Have you ever done something and regretted it so much you start making deals? You know what I am talking about, gone out drinking and gotten really sick afterwards. Lying with your head pressed on that cold toilet seat, drool coming out of your mouth, sweating, puking, and of course making deals. You may be a religious person, maybe your not, but somehow you start making “the deal”. You pray if this stops, I will never drink again, ever!
I have been in that toilet position before, so I speak from experience. The reason I mention it is, because there are always things in life you wish you did differently and maybe regret. Most people touch a stove, after which they get burned and never do it again. If you are like me it might take you a couple of times, damn light sockets look like they were made for fingers. Maybe it was a decision you regret. You were mean to someone, for no good reason.
So what do you regret? Sure we all have things that we regret, but I mean the big stuff. I recently had a bad accident. I fell off my motorcycle. A friend and I were out trail riding and I hit a rock. This put me over the bars and into a nice game of human lawn darts. Then without a concern for myself, I broke the fall of the bike with my body. There I was face down in the dirt, with a bike on me.
Not to brag, but I usually think of myself as a good crasher. There is a skill to falling and not getting hurt. Let us just say this was not a good crashing day for me, at all. My brain immediately started the self diagnoses process. It sounds silly, but it is like a check list for me. How is my head, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, am I in danger, can I move, and do I need too? This is what flashes through my head in just seconds. Every time I have hit the deck unwillingly, I run my little emergency check list.
So lying there, I took care of the immediate problem of a bike on me by myself. I got the bike up onto my helmet. Help, in the form of a Greg (my road racing teammate) soon showed up. He got the bike off of me and tried to asses the damage. In so much pain I could not speak, he tried to evaluate me. Greg has seen me crash and has a pretty good feel for my pain threshold. We got lucky and some other riders went for help. Knowing it would take some time for help to show, I asked him to get me pain medicine out of the truck. There would be more pain to come and I was trying to limit the damage. He wasn’t gone long, but laying in the woods by yourself, it felt like hours. He and several other passer bys took care of getting me extracted from the woods. This doesn’t happen in a flash and takes some time, to extract a person from the hills. It gives you lots of time to think, regret, and make deals. I was in some serious trouble and I knew it. This is not my first time I have made a doctors Mercedes payment or put there kid through college. So what goes through your mind then? Do you start making “the deal”?
I have loved motorcycles since I was a kid. I remember being on road trips as a child. My mind would let me ride the hills next to the freeway. Up and down, over anything, and at crazy fast speed. That imagination led me to purchase a Yamaha YG-1T. This bike was old enough to drink, and I loved it like it was a brand new Moto GP bike. The first bike stories of any motorcyclist are great, and mine were no different. I recall my last ride on a bike with as much joy as the first. There are certain things in life you know you love. Well riding on two wheels, any two wheels, makes me happy. If you don’t understand, then you can quit reading, or don’t and maybe by the end of this story you will.
I have broken my back twice, had four back surgeries, had my spleen removed, had my appendix removed, broke both ankles, had 3 knee surgeries, plated a broken collar bone, fractured my elbow, separated both of my AC joints, sustained numerous concussions, broke ribs, fractured legs bones, and more. Why the laundry list, because I want people to understand this is not a one off decision. When you get hurt, it can either take from you or maybe give you something, besides the bad ass titanium bolts holding you together. It can easily take physical things from you, or maybe mental things such as courage. You might gain something as well. Some people gain experience, respect, or maybe a fear of what hurt them.
I had that time lying in the woods. It is a critical period of time. There you are lying on the ground, in so much pain most will never be able to comprehend it. More than that, I will have several months of rehab and years of pain to follow. So with all of that said did I gain anything. Yes, I am writing this because of what I gained. I learned that no matter how much pain or what the end result of this or any future accident, NO DEALS, not even for a second was I willing to trade my dreams. I lay there with no regret, in pain for sure, wishing it would not have happened, of course. All that said the devil himself could not have sold me a deal. So to the doctors who lecture me, the friends who care, my ever supportive wife, I will ride again. I will love every minute of it, and continue those child like dreams of racing over obstacles.
One of the three well-known California road racing clubs; AFM offers a place where you can participate in races, watch as a spectator, or even take part as a turn-worker on the course. There are competition classes for almost all motorcycles; you can race what you own, build a bike specifically for racing, or maybe even pick up a pre-set-up bike through member want ads. Competing in expert club racing can be used to qualify for a pro racing license. Explore the website for further information.
Women race with the men?
Yes, races are structured by bike size. Women race in the same classes as men that have the same sized bike. However, there is a growing interest among women in racing , so many racing clubs have added a women’s class to encourage the ladies to give it a try.
Formed in 2001, SMUSA is now the premier Pro/Am supermoto series in the country. Many of the well known American road racers such as Bobby Fong, Joey Pascarella, Cameron Beaubier, Elena Myers, Tyler O'Hara, Garrett Willis and others all competed in Supermoto USA's Nor Cal Championship where they developed their skills.
PC Dirt Track in Sacramento, Ca holds a series of the oldest and most traditional type of motorcycle racing, flat track - sometimes referred to as “dirt track” racing. A uniquely American type of motorcycle racing. Riders finesse their machines sideways through the turns, just inches apart from each other.
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. The AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. No one who has ever seen an AMA Pro motorcycle race ever forgets it.