I’ve traveled a few hundred miles since my last post – from shooting photos at Tampa MX two Saturdays ago, driving over to Barneys St. Pete to sign for a brand new YZ 250X, hitting Croom last Sunday to break her in, back to Tampa MX on Wednesday to ride practice (and shoot more photos) and then up and back to North Carolina this weekend visiting my dad and riding at Brushy Mountain Motorsports Park in Taylorsville, NC.
I’m still figuring out how to ride my new bike fast, which is set up a little differently than the regular YZ 250 with an 18″ rear wheel, softer suspension and a wide-ratio transmission – did I mention it comes with a kickstand, too?
It’s also a hell of a lot more power than my 125 ever was, so what better place to practice than on a wide open motocross track? Plus, that’s the only place I have to ride after work during the week and it turns out that riding motocross, I’ve realized, is good practice for being present and keeps me more in the moment than riding off-road, and that makes me try harder, which means I can barely last a full 20-minute moto. In the woods, I’m used to riding for hours just zipping through the trails – sometimes half-assing-it through the parts I don’t like, but that’s not the case with motocross; it’s harder to hold on once your hands start tingling and your chest heaves with hurt like never before – you really can’t relax anywhere on the track. I can’t remember ever breathing that hard in the woods, unless I was crashed out on a hill and had to pick myself and my bike up.
Motocross is a different kind of hurt (now I know why they say motocross is the second-hardest sport after soccer!) It’s more about action; you’re always thinking ahead to avoid the chop: I need to go outside in this corner to set myself up for the best line over the next jump. In the woods, it’s more about reacting to what’s already in front of your tire, and that’s always changing.
Now, if only I could figure out how to rail those corner ruts since, coming from offroad, I’m used to largely ignoring the ruts and looking for the smooth trail, riding the edges and crisscrossing over whoops. On the motocross track, you have to find the ruts for traction to turn. It’s a different kind of riding altogether.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust