Monthly Archives: January 2019

Writing For Rodney – Day 19

Once again I was shown the incredible power of a well done night of independent wrestling. I love long told anyone who asks that the best pro wrestling matches are never seen on television. They are done in church basements, VFW halls, run down nightclubs and bingo halls. Last night I got my first taste of Pro Wrestling Guerilla – or PWG. They have been going since 2004 in Los Angeles and have stumbled upon a wildly winning formula. They charge high ticket prices, and book nothing but quality talent, and don’t overload the card with a ton of matches.

A lot of wrestling promotions try and keep prices low, and because of that they can only book a couple of “names” per show and rely on local wrestlers, and often too frequently, the trainees from their associated wrestling schools, to fill out the bill. While I appreciate the need to develop your homegrown talent, and totally respect it when promotions do, there something special about an indie wrestling “supercard” in a small venue and that’s PWGs Raison d’Etre. I’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on pro wrestling matches over the years. I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual number is over ten thousand dollars, especially if you count merch purchased at said events. You could say I’ve seen it all, and that wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration. Especially when it comes to the widely varying quality of matches. I’ve paid to see complete Jabronis who were obviously having their first ever matches, right on through to some of the best wrestlers in the world plying their trade in front of just a couple

Hundred of us. And the list of big stars Ive seen in tiny places while they are on their way up is a mile long. Almost as long is the list of legends I’ve seen sadly embarrassing themselves deep down on the lowest rungs of the ladder that’s also known as “the way down.” Thankfully that happens less and leas often nowadays as there a. Seems

To be a better support network from wrestlers on the downside of their career and b. A lot of the ex-legends who had serious problems are no longer with us. Sad but true.

But when you get a top quality night of independent wrestling, there’s really nothing quite like it. And there are a few elements that need to come

Together to make it a truly special night. You need great wrestlers. You need a decent building. It doesn’t need to be beautiful, it just needs to have “vibe” and of course you need a hot crowd,!

But beyond that, you need a great booker. A booker is the guy behind the scenes that puts the matches together.  Beyond just hiring the wrestlers, the booker is responsible

For coming up with the matchups, and much more importantly helps lay out the match. The booker will come up with the backstory aka the storyline of the match and in an ongoing sense, the league, and also dictate, to a degree, the pacing and outcome of the match. The booker will lay out how they want the match to go, how long it should be, and typically a fair amount of the moves you see on n the ring. At least for the big moments of the matches. And then they send the rassslers out to the ring to execute. If this were a typical professional sport, the booker would be the GM, the head coach, the marketing department and the team captain all rolled into one. Sometimes the booker is one of the wrestlers. That historically doesn’t end well. They usually can’t resist the temptation to put themselves into the main event role, usually to the detriment of the show in general. For a while Dusty Rhodes was the exception to this rule. Until he wasnt. Today that transgressions is evident anytime Triple H steps into the ring. But, I digress…

When done well, the booker’s role isn’t even noticed, and he makes the shows transcendent. The best booker comes up with storylines that work on a long arc that unfolds slowly week after week, like an episodic television show (think Breaking Bad) while also making things easily digestible for someone who is just tuning in to that one episode, or showing up for that one event. And that’s truly an art.

But the most important thing a great booker can do is to emphasize.e the strengths and hide the weaknesses of his talent roster. The best guy to ever do that in the wrestling business was Paul Heyman when he was at the helm of the original ECW. He took a rag tag bunch of wrestlers and turned them into veritable superstars. At the same

Time he created some of the most intense houses on wrestling history. The ECW Arena in Philly and the Mad House of Extreme in Queens (a bingo hall and an Elks Lodge respectively)  were two places where I legitimately feared for my life on more than one occasion. Even though I knew it was “fake” shows there legitimately made me suspend my disbelief, which means they completely succeeded. 

