Weekend report

Michelle

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#1
I've had to cut & paste this, so hope it still makes sense, least
I've worked out a way to talk to you somehow :)
MJ, welcome to the forum/dirtbiking, it's great and very addictive
(sorry, I'm having trouble posting, so hope you read this welcome) :)

I'd been looking forward to this weekend, as we had 2 days of riding
planned (okay, I had). Day 1 turned out to be a non-event, as
everyone decided they'd rather cut trails. But I'd had a bit of a
ride around beforehand, just not very exciting. We'd had to turn back
just as we got to the good bit as someone wanted one of the bikes
(why else have females who ride, if not to steal their bikes when you
want).

Day 2 was a training day. The club decided to put one on, so had
everything set up. The rain came, the clay turned to mud, the course
too difficult for some of us, especially with a nasty uphill to start
with. In the dry it wouldn't have been so bad, but with the mud it
was ugly - ruts, bits of logs, I even noticed the odd rock. Oh, of
course you had a minor creek crossing beforehand, with a left/right
combination. Anyway, my bike made it up, just not with me onboard. By
the time I was at the top I was stuffed. As we were the last ones, we
were heading back to start the day's training.

Going along the gravel road at one stage, I slowed down to check my
tyres as the front felt flat. Henk & Sean asked what was wrong, so I
told them, Sean told me it was just that forest. I just shrugged and
went to go again, but before I knew what happened I was on my side on
the road. Damn, I hate that. Turned out my front brakes were locked
on (I had wondered what the smell was, but put it down to coolant as
the bike was hot, even though it didn't smell right).

Ah well, upright again, made it back with a few moments along the
way. Well, the training began with me going "no way in hell, uh uh, I
ain't doing that, it's not my day" - practising getting over logs.
Well, with help, I bulldozed my bike over and got sent on my way
again. Back to the hill. Hmmm, I'm going back to the van, I'm done in
(having gotten stuck, dropped the bike umpteen times along the way,
not to mention the swim in the puddle - damn, that water was cold).

Decided stuff this, I may as well watch for a while, just to relax &
get my breath back. Stood around for a bit, decided I was just
getting too cold, so started heading back. Got to a corner, saw a
swamp in front of me and decided I was going the wrong way. Went back
to the turn off I'd seen before, noticed an arrow, tried to work out
the best way to cross that hole, decided to walk back to where I'd
come from to check I was going the right way (I'm useless with
directions). Along came a quad who told me I was right the first
time, so turned the bike around and headed off through the swamp
(looked worse than it was, that was fun). I was wrapt not to have
dumped the bike again, but by the time I was back at the van, I'd
felt like I'd been on the bike for 100 hours and really had had
enough. So geared off and just talked/watched for the rest of the
day.

So my weekend was not a great success, but when someone commented to
me "it would have been more fun at work", I told him "no way, even in
my worst moments I'd rather have been here than anywhere else". I
couldn't find the camera so no photos. It took us about 1-1/2 hours
to clean the bikes - even the gear had to be waterblasted, and the
bikes don't look clean, just the mud won't bake on now :)

Sean, if you read this, I'd like to thank you for your help &
patience today, I did enjoy it, just my body didn't. Will talk/email
you at some stage about getting Vanessa up there riding with us, as
the more women out there the better. :)

Hope everyone had a fun weekend, no matter what you did :)
Michelle
 
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#3
Sounds like the passing of yet another great weekend. :)
Me, I couldnt go riding so went mountain biking instead. Yea, I hate it when i know I can go on, but my body just wont listen to me. Well, so much for mind over matter?!
It's only monday, but i'm already looking forward to this weekend, its gonna be a really long weekend at the races!
 

firecracker22

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#4
Sharla's weekend--long

Wow, you weekend sounds pretty tough. Mine was horrible. Steve and I went up to the Mad River trails, in the eastern slopes of the Cascades. We had a 40-ish mile ride planned. I was having an "off day" for some reason—I was very tense, why I don’t know, and my arm was pumping up bad and I was losing throttle control because of it. I was frustrated already 5 miles into the ride! Not a good beginning.

