Saturday, April 16, 2016
The vibes on the starting line engulf me like an old itchy wool sweater. My leg is twitching with a bounce comparable to a jackhammer on the concrete starting pad. I worry it will lock and hyper extend my twice operated on knee. All the racers around me have a mechanic sweeping clean their start gate. I leave mine covered in the dirt clods left by it’s former tenant. The board goes sideways and my eyes lock on the gate awaiting the first sign of movement. It drops and I launch, shifting my weight and feathering the clutch. I elbow the racer on my left and grab 3rd gear. I find the high line in corner one and make my new knobblies work hard to hold. Back on the gas hard, I leave the corner in the lead. As I hit the first jump I imagine being landed on be some 17-year-old foot peg dragging, Bubbu scrubbing, rev limiter leaper. But my old school straight up and down style gets me over the jump as fast as any of the new school style and I hold the lead. I hear engines revving behind me and see a wheel in my peripheral. I hold my line and charge onward. I bobble in a rut and am overtaken but the intruder carries to much speed into the next turn and I dive down to a loamy rut on the inside and re-take my lead. I hold it as I complete the first lap but see waiving red cross flags as I approach turn one. I pass bodies in heaps at the sight of my glorious hole-shot. As I pass the spectator area I see fancy Redbull KTM jackets frantically waving on who ever is on my six. It makes me dig deeper and find more speed. After the first four or five laps I feel my strength leave me. I am tired and have not raced motocross in many, many years. My hands struggle to keep grip and my legs do little to keep the bike weighted as I wheelie through loamy rollers. This is the last moto of the day and I tell my self to just hold strong. The white flag is out and seeing it gives me a boost of strength and courage. Just one more lap. I can. The cheering for who ever is behind me is intense. Whoever they are, with their glamour Oakley wrap around sunglasses, they don’t want to see their rider finish behind some old clapped out Honda with a head light number plate. Fuck them, I am here to prove a point with my 20 year old pink riding pants and beat to shit image. There is a cold Popsicle waiting at the van and I want it. I earned it.