As most of you know, after Eve died dirt biking was going to be my new hobby. It was always something I wanted to do but never had the time or resources to fully commit because I was always taking care of Eve. It was the only silver lining I really had when Eve died. The only thing I could look forward to was riding my dirt bike.
I had one solid ride earlier this summer with a group of girls down in Virginia. Finding riding buddies and places to ride was more difficult than I had anticipated. Since I’m single and dating, I’ve had a couple offers to ride with some guys. The most recent was last weekend with a guy I’ve been talking to for about a month now.
I may or may not have hyped myself up on the bike to him. I can ride. I’m not completely useless on a bike. But obstacles and uphills are not my friend. I can get up and over them, but it takes a bit of effort on my part being so little on my little bike. He had a bigger bike and been riding his whole life, so our skillsets were not even in the same league. Nonetheless, I hyped myself up to be able to handle anything and we went on the drive down to take on the trails.
It was a 2 hour drive down with traffic which was annoying, but we were both excited to go. We got there, unloaded, geared up and got on. He was like alright you ready? I’m like hell yeah let’s go! And off we went. It started out fine. We’re just cruising down the trail for maybe a couple minutes when there’s a steep uphill. At the top are two trees on both sides and a ledge. I just stopped at the bottom. I got mad anxiety, and I can generally push myself and overcome it. But when I saw the two trees and the ledge, I knew for a fact if I gunned it up that hill I was going to hit a tree without a doubt. I did not trust myself. And this is the beginning of the worst ride of this dude’s life.
He told me how to ride it up. He said I could just walk it up. He kept trying to coach me, but I wasn’t having it. I’m like I really don’t trust myself enough, and he’s like do you want me to ride it up for you? His bike doesn’t have a kickstand, so he leaned it against a tree and walked down to my sorry ass, hopped on and rode it up for me. It was then that he realized he made a grave mistake taking my ass out to ride. Things didn’t get better from there. In fact, they got much, much worse. The trails were not like the trails I did in Virginia. It was really hilly, rocky, rutty, muddy and I was not ready for it. I dropped my bike a lot because I’d cross lines, my back tire slid out from under me a couple times, I stalled it. My main problem was the hills. They were intimidating, and I’d go too slow up a hill then stall out. I’m so little on my bike that I’d stop on a hill on a slope, so it would be even harder to set the bike back up to get on and continue riding.
There was one hill that had a trench down the middle with rocks in it. It took everything in me to get up this hill. I was sweating balls and didn’t properly hydrate before. I also hit the gym the day prior – arm and back day. And I was a little hungover. It was just poor planning on my part – not that it excuses my trash riding. My riding was trash with or without gym day and the hangover – but it certainly didn’t help the situation. I had been sitting trying to get up this hill for probably 10 minutes. It was so ridiculous to the point he was like do you want me to ride it up this one too? I was like no, no I can do it. I eventually gunned it so hard my front wheel came up, but I kept with it and rode it up the hill. It was so much excitement I literally almost threw up. He was like are you ok? I’m like I just need a minute. Meanwhile, this poor man had been sitting on his bike for more than several minutes waiting for my ass to reach him.
After I had my break we continued on and did a loop around the trails, then he took me on the baby track to ride around. And honestly, that was sketchy as hell. I was like babies ride this track? My God. I need one of them to coach me. Like obviously, I am trying to be riding buddies with the wrong people. What I need is a solid group of 10 year olds and their dads out here with me. I’m not qualified to be on the baby track clearly. After we did a lap on the track, he was like wanna hit the trails again? I was like, to be honest I need a break. He’s like we didn’t even ride a mile. I’m like yeah, sorry. I just need a break then we can get back out there. He didn’t even break a sweat. I don’t even think he left first gear the first go around. I felt so bad. I feel like I essentially conned this man into riding with me for my own benefit. I definitely told him I was slow, but I should’ve clarified I had no endurance either.
