Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It used to be a man's world.

I do have to say that when I started riding a motorcycle out in the California desert there weren't many female riders.  When I started racing there were even fewer.  I remember sitting on my bike during a rest stop in an enduro race and looking over there was a guy taking a pee.  I couldn't see much  but wondered doesn't he know there is a 9 year old girl here.  After  a few races the guys kept a lookout for the girl.  I do remeber one time some guy was about to take a leak by a pucker bush and another guy said hey there's a girl here.  For the most part I didn't get much grief for riding a dirt bike but I did here somethings that for a young kid was kind of mind boggling.  One guy said if God had wanted women to ride motorcycles the would have been born with handlebars.  I thought what a jerk and were are his handlebars.  My Grandmother used to ask wouldn't you rather have ballet lessons.  I used to think is she nuts why would I want to do that, it is much more fun riding.  My other Grandmother loved motorcycles and even helped me by a dirt bike later on.  We used to call it our dirt bike.  Too bad I never got to take her for a ride on it she would have enjoyed it.

Times have slowly changed.  By the time I was 16 I had the number one plate for women riders.  I would do this a few more times during my racing days.  I even had one that for sure cheated to try and beat me.  another was suspected of it but never caught red handed.  It was a shame because that year that rider beat me out of first and stopped my streak.  I often wonder if she ever felt guilty.  See, in enduros you went by a roll chart, set up with mileage and speed.  It's hard for me to exclaim but you were on a schedule.  This particular rider didn't know squat about staying on time.  I am now 48 and there is a lot of water under that perverbial bridge.  Many that came after me got a lot of glory.  For me I will never forget the few women I know that raced.  Bonnie is one that always comes to mind and so does Celeste.  Bonnie was racing when I was 8 years old and how long she had been doing it I am not sure.  Celeste was the first female that I know of to try and ride the Greenhorn Enduro which is 2 days long.  I tried but my poor 125 just had an awful time with some of the hills.  I was tired of wrestling the damn thing up and down the hills.

I have not been out to the California desert to ride in about 14 years but there isn't a week that goes by that I do not think about it.  There were great rides, and friends that will in my memory always be with me.

This is dedicated to those that have gone on to the desert in the sky.  And to Bandit the dog that loved to camp and be out in the desert with his friends.

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