Load of waffle

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#1
For some reason, unknown to me, I have felt inclined to make this post this week. If it helps someone, I'm thrilled, if it entertains you for half a second, well, what else would you have been doing? If you actually read it & think of things to add, please do. I have typed it up numerous times & not posted it, or been sidetracked & not finished it and each time it changed, so dunno what drivel you're in for now.

When I first started riding, I was so-so about it, not really interested, but not uninterested either. I bought a bike for $50 & put a few more $ into it. After a while, I wanted a real bike and through bizarre circumstances, ended up with a YZ80, ported & polished to suit the NZ #2 rider of the time. I'd been riding for a few months (probably about 5x) and really wanted a little bike & not a four stroke. The day after I'd bought it, I met the first female dirtbike rider I'd ever met & we rode together every week for about 6 months, till she gave up.

I rode by myself for another few months, then became friends with a female on a quad. We rode together for about a year and then her husband decided it was time to get rid of her training wheels, so we would toddle off together & I didn't have to think about if she'd like a trail on the quad or not (stumps). She got down about how slow she was compared to on 4 wheels. I pointed out how much more experience she was getting on 2. She's over it now, but it's taken her a long time. She doesn't really ride in summer, so I'd have months being lonely again.

The time I spent riding alone seemed to dominate my life (riding life I mean) and I'd get pretty down about it all. After a couple of operations (not ride related), I really seemed about to give up. What was the point in having this bike I wasn't really using? I'd just spend more time helping out at rides or something, so Henk (my husband) could still ride.

Out of the blue, I got asked to come over to the States. Things seemed to be falling into place, but then I figured it wasn't feasible after all. I spoke to Henk & he told me to grab the opportunity (not believing it would happen). I came over with high expectations (Henk was worried as he was sure I was due for a fall), but those expectations (which were really high) were so far exceeded, I am blown away by it.

I like people (sometimes), but am also a loner & both sides of me come through often. If I feel I don't have enough contact for whatever reason, I get down. I share my ride reports as I can't tell Henk things (he's too busy telling me his own lol - believe me, you can't get a word in edgewise once he's on a roll) and whether people respond or not, read it or not, I'm happy I've had some contact, or told someone hehehe

When I've gone quiet, it's not I'm not riding, or don't have anything to say, it's more of I don't know what to say without sounding upset or feeling I've let the side down.

There's a hell of a lot more I could say, but I'm determined to post this tonight. Whatever you're going through, though, you are not alone. There is an awesome group of women here, but you need to reach out first. We can't even try to help you if we don't know what is the problem. We may not have the answers, but whoever you are, wherever you are - we'll try to help. You just have to take the first step. The one thing to remember - you're not alone at any time.

Why I've been determined to post this, I'll never know, but I try to follow my instincts. And to those wonderful people who've helped me get through my dark stage - THANK YOU!!!!! You may not know you've helped, but you have.
 

E-Ticket

Subscriber
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Messages
735
Likes
0
#2
Hey, welcome back, Michelle. <grin>

Really enjoyed hanging and riding with you in Cave Junction this summer.
Loads of fun, eh?

Cheers! - E-Ticket
 

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#3
ET, huge fun :)

The one thing that I really want to reinforce is that us girls aren't alone, even if we don't ride with other girls. It's a case of you don't know what's just around the next corner and if you give up, you could miss something great.

We didn't know anyone who ride dirtbikes when we got into it, but all our friends are now dirtbike riders. That I think is the main reason I wouldn't give up. I've also had a mindset change very recently, but I'm struggling with the old me. There's a race next weekend and I'm not sure about riding in it. My partner from the last race won't be there, I'll definitely be on my own, so we'll see what I decide to do.

My newest riding buddy was lucky. I took her through the forest (not realising I'd taken her on an intermediate trail) and we had the privilege of watching guys grovel. At one point, there was a long, steep, rutted out downhill and we stopped part way down it. While there, we watched one guy standing, looking so in control, but just after he went past us, he sat down & started grovelling. The next guy saw us & quickly stood up, to sit down not much further down. We both realised, hey, they don't look good either & don't do everything perfectly. I'd also thought that I was the only one who struggled & everyone else was perfect. When they'd come back to the carpark covered in mud or with broken bits, I'd always thought it wasn't their fault somehow.

As you said in the crash on a hill thread, it's all relative. I've just found that hard to understand.

A lot of things have changed for me this year, and I finally feel like the tunnel I was in is now behind me. It has taken a long time to get out that tunnel, but boy, the view of what's ahead, wow ;) We all have our own tunnels to get through, but if someone switches on a light along the way, blimey, that makes it easier.

I don't even know why I've persisted, it'd have been easier to just change hobbies. There's something about these damn dirtbikes & dirtbikers though, something special.
 

GETMETOCA

Can't Wait For Tuesdays
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
4,768
Likes
0
#4
Originally posted by Michelle
There's something about these damn dirtbikes &amp; dirtbikers though, something special.
This thought crosses my mind all the time.&nbsp;&nbsp; Hey good to see you on the boards again Michelle, I was wondering about you.