Back at his trailer, he was chill about the whole situation. I honestly would’ve been pissed if it were me. Having some girl I’d been talking to for 2 weeks con me into driving 2 hours with her dirt bike to this park only to be sitting watching her struggle 95% of the time. And there’s nothing he could do to leave either. What’s he going to do drive 2 hours home with both our bikes? You can’t really leave the situation. You are in it. We are here. We’re gonna do this. So, after our break and some friendly banter about how I can’t ride and should get a ATV instead, we hit the trails again.
And this is probably where we both should’ve just called it a day and gone home. But nope. We hit the trails again. It was more of the same – me dropping my bike over and over again. I was getting around, but I was beating the hell out of my bike (which is why I got it because it was cheap). It was going pretty ok though considering I sucked. Until we realized we were lost. He hadn’t been to the park in a long while, and I had never been before. He was leading the way trying to find the way out while I’m limping behind him essentially. The weakest link.
I was getting so tired. It was so hot. Riding takes a lot out of you especially if you’re me with no endurance whatsoever. I had dropped my bike so many times that he examined it at one point and was like hey – your clutch lever is about to come off so be careful. I obviously wasn’t careful and one more drop and that lever broke right off so I didn’t have a clutch anymore. We were in the middle of the woods. The weakest link now was even weaker with a broken bike and this poor dude is just ready to go home.
We were constantly stopping at forks in the trail to figure out how to leave. Its harder for me to keep stopping. Its easier to just ride. At one point he stopped and we debated which way to go. When we decided on a trail, I started up my bike and didn’t realize he was coming around me. I straight on T-boned this guy and knocked him and his bike over. I was like OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY ARE YOU OK. He just busted out laughing like what the hell are you doing?! As if the ride hadn’t been bad enough let’s add personal property damage to the list. Now we both really wanted to gtfo of the woods.
We ride on and he goes off the trail around an obstacle to save me from having to go over it. But then we stop again. A couple others had asked us how to get out because the trails weren’t really marked so you had no idea.
While we were sitting there he gets stung twice by a bee. I look over and there’s a yellow jacket nest and they’re just coming at us. He just tells me to get on and ride. So, I get on and can’t start my bike, naturally. He got tired of waiting because he’s getting stung, so he rides off and observes from a safe distance. I start freaking out because I got stung right on my face for the first sting. I jump off my bike and run away but that obviously doesn’t do anything. He’s just yelling “PICK YOUR BIKE UP PUT IT IN GEAR AND GOOOOO.” So I run back to my bike, get on and try to ignore the constant stinging and get going. I take off but I still feel the stinging in my left leg. There’s bees in my goddamn boot. We take off out of the woods and hit the parking lot finally. I just jump off. There’s bees stuck to my glove, stuck to my shirt (technically his shirt because I forgot to bring my jersey). I take my boot off and there’s 3 or 4 smooshed bees in there.
We made it back to his trailer and started icing ourselves with ice out of the cooler. He was like I’m going to try to fix your bike using zip ties, but if I can’t then we might be done for the day. I was like at this point, I’m so tired, hot, hurt and just feel absolutely awful about how the entire day went down that I was ready to go home anyway. Nonetheless, he worked on my bike for a bit and really tried to get the lever to stay on. I apologized profusely the entire time. He was such a good sport about it. I essentially ruined the trip and then it just evolved into the greatest s*** show of the year. It was the first time he’d been on his bike all season – and that was it. He was like I’m probably gonna ride the track a few times then we can go. So I watched him ride the track until we had to drive 2 hours back to his house.
On the ride back, he discussed perhaps buying an ATV instead of a dirt bike, and I mildly agreed at that point. I do have another ride planned with friends in the fall at the same park. Maybe it’ll go better considering I’ve ridden the trails already, and I have more time to practice before then. This wasn’t how I expected the dirt bike saga to go, but at least I got a good story out of it, right?