Most of you have been riding your whole adult lives and riding is not only a hobby to you, it is part of you. But I started riding three years ago and even though I have encounter some setbacks, till this spring I loved riding with whole my heart. However, I have always considered riding as my hobby. As a hobby which suppose to make my life better, more fun and more rich. Life is too short to do something which we don't fully love.
My love of riding received a first major scar this spring: I lost a friend on the racetrack. He was a total stranger who offered me his help after I lowsided at CMP track last year. I still remember hearing his "Hi, my name is Todd, do you need help?" while I was duct-taping my roadrash from ripped jacket. He helped me straighten up the shifter and we kept in touch. The next time we saw each other was the day he died.
With 9 months delay, I can say that Todd's death shook me more than I have realized. It rooted fear in me which was fueled by seeing and hearing about others getting hurt over and over again. If I was to summarize this year - it would be one big accident report. I became sensitive to every broken bone, every roadrash, every lowside. And even though I did 10 track days this year, I became slower and slower and slower. Suddenly, I have acquired this 'grandma' riding style on the road, frozen with fear that behind every corner there is car standing in my lane, or major sand trap or deer staring at me ... I was crippled with fear not only for me about also for my fellow rider.
So, at the end of this year, I rode more and more by myself. I could not bear the feelings of responsibility for others on the road and my lines were crippled by my own fears. It all culminated this fall at WDGAH. In a freaky accident Love2rideh82crash was taken down by a truck crossing into our lane. I was done. I finished the weekend, locked the VFR into a garage and took a break.
Until the last weekend, I pretended that motorcycles do not exists. As a last instance after 2 months break from riding, I decided to go to CMP track to see if I can still have fun. I also felt like I should go for the memory of Todd. I went and I had fun! I had much more fun than I expected and the most fun on track I can remember. Suddenly the whole track connected into an uninterupted line of turns and I felt one with the bike riding around! I was giggling like a little girl in my helmet and keep on giggling ever since
Granted I was not the fastest one and through out the weekend, I have never exceeded about 60% of my riding abilities, but I had no "oh-shit" nor 'blond' moments. I could have maybe go faster, I could have brake later for the turns and I could have lean further, but I am no Rossi nor Stoner. I decided to ride for fun and I had amazing blast riding well within my comfort zone.
I was proud of myself when, after bandaging Ricks arm, I was able to distance myself and go back to riding without the year-long fear. I did feel bad for him but the feelings were not crippling my lines nor my mind. And when a total stranger came to me and said "Hi, my name is Todd", my heart stopped for a minute though but I suddenly knew that my life went a full circle. I probably will never win MotoGP :idea3: , but I am back! :wheel: