a gong show
I’m battered & bruised. Ping-ponging back & forth between blissfully happy & outrageously pissed-the-fuck-off. I’m like a fucking bi-polar psych patient.
I’d say I’d lost count of how many times I fell, but that would be lying. I remember every time I hit the asphalt & bounced. My bike remembers it too… considering we spent the last couple hours trying to straighten my steering column, I’m surprised she isn’t thoroughly pissed off at me.
Most of my topples were just that. Random acts of stupidity either coming to a stop or trying to start & just loosing my balance. One asshole of a hairpin turn descending a mountain really had it in for me though. I didn’t have the line. I wasn’t in the right gear. I tried to regain control with my brakes & just ended up sliding & bouncing off the asphalt. Thank god for the makers of biker gear, there isn’t a scratch on me.
The rain wouldn’t let up all weekend. At one point I was soaked through my suit & even had swimming pools inside my boots (the boots are totally my fault, I had my pants tucked into them & all the water just drained straight down to my toes.)
Then the wind started & was determined to blow us straight off the road. I mean it was blowing hard enough that my whole body aches from desperately trying to keep the bike on the tarmac & not end up slammed against an olive tree, or pinned under my bike in a ditch.
Que the fog that threatened to blind us. I mean, two meters in front of us was the farthest I could see… descending a steep mountain mind you.
& the mud all over the road… I almost lost the bike again going through one patch & had the good sense to loosen up my grip on the handlebars enough to let her straighten up & continue rolling through it.
Add in that I’m a train-wreck when it comes to all hairpin turns in general & that steep mountains just really fuck with me.
Some where in my state of frustration, I just went for it. I was sick & tired of the boys telling me what I was doing wrong & how I kept falling because I wasn’t giving it enough gas… I was determined not to be bested by the shit-show that was going on. I started taking the turns like I was auditioning for Moto GP & throwing my whole weight into the curve & leaning the bike as far as it would go. The guys literally couldn’t stop laughing about it for hours.
I earned the nickname Kamikaze with stunts like that… & then I lost all sense of a happy medium. I was either taking the curves too slow & wobbling like a new born foal, or speeding around them on rain slicked roads with tires that desperately need a change. Panagiotis joked at one point that anyone who saw me would think I’d been riding for years with the way I leaned into them.
Somewhere in all the chaos I had a smile plastered on my face from ear to ear.. & simultaneously cursing the heavens for the hell that was being unleashed on us.
Do I get to call myself an adventure rider yet?!
When am I going to feel confident?
I know at some point down the line I’m going to look back & laugh at how much I struggled… but right now, I’m struggling. I so desperately want to “have it”… & I feel like I have so much left to learn that I may never be confident. I don’t know.
What I do know is I have a whole new appreciation for Panagiotis. His mastery of his bike & his ability to tackle all of that, & keep me safe… it amazes me.
Watch… Murphy’s law suggests that as soon as my crash-bars arrive & I finish installing them, I won’t fall again. I really hope that’s the case. My ego can’t take another hit, at least not now.
I’ll get there. I’m determined to be great at this. I just need more practise. LOTS more practise. & quite possibly clear skies & cooperative weather on my next go at it. That’s not too much to ask for.
For now I’ll continue to take silent pleasure in the fact that generally speaking, people tend to be shocked when my helmet comes off & they see a woman on the bike. Yea, my ego digs that…
Right, I need a hot bath to relax these aching muscles.