Monday, May 08, 2006

Vroom, whack, thunk!

"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
-Grace Murray Hopper

I'm just really sore.
My head is all wonky because I couldn't sleep well last night. I have a very large black bruise on my thigh.
In fact, my whole leg is sore, and in order to not let it stiffen up, I thought it would be wise to go for some walking last night, and rushing through bushes and hopping fences as well. In order to accommodate that, we had to split a pitcher of margaritas. This helped loosen up my pained muscles, and drown Paul's XR650 sorrows.

What happened before that was that I went to Metcalf to ride my bike around in the dirt a little. Just a little, I think only 2.5 to 3 hours?

It started innocently enough with a request to be dumped off at the TT track, where I figured I could just run around in circles being slow and sucky on my own. I even knew better than to take the bait at the hillclimb, which Charles totally lied about. (big as the hill he crashed on at Sheetiron, my ass!) but when we ended up at the GP track, I got bored of Charles telling me to try it followed by my own chicken-ness. Well, I can't really see all that well, but it looks too hard for me. What the hell, says I, what the hell indeed.

It's OK, I know I have to crash. I suck at this. Like, really, and it's totally terrifying, which really just makes it worse. Hesitance leads to too slow, which leads to crash. Terror leads to death grip on the bars, which means crash. Feeling out of control makes me unable to stand up, which leads to really being out of control, which leads to...

#1: uphill, bumpy, trying to tell myself to stay on the gas but feeling like it's not going to work. I feel like that a lot, and often it works out anyway. Besides, what can you do? Switch off the TV and give up? Nope, there it is, there's a 99% chance you're going to fail, but nothing to be done except hope for the 1%. I like those odds! At least you're doing it! Bumped into a grass hill, I crash somewhat lightly. Somehow, Phil is there. I don't know why, was he stopping for a picnic? By all rights he should have been flying over my head or already up at the top of the next hill? I don't know where he came from, but Phil is the best, and I learned a lot just by watching him push my bike down before trying to pick it up. Smart man, used the grass hill for half the leverage. I probably would have just thrown it over with much effort only to find it on its other side, but now in the middle of the track. Much coaching on how to get my bike out of the hill, and I was up and on my way down again. The trails were dry on Sunday, but at some point in the recent past, there was water pooled up into muddy sludge at the low points, which means peaked ruts, which is where
#2 I try to choose a path through the ruts at the low point but I choose wrong, or gas wrong, or, uh, shit, I don't know. I crashed pretty hard that time, probably poor throttle control for that condition? Whatever, I crashed, under the bike, Phil is behind me and helps me AGAIN. This time he has to tell me how to scoot down so he can untangle me from the bike. I know I hit hard, and I know I'm done for a bit. When you start crashing repeatedly, it's at least time for a break. Phil coaches me on how to take the next turn, and I try to take his advice. Much attention to throttle control and lean (or lack thereof) on that turn and up the hill. If I could have instructions on every inch of track, that would be cool. Hmph, up at the top, and I'm sitting out until everyone is ready to go back to the truck.

I feel so terrible when I'm such a pain in the ass. It's a struggle, and I really feel bad for needing the help. Particularly from people who hardly know me.

Well, you don't know until you try. Though I feel bad for the impositions, I'm glad I get to regret crashing instead of regretting sitting out the entire time. I don't even regret crashing. I just wish I could do it more.

But, I live so far from the dirt. I've always wished for a little dirtbike to practice on, something less big and heavy, and less, um, necessary for my commute. Not that someone couldn't ride my bike faster, as some guy WAS on Sunday, on exactly the same bike (though cleaner, and, oh my bike is geared for the street, which is a very weak excuse). But, for me, a girl who's terrified of everything, and never could do any sort of sport, something small, and regular practice to take the edge off, that would be nice. Why does it take me so long to move so little on the learning curve? Sports were never my forte. Sigh. Well, anyway, but I keep doing it, just not often enough. Sheetiron in two weeks, and I am pretty disheartened. Not as disheartened as Paul, I assume, but I have a different set of problems. I can't even throw money at these problems, they are all me this time.

But you do it, that thing that you're scared of. That's what makes it different.
I sort of walked away from the one thing I was ever really good at. What's the point of doing something you already know you are good at? Hmph.

Well, just ouch. I hope this heals up before I get to the Sheetiron, which is another issue.

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