When I started riding motorcycles, I was pretty impressed by the speeds I could get. I’d check the speedo constantly, pinning the accelerator back as far as it would go. My little 400cc could do 200km/h (on its clock)! Surely this made me a god amongst all of the box pilots.
In time, though, I learned. I had some accidents, and I carry the scars. I started using those two funny things in my face, and the squishy grey bit between my ears. I figured out what drivers were doing before they did it. I learned to really feel the bike, to direct it without dragging on the controls.
There’s a saying in firearms training: slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
I never really look at the speedo anymore. I don’t actually care. My latest bike’s speedo stops reading at 299km/h, and I’ve been well above that… but only once or twice. Thing is, though, while not trying for speed I’ve become both faster and better at making it all the way home with both wheels still spinning. It’s rare that anyone ever passes me, and when they do, I generally cruise past them when they’re inevietably held up by traffic that they should have predicted, but were too focussed on the speedo or the rush of hammering the accelerator to think about.