It started as a buzz, growing closer and closer. Even through the earplugs and the padding in my helmet, I heard them coming. The sound grew to a louder, more demanding growl. It was a swarm, and they were gaining on me fast. I tucked myself in behind the fairing of my little Yamaha R3, making myself as small as possible, an easy obstacle to overtake. And then it happened. Zoom! Zoom! Whizzz! Neeerooooom!!! The flurry of other bikes passing on either side was a multisensory experience: I didn't just hear them and see them, I felt them pass. If I had reached a hand out, I could have touched their elbows; our knees might well have kissed. The discrepancy in our speed was laughable, only I wasn't laughing. I was holding my breath, waiting for this group of exceptionally fast riders to pass me as we all vied for the race line on the tarmac at Chuckwalla. Welcome to New Racer School.