come along for the ride
No this movie is not about racing, but about the journey of motorcycle riding. Where it takes you and how it transforms you as a person. This short movie struck me for many reasons: for one it hit the artistic side of my soul and then it hit me for the journey I have found myself on through riding motorcycles. Four years ago I started riding a Triumph Bonneville and I had no idea of where this journey would take me. I did not have the vision that I would end up garage full of motorcycles. I never imagined myself in love with dirt bikes and road racing a ninja 250.
When I met Brian Bartlow for the first time in March I hadn’t ridden a street bike for almost nine months. My life revolved around riding my supermoto and dirt bike, with little supermoto racing put into the mix. Getting on a sport bike had become foreign to me since I had become so accustomed to my dirt bikes. As I rode through the day I started to improve, but still felt like a fish out of water on the bike. I was timid, not pushing into the turns, and definitely wasn’t aggressive on this small bike with minimal power. At the end of the track day Brian asked if I wanted to race and my crazy self said yes. I had only been on a track maybe a handful of times and for some reason I thought that this was great idea.
I have come along way in the last season. For me racing has not only been a journey on learning to ride better, but a personal journey. Even though I have always been a person who enjoys a challenge, motorcycles have pushed me far out of my comfort zone many times. Through racing I have been able to learn to channel my anxiety-ridden thoughts and to focus on meditate on the task at hand. Racing is not just about going fast, but also a mental game. As an adult getting into racing it is something that I have had to learn. I have always been involved in some sort of competitive sport all my life, but not racing. I was not brought up in a racing family where racing was ingrained in me. For me it has been an incredibly fulfilling journey that has spread into other aspects of my life.
Something else that I have had to learn to do is cut out the negatives. When I started road racing I found I how much I thrived in a positive environment. Instead of being berated and belittled for making mistakes that any beginner would make, I was told it was ok, everyone makes mistakes, and it is what you take from them. Making mistakes is part of the learning experience and analyzing the mistakes you make only makes you better rider. Of course you have to fix the mistake once you go back out to ride. Frankly telling a rider to stop crashing isn’t going to help the situation. Teach them to analyze what going on and why they crashed otherwise they are just going to continue to make the same mistakes. Some people cannot handle others improving and starting to excel, so they choose the route of belittling others improvements and focusing on berating them for the little things that went wrong. Frankly I have no place for people like this in my life anymore. In the past I have found myself constantly trying to prove myself to someone in my life to no avail. The reality is that I only need to prove things to myself and be happy with what I have done.
I never thought that learning to race a motorcycle would take me along such a journey. Riding wise I have improved greatly. I started off as a timid rider not trusting my little 250, to becoming a more confidant aggressive rider finish in the top ten of the 250 Production class. Even though I have made many breakthroughs this year, I know I still have many more to come. Next season will be a great one. So remember, “It is Better in the Wind.”