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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!