Not that I’m not known for making bad decisions (who doesn’t love double negatives) but I’ve had better ideas than allowing the first time I’ve ever so much as sat down on a dirt bike to be the practice lap for a dirt race on cruiser for men. Seriously. What was I thinking?
I can only tell you what was going through my mind after I had made my decision and I sat on the bike in a line of dozens of other riders all waiting for their turns at the track. (Everyone gets the opportunity to take a few laps before the races to get a feel for the dirt and the nuances of the track. Unfortunately for me…I got those same few laps to learn how to ride a dirt bike.)
“Well, at least this bike can’t kick me to death if I piss it off,” I thought aloud as I looked down to see if the bruise from the ostrich-racing escapade had healed yet. But as I looked down I saw the bike next to me and thought about how unforgiving that knobby-wheeled little machine must be when it runs you over after you fall on turn one like an amateur (or an amtrekker).
Then I started to think, “Wait, if that thing is going to run me over then that means I was in front! That’s a win-win. Either I’m losing and I don’t get run over or I’m winning at the expense of tread marks across my face!” (Obviously, it’s pretty easy for me to talk myself into doing stupid things.)
I kick started the bike and revved the throttle, motioning to my cousin Lisa (who would be one of only two people I would be racing against later) giving her the “going down” threat…right after pointing at myself.
Finally our turn to hit the track came and without hesitating I shot out into the dirt flat track and instantly realized how unprepared I was. I spent the next several minutes of my life getting lapped by kids I could pick up and toss over the chain link fence without much effort but could never hope to beat in a race around an oval track.
Thoroughly disappointed in myself I sought out friends and family for advice and was basically told that it takes practice, much more practice than I’ve had.
I regained a little sparkle of hope when I saw that there were only four racers, including myself, scheduled for my class. I felt better still when one of those racers (the only one I didn’t know) dropped out. It meant I would at least come away with third place in the first heat.
Barely. Yep, after a mediocre start, terrible technical skills and a crash in turn one of lap four I almost succeeded in getting fourth place out of three.
When the main event came around Lisa’s tire had come down with an irreparable flat thanks to a gaping hole in her tire roughly the width of my switchblade. Unfortunately, Kenny never left his bike unguarded and I was forced to find a more creative way to beat him. I tried blackmail and bribery but without any money to my name both were destined for failure.
With a spark of inspiration I dove into the race with more poor technical skills and another crash (this time in turn four of lap four) but even that wasn’t enough to win the day! I was forced to settle for second place.
But let me just end on this slightly depressing note. I was CRAZY frustrated with myself. I would MUCH rather get 49th place out of 50 than 2nd out of two. Man, do I ever hate losing.
Regardless, thanks so much to APF Motorcycle Salvage and the folks who put on the Caruthers Nationals for helping me find out how much more practice I’m going to need to just to move up to “sucks” on the “How good am I on a dirtbike scale?” I’ll get some pictures up when I have a chance to pull them off my video camera!
Just for the record. Bookingbuddy really is a pretty rad website if you’re looking to plan a trip. It actually allows you to search most of the top travel ticketing websites from one location. Pretty handy! But more importantly…our new affiliation with bookingbuddy.com means all you have to do to help out Amtrekker is click on one of their ads and sign up for an awesome newsletter filled with travel deals! Thanks everyone!