This weekend was spent driving the kids back and forth between birthday parties, so many parties that I paused and counted back 9 months to try and figure out why so many kids have birthdays in March. Saturday, after I picked up Allison, and with 2 hrs before I had to get Em, I passed our church and realized I could make the Saturday evening service. I normally go on Sunday mornings but if Allie and I went to church on Saturday, I could sneak in a 4 hr ride Sunday morning before other birthday parties and salvage what has been a lack luster training week.
I was talking to someone about crashing on mountain bikes yesterday and I mentioned I very rarely fall. I went on to explain it was probably because I didn't try hard enough to which the other person was suppose to counter with a suggestion that I don't crash because I am experienced and fully understand my limits. They replied: "yeah, your right, you don't try hard enough".
Actually I just don't like to go down. I haven't always been so conservative, drive like a PTA mom, and brush and floss after every meal; I just got old. When I was young and raced motorcycles I didn't worry about crashing, as long as I didn't crash at the start. Motorcycle races start from a stand still. A person pulls out a start sign and holds it horizontal and we get ready, then he turns it vertical and we take off. You don't want to stall and get plowed into in front of the grand stands. Launching a race bike isn't that easy. I raced a 2 stroke which was hard to launch smoothly. It was jetted and ported to make almost no power until 6,000 RPM, and the Benard competition clutch was very grabby. To prevent glass from falling on the track during an accident, the tachometer was taped off except a little window at red-line. You couldn't use the tach to see if the engine was idling and the other motorcycles made so much noise at the start that you couldn't hear if your bike was running, or even feel the vibration from the engine. Nothing was more embarrassing than getting rear ended in front of a crowd.
Crashing away from the grand stand wasn't so bad. Your adrenalin would be so high when you went down that you wouldn't feel any pain, the whole thing would unfold like a surreal slow motion movie. It is funny the things you think of when sliding across the track. I remember sliding on my back and not realizing the road burnt through my leathers until I could smell my skin, and I thought of that one Warner Brother's cartoon where Bugs Bunny lit this Mohegan Indian on fire and the Indian didn't notice it until he smelled himself burning: "me smell Mohegan burning, me last Mohegan, must be me!" And I laughed to myself. I remember trying to pick between two fairings earlier in the year. One cost a little more than the other but it was designed so the windscreen would break away in the event of an accident. I saw my bike slide past me and sure enough, the windscreen separated from the fairing and I though: "it worked just as it was suppose to, go figure." No pain until the adrenalin wares off.
To be 20 again, or at least have that attitude. Today's lesson to myself is I need to push myself a little harder on the technical single track.