Adventure is calling.
When I was young I loved riding ATV’s with my family but as I got a bit older I really wanted a dirtbike. When I was in my early teens I saw some ads for a Honda Cub 90cc 2-stroke automatic transmission dirtbike, and for a year or two I was convinced that it made perfect sense for my parents to buy me one. We had recently moved to the pacific northwest and basically lived in the middle of a giant swathe of old-growth forest with plenty of logging roads and other trails that I would explore with my neighborhood friends. For some reason, my dad was never able to see the obvious logic in buying me that or any other motorcycle.
A couple of years later I remember riding my bicycle with a friend along a forest trail and encountering a younger boy trying to kick-start his dirtbike. I offered to start it for him if he let me ride a lap around a small BMX track (not much of a track, just a couple of banked corners a few whoop-dee-doos). He asked if I knew how to ride a dirtbike and I responded overly-confidently in the affirmative, worried that if he doubted my ability in the slightest he might not agree to the arrangement. Of course I had never been on a dirtbike, but it was a small bike with a small engine and I had spent countless hours on BMX & mountain bikes, plus with all my ATV experience I was confident that I understood how the mechanics worked (throttle, shifting, etc…) that I would figure it out quickly if I could convince him. It seemed like he had been quite frustrated by his inability to get the bike started so he agreed (wow, that really worked!?). I was almost over-sized for the small dirtbike so getting enough weight and muscle into the kick-starter wasn’t difficult. I immediately took off around the track, still fearful I would miss out on this opportunity to finally ride a dirtbike. I made a couple of quick laps, it was exactly as much fun as I always thought it would be, and returned the bike. As soon as I stepped off the bike and started for my mountain bike I had left on the ground I immediately regretted not negotiating more riding time. He was so desperate, surely I could’ve talked him into letting me ride for 10 or 15 minutes, what was I thinking!?
When I got married I was able to convince my wife that a street-legal 150cc scooter was a good idea (and actually, it kind of was), and then eventually a 500cc sport bike. My desire for a dirtbike to tear up the trails never went away, though getting on two-wheeled power again for the first time in 10+ years certainly helped ease the longing. We didn’t have a garage to keep toys like a dirtbike, then I didn’t have a truck anymore so I couldn’t transport it if I did have one. Eventually we moved to a house and it had a garage and everything! Then one day at work some co-workers got to talking about dirtbikes and I found out that I had a local riding group ready to go, I was just missing the equipment.
This weekend I took the first of what I expect to be many journeys on my two-wheeled off-road go-anywhere exploring machine. Aw yes!
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