Tuesday, November 09, 2004

what's underneath, even when the shiny side's up

<>It’s not so often, but sometimes the self-doubt becomes too much. Maybe I really suck at this. Maybe I should take the fucking hint. They’re not exactly subtle hints, anyway. They’re violent, painful, shocking, smelly bad hints, with metal snapping, fingers grinding, sparks flying. I can hear the motor as it spins away. Sometimes it’s a quick one, and sometimes it unfolds in slow motion. Maybe you're looking at the bottom of the motorcycle behind you, rider in panic; you can see his suspension load up as he screeches to a halt. What an interesting view it is down here!

For a while, I got better. I got better, and better, and it was fun. Then the fear set in. It started on July 11th, and it’s been getting worse since. There’s no explanation for that one, so it’s only me.

I can excuse myself somewhat for last night, but in the end, it’s always only you. That’s what makes you the rider. You are always responsible. Hit a deer? What were you doing speeding through the forest? I know. I do it, and when it happens, that’s what I’m going to ask myself. Car made a left in front of you? We all know that’s the most common accident, you should have taken some precaution. Did you make enough eye contact? Was your headlight working? Did you slow down for the intersection? You should know this, you’ve heard the stories, read the articles, you’ve even professed it to others. So what’s your fucking excuse?

I could explain it, that someone put three bottles of motor oil in the intersection where I make my turn after crossing Market Street. Going back and seeing the bottles and puddles meant something to me for sure. But the frequency tells me that there’s something wrong with ME. How many miles have I gone? Probably more than you. So why now, why all of the sudden, have I completely lost it? And what am I doing ignoring these messages?

I started out scared and it took a few years and many thousands of miles to gain some confidence. It was an uphill battle but there was a golden period earlier this year where I HAD IT. But the past few months I’ve just been sliding down the other side of the mountain, taking twigs and rocks in the face and hating myself more every minute.

The pavement hurts, but not so much as this. I’m not so much afraid of the falling off literally, it’s all the falling that continues even after you’ve picked up the bike.


This too shall pass. You sound like you know how to ride safely... you've just had some bad luck. It'll turn. I'm still trying to conquer my own fear of getting on a bike. I've always wanted to, but deaths have cooled my desire. But I don't think we should be hogtied by our fears. So I plan on getting a bike next year. Any bike recommendations?

Posted by Joe on Sunday, November 21, 2004 at 11:54 PM

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