Archives for posts with tag: dirt

I don’t want my partner to share everything that I do. Even the hobbies I do share, I still need time to work on alone. Things like bouldering or learning to play the uke or guitar — I need to be alone to figure out my body positioning without getting shitty beta [and let’s face it, I stand well below average at 5’1″, so most of the beta out there is shitty (to me)] and to swear at my hand as it still refuses to make a barre chord. (Look, I know I’ve only been playing for three weeks, but conscious incompetence is painful and it feels endless.) There are things that can only be done with persistence and nobody needs to watch me bang my head on the wall as I work through the minutiae.

But riding (dirt, in particular)… Riding is like sport-climbing to me. It’s something I want (and perhaps, need) to do with someone. I want someone there to laugh at me when I get thrown off my bike and to ask if I’m okay before helping me pick Herbie up. I want someone to share in the fixing of flats, to share in the well-earned view at the top. I want someone to have my back out there and I want that someone to give me snuggles after I’ve unintentionally done leg day because I’ll be dropping Big Herbie a lot and this Herbs is kick-start only. (Godspeed, legs.)

It’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things — it’s a blessing enough to have a partner who wholly trusts my capability and decision to ride at all — but damn, sometimes, I really miss having a partner who rides.

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It’s nearly March and I’m antsy, antsy, antsy. Big Herbie isn’t ready for the season and we’re already having some beautiful spring days out here in between the showers.

A lot of people start on dirt as kids or teens and find their way onto the street. I spent almost a decade riding street only, afraid of dirt and its rough-and-tumble-and-snapped-collar-bones reputation, but last year, I finally found my way onto dirt for the first time on a little XR100 and it blew my mind.

Everything was brand new to me. Let the bike fishtail under you. When in doubt, more throttle. Don’t touch the front brake. Let the handlebars wobble. Lean away from the turn. Sand? More throttle. Small rocks? More throttle. Medium rocks? More throttle. Big rocks? Okay, put a foot down, knock it down into first, and take it one boulder at a time (for now).

But the one lesson that street riding taught me still applies here: tenacity. Get up. Pick it up. Keep going. No one else is going to ride your bike home for you, so you better get back on and make it back to the trail head. I love hiking with the Doofus, but there is nothing else in this world like brapping up a hill to the crest, cutting the engine, and feeling the breeze whip around me as I revel in the silence.

Time to call my mechanic!

m: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm
     this looks amazing
T: That’s pretty cool
m: i want to go tear that shit up on my dirt bike.
     i feel like dirt biking has made me much less of a conservationist.
     do backpackers know how much faster you can hike the PCT if you replace “hike” with “motorized bike”?
T: No because they cannot fit their ideology on a dirt bike