Thirty Seconds a Lap

Thirty Seconds a Lap

A Story by freelancejouster

        After hours in a sleepy, stuffy, lengthy car ride, I finally arrive at the famous Knoxville Raceway, where I’m a member of the crowd.  I don’t know enough and am not curious enough to be awed by the raceway itself; instead, the event awes me.  We file in by pairs and trios, excitement bubbling from our lips and through our limbs.  Smiling faces and friendly bets are strung through the population as we settle ourselves upon the uncomfortable metal seating, covered in little remnants of races before.  Low murmurs emit from the speakers before us, but nothing loud enough to make us pay attention.  Indeed, the bikes gliding out from the pits and arranging themselves in neat lines are the first movements to eventually grasp our attention.  Their riders’ faces betraying countless emotions:  scared, tense, excited, cocky, nervous, elation.

            At the beginning of each race, there is a breath, a pause, as the whole world seems to shift to a still, all of our eyes on the starting line.  One heartbeat, two, a rev of engines like a jet launching and they’re off like multi-colored bullets, weaving amongst each other during the first short seconds.  Suddenly, the riders are sucked to the inside of the track as if by a current, and kept spinning by a whirlpool.  The noise is comforting and cruel at the same time"a purr and a growl.  The engines have come to life and are ready for a hunt.

            By the third race, dust rises from the dirt track creating an artificial smog around the riders as they speed past, as fast as the eye can follow.  Water trucks do their best to clamp the dirt down between stints, but it always returns to the air, insistent.  By the time the main races begin, it infiltrates everything, permeating every inch of the acres we are contained to, so thick near the ground that I attempt to imagine how it must look for the riders.  And fail.

Food smells waft from below our stands: pepperoni pizza, nacho cheese, soft pretzels, buffalo wings, and sweet and salty kettle corn.  Grit stings our eyes and coats our tongues, so that we can taste the track, grease, and oil before us.  The two contrasting senses meld together and it’s then that we realize:  we aren’t here for the sights, we aren’t here for the smells, we aren’t here for the foods, we aren’t here for the sounds:  we came here for the experience.  We may not being doing any good or changing anything really, but there is something incredible happening here, around, in front of, and within us.  We were here to be part of something greater than ourselves, and the feeling is unbelievable.  I am immersed in the crowd, drenched in the feeling of unity.

            My voice joins the multitudes of screaming fans; we are all past hoarse by the end of the night, but we ignore any complaints mentioning such.  Accomplishment grows in my chest with my cries of joy and sighs of disappointment according to the performance of any of the numbers I recognize on the track.  None of us feel the hard, cool metal beneath us, or shift uncomfortably upon it.  Nor do we notice the sunflower seeds and general grime tucked into their nooks and crannies.  Instead, we are swept into the significance of this event: our loved ones and idols speeding beneath us, pouring every part of themselves into a race on a motorcycle, thirty seconds a lap. 

© 2011 freelancejouster

Author's Note

a descriptive essay for my college preparatory english class. i went to knoxville raceway in iowa

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This was a very interesting read; I've never seen any motorsports myself, but I imagine the feelings of being in a crowd are similar to those I've enjoyed at other sporting events. You've camptured the atmosphere very well, and I especially enjoy the merging of the sights, smells and sounds. Well done!

Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on September 15, 2011
Last Updated on October 8, 2011
Tags: motorcycle, descriptive, essay, descriptive essay, school, knoxville




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