&nbsp;

&nbsp;:confused:
 

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#5
I'm definitely still around, just busy and not really in the mood to spend long on the puter after work.

With everything that's gone on lately, I just keep thinking what I'd be missing out on if I'd given up. I don't care what I'm missing out on if I had've. I do remember feeling like I was the only one who'd ever felt that way and just want newer riders to realise they're not alone & the down patches will pass.

I'm also lucky Henk's so supportive but as he's got plenty of people to ride with, doesn't always understand. It's funny because as a kid I was very anti-mainstream, I took up gymnastics but when a friend of mine took it up, I gave up, now I just want more friends to ride with.
 

RockyRoads

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
88
Likes
0
#6
Michelle, thanks so very much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

I'm riding a lot by myself now too, mainly because of the logistics of trying to juggle a full time job, two small kids, and family/social commitments--it's hard to coordinate my schedule with someone else's, especially during the work week. It does get lonely out there at times. And I haven't found any other women to ride with--I rarely ever see any out on the trails. But riding brings so much pleasure--I was out by myself last Friday, and it was raining (and then hailing), and the water was pouring from the top of my helmet and I could barely see out of my goggles, yet I had this huge grin on my face that just wouldn't go away. It is that grin that keeps me going.

Finding DRN has been really wonderful for me. Most of all, I feel connected to other riders, and part of a community. I have really appreciated your comments and responses to my postings. Everyone seems so supportive and accepting. And it is so good to read about other riders' triumphs, issues, new bikes, dilemmas, questions, doubts, inspirations, and so on.

So thanks again for putting your thoughts out there. I did connect with quite a bit of what you were saying.

Take care!
Kathy
 
Last edited:

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#7
Kathy, keep at it - don't lose that grin. I think that's what changed for me, I lost it for quite a while. It's back now though. I guess in some ways it started feeling like a job, as we're part of a group that put on events for our club & on those days I don't get to ride. I know with our last event, the rains came around lunch time, so people started going home, so I got on my bike & had a blast.

When you're riding alone, does someone know where you are? Do you have a cellphone with you? Not to stress you or anything, but do take precautions in case something happens. With me riding alone, it's never far from the car or someone knows where I am. It's my adventures on my own that I start worrying, thinking it's a big forest & the guys have no idea where I am.

And yeah, it's definitely a great bunch here - heck, I've used them as a sounding board for so long & they haven't banned me (yet). It's also great to see newer members joining in. Don't be a stranger and hopefully you'll get to meet some of the others soon (hope you're up to date with the Reno ride in February, if not check it out - roll call thread in here & another thread in the places to ride forum).

Funny how different people see different things though. We were talking with a friend on Friday & I was saying to him how I'm so unconfident with my riding & he laughed & told me he thought I was very confident. I guess the nerves don't show after all.

I've decided what I'm doing with the race this weekend. I'm not entering. I thought I'd do one or two laps of the course in the morning and then go find places to take photos when the race is on. I'm going riding with a couple of women on Sunday, which is good as one I haven't ridden with yet (she asked me to go with her). It'll be a nice easy day & I have to remember not to drink too much Saturday nite.
Anyway, I'm being nagged it's time to get offline, so better go - but how did your ride Friday go, Kathy?
 

RockyRoads

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
88
Likes
0
#8
Michelle, glad to hear that your grin is back. :thumb:

Regarding my solo rides, I ride at Carnegie, which is a 1500-acre off-road vehicle park. There is no cell phone service in the area (too hilly). However, I am well aware of the dangers of riding alone and don’t take “big” risks when I’m by myself. I generally won’t intentionally tackle new terrain alone and will just ride the many (challenging) trails and that I’ve already tested out with my husband. There is another rider that I park next to when we’re out on the same day; although we don’t ride together, we let each other know the general direction that we are going. Also, the rangers at the gate are starting to get to know me; I figure if closing time comes, and they see my red truck still in the parking area, someone will come looking for me.

I didn’t get to tackle my “favorite” corner on Friday. I was saving it for the end of my ride (so I would be all warmed up and relaxed), but then the rain started, which turned to hail, and I don’t yet have rain gear, so I was drenched, and then I started shivering, and the trails were getting pretty slick. I really had a blast riding in the rain, but I decided that the conditions weren’t ideal for me mentally to try the hill and corner again. I was feeling a lot better about my riding though—I accidentally missed a turn on one of my standard trails and found myself starting up this steep hill that I would never have tried (I was thinking, “This is NOT where I want to be!”); I quickly assessed my options but couldn’t turn around because of a huge rain gully (and the grade was getting steeper by the second), so I figured the best thing would be to increase the throttle power and make it to the top of the hill—and I did it! That brought back some of my lost confidence.