I don’t know who the booker is at PWG but he’s a total G. There were a total of seven matches last night and every one of them was spectacular. The night opened with a classic David be Goliath Story of a match between the huge tattooed monster Brody King and the tiny and skinny youngster Jungle Boy. It should have been a squash match, where the huge guy wins easily.  But it was booked and presented don such a way that you never counted Jungle Boy out, and even when he lost, he looked good in defeat. It was his first appearance in PWG and because he was brilliantly booked, it didn’t matter that he lost. He still got a “Please Come Back” chant from the entire crowd after his match. And thats about as high a compliment you can get from a fired up crowd full of smart marks, the term for us nerds who spend waaaayyy too much time thinking about and reading about pro wrestling. And if you’ve read this far, you’re well on your way to becoming a smart mark already.

Rodney on the other hand, was just a mark. It was all still real to him, dammit. And that’s why I loved going to matches with him so much. He made me and everyone around him feel like it was real. God I miss him. #RodSpeed

Writing For Rodney Day 18

More UFC musings… continued – once again…

Silva had often times looked bored in his fights and had taken to mocking opponents. Laying down in the ring, standing in front of opponents, with his hands down, daring them to hit him… Leaning against the cage, with nowhere to top and inviting opponents in to hit him, and had always made his victories look exceedingly easy. Thjis was a supernatural fighter who had seemingly run out of challenges. He had cleaned out his division, multiple times, and done so with a level of dominance heretofore unseen in MMA.  But this fight was different… HE was getting beaten, badly, and seemed to have no answers for Sonnen’s take down and ground and pounds. Until, with about two minutes left in the fight, when he got a spark of energy. And decided to fight back. He started scrambling form the b bottom, and using his hips to start to push Sonnen of of him. And then, with about a minute left in the fight, he threw up his legs, wrapped them around Sonnens head, caught him in a triangle choke form the bottom, pulled down on Sonnen’s head, and forced him to tap out. This was incredible.  After the fight, he said that he had just been toying with Sonnen and wanted to teach him a lesson.

Silva had gotten his black belt form the Nogueira brothers, themselves a pair of dominant twins from Brazil, and Sonnen had commented int eh lead up to the fight that getting your. Black belt from the Nogueira bothers was like getting a black belt from a cracker jack box. A lot of folks didn;didn’t believe Silva, and thought he was just making excuses… And because Sonnen had done so much better than anyone else to have ever faced silva, the UFC booked a rematch to take place on one of their biggest cards of the year, the annual 4th of July weekend card.

So, not wanting to miss out on what was sure to a historic match, me and my buddy Jordan booked flight to Vegas and scored tickets for the fight.  We also rented d acopiuple of m totrcyles and decided too make a 4 night trek throught the Southwest that would lead us right up to the fight.  We picked up the bikes on July 3rd and headed out on an epic loop that took us from Vegas into Utah, down through Arizona, to the grand canyon, Leake Meade, the Hoover Damn and then back into Vegas just in time for the fights.  The ride was all sorts of ridiculous… We found a Mormon Rodeo in Utah, and also in Utah we rode so high into a mountain that we got trapped in a hail storm in 40 degree weather, which was scarily dangerous because we hadnt packed any cold weather clothes, and our only real option was to try and get over mountain and back down in elevation where it would be warm again. How we didn’t end up with hypothermia, Ill never know. We ended up staying in a fresh ass hotel in the north rim of the canyon, getting pulled over for speeding tickets, and Jordan even survived a very low speed crash ta t the Hoover Damn that was basic ally caused by heat exhaustion.

When we finally made it back to Vegas, we were seriously wiped out, but didn’t waiver in our resolve to make the fight. We had booked rooms at the MGM Grand, the same hotel where the fights were happening, so had just enough time to get into the rooms and shower before it was time to place some bets and then head to the Grand Garden Arena.

This was my first time being in Vegas for a big fight night, and it was amazing to actually be going to the fights. The atmosphere was absolutely electric throughout the casino and especially in the arena. The undercard fights were mostly thrilling, but everyone was really there for the main event.

Ill never forget the excitement we both felt when BB ounce Buffer uttered his famous main event phrase – IT TIIIIIIMMMMMME! Sonnen almost got booed out of the building and when Silv a was announced the place almost exploded.  As soon as the first round started Sonnen. Took Silva diowbn to open the first frame, and kept him on the ground almost the entirety of the first round, grounding and pounding him. HOLY SHIT! It was almost an exact carbon copy of the first fight. MAYBE THIS HADNT BEEN AN ACCIDENT AT ALL!  The judges scored it 10-8 because Sonnen was so dominant. A hiush fell across the arena, as we all thought that maybe our had finally found his crpytonite in the Bad Bad from west Lin Oregon!

But then when the 2nd round started, Silva came out with a bang and started unloading on Sonnen. He landed a few punch, had Sonnen in deep trouble, when Sonnen tried something very uncharachteristic, obviously out of sheer desperation. He attempted a spinning back fist, which Silva ducked and his momentum carried him away and onto the mat, and as he tried to stand up, Silva delivered a VICIOUS flying knee to the center of his chest and followed up with a flurry of punches that left him unconscious.  The champ was back, and in a defiant away. Was it all just another elaborate ruse, or had sonnet really had him in trouble. Only Silva really knows, and probably only he will ever know. 

Before the flight had started I had said that if Silva won via knockout I was gonna get a tattoo of a Spider, in honor of his nickname. So after the fight we went to the tattoo shop at the Hard Rock Hotel, and I got a tattoo of a Spider, and on the body of the Spider, I put the Brazilian flag, to honor Silva’ homeland.  Its one of the many “postcard” tattoos I have, that mark a special occasion, or trip in my life

Writing For Rodney – Day 17

continued from yesterday…

The Diaz fights proved a lot about McGregor. That he could lose, and suffer defeat with humility. He didn’t make excuses. He said Diaz was the greater man and congratulated him on his victory, said he needed to go back and work ons on holes in his game, and that’s exactly what he did. But more importantly, he took the fight in the first place. He was supposed to fight Raphael Dos Anos, and he fell out with an injury a week before the fight. Conor agreed to face Diaz, a hugely dangerous opponent, on very little notice, when most fighters would have just opted to sit it out and wait for their original opponent to heal and come back. But Conor knew that literally thousands off Irish had booked flights and hotels for Vegas to come and see him fight, and he refused to let them down. That’s what areal mahfukken G does.

Conor came back and fought Diaz in their rematch and beat him in a vicious five round fight,. Both men were badly beaten and battered, and Conor suffered some incredibly hard shots, but never gave up. He showed the true spirit of a champion in the match, and we will very likely see a rubber match between the two. But that erased any doubts most people had about his ability to fight, and preserver in tough conditions. He hung in there and geeked out a victory and was moderately gracious in that victory.

His next fight came against Eddie Alvarez, the lightweight champion, and it was to make history in so many ways. It was the first ever UFC card in NYC, at the world’s most famous area, MSG, and if Conor won he was going to become the first ever guy to be the simultaneous champion in 2 different weight classes. For this fight Conor was in tip top promo shape. He came to the press conference wearing a white fur coat… he swiped Alvarez’s belt off the table of the press conference (a truck he debuted against Jose Aldo), during the open workouts at MSG he grabbed a basketball off of the court and nailed a shot from the top of the key… he was on fire!  And he once again had a nation backing him. Buy this point, every fight must feel like a hometown fight for Conor, as literally thousands of Irish make the trip from his motherland, and thousands more Irish Americans flood the areas for his fights. NYC was no exception.  I’ve been to so many UFC fights… Ive been in Newark and the Meadowlands multiple times, and flown to Vegas twice just for big fights, and also been to the O2 in London.

