drill 1on3 on Saturday and a 1on4 on Sunday.
It’s gonna take about 3 1/2 hours to get there and my job entitles to transfer knowledge in a passioned and inspiring way and to be on a highly physical track for 2 days, so that I actually try to enjoy this long and ‘quite’ drive. Even my ‘Cleopatra’ dangles peacefully in the straps. That will be quite a different scenario in about 6 hours, when she underlines her diva status ones unleashed.
The coffee is still too hot to drink and it’s pitch black out there. I am still a little exhausted of the work to be done the previous week. Office… requests, planning 2020 dates, preparing classes and 1on1’s. Shop… maintenance, cleaning, tires, oil changes, gear. And so on and so on. My back hurts and my hands show scarf-skin from all the riding I’ve been doing for more than four decades now. Looking at them pops memories up. All the races I’ve done, from an amateur to a professional with a international FIM race license. I’ve done crazy things in live and gave all my heart, sweat and blood to get there. Nothing came easy- nothing came with luck. Same goes for ‘Superbike-Coach’ btw, and now I’m seeing about 1500 students per year. Seven of them during this weekend.
I finally hit Interstate-5. There is literally no traffic and my thumb sneaks to the Cruise Control button. My V8 hums at 2000 rpm’s and the coffee is good to go. But am I really relaxed?… no, cuz’ I realize that I don’t even listen to music. Instead my thoughts are with the students already- with things I might could have done better in the last Cornering Day 2 class- with a program I want to add- with family things- and with the shit going down which probably bothers anyone right now, and hopefully finds and end in 2020.
Let’s watch a movie. I’ve picked ‘12 Monkeys‘, and oh man… Brad Pitt is such a great actor. Meanwhile, the darkness fades away and hills in the distance arising. Memories coming in, when Marion and I came to California in 1997 for our Honeymoon. That was the trigger for us to live here and to finally make it happen in November 2008. What a journey, but also here… nothing came easy, nothing for free, nothing is perfect. The Sunrise is gorgeous. Oh btw… nature calls and I take the next exit. The off ramp takes me down to a small, very dusty old road which disappears towards the hills. Seems there is another one stopping for the same reason. The scene was a perfect postcard picture. A silver AC Cobra parked half off the road in the desert, driver door open. I know the bridge is long- but that picture was so ‘James Dean’ or ‘Steve McQueen’, if you know what I mean. I wished I’d have take a pic damn it.
Quicker as expected… exiting Lerdo Highway. I finally stop in the paddock and slide out of the truck. First thing I see is Varun walking quickly up to me with his big smile on his face, witch I know from many classes he works with me now and so today. He hugs me right away and from deep down of his heart he says “I’m so glad to see you Coach!”… and I’ve really arrived. Cruise control off!
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp