I fear sand. Sand skeers me. Sometimes, the best route is to force yourself into a situation where you have no choice. I did that recently and got up on the pegs as quickly as possible, gave it more gas as prudently as feasible and got into the higher gears.
Oh yeah - I had installed a used Emig triple and dampener.
It all worked well and I only had two low-speed drops when others in front of me were stuggling.
Must have been the do-dads.