Well Steve asked me if I wanted to try a "slightly more challenging trail" and silly me, I said "Sure." Well even though I knew I wasn’t at my optimum performance I did want to get off the main trail because there were kids on XRs (who were faster than me but their dads weren’t) and hikers and mountain bikers. All were nice however, it’s good to exchange smiles and waves with the non-motorized crowd and know they don’t ALL hate us.

So we take the less-trodden path. It went well for a time but slowly worsened. It was open hillside high up in the mountains where the big fire was 7 years ago, so it was pretty dry, no underbrush. LOTS of rocks. Parts of the trail looked like stairsteps. I was getting tired fast and frustrated faster. I was sitting down a lot which made it worse but every time I stood up I’d tense up my arm and lose control of the throttle. The funny thing is, I didn’t hit the ground that often, but I can’t count how many times I stalled out.

Part of the reason I stalled so easily is we are still trying to adjust my clutch; if I have it in far enough to where it’s comfortable to grab, it drags and kills the engine when you pull it in and try to stop, and makes it impossible to start. But if you move it out to where it doesn’t do that anymore, it feels like it’s waaayy out there and hard to grab. So we messed with that for a while and found an unhappy medium.

We missed the trail we wanted to take, and there was no way I wanted to back track through the nastiest 5 miles of the trip to find it, so we altered our ride plans and continued on. Steve chose this moment—too far in for me to change my mind and after I was too tired to hit him—that we were on expert-level trails. Compared to these, the Pend Oreille trails of the NWSF June 16-17 were freeways. Literally. Steep, rocky, lots of switchbacks and narrow. I told Steve I’d rather wait until I’m an expert to go on expert trails next time! I was so mad. If I’d known it was going to be like this, I would have stayed down with the mtn. bikers and kids. There’s a darn good reason we were the only ones on the trails. Steve is known for taking people on punishing trails—"Haugland Rides" are famous for battered bikes and bruised bodies. For some silly reason I though I would be exempt from this type of treatment because I was dating Steve. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

We rode up to the top of a fire lookout, and chatted with the nice lady there for a while. Tyee Peak is 6600 feet and the view was incredible—we could see Mt. Rainier, Glacier Peak and the Entiat river valley, and out to the east WA flat lands at Waterville and beyond. By then I was getting angry and frustrated though, so the rest was welcome. One thing boosted my ego—the lady said she’d never seen a woman make it up there. So I felt a little better.

Until we got going again, anyway. My confidence was shattered and I was going slower than normal and having problems with stuff I normally can handle. I was soooo frustrated and angry at myself I just wanted to go home, but the truck was 25 miles away. :eek: I have never been so frustrated. Ever. I was more upset than I ever have been at all. I was almost crying. Okay, so I did cry. Out of sheer frustration that I couldn’t handle the trail and because I felt like I was screwing up on things I should well be able to do and because it’s so discouraging since I feel as if I’ve worked so hard to get better and still make the same mistakes. I was angry with myself. I didn’t lash out at Steve this time, though I made some sarcastic comments that made him laugh at me, so at least I managed to control my temper at him. I just want to be a good rider and I don’t seem to be able to do it! Looking at the trail, I can see the line I should take, and I know not to look off to the side or directly at the rock I want to avoid. I freeze up in tough situations and screw up.

The last section of the trail was beautiful but filled with the gnarliest switchbacks I have ever seen. I bulldogged down almost all of them and Steve said that’s okay, they were pretty scary. Finally back down into the river valley, I had my worst wreck of the day. The trail was maybe 10 inches wide across a loose shale talus slope. I was going okay, in second gear and standing for part of it, when I came upon a car-tire-sized rock right in the middle leaving only inches on the outside to go around it. Okay. I shifted into first, put my feet down and inched around it but still caught the side of it and it tilted me over. Down the talus slope. My bike and I only slid about 10 feet (THANK GOD!) right to where it dropped off nearly vertical the remaining 40 feet to the creek bed. It was so loose I needed Steve to drag me back onto the trail. We hooked our trail packs through the spokes and drug the bike back onto the trail. Amazingly, both bike and I were fine! No bruises, just a few stickers from the raspberry vine I grabbed on my way down, and 2 small scratches in my shroud. No dents in my pipe, bars still straight, nothing at all smashed or broken. Except for my confidence, which was nearly gone at that point anyway. I rode like a squid the rest of the way which increased my frustration because I knew I looked terrible.

