Thursday Rev Up: FallThursday, October 14, 2010 | 4:26 PM
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev Up. First off, I want to wish my Mom a Happy Birthday. I’m a very lucky guy because they gave me the best one.
This is absolutely my favorite time of year. The leaves are just beginning to turn here in North Carolina, and the weather is... Well, it’s moto weather. I was putting in laps at my practice track the other day and when I pulled in my girlfriend asked me, "Why can you do 10 laps now instead of only four or five like normal?" I was sitting on my tailgate housing a Gatorade and trying to catch my breath when I replied, "because you’re wearing a hoody." She looked at me with one eyebrow up, then just turned her iPod back on and went back to her magazine. But, you guys know what I mean.
Motocross wasn’t meant to be enjoyed in 100-degree heat and humidity. You’re not supposed to be hallucinating with your hands and feet on fire after three laps. And if you ride the old-man class like me, you should basically drink beer and watch from the shade until September gets here. That’s what I did, and boy am I enjoying some good days on the track right now.
The racers in Texas found out what moto was like in extreme heat.
Photo: Steve Cox
It was awesome. I watered the track, then put a great session on it before the sun when down. When I came back the next day, something magical had happened; some of the water was still in the dirt! It was amazing. I also noticed that I still had a few water bottles left in my cooler from the day before. That business isn’t happening during the July ride days. But these are the good days; the days when you can actually wear the same gloves and goggles for two motos in a row.
All Fall weather schtick aside, I had one of "those" days on the bike this week. You know what I’m saying? Like, everything was easier. I could get my back end to break loose and flat track around the flat corners like Bubba Shobert. I can rarely get it to do that on command. Usually it’ll either blast around and almost highside me, or it’ll grab too much traction and I’ll be looking out the bottom of my helmet with my legs flailing off the pegs. Not on the good day. I smiled big on the next lap because I could see my perfect burnout mark. Why are the little things like that so cool about moto?
Hoodies? Great for motocross...
Photo: Simon Cudby
On the good days, your bike even sounds better. The clutch pulls easier, and your suspension feels factory. And even though you stayed up too late drinking CL’s watching Brett Favre throw his 500th touchdown and simultaneously become the career interception leader, you can still do a couple more laps at the end of the session. Sans arm-pump. You feel comfortable sitting on the seat into the face of the jumps and scrubbing instead of being spooked about getting bucked. On these days you actually have to worry about not bringing enough gas to the track with you.
Good days on the track mirror why the Fall season is so special and feels so good. If it was Fall year-round, we wouldn’t appreciate it so much. If we didn’t freeze our ass off for four months, then boil the next four, these days wouldn’t be as good as they are. That said, if we didn’t have bad days at the track, the sweet ones would be just another moment looking over the handlebars. If we didn’t have the days when your bike falls off the stand and snaps off your clutch or when you run over your own leg in a berm, the good ones wouldn’t shine. I’ve had some bad days at the track. Like, really bad ones. I’m sure all of you reading this far have too. And I’m equally sure that when you have the good days, you get as geeked out as I get. Maybe not, I suppose I have a permanent seat on the short bus, so to speak. But I don’t care. The good moto days conquer all.
I hope all of you go out and search for your own good day at the moto track this weekend. This is as cherry as it gets all year, so make it happen.
Thanks for reading, see you next week.
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Check out MY LIFE IN MOTORCYCLE RACINGin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.