Today, I did something I’m not supposed to do during a workday: I went riding. I know I work for a dirt bike publication and all, but the key word is publication, not dirt bike, because we have deadlines to meet, first and foremost, and they consume our lives. For the last four years, I’ve been in charge of this website, which brings daily deadlines. Do the math on an average week at www.racerxonline.com and you’ll note we post about five stories a day, which means a story every two hours for ten hours. The moment we finish one piece, we’re onto the next, every single day until it’s time to head to the airport for the next race.
I say this not for sympathy, because most of you would change places with me in a minute—especially when I’m carrying an all-access pass at Anaheim. I also know you rely on us to have something new when you’re bored at work and hit refresh on one of your screens. I work for you.
This story is not about sympathy, but logistics. Yesterday, I picked up a new dirt bike, and I wanted to ride it.
Today, deadlines loomed, as always.
I was hatching a plan to ride on Sunday, but that’s a difficult bridge to cross with my wife, seeing as how we have a new baby in the house and I’m two weekends away from nine-straight months of weekend travel. Come January, he won’t sleep through the night, but on Friday and Saturday nights, I will. Hehe.
Then, this morning I get a text. It’s Shane Watts, former GNCC Champion and all-around thrill seeker. Shane and I have been planning a future magazine story for a while, and he wanted to get on the phone and hash it out today. I mentioned that I have a new bike and wanted to ride sometime, and he dropped “How about today at noon?”
Today? I can’t ride today. It’s a work day. I’m busy because I have to come up with a story for this 250 Words slot and….
So at noon today I fired up my new ride, alongside Shane and Jason Thomas—the Jason Thomas from Wales who rides for Shane’s GNCC team. That’s UKJT, not JT$.
I’d only ridden once this year, and I’d never ridden my new bike, so I putted around a field for about 30 seconds before we headed into the woods onto some trails used in a recent hare scramble. It was super muddy and covered in leaves at first, kind of tough, but eventually opened up into some tacky stuff, and it was awesome. The two pros soon left me behind and I just cranked out laps on our mini loop. We played on some water and rocks, climbed some hills, railed some corners (to the best of my limited railing abilities).
After an hour in the saddle, I loaded up and headed back to my office. All told it took me a three-hour investment to get in one hour of riding, which is terrible efficiency compared to any other kind of work out. Riding is inconvenient, difficult and even dangerous. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that it’s also completely worth it.
Now that I’m back, I’ve finished up this piece. Deadline met, riding completed. On a weekday. Like I said, I didn’t write this expecting any sympathy. But if you just read it, you just justified me getting out for the day and riding my new bike. Wait, who’s working for whom here, sucker?