We arrived at the truck after sundown, and by the time bikes were loaded it was full dark. To top it off, Steve was nodding off and I had to drive home! I had an absolutely terrible day. It wasn’t even fun. I was so frustrated that I wanted to throw a tantrum and held it back by a thin hair. The terrain was so tough it wasn’t even challenging, it was wayyy over my head. I didn’t ride yesterday. I’m not as sore as I thought I’d be—little muscle soreness mostly in my neck (probably from being tense) that went away by yesterday afternoon. No bruises. That part still amazes me.

So I think I am burning out and do not plan on riding next weekend. But I have a little voice inside calling me a pansy for wimping out. I HATE not being able to do this! Nothing gets to me more because I have never wanted anything so badly as I want to become a good rider! After all the nasty trails I’ve been on I still can’t hack it! Grrr. :mad:
 
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#5
hats off to you ladies!!

for even attempting what sounds to me like incredibly difficult and challenging terrain, and weather...
Compared to Michelle, and Firecracker22, my weekend was a walk in the park.
I made it up some hills that I couldn't before, but the one where I really wanted to succeed at eluded me...and yes, I cried too! I was so damn frustrated watching everyone else walk up it, where I was struggling to keep my bike in the pipe, and not pull wheelies to get going..
After dumping it 3 times, I'd had enough, and didn't have the strength to pick it up again. Mark had to come to the rescue, and dog paddle it up the last of the slope. I climbed up it in my gear, boo hooing bitterly...
I was, except for that, having an incredilby 'on' day...and no wonder...we were on the very easiest trails, and had 2 quads with us! But it was a confidence builder, since I was at the point where I refused to ride in the woods anymore at all. At least now I will consider it....
Plus I've got my eye on a 99 KTM 200 EXC, which I am hoping will be much better in the woods than my YZ 125. That way I can have one bike for the track, and one for the woods....
Firecracker22, you should come ride with us next weekend....we're like grannys in wheelchairs! (you'd probably be bored to death ha ha!)
 

firecracker22

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#6
Holley--sounds great! Grannies in wheelchairs are about my speed now. We might be at the 24-hour hare scramble though.
 
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#7
I thought this was about having fun

Be proud of yourself for even trying. A lot of people don't have the nerve to try what you've been doing. I've been following your other thread "Does anyone else get mad". You seem way too stressed over riding.

When I first started racing, I was disappointed with my riding also. Because of my disappointment, I wasn't having any fun for awhile either. I finally had a talk with myself and reminded myself why I was riding. I have loved riding for nearly all of my life, but the disappointments a had racing started to rob that fun from me. I have since stopped putting preasure on myself to be the best. I still work at it just as hard and give it my all, but I don't beat myself up when I have problems.

Before I ever even thought about racing, I couldn't wait to go home and get on my old P.O.S. and ride. It didn't matter how fast I was or if I could go everywhere Shane Watts could go, I just had fun. :D You need to relax and just be glad that you can ride at all. It sounds like you are taking a lot for granted. Like having a good place to ride, people to ride with and most importantly your health to give you the opportunity to enjoy this sport. While you're out there having fun, you will improve without even realizing it.

Just reeeellllllllaaaaaaxxxxxx.......
 
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Michelle

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#8
Sharla, after I spent a good 5-10 minutes picking up the bike, I felt
I was stuck for good at one stage. I couldn't see me getting out of
the situation I was in and when a couple of guys came past and asked
if I was okay (I'd only just dumped the bike at that stage), of
course in typical me fashion "yip, I'm fine thanks". I just about
cried a few minutes later, I almost walked away from the bike, and
this was the "easy" bit (yes it was, I just wasn't coping). But I got
there in the end.