I’d seen some incredible moments inside the Octogaon. I watched Shane Carwin dismantle Frank Mir with a vicious body shot that I could her from my middle section seats. I saw Georges St Pirre almost break Matt Whatever’s arm. I saw Jon Jones become the youngest cha[ion in UFC history by delivering. Aviocous knockout to Shogun Hua, and oddly it happened on the same day he also chased down and subdued a purse snatcher who interrupted his meditation session that afternoon in a Newark Park. I Saw Jones defeat Chael Sonnen with a big toe that was so badly broken that the bones was sticking out of the skin. I saw Anderson Silva think he had knocked out Michael Bisping in London and he jumped up onto the top of the cage to celebreat, only to be told it was simply the end of the round. He went on to lose that fight and the venue I was running in London even hosted the afterparty. I saw Renean Barao loste his first ever fight and have his 20 fight winning streak stopped by TJ Dilashw in Vegans and watched Daniel Cormier destroy former olympian Dan Henderson not he same card.  When it comes to non-UFC MMA cards, Ive only been to two different ones, but both of them had monumental moments. I was at the El its XC card where James Thompson had his absolutely engorged cauliflower ear busted open, spraying blood all over the cage. And minutes later saw the upset of the century, when last minute repalcemen, no-name Seth Petruzelli knocked out Kimbo Slice, the street fighting legend that Elite XC bet their entire company on.  That was the last ever Eliute XC event.

But the granddaddy of them all was when I went to the rematch of Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. In Las Vegas. Anderson was the most dominant champion in UFC history. He exploded on the scene in a way nobody ever had, recording flashy knockout after flashy knockout and nobody had any sort of an answer for him. HE destroyed Chirs Leben, the man with the iron chin who had never been knocked out. And then obliterated Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin in back to back fights.  He went up a weight class and made James Irvin look silly by literally catching his kick with his left and and knocking him out with a single right hand punch to the face. In his fight against former champion Forrest Griffin he stood flat-footed in front of Forrest with his hands down, taunting him and dodged his punches by ducking and weaving like he was a character in the Matrix, and the would pop out a couple of jabs that stunned and then knocked out Griffin.  The fight was called off when Griffin fell flat on his back and waved off any more punishment like a kid who had just been wiped out by a bully. When he finally made it back to his feet he quickly exited the cage and SPRINTED out of the area, something that had never before been done in a UFC fight.

Anderson silva had fought Chael Sonnen previously and Sonnen took him down and mauled him with wrestling and ground and pound for 4.5 rounds. Silva looked like he had zero answers. 

to be continued tomorrow… again… My UFC serialiZation. Not sure anyone is gonna find this interesting, but Ive been sick this week and struggling to find things to be motivated write about… I dont wanna blow any of my “good” ideas while Im not feeling well… so sometimes this is what you’re gonna get if Im gonna be doing this every single day.

Writing For Rodney – Day 16

I love the UFC. I guess it was a natural transition from Pro Wrestling. But for some reason it lacks a plethora of larger than life charachters. But it’s got Conor MacGregor. I’m not quite sure exactly when I became aware on Conor McGregor, but as soon as I was, I became an immediate fan. IT was sometime around 2013, as he was prepping for his about against Max Holoway. I remember this brash irishman had a steely sort of confidence, that had yet to become brash, but he definitely had a look in his eye that said “I ain’t here to be fucked with.” That fight was in Boston , pretty much h the Irish capital of the US, and his fans were abundant and vocal, and it became obvious during his walkout there that he was going to be a big time fan favorite. He beat Holloway in that fight and then it was revealed that he tore his ACL during the fight. And kept going. Damn, man, that’s some real toughness. He took almost a year off, during which time he got a wild tattoo of a gorilla wearing a crown on his chest and throat, and then came back, against Diego Brandao, and took place in front off a sold out crowd of 10,000 at the O2 arena in Dublin. A crowd of ROWDY Irishmen. Seeing that on TV it became obvious this wasn’t just any fighter. The combination of the intense crowd backing him, and the fire and confidence he came out with, especially coming off an injury, made it quite obvious that this guy was the real deal.  He knocked out Brandao in the fist round and with that delivered an incredible statement to the UFC. He even won the knockout of the night bonus. After that he started posting pics of him with Loprenzo Fertitta on private planes, saying he was negotiating a n ew contract, and from then on it was quite obvious that he was on a rocket ship to stardom.

