Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dodging Death

After a few hours of the nervous dance, the V5 race approaches.  This is the most important race of my season and possibly my career.  Without a good finish here, Kurt will gain an insurmountable advantage in points and my dream of winning two championships in the same season will be over.  Failure is not an option and if by sheer strength of will I can force the spark to jump both plug gaps on that EX500 for 8 lousy laps, consider it done.

I decide to give the bike a final visual inspection before the race.  As my eyes turn towards the chain, something seems out of place, missing.  Realization like a stab to the guts when I figure out that the goddamn clip that holds the master link in place is gone!  It must have fallen off in practice, despite being safety wired and siliconed in place.

I yell for my brother, who is dozing in a chair, wiped out by the mounting Georgia heat and humidity.  I don't know why I did this, it's not as if he can help, or even knows where a spare master link clip might be.  I jump into the back of the van and start tossing out parts bins.  I catch a small break and locate one in the first bin I open.  It looks serviceable enough, there is no time to find another as the announcer makes first call for my race.

I pause for a moment, force myself to breathe, knowing that the clip must be installed properly with care, lest I lose another one.  I gently press the clip into place as my heart tries to pound its way up my throat.  It's a stark reminder of how small the things are that keep us from disaster....had that master link come apart there is no telling what could have happened.  A small shiver passes through my body despite the heat, as I force the dark thoughts from my mind.

"It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.  Such a little thing." -Boromir 

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