I got sick of picking up the bike, or not being able to hold it when
I'd stall, hence I stopped riding. (I was sooo stuffed, I couldn't
believe how little riding I'd actually done).

The thing with this forest is people love it or hate it. Up until
Sunday I'd been indifferent to it which is unusual. However, Henk has
now decided he hates it and I have decided I love it. He hates
grovelling and feels like a dork because he can't cope with it. I
feel like a dork because I am one and am used to it. I will be back
there as often as I can even if I have to ride alone, but I'm
determined to get good there as I feel the accomplishment of
surviving will be great. I feel it will help with cope with rides
like my one from hell last year if you remember that. I'm still
bummed about that one, but know I'd cope better with it now than I
did then, I just have to increase my fitness (and give up smoking).

If you're burning out, do stop for a bit, you'll come right again. I
didn't realise I'd been burning out until we stopped riding to start
cutting trails recently, and I'm so fired up again to be riding. I'd
stopped having fun, been so worried about my form (or rather, lack of
it), the fun factor had gone. I'd stopped being able to laugh at
myself, but now I'm thinking about a couple of moments I had Sunday
and cackling away - foot stuck on shroud, no way could I get up
without someone helping me, dumping it in the puddle etc. I'm glad
two unknown guys were behind me, as I could laugh rather than just
get frustrated if it'd been Henk. See if you can hook up with someone
other than Steve, don't expect to ride like Steve, you haven't been
riding as long as he has. You are you, he is himself. Put him with
Shane Watts or someone of that calibre, and see how frustrated he'd
be.

Please take a break, it does help. To be honest, talking about the
weekend last night, I ended up in tears, and started thinking about
selling the bike - I just wish this feeling would pass, as it crops
up often, but once I'm on the bike it's gone.

One thing I heard one of NZ's top riders say on Sunday, was "people
don't play enough on their bikes". I thought about it, and no, I
don't anymore. I used to have problems with an area, so I'd go over
it until I gave up or got it right, just loved doing that. I haven't
done that for ages, and I miss it. Sunday I watched good riders doing
stuff and muffing it, but they had fun and we had a good laugh.
Remember the post about cramps in my hand - one suggestion was go off
& play by myself for a bit, just to relax. You should do the same,
don't bother riding with Steve for a bit, just go play, then go ride
with him once you've warmed up.

Sorry for the disjointedness & length of this post. It's just as
things come to me, I'm typing. You're not alone in how you feel, I go
through it often. In a couple of weeks is a big harescramble which
Henk is going to compete in. I'm thinking of doing the trail class,
but don't want to be run over and so start thinking "maybe I
shouldn't go at all and just help out", but then it's a day's riding
I'd be missing, so am totally undecided. I'm very independent and
hate asking for help from anyone, but am learning to know my limits.

Go & play Sharla, it'll help but take a break first. I really wish I could come & ride with you all and then you'd all feel so much better about your own ability, I suck that bad ;) lol
Michelle
 

firecracker22

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#9
Thanks Michelle, I doubt you're any worse than me. Right now I am worse than when I had my XR! In fact, Saturday would have been a good day to have the old Spode Chariot back since all I did was sit down and coast. :think

I am taking a break. I'm not even riding Steve's track next weekend b/c that's not much better--he built it like he likes to ride. :silly: I don't know any woods riders at my skill level--everybody with the same amount of experience as I is motocross only. I can't ride a track all the time. I also may start posting flyers in the bike shops like I did in Spokane asking women to try and start a club--we never had meetings or even a full group ride but I had a list of names I could call to go riding. Maybe a local Yahoo group or something?

Hear that? Calling all western WA female novice/intermediate riders! Unite!
 

bbbom

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#10
Okay from reading your posts it sounds like you are stuck in a negative mode. Count how many negative things you have said and how many positive. Positive thinking does work, try it! I know for myself, I am much meaner to myself than anyone would ever be to me. If anyone told me the negative things I tell myself at times, they would not be in my life very long. Relax, find something positive about yourself and your riding and DWELL on THAT. When you start to think of a negative comment just say STOP IT! You rode well at Gillette, not perfect but none of us did. You cleared some good obstacles so be proud of yourself!

