Moto X Mishap

My husband Brian was aching to moto since it had been a year since he last rode in the dirt ...
Words: Angie Loy

My husband Brian was aching to moto since it had been a year since he last rode in the dirt. A job change and moving house twice had kept him from his usual weekly rides, so he was long overdue. The closest track to our home in Pasadena is Glen Helen, but he deemed that too extreme and said Competitive Edge in Hesperia was a better bet. The Web site said it had an intermediate track that I could ride and an advanced track for him. Perfect.

My off-road experience is limited. A couple weekends of trail riding in California City and some laps around our old backyard practice track in Ojai is about the extent of it. Our track consisted of a dozen turns around the trees in a walnut grove with a few ruts and berms but no jumps. I got pretty good on it until the neighbors started complaining about the noise emanating from my Suzuki RM250 and the walnuts started filling up the ruts, so we had to give it up for a while. Then we moved to the city. Needless to say, I was out of practice so I was hesitant about riding at Competitive Edge, especially with no real track experience. Brian convinced me it would be okay, saying, "You'll be fine."

When we arrived at the track and checked in, we were told the intermediate track was closed. So we drove over to the advanced track, where all I could see were jumps–lots and lots of jumps. “You’ll be fine,” Brian kept repeating. “Just roll over them.”

Brian has abundant confidence in my abilities as a motorcyclist, which is one of the things I love about him. He has never doubted my abilities or whether I could “hang” with the guys on sportbikes. So naturally he was confident I could ride around a motocross track without any experience.

Unfortunately, I didn’t share Brian’s confidence this time. I followed him onto the track I got a really bad feeling that only grew worse after I rolled over the first few jumps. I wasn’t ready for this. I needed more seat time, and the dozens of guys passing me left and right were distracting me as much as I was getting in their way. I wasn’t having any fun. I just wanted to pull off the track, watch Brian the remainder of the day and work on my tan. Then I encountered a problem–a wall of dirt before me. This was no tabletop I could simply roll over; this was a launching ramp. “I’ll just roll over it,” I thought to myself…

But rolling over it wasn’t really an option. The jump launched me into the air, the bike landing flat on two wheels and me landing chest-first on the handlebars. The bike then slammed down on top of me and pinned me underneath it. I couldn’t get it off me to move off the track, and my left leg hurt. I couldn’t feel my toes and there was a sharp pain in my upper thigh–on the first lap!

The drama came next: red flag, stretcher, fire trucks, ambulance ride to the ER, X-rays. The medics suspected a broken femur by the bruising and swelling, but luckily nothing was fractured so the doctor sent me home on crutches with some pain meds.

This would have been a really bad day if it weren’t for Brian’s support–and the morphine. Although our day ended early, we got a few laughs out of it and he promised to take me to an easier track next time until I can rock it like him. It’s nice to know my husband has such confidence in me–even when I don’t.