Watching the dark morning sky lighten while packing last-minute almost forgotten items into the car. Driving to the track early in the morning before church-goers, while the late-night partiers sleep… It is often cold on those mornings and staying snuggly in bed might seem like a more comfortable alternative, but we have a disease that compels us out of the warmth into the brisk morning.
There is fog rising from the road today as I turn off the main road to the racetrack. It is beautiful swirling low and cloudy thick. I haven’t seen fog since I left Illinois and even though it means the air is cold, it makes me a little giddy with delight.
I pull into the pit area and scan around for a space to park and set up. I’m late and the pits are already pretty parked up. I drive through and find a perfect spot sandwiched between two friends.
One of the draws to this life is the camaraderie. I pull out my canopy and without a word suddenly there are three people helping me unfold it and set it up. A mug of hot coffee appears in my hands as a welcome warmup.
I sit in my little set up watching bikes ride by. People wave, friends stop by to chat. It’s social with a purpose.
The sky is clear and it has finally warmed up to the point where we can no longer see our breath. The ever-present squeak of race boots and the stiff leather-clad walk of riders walking by are familiar and always make me feel a little like I’m home.