Friday, January 05, 2007

Spitting dirt and burning rubber

Okay, actually I almost bit the dirt and didn't burn much rubber, but I had fun on my two laps around the Toyota AMA Arenacross track (click for video). Can you see me? I'm still glowing.

I took off on the 110 CC dirt bike with the throttle wide open (OK, I was in second gear). As a I drove around the dirt track I imagined myself racing a merciless clock, going head-to-head with the dozens of real arenacross racers waiting for me to finish my little "TV" stunt so they could practice for tonight's big race. I hit the first turn with my hand steady on the throttle. I went over a little jump and then hit the whoop-t-loops (a series of small jumps).

My coach, Slim Jim of Greensboro told me earlier to keep the throttle steady and not go to fast because the jumps are so close together. It sounded good until I got on the jumps. I couldn’t keep the throttle steady. My crazy butt kept trying to sit after each jump instead of standing on the foot pegs. The back of the bike kept pitching me forward. But I made it over without crashing after nearly careening into one bunker.

I scooted through a tight turn and faced a mammoth jump. I took the first jump easily. (Ok, I drove over it). The second jump was a problem. I didn't give the bike enough gas; it stalled. Now you know why I’m glad Adam gave me a small bike: I was a second away from sliding back down the hill. I held the front brake, and tried to figure out how to re-start the bike. It wasn't an electric start. I had to kick-start it. Earlier, I’d asked a rider to start it for me because I thought kick-starts were some kind of ancient relic in bike museums. I swung the start lever out and stomped on it. The bike roared back to life. (OK, it started.) I took off down the hill, scooted around the second tight corner and back to the start gate.

Then I rode the track again.

The good folks at Toyota AMA and Ricky Hendricks Motorsports hooked me up with a couple of spins around the track. As many of you know by now, I ride a sport bike and I've ridden a dirt bike a few times. The problem was, I've only ridden dirt bikes on asphalt, which doesn't move unless you're in the "Matrix" or drunk.

On Friday, I was neither.

Adam with Live Nation hooked me up with a small 110 CC bike. Initially, I complained, but once I got on the dirt I realized A-Dawg knew what he was doing.

For those of you who don’t know, arenacross is like motorcross in an arena, which means everything is tighter.

Slim Jim and Bald Jim, two professional arenacross riders from N.C., were in charge of giving me instructions on how to survive. The only thing I wanted to know was how to do the jumps.

You know what they said: “Don’t jump.” I asked if it was because I was a woman. They said it was because I didn't know what I was doing.

They were right.

I know you guys want to see me in action. Hit up on Saturday and see me do my thing.