Rev Up: Spring

Rev Up Spring

March 28, 2013 1:25pm

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Rev-Up. Few things inspire like the changing of the seasons. As we close out March and head into the weekend, spring is upon us and it’s time to do springtime things. You feel that first warm sensation and know that good days are soon to follow. It signals that awesome time of year when you go through the garage or basement and start getting your gear and machine ready to rip. When you’re in the flow of riding three or four times a week, it’s easy to keep your stuff together, and even the sloppiest moto guy keeps said aspect of his life organized. Knowing that, it doesn’t take long to scatter that effort into a spiderweb-covered scene that requires a good half a day to buff out. Oddly, this is one of the few times you actually enjoy changing dirty air filters and pulling salty, stiff gear from your gear bag.

Of course the foul pants and jersey I wore from my previous ride sat on top, then came the knee-brace socks, gloves, and various sets of caked goggles. It always bums me out seeing that set of goggles you didn’t use with the fresh set of tear-offs that are now too dusty and smoked. I put the old checklist in my head and began banging things off in the still, cold dryness of my basement. One of the problems on my list was my helmet. I picked up a puppy in the fall that is now 90 pounds, and he ate the liner out of my “new” helmet. I laughed at myself as I went through older lids to piece together cheek pads and a top liner.

Throw on a sweatshirt if needed, because it's that time again!
Andrew Fredrickson photo

With the gear sorted out and in the washer, I skipped back down the creaking wooden steps into the basement and took a stare at the bike. I knew she had old gas, a filter I should probably just throw away, and flat tires. “Ah, there’s the old filter bucket,” I thought. Every motocrosser has a specific method for cleaning his filters, a solvent tank being the premium. I’ve never been scared to do them in a five-gallon bucket. So there I was, feeling that familiar sting of solvent being pressed into cuts I never knew I had. That’s when I noticed how excited I’d been in the last hour or so. It was in the high 30s on this frosty morning, I was wearing a hoodie, and I had to blow into my hands every ten minutes or so. Still, I had organized my gear, cleaned the filters, and changed the oil so swiftly it made me smile. There is no feeling like using your tools to tighten up those familiar 8mm and 10mm bolts, then wiping away the filter grease with a shop rag.

Getting your stuff dialed is one thing. Thinking about riding is another. I put some fresh gas in the tank and pushed her outside to try to fire off. It’s not a good feeling pushing your bike and feeling the cold, hard tires with flat spots. Winter is a hell of a thing, and I was feeling it front and center with the first several kicks. Just before my foot got sore from the swings, I felt the engine spark and sputter. That was the pinnacle of my morning, because I knew that in two more kicks she was going to bark alive. It’s so cool to feel those first barks of the throttle.

Zach Bell (100), Kyle Bitterman (581), and Joey Savatage (176) at the LL AQ at High Point a year ago. It was a cold afternoon!
Andrew Fredrickson photo

It’s going to be a great weekend. The weather is warming up and it’s Easter Sunday. This is a very cool time of year. The cherry blossoms are blooming in Washington, D.C., right now too. (Take a moment and Google that.) As I grow older and wiser, I appreciate the changing of the seasons so much more gratefully. Even the crustiest of you guys have to appreciate trees and shit. In fact, this is your chance to share your personal spring experience here in the comments. We’ll pick a couple of the best ones out for a special weekend piece. Until then, look forward to reading about the Racer X staff’s shares in the days to come. Meanwhile, I’m going riding with my boys here in NC this weekend, and I hope all of you are going riding too. Happy Easter, and everyone be safe.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.