Jonathan Broom| e: jon styletank com| c: 214 763 6923| feed burner


Monday, January 23, 2006

I finally got to go out on some dirtbikes on jan 15th. it was pretty fun, and really nerve racking. i've never really been on a dirtbike other than the 30 seconds worth i got in my jr. high years.

luckly, some of my sport bike friends were able to hook me up with a full set of gear (pants, jersey, boots, knee/elbow pads, helmet and goggles) and a bike to ride for the day.. albie's Suzuki DRZ400e. Huge thanks goes out to those guys. i wanted to get out there so bad and wouldnt' have been able to do it for at least another couple months on my own. not only that, but i would have been buying a bike and all the gear with absolutley no experience to go from. at least now i have a little better idea of what it's like and what to expect before i spend a bunch of money.

Before we head out the guys tell me to cruise around the base camp a bit to kinda get use to the bike a little. I ride it around a bit. i'm pretty nervous and there is lots and lots of sand, so it's not helping. but i motor around a bit and try to get use to the brakes and how things feel in general. finally it's time to take off. i follow the group (about 6 guys i think). its not so bad.. i'm just taking it easy on some nice wide trails. going up some hills and things... starting to jump off a couple things and trying to get use to the "steer with the rear" thing.

then i finally drop the bike... the sand got me in some tighter woods stuff and i fell over at low speed. no big deal but i gotta pick up the bike and get going before i hold up the guys too long or get left. this is my first time picking up the bike from laying dead horizontal on the ground. i'm a tall guy and sometimes its hard to pick up heavy stuff from off the ground without using your back a bit. well in my haste i strain my back, and down goes the bike. "ohh... I'm going to regret that" is the first thing through my head. i stand up for a bit, and try to figure out a better plan of attack to get this thing off the ground. after a few lame attemps, i finally just grab the bars and muscle it up. it wasn't so bad.

the problem is now my back hurts. i can still ride fine, but i'm paranoid about droping the bike again and having to further agravate my back. I quickly found out (after a couple more drops) that it wasnt the picking up part that hurt now. It's the jumps. everytime i went off a jump the rear of the bike sprang up and the seat/fender hit me in the ass and jarred my back. so i figure out quick enough that if i give the bike a little gas while hitting the jump it levels out nicely and that problem is no more.

my confidence is rising at this point. i'm following the guys through some fun, somewhat technical stuff and roosting out of berms with a big smile. the sand is still making me nervous, but other than that i'm having a blast. then i come around a corner, the front wheel hits sand, i target fixate on a tree and what do you know... i'm going down and hitting the tree. i go down hard and hit my hip and my head pretty good. my hip really hurt for a minute, but it was alright. a stranger came down the trail and stopped to help me pick up my bike and i continued on... confidence set back down at an appropriate level.

my riding ended when i slid face first down a little hill in front of everyone and the crash flipped the kill switch on the handlebars of the DRZ. no big deal, but Albie (the owner) wasn't with us because he broke the chain on the bike he was riding a little earlier and none of us even knew this bike had a kill switch. so we're all pushing the "magic button" (electric start) and can't figure out why it sounds like there is no spark. there are 3 of us standing over the bike trying to figure it out and cranking it until the battery dies. so i get to sit there with the bike for probably an hour while they go back to base camp to ask albie whats up. they come back, flip the stupid little swicth and it fires right up. they all laughed at the face i made because i just sat in the middle of no where for an hour because of a kill switch.

so while i was sitting on my ass i took a few pictures of the red river.

so, thats cool... lets ride! oh.. wait they're leading me back to camp and thats the end of my day. crap. thats cool though. i had fun. i got to ride. i could have gone out for the third session, but since albie broke the chain on his bike he took the DRZ out. he offered it to me, but i couldn't take his bike out while he sat at camp. besides, he already had to sit there while i was out on his bike earlier when he broke his chain.

so now its a week later. my hip is still bruised a bit, and my muscles are feeling normal again. only problem is my back. it hurt a lot the first couple of days, but this weekend it was bad. i could hardley even put my own shoes on sunday morning. i dunno wtf. hopefully it gets better soon cause this sucks. especially since i have a waiver on my back and can't go to the doctor about it.

Overall it's a lot harder than i thought to convert from street riding to dirt. it's a completley different way of doing things. but i think i'll pick it up quick. I'm looking at a couple bikes right now, but i can't get serious about picking one up until i get a solid job offer. I looks like i should get one from Rapp any day now, i'm just waiting...


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