Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sometimes It Pays To Stay Home

I didn't make the race last weekend.  Primary race bike (Gas Gas EC300) blew both fork seals in practice two days before, had no luck finding seals locally.  The back-up bike (KDX 200) needed a few things to be ready.  To top it all off the front brakes on the van locked up on the way to practice, with smoke rolling out as I tried to get off the highway.  They finally released and everything seemed normal for the remainder of the drive.  Normally I would have chanced the 4.5 hour trip to the track.

But my heart just wasn't in it.  I've spent many a late night toiling into wee hours with swollen hands and bloody knuckles to make it to a race.  Loading the van at 3 am, sleeping for an hour and then driving 10.  Gone searching all over god's creation to locate the part desperately needed to compete.  Paid exorbitant overnight shipping rates to get stuff on time that never seems to come on time.  Written myself list after list so as not to forget important things, but always missing one or two.

Last week, I had simply had enough.  Daily life frustrations have been piling up for the last few months and I was not willing to deal with the stress of slamming together a half-ass race weekend on top of it.  Been there, done that, so many friggin' times.  So for the first time in years of racing that I wasn't injured or dead broke, I bagged it.  I didn't go.  Because I just didn't feel like it.

A great racer once told me: "If your head isn't 100% in it, get the fuck off the motorcycle, because you are going to get hurt."  My head wasn't there, and I didn't think I could get it there in time.

So I stayed home and went play riding for five hours on the KDX and had a blast.  I don't know if it was a mature decision or just being a pussy.  I don't care.  I feel OK about it.

And you can bet your ass I'll be at the next race.

Hello old friend.  Let's play.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

If You Don't Have Anything Good To Say........

Why is it that non-motorcyclists and ex-motorcyclists continually feel the need to walk up to current riders and proceed to describe the most horrible thing they have ever heard about happening to someone on a bike?  For example, here is a scenario likely to happen as you are strapping your helmet on curbside:

"Hi there.  I don't know you, in fact I know nothing about you other than the fact that you ride a motorcycle, which somehow offends my delicate flower sensibilities.  Instead of merrily going about my life, I thought I would tell you about my second cousin's next door neighbor, who in 1979, lost his left leg and right testicle in a bloody motorcycle crash that left him able to speak only in Three Dog Night song lyrics for 32 years and blind in his right eye."

Seriously?  How about this one:

"I used to ride, but one day I grabbed the front brake and went over the handlebars, knocked out all my teeth.  My wife wouldn't let me ride after that because she got sick of having to put my dinner in the blender."


"My grandson died riding one of those crotch missiles.  You know how dangerous those things are?  You're going to get yourself killed.  Have you got a light?"

Should I start walking up to people in their cars and tell them about a car accident I saw on the news where a mother and her three children burned to a crisp in a fiery wreck on the highway?

Or should I knock on your doors in the morning while you are doing your hair and remind you that at least 4 people a year die in hair dryer related accidents?

Stand there in the hallway outside of the operating room as you go in for your face lift and show you pictures of staph infections?

Maybe I will come up to you fat asses in line at McDonald's and tell you about my morbidly obese uncle that ate nothing but 1/4 pounders whose heart one day decided to up strangle him?  How would that go over?

The truth of the matter is, we are all going to end up a statistic of some sort or another, and frankly I don't give a rat's ass which kind of statistic your narrow little mind thinks I will become.  Let me go about my day in peace, put down the goddamn cell phone, pay attention to your shitty driving, and keep your yap shut.

How far underwater do I have to get for you people to leave me alone?