I went riding today with my husband, and finally confronted my corner again. As I started up the long stretch of hill toward the turn, I felt a brief wave of fear, but I brushed it off. I took E-Ticket’s advice and didn’t look at the section where I had crashed; I looked right past that dreaded spot and picked an entirely different line through the corner. I must say that I tiptoed around the turn (I probably couldn’t have gone any slower)—but I made it! I can’t yet say that I “own” the turn, but I feel that I rented it out for a few moments. Definitely lots of room for improvement—and one day I will yell at it loud and clear. So thanks everyone for all the great words of encouragement!

I’m signed up for the Reno ride, and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and having my first desert riding experience.

Michelle, I hope that you have fun this weekend—both at the race on Saturday (perhaps you could post some of your photos) and on your Sunday ride.
 

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#9
Kathy, I got some photos today, so if I remember (and have time), I'll scan some in tomorrow. One is showing my bike stuck (now Henk knows where I mean) and another he took the pic too soon as the rider decided to see how well he could wheelstand the bike over ruts (totally outta control from where I was standing).

Glad you made it up the hill & there's always next time. As for room for improvement - isn't there always? It really wouldn't be as much fun (read frustrating) if it was too easy, plus the addiction wouldn't be there hehehe
Good to hear you've got the safety factor covered :)
 

wayneg

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
544
Likes
0
#10
Hey Michelle

I did it - finally didn't come last at the NZ trials nationals! (At least Fifth place out of 10 isn't last by my reckoning!) :laugh:

When are you going to give trials another go???

Cheers
Wayne
 

E-Ticket

Subscriber
Joined
Dec 16, 2000
Messages
735
Likes
0
#11
Woo-hoo!!! Way to go, Rocky....!!!!" :yeehaw:

-- E-Ticket :thumb:
 

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#12
Wayne, there's a trial up here in a few weeks we're going to. I'll take a bike so I can ride round the sections at least. I may get talked into actually riding it, just so my "racing" friend won't come last - actually she didn't last time she rode one, from memory, but this way she'll be guaranteed hehehe. I've got a hen's party the night before, so we'll see. Congratulations on your 5th position - guess I'll be seeing your name in Kiwi Rider one of these days :)

Anyway, here's a couple of pix as promised:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/98624048/98624560tQNyOJ
He gets outta control half a second later. The ruts are caused by 4WD's & are plenty messy - a lot of the riding is pretty tough, hence I love the TTR here.
http://community.webshots.com/photo/98624048/98624918oDcTWU
Yip, the rest of the trail is dry, it's just one soggy patch & it's like wet concrete, grey, smelly filthy stuff. Looking at the pic you can't see the logs I was aiming for which don't go all the way up across the trail & I'll have to look again this weekend & see if I can go higher (but we're going to fix that bit anyway). I just can't believe I ran over my helmet getting her out, but I didn't think it would be that easy once on the logs hehehe
 
Last edited:

RockyRoads

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2003
Messages
88
Likes
0
#13
Hey, Michelle! Thanks for the photos! The muddy terrain looks . . . well . . . challenging . . . (and entertaining if you're the spectator :laugh: ). Mud is not my forte. :ugg: Share more photos when you can!
 

wayneg

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
544
Likes
0
#14
No Kiwi Rider aren't interested in low placings in the 'support' classes at trials - never mind. They are more interested with what the better ex-trials riders can do, such as Elliot Kent, Sean Clarke, Chris Birch, Stefan Merriman once they have grown up and started riding in enduros etc.

Good luck if you do have a go at the trial near you. Riding with a hangover after a late night out partying should prove interesting.

I have put loads of photos up on our club web site if you are interested. Being the person that sticks them on the page gives me some flexibility in which photos of myself that I choose to put on it though - I'll leave my usual crashing antics out I think :)

Ixion
 

Michelle

Sponsoring Member
Joined
Oct 26, 1999
Messages
1,245
Likes
0
#15
I'd say they'd publish just about anything if it got sent in. I saw David's name in there a while ago, with the bucket racing, so why not you with the trials?
Photos of you? In the two pages I've glanced at, I've seen your name once - the rest Kiwi's brother ;) At least you're out there doing it, not sitting back saying "I could do better than him" - nobody springs to mind there, but I know critics are out there. I didn't realise Hazel does trials.

With the helmets, what sort of $ are they & how much protection are they? That's one thing on my wish-list, as I reckon it'd be brilliant for marking out ;)

Kathy, I totally suck with mud. I have been told 1 million times to get a smaller bike, that the KDX is too big for me. I thought it was just because I'm useless (I am), however, getting the TTR is almost the best thing I've done. We were talking about the trailride on Sunday following the race & Henk was telling me he thinks they'll put the race course in the intermediate ride with an easier ride for the "novices". I don't consider myself an intermediate & think he's wrong. I've also been told off about the ride I took my friend on the other week, that it scared her. I think that if I can do something, everyone else will have no problems. I also told Henk last week that the TTR is a much better rider than I am.
Well, I better go, got lots to do tonite so we can go play on the weekend :)
M