Say grace


I’ve always struggled playing stick and ball sports, running and dribbling or kicking a ball at the same time. I’ve bonked my head too many times to count, crashing into trees that never moved, and I’ve broken more bones than most people. What I lack in grace I must make up for in clumsiness. But I’ve never used it as an excuse; I still ride as hard and as fast as I can every time I throw my leg over my motorcycle. Bruised legs and scraped arms are to be expected (sorry, Mom!). All joking aside, my clumsiness Sunday caused me to catch an unexpected tree vine between my goggles and my helmet, which ripped me off my bike (by an unseen-at-the-time force) and left me with a bloody scratch across my face, which was fun walking into work on Monday. I counted a number of jaws dropping as I explained “what happened now” with a laugh.


If a vine catches you in the forest and no one is around to see if your nose is still attached, take a selfie.

“You need a new sport,” someone said.

Another, “You’re hurt again?”

Most: “What happened to your face?”

I explained what getting coat-hangered off the bike meant – another freak accident – and how I ended up face-first in a palmetto bush. “The vine usually goes across your neck,” I explained. “It seriously tried to rip my nose off.”

Everyone’s shock made me thankful for another chance to turn a negative to a positive. I couldn’t let this get me down. Not now. I only caught the vine because I was riding the edge of the trail, trying to ride smart and avoid the deep whoops. Somehow, walking around with a smile on my wonderfully-scratched face, I had to have mercy on myself.

“See ya, Crash.” – my co-worker

Work in progress


Solo Saturday at Croom

I had the forest to myself on Saturday to celebrate Earth Day and my second time on the bike since February. I took myself out for a ride, watching my watch, and wanted to see how far I could go before my arm started hurting (and got really sketchy.)


Answer: about 6 miles. My heart rate averaged 157 and maxed out at 170. My speed averaged at 16.2 and maxed out at 26 mph. Overall, I rode over 14 miles and burned 468 calories before deciding to load up after scaring myself to squeals almost crashing a few times. The week before, my first ride back, I rode 11 miles at an average heart rate of 125, maxed out at 157 and burned 296 calories, so here’s to progress.


Come Monday, I always get a kick out of reading the mainstream media’s take on the sport that’s so near and dear to my heart, and I can always tell, from how the story reads to the word choice, the reporter doesn’t ride dirt bikes or even follow the sport. This article from the Salt Lake Tribune refers to Saturday’s Monster Energy Supercross event, first, as “Motocross” in the headline, then calls it the “American Motorcyclist Association series” and fails to mention the words Monster Energy Supercross at all. Moreover, “Ryan Dungey from Cortez, Co., and Eli Tomac of Clermont, Fla.,” when, actually, Dungey lives in Florida (he’s from Minnesota) and Tomac lives in Colorado. All of these facts are easily googleable.

“The riders in the 450SX Class raced on 450cc four-stroke motorcycles over a course that includes jumps and obstacles. Another category at the event for younger competitors was on 250cc four-stroke bikes.”

I imagine it would be like me covering golf or fishing or some other obscure sport in which there are certain expressions and vocabulary words unknown to the general public. On the flip side, I loved reading this Transworld Q&A with MotoGP’s Marc Marquez on “motocross, his passion and our specialty.”



Ten weeks to the hour since I broke my arm, turns out life goes on after all. I made my comeback Sunday without much fuss with my goal to ride at least 10 miles before loading up. Oh, how I’d missed just driving for a while and having the chance to clear my thoughts and get them together again (and repeat.) It dawned on me that I would be making my return to riding on Easter, so I turned on the Christian rock station for the 90-mile drive to Brooksville. I might have even shed a few tears as I realized I was experiencing my own resurrection in starting over with my riding and training.

Pulling into the park, I sped by the normal parking spot and headed toward the back so as not to be seen or pressured to ride over my head. I wanted to prove my triumph over injury to myself before my official revivification and took the opportunity to come alive again and experience the joy that riding brings me, which nothing, no evil, can destroy.


Gearing up

The goal of human life is not death but resurrection – Karl Barth

To be free

It’s been nine weeks (and counting) since I rode my dirt bike (not counting the lap I took around the storage unit last week making sure my girl was still alive and kickin’ – she started on the second kick.)

I spent my Sunday fun day at Tampa MX shooting photos for Round 1 of the Top Gun Dealer Cup. It was nice to dust off my camera in support of the hundreds who showed up to the first-ever No Race Fee series, which was all made possible through partnering with local Tampa Bay dealers. I’m hoping to race the next one on May 21.



Trackside with Stella Jean Bowyer




I love training at different heart rate intensities and including workouts about 90 percent or above my maximum heart rate, which according to a recent workout, is 203. So, 90 percent of 203 is around 192 average bpm. (Side note: According to a formula published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, my maximum heart rate is 185.6?)

I ran just over a 5K yesterday and averaged 189 bpm with a max of 199 and a minimum of 137. Last week, I averaged 192-194 bpm, which means my fitness is improving. Over time, my average heart rate should continue to decrease as my work capacity increases.

I love being able to glance down at my watch and know how fast my heart is beating; it inspires me to keep pushing or go harder if I’m not already almost dying. This level of intensity is physically and mentally so demanding (especially in 80-degree-temperatures after sitting inside at a desk all day) that I’m completely exhausted afterward. Goal!

I can’t wait to wear this thing on my bike!

“The greater the exertion, the greater the rate at which calories are burned.” – Web MD.


Ride time

It’s almost time for me to get back on my horse, which is blue with two wheels and a motor, so I celebrated this weekend by putting on one boot and taking her for a spin. She started on the second kick, which means she’s about ready to ride as I am, if a little rusty (smoky).


Sweat season

I’ve worked out twice since my cast came off a week ago today, which is twice as many times as I worked out since breaking my arm February 5. I’m excited about my new Yamaha-blueish daily-fitness-tracker watch, which syncs to my phone and sends me alerts for incoming calls, texts or apps. In the meantime, I’ve […]

via Sweat season — Jenn Sheppard