Hubris leads to a fall!
Pre-Running in Mexico with Anna, Bob and the rest of the crew was a BLAST! We rode all day, drank beers at lunch and enjoyed incredible weather the entire time. Everything about Baja on this trip was awesome. It completely made up for my previous experience. I am going to keep this post a little shorter and just highlight 2 things that happened on the rest of the trip down to La Paz.
One of my most memorable moments while pre-running was my hubris that lead to a massive crash that could have ended the whole thing. That’s right, I was so full of myself (imagine that) that I almost ruined the entire trip. It was day 2 of our trip down the peninsula and I was feeling froggy. We had a pretty good pace but I was ready to race or so I thought. Richard Jackson, one of the salty old guys who was with us had explained over and over that this wasn’t the race and that we were just there learning the terrain so we could be safe during the ACTUAL race. “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I thought in my helmet. We were somewhere between Bay of L.A. and San Ignacio and I decided to jump out front.
I started to wick it up and was having a ton of fun. I started to picture myself as the legendary Johnny Campbell, hauling the mail through the Mexican desert. I was so cool! I glanced over my shoulder, no one was there, I was the best in the world!! Then the road turned slightly, I lost control and went careening into a ton of Cholla cactus head first. Fortunately, that's all that was there and I didn’t really hurt myself but I had a formidable amount of cactus needles to extract from my body. As I gathered myself and my bike all of my group rode past me, leaving me to pick needles out of myself all alone in the same Mexican desert that I had just been conquering. It was embarrassing, to say the least, but good for my ego. I needed to be knocked down before I really hurt myself. God gave me a mild warning that day so that I would behave and be successful later.
The other most memorable moment of our pre-running trip was not far from the finish in La Paz. Once again the sun had set on our day and we were miles from the hotel. My poor little XR400 stock head light was pitiful and I didn’t own a helmet light at the time. Anna, fortunately, had a big bright light on her bike and she caught me out in the middle of nowhere and told me she would ride behind me to help light the way. We rode through some easy terrain headed to what they call the “goat trail” dropping off of a plateau down to the main road into La Paz. We only had a few miles to go before pavement so I was stoked and relaxing a little too much. When we hit the goat trail it got rough really fast. The road was filled with big rocks and massive holes. Not wanting to be a burden to Anna (and trying to be cool if I'm completely honest) I tried to ride fast even though I didn’t have good light and had never been on this piece of dirt before. Sketchy is the only word I have to describe what was happening. I would round a corner and have absolutely NO light until Anna got her bike around and then everything would light up. We were making our way down and… HOLY S&*T!! There was a hole in the road at least twice the size of my bike. With no time to stop I revved the little 400 to the moon and hoped for the best. With no explanation other than a miracle, I “jumped” the gap and landed safely on the other side of the chasm. Later Anna described the scene from behind. She said, “I just heard your motor rev like crazy then your taillight disappeared and then you were on the other side.” I couldn’t believe that I had made it without crashing. It was absolutely terrifying and exhilarating.
That's the thing about dirt bikes, there are moments of sheer terror followed by an elation that you can’t put into words. And with the help of God, motorbikes have truly saved my life. You’ll see as we continue down this journey that they almost ruined it too. But that’s how life is, isn’t it? It’s like a wild ride through the desert on a dirt bike. One moment you are just flying, smiling and having the best time, then the road turns or a hole shows up. A lot of the time you crash and burn and it takes a while to pick the needles of bad decisions or circumstances out of your hide. But sometimes you gas it, hold on and everything works out! The trick is figuring out when to hold it wide open and when to slow down and be cautious. I am still learning that every day!
Thanks for taking some time to read this. I love writing it and I hope I am at the very least entertaining. If you like this blog and you feel like it, share it with your friends or give it a thumbs up on social media. If you’re like me and still trying to figure out this crazy life we get to live then use the hashtag #istilldontknowwhatimdoing. And don’t forget to write down three things you are grateful for today. Mine are God’s love, my laptop, and the internet.
Who wants to ride Peach after work. I gotta go!!!!