The next fight was his first against a top 10 ranked opponent, Dustin Poirier, so was fo course looked at as a huge test.  This was was hugely promoted as the co-main event to the first right between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier, and McGregor really raised the staked in the promo for this one , delivering some amazing lines at the press conference. And just unbridled cockiness, but dispensed with enough calm to make you believe that hHE believed it!  He backed it all up too, dleivxeing a stunning knockout just a minute into the fight, once again winning the knockout of the night bonus.  All hell broke loose at that one after the fight, with the arena going bananas, and it was quite obvious that we were dealing with a very unique talent.  Not only did he say he was gonna knock him out in the first round, and DID knock him out in the first round, but he also repeatedly taunted him inside the octgaon, during the fight saying” What you got, pussy?” Man thats GOT to be unnerving, especially when you’re losing the fight.

In the post fight interview with Joe Rogan, he delivered the now infamous line, “I said I was gonna knock him out in the first round, and I did, so you can call me Mystic Mac because I can predict this shit!”

So what is it though about Conor then? I mean, really, it’s all of it.  It first an d foremost it’s the ability to fight and tk wile the octagon with his opponents. And the. He combines that with the brash confidence and the pro wrestling level of trash talk. When hyping a fight he mixes the beat of Ali and Ric Flair. He’s a street kid but has a taste for flashy suits, gold watches and fast fast cars. Dusty Rhodes used to live to say he was the son of a plumber. Conor actually WAS a plumber, and supported himself with that when he first started fighting. And one of his lost important qualities is that’s he’s also a family man.he looks after his parents, and appears to be a fantastic father and provider for his longtime girlfriend Dee.

And then when it comes to the fighting, he’s predicted the outcomes of so many of his fights, and then backed them up.

For his fight against Jose Aldo he kept sayng he was gonna knock him out in the first round. Also had not only never been knocked out, he was the most dominant and durable champ in the history of the lightweight division, and had never even been in serious trouble in a fight, much less been knocked down, or out. But then the fight started, and Aldo ran in on Mac, likely fired up and wnating to attack because his head had been gotten into, and then Conor knocked his fool ass out in 13 seconds. Mystic Mac indeed!

In his fight against Chad Mendes, a last minute replacement opponent whose specialty of wrestling was tailor made to swat McGregor, Conor offers tk bet Dana White a million bucks he would knock him out i the 2nd round. For the first two rounds Mendes took Conor down and controlled and pounded him on the ground. With about a minute left in the second round, Conor somehow managed to get to his feet and then caught Mendes with a flush left had and followed it up with half a dozen more and knocked him out cd. It was, almost literally, unbelievable.  He’s been wildly dominant, yet as actually lost a fight. To Nate Diaz, one of the most underrated fighters in MMA. Conor took him as a last minute replacement as well… Something Conor does with great gusto, but most fighters refuse…and because of that it only grows his legend… Conor will literally fight ANYONE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. And when it bites him int he ass…? He was super respectful, and gave Diaz props… the total opposite of how he usually treats opponents when he loses… and THEN he accepted a rematch…. immediately… and came back and WON!

To be continued….

Writing For Rodney – Day 15

The other hairy situation left me short-handed, literally. One chill autumn afternoon I was ripping through the trails and, fueled by the Bravado of a full summer of shredding, I was going a bit faster than would have been logically reasonable… Having just come off a nice extended rainfall, the terrain was a comely combination of slippery and sticky, offering just enough give to let the wheels dig in and tear it up. Coming around one corner that I had ripped up dozens of times before, I found a tree had fallen and was blocking the path, directly perpendicular to my route… Fuck.  It happened so fats and I was carrying so much sped, that there were only two options… 

  1. Bail off the bike and most certainly crash… HARD.
  2. Rev the engine, pull up the front end, lean back and hope the bike got over the tree.

