The second station took place at the drag strip, where we got three practice runs. I’ve never been to a drag strip before where I was actually piloting. Thankfully we were running one at a time, not side by side. I watched the other journalists pull up to the burnout box and kick up clouds of smoke before pulling forward. I had never done a burnout. Ever. It just wasn’t something my riding buddies and I ever did—because, well, I’ve always paid for my own tires—so I never felt inclined to. So I rolled up to the burnout box, and… didn’t do a burnout. Instead I pulled up to the timing sensors and as soon as I got the green light, I launched it. Not a hard launch, and certainly not a hard drop of the clutch, but a clean controlled start. I don’t consider myself a speed demon, and I’m definitely no racer, so my first run was just okay: 13.132 seconds at 98.25 mph. I knew I could do better. Second run I launched a little harder, and twisted the throttle even more, bringing me a 12.942 quarter mile at 102.63 mph. I could have spent all day trying to perfect my launch skills, and getting past my own mental blocks preventing me from going as fast as I possibly could. But we didn’t have all day.