On my usual mission to terrify and potentially bankrupt myself, I decided to try dirt bikes. I figured, they’re just a cross between mountain bikes and street bikes, both of which I at least sort of know how to operate. So how hard could it possibly be?
Well, pretty hard, actually. While some two-wheeled basics carried over well between genres, the toughest part was definitely overriding my own muscle memory to adopt dirt-bike body-positioning, which at times is weird as hell.
All that aside, it’s amazing what even I can pick up in two days. It was probably less than eight hours of saddle time between “Wow, this is not my scene” to “Wow, I really want to race these things.” I imagine it’d be everything I loved about racing cyclocross, minus the stupid dismounts and the nagging sense that my race results were already decided at birth.
That I came around so quickly is a credit to the group, a surprisingly diverse assortment of—I’m sorry, there’s no other word—fierce women, from wonderkinds to working moms. Every one was a) faster than me and b) really cool about it: generous with their experience, their encouragement, and their chocolate.
Motocross is of course a totally impractical proposition, given my budget and my zip code and the 98 other things I want to get competent at. Nonetheless, the weekend was a good reminder of the rewards located just outside my comfort zone—of how satisfying it is just to try and to try-try-again. If nothing else, forcible relocation to the central valley is no longer quite the nightmare scenario it once was. I’ll get a 125cc and a pony, no big deal!