Sunday marked the third week in a row at Croom Motorcycle Area trying to get back up to speed. I managed a solid 18.98 miles before a few minor mistakes – washing out in a corner, casing a whoop and hitting false neutral – had me riding back to the truck before a massive crash hurt my arm again.
I spent a lot of time by myself while being injured off the bike – “not killing time, building time” – so it only feels natural coming back to speed by myself, too. I used to loathe riding by myself, but not anymore. Florida is actually the only place I’ve ridden where it’s relatively safe to ride alone, since 90 percent of the terrain lacks any real challenge; there’s more knee-deep sand whoops and flat pine rows covered in pine needles than anywhere on Earth. Plus, I have no problem meeting my usually high standards by myself but, when I have to wait on anyone OR play catch up, I lose focus and don’t ride my best.
Solo, it’s just me getting back into the swing of things, sticking to the basics of body positioning, throttle and clutch control, moving as fast as I can while minimizing mistakes.
How I know I’m getting stronger is my body is gradually less sore this Monday than I was last week, and I rode more yesterday than I have in months. I’ve been training, too, at spin class during the week where I’m burning more calories than I’ve ever burned running or riding, and it’s made a noticeable difference and provided peace of mind in my body’s capacity to respond. I know I have a long way to go before I can compete for podiums the way I once did, but there’s still nothing like seat time to return to true form.
“The best ability is availability.”