Dirt Biking: Conquering Your Fears and Enjoying the Experience

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Conquer—This is me my first time dirt biking:

Jaimie laying in the dirt

I know what you're saying: "dirt biking is usually done sitting upright," "it's supposed to be more about actually biking than dirt," that kind of thing. Maybe even: "That's what you get, geekie mom, for trying to dirt bike." And y'know, you're right! The logical, smart, practical, mom side of me knows all of these things. This side of me knows that someone with my lack of coordination or experience should never even consider sitting astride anything with an engine. But all of those things go out the door when someone calls me a "wimp."

My husband, bless his heart, surely never imagined the error of his ways when he dared me to ride that thing. We went to Five-Mile-Pass, a desert riding area, as a family one Saturday. My husband, Bruce, brought his dirt bike, our 7 year-old's small 50cc dirt bike, and some remote control cars for me and our 2 year-old to play with. I tinkered around in the dirt with the young one for a time, but grew bored after a while. My husband suggested I try my son's dirt bike. He said it has no gears to shift through with your foot and no complicated kick start, and it's only about 2 1/2 feet tall. It'd be so easy, I'd be a wimp not to try it. In my mind, that was a dare.

So, after a short driving lesson from Bruce, I putt-putted off. We were at the base of a small mountain, with lots of gentle hills, pine trees, and open areas. The day was beautiful. I enjoyed feeling the sun's warmth, the wind through my hair, even the dirt in my teeth. Dirt biking really wasn't that hard; it was just a matter of handling the throttle with a little bit of finesse. My confidence grew and I revved it up to a whopping 8 miles an hour, weaving between trees and up and over molehills. Wouldn't I show him?!

Jaimie on small dirt bike

I neared the truck, which was backed up to a small slope, with a metal ramp connecting the crest of the slope with the truck bed. Looked like an easy enough thing to do to just drive the bike up the slope, across the ramp, and into the truck bed. I circled around slowly to find the best angle of approach, and as I did, Bruce taunted me, not having any idea of my brilliant plan, thinking I was going slow out of timidity. I distinctly heard the word "wimp" leave his lips. Does he not know after so many years of marriage that calling me that, though he does it in jest, turns off my logic switch?! My bravado, such as it is, kicks in.

So, as I approached the slope, I revved the tiny engine. I made it up the short slope in a second, but as soon as the tires hit the metal ramp and my feet had nothing under them to support them on either side, I knew something was wrong. Before I knew it, I was on the ground, half on top to Bruce, with the bike on top of both of us. Then it felt heavy.

And, wouldn't ya know it, my 7 year-old, who'd been playing around with the digital camera just moments before, had the presence of mind to snap a few shots of us right after the disaster? And remind me that I hadn't worn a helmet? What was I thinking? Oh wait a minute...that's right: I wasn't.

Have you ever tried dirt biking? How did you overcome your fears? What made the experience enjoyable?

Featured photo courtesy of Flickr.

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