Some suggestions that worked for me when I was frustrated from riding with much better riders and not doing as well as I thought I should:

1. Take a break from the bike or the expert riders you are trying to hang with.

2. Try mountain biking, you learn very valuable skills and it is similar to dirtbiking but different enough to work as a break.

3. Find some kids or women or other riders that are comparable with you to ride with once in awhile. (Come over & ride Mica with me, Becky, June & Pat!)

4. RRRRREEEEEELLLLLLAAAAXXXXX!!! Learn how to destress yourself, yoga, meditation, try em, they work wonders.

5. Practice visualizing yourself AS YOU WISH TO BE, believe in yourself and stop the negative comments to yourself. Your state of mind is what you DECIDE you want it to be.

6. When you are doing poorly, STOP! Get off the bike. Sit down and BREATHE. Visualize yourself successfully riding the terrain. Visualize ALL the movements and terrain.

When I played college volleyball, we actually had sessions once a week where we just layed on the floor, learned how to breathe deeply and relax then went through a series of visualizing ourselves doing each skill exactly as it was supposed to be done. It worked amazingly well. (they taught this in Child birth class to but I didn't buy it for THAT pain!!!)

I was fortunate to have some very good coaches as I was growing up and playing sports. They all stressed basically the same thing Attitude is a choice, and a Positive Mental Attitude is the choice for the successful athlete (or for anyone that is going to be successful at anything).

My little Class B high school volleyball team placed in the top three in state for all four years of my high school career, winning state my junior & senior year. We also beat the big local Spokane schools regularly (basketball too). We had extremely positive attitudes (we were COCKY). More than one coach had told our coach that his team had lost the game during warmup - we basically scared the hell out of them because we were loud and proud.

Use that cocky attitude in a positive way when you get on your bike. Tell the hill or rock or whatever "You are MINE!" Sometimes they talk back but more often than not, if you ATTACK the terrain you will be fine.

Try it, I think you'll like it!
 

XRpredator

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#11
Originally posted by bbbom
. . . Tell the hill or rock or whatever "You are MINE!" Sometimes they talk back . . .
Uh, I think bbbom may need to seek some professional help:think

Talking hills and rocks--is there something in the water up there in Mica?:confused:
 
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#13
Well my weekend wasn't as adventurous but I did meet someone nice. Took it easy after the Rock Creek thing last weekend. I rode Rock Creek this Saturday did not attempt the hill.
See last weekend I managed to get myself down the hill from hell but was tired and stressed I couldn't get out. Someone had to ride my bike out for me. Not a good thing. I've always taken alot of pride in the fact of getting out of what I get into. Everyone blamed it on my rear tire, so I got a new rear tire and a 55 galloon drum of butt kicking for that hill.
Anyways, I rode with a new person on Sunday. It was very nice. The trails were really easy and the scenery was the best. I could best describe them as rollar coasters. The weather was perfect and the company was awesome.

Hope the rest of my rides are as awesome!!!!! :) :) :)
 

bbbom

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#14
Almost forgot about our weekend ride - kids ride on Mica.

My daughter made it up the Powerline Hill on her own finally! Only two crashes due to her hitting the ruts a little too fast. She was told to follow her big brother but everytime he missed a shift or slowed down she passed him and kept going until she would hit an intersection. She has no fear and tremendous balance (kinda like her brother).

Looks like the boy better watch his step!!!:p
 

Pegasus

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#15
"Saturday would have been a good day to have the old Spode Chariot back ..."

Firecracker.....I hear ya !

When I moved to my new bike from my XR200..it was way different. Its taken me a while to feel at home on it...... much torkier and it seems like a rocket by comparison.Hills with ruts/roots became launch sites :-) had some pretty wild rides...Though not perfect after 5mo Im gettin it...and having a blast!..It took awhile and I definately had to keep a sense of humor .Not always easy !

Id like to ride with you.. We'll be in Wa most of Aug (leaving mon ) riding and visiting friends and family.Might not have a computer,if you want to connect e-mail me for phone info...

Bbbom.....Your kids are doing Awesome..Must be a blast to watch em
 
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