It’s The End Of The (Riding) World As We Know It. And I (Think) I Feel Fine.

I have arrived at the proverbial end of the (public) road. It’s been quite some time since I could last enjoy riding for riding’s sake. Not commuting, not getting to Point B, not anything, but enjoying the ride with no particular place to go. A succession of (not so) random left and right turns. With the increase of my Acts-of-Squidliness-to-Mile ratio, I needed some introspection. At first I blamed the damn weather. Always cold, days are too short, not enough full-spectrum light to keep the mind and body balanced. Then I blamed traffic. These idiots still can’t drive and I don’t know why I keep hoping against hope that one day I’ll wake up and the roadways will be clear of the morons that currently stretch the driving privilege to its limits. Then I blamed the drama in my personal life that I am an unwilling (and distant) participant in. It’s depressing, out of my control, and it’s really hard to keep a positive outlook. I’m burnt out on more than one level. Although these things definitely impact my riding subconsciously in one way or another, it is not where the fault lies.

It is fairly simple. I have outgrown the public streets as my playground for skill improvement and tinkering with applied physics. This is why I am so bored and under-appreciative of the few joy rides I do get in. The realization struck me today as I was zipping down familiar roads, I hadn’t been on in weeks or even months; clearly outriding my sight distance on more than one occasion, just to keep the speed up that’s required to actually make it a bit of a challenge. Not good. I kept trying to tell Miss SquidlyPants this on numerous occasions, as I made my way through the Sumpter National Forest. Things have changed, too. New cracks, new potholes… whatever happened to the sedate recon lap? Not to mention the possibility of deer. *sigh* It takes too much anymore, there are just too many variables. I pretty much have to double the speed limit now to even get close to the edge of my skill level. Not something I’d like to engage in on a sustained level. I remember a time when the ‘practice corner’ was fun at 50mph. I’m up to 90mph on exit and I still don’t have a knee down. The speed limit on that particular road is 35.

I also came to another realization, as I was leaned over in the last curve on my forest loop, hitting a bump that previously wasn’t there, unloading both ends at the same time (WTF? that’s what it felt like) and having to really fight with myself not to freak the hell out and do something stupid, like chopping the throttle or getting on the damn brakes. At least that skill is still there, although I really haven’t had occasion to practice that sort of thing a lot lately, considering it’s winter time and I find myself on the big road more often than not.

Then there’s another realization. 120mph ain’t shit anymore. When has that started feeling slow??? I mean seriously. That kind of speed used to take all my concentration. Now, it’s almost to the point of “whatever”. Doubling the speed limit, that’s what it all comes down to. 70+ around a curve in a 35, 130+ on the damn Interstate. Can’t get my kicks anymore. Not like that. I suppose I’m moving through the Stages of (Redneck Racing) Grief: first Denial; then Anger (as evident in my various combat commuting adventures); I skipped through Bargaining (or did I?) into Depression, and now I have arrived at Acceptance.

Luckily, I got a track school slot as a birthday present from TaildManx. Between that and my recently discovered urge for dabbling in land speed racing, I should be able to get my fix and improve my skills further. I just have to accept that it’s going to be slower progress (due to financial constraints) now and to keep Miss SquidlyPants in check while I’m out on the public roadways. There’s a time and a place.

Now I just have to re-find my groove, without feeling like I’m riding it like Metamucil (read: like an old lady). Maybe now I have reached a point where I can experience what other people are saying, when they talk about their reasons to ride. They go for rides to think, to clear their heads, to work things out, to enjoy the scenery. I cannot do that. None of it. When I ride I’m all business. I go into my zone, and there is no room for unrelated thought. Yes, it clears my head, but not in the way that you may think. Maybe that in itself is part of the reason why I’ve progressed so fast in my riding?!? I don’t know, but I have to make peace with this and stop pushing the envelope on public roads. I’m simply getting too dangerous on that missile of mine. 🙂

2 Comments on “It’s The End Of The (Riding) World As We Know It. And I (Think) I Feel Fine.”

  1. msxxfast says:

    Good for you girl! I must say I know EXACTLY how you feel. Riding the street is more of a bother. It does not clear my head, there is always something to worry about, it does not relax me–-it just irritates me. 70 MPH is stupid-slow, auto drivers are at war with you, and I hate stopping at red lights. It’s hot in the summer, your temperature goes well about 215F and there is simply no point. I get nothing out of it at all. The only occasional thrill is when changing something on my bike and I blitz down my country road to check it out. Then I have to watch out for coyotes, ground squirrels, horse riders, county vehicles, etc. I am telling you, the track is THE ONLY WAY TO RIDE. Well, for our type. The track is a way for me to reset without even consciously being aware that it is rebooting me. You become one with your bike and the curves are banked and you are finally in sync with the very word “alive”. You will never want to go back. I promise you, sister.

  2. MissBusa says:

    “for our type” ROFL And what type would that be? Wait… I know this… I know this…. it’s a freakin’ crime to be this fast. =D I’m telling you, I can’t wait ’til June. I’m ready to kick it to the next level. Like I always said before, Redneck Racing can only get a girl so far. And I’m bored… I’m so bored I’ve been thinking about stunting (on a ‘Busa ROFL) Hubby said that if he catches me doing wheelies on purpose he’ll take my keys and make me drive the truck. *UGH* Soooo… I have come to accept that I can’t progress and just to enjoy it as is… and it ain’t all that bad, really. I just feel like I need to be moving forward… damn, I got plans…. I’m not even sure I can do it (financially) but I’m gonna give it a shot. I know I have the brain and the ability to learn… shit, I need me a suga daddy! Gawd, why couldn’t I have picked up crocheting or jewelry making, would have been a lot cheaper. But noooooo! This girl ain’t happy unless she’s got the endorphins playin’ in her brain and the adrenaline pumping through her veins. Damn it, but there’s nothing than staring possible death in the face to make you feel alive. NOTHING! Pick up two, drop one…. nah… not doin’ it for me. If I’m turning into a track junkie come June, I want you to know…. I’m holding your ass responsible. =D *giggles*

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