Sunday, July 27, 2008

Everything I've ever done was out of fear of being mediocre.

Guess old Chet Atkins wasn't lying..

Sunday turned out to be a good day for me. A friend of Brother's was in town with his girlfriend for a wedding and they both ride sportbikes. So there were five of us from our house on the club ride. Turned out we had our biggest group so far...twenty, I think.

Here we pause in Chetek for a roller dog and Corn Nuts.
I felt pretty good when I woke up today. Normally, I get a little gut ache and the first half of the ride, I'm twitchy and panicky. Not today. I spent the night before telling myself I wasn't going to wig out, slam on the brakes and creep through the gravel. I was going to Eat. It. Up. And, convinced myself that going off the road was NOT an option.

I updated my mp3 player with some new, gravel-eatin' music and set out with the rest of the group as we headed north to Chetek. On the way up, we took the same route where I went off the road last month. The turn before that one was the dirty one this time, but I breezed right through. Seconds before I came up to "the turn" was when I recognized it. And, honestly, I have no idea how I could tell. There is absolutely nothing that gives it away; no signs, houses, marks in the pavement (not even from me). Yet there it was. And it was dirty with gravel. But since I rode off, enough vehicles have ridden through it to create clear lines through the turn. And I Ate. It. Up. When we stopped at the next intersection, Mostly Naked was waiting with the rest of the group, looking back for us stragglers. I pumped my first in the air and let out a whoop! in my helmet. Victory. THAT felt good.

County highway D heading south from Chetek is probably my absolute favorite road we've ridden so far. It's clean, there's a sizeable paved shoulder and it winds through the trees with fast sweepers and changes in elevation. There is a benefit to being hind tit...if the group gets far enough ahead, you can zoom through a stretch at whatever speed you're comfortable with, and there's nobody in your way. The leader is the only other one who gets to enjoy that.

I was just...switched on.

Gravel comes in different shapes and sizes, as we all know. The smaller it is, usually coincides with the fact that there's more of it. Sand would be the worst. The bigger the pieces, the less there are typically, and if you run over it in a turn, you'll feel the weight shift a little, like a wiggle, but as soon as the tire returns to the pavement, you're on your way. A little knowledge, from me to you.


  1. Who's the poop?? Kuj is the poop!! You need a t-shirt reading: I'm the Poop. (Hmmmm...Christmas IS coming....)

    I LOVE the way you got through this challenge. The visualization, the music, the positive thoughts-- well done, Kuj, well done. You inspire me-- and I'm not being glib. I mean it. There are plenty of things that scare the fecal matter right out of me. The next time I'm freaked, I will remember you and your methods for overcoming challenges.

    BTW, I like Mostly Naked's style. I've been letting a little gas slip out all day....

  2. P.S. You look HOT in leather! HOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT.

    Okay, the jumble at the bottom of the comment box reads: ynotp. I am not making this up. Some Blogger software engineer is rolling on the floor with that one....