Recently, the in-laws invited the wife and me to Ocotillo Wells, California, for some off-road shenanigans. And by shenanigans I mean dirt bikes, quads, and UTVs. It's probably the most fun I've had in quite a while.
Shooting roosters in Ocotillo's wash reminded me of when I was 13 first starting out on a bike. My best friend, Philip, just bought a new two-stroke Honda CR80, and his dad's farm was right next to my house. Growing up in Bakersfield, California, there's plenty of dirt and about a mile down the road was a makeshift dirt track with doubles, berms, etc. Philip used to ride there all the time and asked me if I wanted to check it out. I was 13 and I'd never ridden a motorcycle when Philip asked, "You want to give it a go?" You bet your ass I did.
I threw a leg over...wait, let me rephrase that, I tried to throw a leg over it since the bike's seat height felt like I was trying to straddle a horse (I didn't sprout until much older). After finally getting on the bike, Philip had to hold me up since my toes couldn't touch the ground. He gave me the brief rundown (30 seconds) of how to start the bike. I kicked it a few times to no avail, but eventually I turned it over. With my hand squeezing the clutch tighter than a Boa constrictor after shifting into First, I gave it some gas (full throttle) and instead of easing off the clutch, I just let go. The bike launched like a fighter jet from an aircraft carrier and the rear tire showered Philip with mud. In that moment I didn't know what to do since my brief education evaporated from my brain and I was heading straight toward the dead center of a berm. I hit it, and the bike and I went soaring. The landing looked like Evel Knievel's Caeser's Palace jump. I got up and started laughing my ass off! Why? Because it was awesome! Philip ran over, covered in soil, to see if the bike, not me, was OK. We both cracked up and did so the entire week following. It was one of the best memories I have on a bike and a nod goes to Philip for getting me hooked on bikes from that point on.
Bye for now, Jordan