After a long weekend of drinking hot beer and accidentally mashing a chocolate muffin all over my chicken nuggets, I remembered that I don’t totally love camping. What I do love is riding dirtbikes with 14 other women through the back roads of Central Oregon. I’ll put up with night-peeing in the cold and fighting my way out of sweaty pants inside my tent forever to go ride with these amazing people.
Learning to ride my dirtbike has been an intense journey frought with heat exhaustion and wipeouts. I’ve had a lot of street bikes over the years, and have always loved the freedom that comes with riding and maintaining my own motorcycle. Who doesn’t? So when I started dating Eli, who prefers riding off-road, I got my first dirtbike. It was a 1993 KDX250 which was too tall for me, had a 2-stroke motor that needed a new top-end, and the white hand of Saruman slapped on the rear fender. He would just take me riding wherever he wanted to go, figuring that I would pick it up quick and be able to keep up, because I am one of the Uruk-hai. So I would try with all my might to follow him and keep up, because I am one of the Uruk-hai, and supposedly a tough girl. Instead, I would do things like run into trees, burn myself on my exhaust header, fall entirely off of the trail and get stuck under a tree root, drop my bike 13 times in a row in the sand, get overheated, cry, try to take a G.D. break for one fucking second, lean my bike up against the Brown’s Camp sign but then tragically drop it and injure my shoulder somehow. Every ride was an incredibly physical battle, and I couldn’t understand how everyone else was so much better at it.