It’s been an exhausting 48 hours and I mean a real hard 48 hours for a newbie dirt bike rider. This post is about the first 24 hours. Today Chris got the bikes ready and we left early from our fine dirtbag motel, with dirty walls and dirty sheets, in middle of somewhere Utah to do a two day ride — camp overnight by an incredibly scenic location and then do it again. Our bikes were loaded with clothes, sleeping bags, tents and some hearty food for dinner — beef jerky.
I have worked so hard to displace my fear of running motorcycle tires over gravel, rocks, sand, ruts, uneven land, elevation without barriers… You get it. Now, I believe in the 10,000 hour rule and I’m really only maybe 100 hours into my schooling. Its hard. When you ride on these infirm groundings, it can be terrifying, feels like your riding on a road of marbles all too often and the oxymoron is that the faster you go — the better the footing. Sometimes at altitude over cliffs with no guard rails and all you can think of is hugging the inside and really, really concentrating on not sliding the bike (over the edge). Ugggg. Oh well, its all about learning enough to go 3,000 miles on a longer trip. Yah right, I need to pack in another few hundred hours first. Most important, I definitely am getting better each day — actually, it is noticeable, my improvement is there.
Anyway, we hauled butt and headed out for a 30 mile back road highway run to the specific trail system that Chris chose. Yah, it was long — I think we really never stopped or bothered to eat lunch and just rode until about 7:00pm where we settled in a real quiet and unknown part of the world. No internet. No phone. No nothing but a small lake which much get its life from the Colorado River and surrounded by red mountains all around us.
In the middle was just a whole lot of just fantastic scenery. It really never gets old. What does get old is the fact that often, I am so focused on riding that I cant enjoy the scenery. I have to admit, at times I am so freaked out by the notion of falling again, I am so laser locked in to the next turn. On the other hand, its so rewarding when you get past the current gate and onto the next.
Did I fall today? Fuck yah, I think probably around ten more times. Good news is that I am like rubber-man. I have learned how to fall safely and most important, no hits on the head which is where I go into a bit of internal freak out mode. Its progress.
The day was long but exhilarating. We rode probably a hundred miles or so — up and down the surrounding mountains and valleys. Nice. That’s equivalent to a trillion miles on normal highway roads.
Well, honestly, the notion of me putting up my tent without ever practicing and only watching a YouTube video once could be hilarious — but shockingly, it worked out fine. I was so excited to sleep in my new tent along with my new sleeping bag and my new air pillow and new air bag. Why is everything new? Ahhh, the reason is because I have not camped in 40 years and even then, I only did it twice in my life. I really liked it this time. Practice for Paula and I in Nepal to come. She doesn’t know it yet.
In the morning before leaving Blanding, Utah, on our overnight, we certainly loaded up with water to last the next 24 hours — and for me, that means filling up every available crevice of my 4 liter hydration pack built into my jacket. By night time, I was kind of freaking out because I was running out of water and I was so thirsty after working seriously hard all day and sweating like a pig. I felt pretty dehydrated and with less than a quarter liter, I was a bit unnerved. I tried to control my normal addiction to drinking tons daily (and nightly) however, it all worked out fine. I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but it was not cool to feel like your running out of water and no options around. Actually, I did bring some Jerky as a bite for dinner, but I never ate it because I was scared that it was so salty it would make me thirsty — aka, no lunch or dinner. Lesson learned, I should have loaded up with water earlier when we refueled. Noted.
Chris lit a fire with what else? Yep, gasoline and it was amazing. It was a clear night with just a few clouds and just so spectacular with a tons of stars. Loved every second of that too.
After waking up at 5am, I walked around the camping site and just took it in — the solidarity and sheer beauty. We packed up the tents, loaded up our bikes and headed off by 8:30am to start our new full day of riding. I was ready.