Monday, September 12, 2011

Chapter Four: Dirt Bike – My First Set of Motorized Wheels

Chapter Four of the Autobiography...  Letter D, Dirt Bike.


Chapter Four
Dirt Bike – My First Set of Motorized Wheels

Around the time that I turned twelve years old I came across a 125cc Honda Enduro dirt bike at a garage sale. I managed to talk my parents into buying it for me so I could ride with my brother. It was in excellent shape for a bike from the early 80’s. It was a nice white color and ran great. It just needed to be cleaned up a little bit. So after we brought it home I took a little time and pressure washed the decals off and did some minor detailing on the engine. At the time of getting the bike I had only rode a dirt bike once and I crashed it. So it was going to be an interesting experience learning to ride this one. I had a friend who’s family owned an auto mechanics shop on the edge of town and they had a significant amount of property that we could ride on. My brother had his own Yamaha dirt bike that he rode, and my friend rode an old moped. We would ride up and down this trail behind the shop for hours. The trail led along the side of a corn field and had an area toward the end that it widened out a bit where we had room to turn around and ride back the other way. There would be mud and dirt and dips and ruts along the trail that made it less boring. One day after I got much better at riding, my brother tried riding up next to me to race me down the trail and he somehow managed to get stuck into a rut that sent him off the trail to the left and into some trees. He came to an immediate stop in the middle of the V of two trees that almost sent him flying over the handlebars. Luckily he wasn’t hurt bad. A couple of bruises and twisted front forks and bent handlebars is all he ended up with. He was still able to ride back afterwards. After that day we were a little more careful, but the problem was the farmer who owned the property that we were riding on decided to sell the property to be developed. So I was back to square one with trying to find a place to ride at. I couldn’t ride it on the streets and didn’t have any property of my own to ride on, so I thought about the bicycle/horse trail that goes for miles in the country near my house. In the winter time it turns into a snowmobile trail so I didn’t think it would hurt if I rode on it with a dirt bike in the summer. I would ride my dirt bike down the sidewalk at an idle speed to the entrance to the trail and would ride up and down it for hours. It went all the way beyond the next town over but I never went any further than the next town. After being stopped by the town Police and told that they didn’t care if I rode on the trail as long as I wasn’t bothering anyone. They just didn’t want me riding it down the sidewalk to the entrance to the trail. They wanted me to push it six blocks from my house to the trail before I started riding it. It didn’t seem so bad. So one day I was out riding the trail with a friend of mine when we noticed an ambulance going down the interstate that ran parallel to the trail. We continued following the ambulance down the trail until we came across the car accident it was responding to on the road. So we just sat and watched the scene for a while until things started clearing out and then I drove the bike back into town. It was a hot summer day and the breeze felt good out there riding with the wind blowing through my hair. When I got off the bike at the edge of town I noticed it was kind of warm from riding it all day. So I pushed and pushed and pushed the heavy bike down the sidewalk. Sometime along the way the bike got away from me a little bit and was leaning at such a hard angle that it wanted to fall over completely and I couldn’t lift it up on my own. So I stuck my leg underneath it for more leverage but the muffler ended up laying flat on the back of my bare right leg and the burning made me let the handlebars go and grab the bike and fling it off of my leg. But it wasn’t in time to stop it from burning half of the back of my leg. It literally melted the skin right off of my leg and it was just hanging there. I had my friend help me get the bike upright and we pushed it to his house so I could put some ice on my leg. After I realized the ice wasn’t going to help any at that point I started the bike up and hopped on it and rode it home as fast as I possibly could. That day when I parked it at home, it was the last time I ended up riding it. I sold it not too long after. I still miss riding my dirt bike even though I got hurt. It was a learning experience for me.

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