Chuck Culpepper of Sports On Earth gets it, this motorcycle racing thing. In his column, Behold The Lean, he describes his experience at the MotoGP round at Laguna Seca, where Marc Marquez put on a brilliant display en route to winning the race. But it wasn’t just Marquez that stole the show, the spectacle of motorcycle racers scraping knees (and occasionally elbows) on the ground captivated Culpepper. With this weekend’s upcoming Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, let Culpepper help you explain to your non-riding friends what makes this sport so special. Click on the link above to go straight to his column.

After talking to Earl Hayden (Nicky’s dad), Colin Edwards, team owner Lucio Cecchinello, Jeremy Appleton of Alpinestars and others, Culpepper got an inside look at the personalities, mindsets, technology and dedication surrounding MotoGP.

He brilliantly describes how racers at the top level put in the same amount of training, if not more, as some of the most recognized athletes in the world. There’s no choice — manhandling the fastest motorcycles in the world, against the best riders in the world, requires both physical and mental conditioning.

Sometimes, all the training in the world can’t help you avoid a crash. But still, these warriors continue to ride. With the care of some of the finest doctors in the world and safety apparel manufacturers constantly pushing the envelope in rider safety, Culpepper explains the mental toughness, as well as the scars, each rider carries with them to each race.

But beyond the racing, crashes and injuries in MotoGP, Culpepper understands the spectacle of the sport, and why it adds to the racing even when there isn’t a single motorcycle on track. The personalities make it relatable to those of us who will never be on the grid. Their skill and bravery is what draws us in and keeps us coming back for more.

The next time anyone asks why you love motorcycle racing, tell them to Behold The Lean.