Of course, I chose option #2, instinctively. I charged at that tree, and hoped for the best, and what happened next was just about… the… worst… thing… that could have happened. The front wheel never came up. I just hit that tree head on, like a brick wall, and got thrown over my handlebars. I rolled over three or four times and the damp forest floor and finally came to a stop and collected my wildly spread senses. Well, that was a new one. Id never been felled by an errant tree, but then again, Id never even ridden a motorcade as of a year ago… When. I finally managed to get back to my feet, I did the normal checklist for a bike crash… Arms, fingers, knees and toes… They all work. Neck and head… check. Shoulder shrug. Well, done, so… shoulders shrug. But then it came to what makes us human… the Thumbs! My left thumb want mobile.. it wasn’t responsive… in fact it was FUCKED. Its couldn’t move, or grab, or grip… Which was going to be a significant problem, soldiering that the left hand is what controls the clutch, aka the gear shifting, aka what makes a motorcycle actually MOVE! And here I was, down, and almost out, but not quite, in the middle of nowhere in the woods, and I was gonna have to figure out how to get back to the Emerald city of York, New comma York.

I wrestled the bike back auto upright position, no easy feat, con siding my simian digits were compromised, but when it was finally pointed back at the the sun, is when I felt the burn… the burn of torn ligaments and broken bones. There was no question. It was my thumb, and it was toast. I wasn’t going to be able to squeeze any life out of this clutch, much less any gears. Which was going to be a huge fucking problem, since I was 17 miles from home, and buried deep into a wooded area I was legally prohibited from being inside of, especially when in control of a motor vehicle. So I stood up straight, and dusted myself off, and thought, what would Seth Enslow do. And then it came to me, sudden as a lighting strike during a drunken dusk dawn… He would man the fuck up and get that bike home. So thats what I decided to do.

I lopped my right leg over the seat, found neutral and fired then engine up. It started with out a problem, so I already knew that a lot less than half the battle had already been won. And then I tried to grab the clutch, so I could drop it into first. My first and second fingers pulled the cloth lever ever so slightly forward, and then my thumb tried to complete the transaction… But nope. There was nothing doin. It wasn’t gonna happen. Pain shot through my left thumb and hand and splayed out like splintered sunlight Ito my forearm and right up through my entire arm and shoulder, sending the completely indelible message that… YOURE FUCKED! But I knew there was no way I was gonna give up… I was gonna get this bike back to 150th street,. Tow Trucks were for Sucka Ducks and I was a god damned G. So I swept the left of the bike and got it back up and two wheels and I commanded it to head back to Manhattan. It was super slow going at first, became I could barely get it to even move through all the dirt and brush. I had to slam the shift lever down into first without being able to engage the clutch… or more accurately I engaged it by using my 4 fingers and using them in the reverse way to pull it back to slam the bike into first and then let the clutch out and let the engine do what it did in first gear and then let the bike run out at 1st gear speed… This meant having to tumble above the rustic of leave and branches and sticks at a heavy controlled speed with not room for nuance… which also meant hanging on and trying to maintain control w with one and one half hands… Which worked pretty fine for a while, until I finally made it out of the woods (explain here how I had found alternate ways out of the woods…) and one I made it to the main road, it was a whole other challenge. Then it became rumbling among the breakdown lane, in first gear and just getting ny as fast as the gears would allow me… and every now and then I would juts dry fifth into 2nd gear… which was obviously bad for the engine, base don all the grinding sounds it made, but at least it allowed me to go a little bit faster… And then having to dry shift back into first gear to undo the speed when traffic swelled up…. all that herky jerky motion was rough on my hand, and my thumb. And to this day it’s never healed properly. It gets sore after a long day of riding. playing catch with a baseball mitt. Ah, the horror!

Writing For Rodney Day 13

Double Dragon Tattoo on west 3rd street and 6th ave! THE SAME PLACE IVE BEEN SEEING MY DREAM BIKE. Wait, could it be? I asked if he parked directly right out in front, and lo and behold – he DID!! They say when you really want something, you open your self up to the universe, project your desires, and will them into existence. It isn’t simply that easy, as you have to be doing your part. I believe that kindness, especially to strangers, positivity, openness and generosity are some of the most powerful forces we can put out into nature, and that they are magnetizing, bringing the same energy back to you. It’s how I live my life, and good things come back to me in spades, so there must be at least some truth to that. But you can’t force these things, they have to be GENUINE!

Once the bike was mine it was time to ride. I’d like to say I started slow, but, well, c’mon. I’m crazy, but Im not completely stupid, so I started out just riding around the city, at first obeying all the traffic laws. But it wasn’t long before I started bombing the streets, splitting lanes, riding between cars at stop lights, and the quickly graduating, or escalating, into riding between cars in slow traffic, then faster traffic, then full speed up and down avenues, police be damed. I must say I quite enjoyed the courtesy, professionalism and respect they showed by so very rarely pulling me over.

Once I had the streets mastered it was time to get down to the real business of why I bought this thing, and that was to get it off-road, out into the dirt.  I had heard about a set of trails off of the Sprain Ridge Parkway, and had the loosest directions on how to get there. After a lot of trail and error I found what I was looking for… a set of power lines that ran along the west side of a golf course, and located an opening that looked like it would allow me access. Except it was blocked by a gate. And going around the gate meant rolling down a hill of DEEP brush and weeds, through a moat of murky still water and back up another hill. Well, thats what these bikes are MADE FOR, right?

<insert part about buying mtorocross gear>

So I backed up, took a deep breath, got my ass up off of my seat and gave it more than a little gas. Im not sure exactly what happened, but I was rattled all around yet somehow my feet never left the footpads and my hands remained their steely grip on the handlebars, and I WAS IN. But now what? The Powerlines rans up a very steep and rocky ridge. Well, I had done some reading about how to ride off road, and there were a few simple tips I remembered:

  1. When you encounter tough terrain, get your ass of your seat and put all your weight on the pegs. That lowers your (and the bike’s) center of gravity. SO even thought you’re standing up, that puts your body weight down on the lower part of the frame, rather than higher up on the seat, thus increasing stability. Science IS BITCHEN!
  2. When going uphill, move your body forward over the top of the front of the bike, putting more weight, and thus traction to the front wheel.
  3. When going downhill, move your body back.T his puts more weight over the back wheel, and less over the front, the allowing the front wheel two come up and over any obstacles, so as to avoid going sailing over the handle bars if you hit an obstruction.

It’s a good thing I didn’t a little reading, because this hill with the power lines was STEEP, and since one of the main rules of physics is “What goes up,  must come down” I knew I was in for all three of them, and QUICKLY. 

My pedestrian understanding of physics also told me that if you were gonna try and go up a big hill, it would be best to go into it with some. momentum, so once again, I pointed this machine at the hill, took a deep breath and cracked the throttle. Brrrraaaaaapppppp the bike took off towards the hill and right as I hit the incline I came up off my seat and leaned over the front of the bike and stayed on the gas. Which, even though you know is the right thing to do, is extremely fucking TERRIFYING, especially when doing it for the first time. The bike was jumping up and down off of all these rocks, and kicking to the left and to the right, but I kept my focus forward, and, eventually, we reached the top of the hill. Together. Just as I was running out of steam. And it couldn’t have come a second too soon . I let the bike come to a stope once I was on level ground, and it’s a good thing I did, because there was only about twenty feet of flat earth before the descent began. I pulled forward enough so that I wouldn’t be visible to any passing cars on the road below, as what I was doing was illegal, trespassing on SOMEBODY’s property, I assumed, hence the gate and the crazily clandestine entry point. I put the kick stat down, which cut the engine, and go t off there bike. I hadn’t been off road for more than 3 minutes, yet I was already covered in sweat and my heart was racing faster than my engine in second gear as it climbed that hill. But I was proud. Proud of myself for having gotten after it and gone and did this thing. But then I walked over to the descent, and looked over the edge, and that’s when the horror set in!