It’s December and we are working our last issue of the year. It’s a good thing whenever anniversaries come by they give a moment to pause and reflect, to sit back and look at the things that happened during the year that has passed. In this column I have bitched about the high cost of motorcycling, pondered the importance of patience, I have contemplated my fear of gap jumps and I have exposed the value of passion.
So many amazing things have happened during this period, both professionally and personally. I have heard from EDM readers giving feedback on the stories, which we always appreciate. Many of you have come up to me at a local event to say hi. It’s great to meet you all. Through EDM I have met some truly fantastic people; I am finding the nicest people in the Off-Road world, so many of whom seem to be willing to lend a hand at a moments notice.
We have tested some great bikes in some awful conditions. The XChallenge comes to mind during the Armenia Dual Sport fund raiser. It rained for three days solid before the event but was sunny and warm the day of the ride. So the ground looked like it would be nice and tacky but it was not. I rode the event on a bike I had never ridden before in slippery mud with on/off-road tires designed for mostly on. It felt like I was riding on ice. I never thought in a million years I’d be riding on such amazing trails. With luck this year will be a little more conducive to spirited riding. I have ridden in some places you can’t get into without an invitation. Private MX tracks are inherently cool but when you actually get to ride on one, it is an out of body experience. Plus you feel like everybody is watching you since generally the only rider on the track is you or maybe one or two other guys. Needless to say it is very humbling for me. And by the way, most of the jumps are simply far beyond my riding ability.
Some of the tests we have done seemed like such great ideas going into them. The first one that comes to mind is the helmet cam test. I hope you guys liked it and got something out of it because it was a total nightmare to do. You would think hey no problem, just hook the helmet camera up to a recorder and away you go! It is that simple when you have the correct camera, which we had in the beginning. Until the recorder slipped out of the backpack used during the test on the fastest section of the track and proceeded to break into a million tiny unusable parts. We were two days away from our deadline and had no time to get another unit from Sony so we were running around like headless chickens buying video cameras hoping to find one that would work. In the end we found a unit that would record but wouldn’t let us use the remote so we had to press record, lock it in a padded container and zip tie it into the backpack. It was messy but we got the story done.
The next story that comes to mind is the tire test. Not to sound like a baby but, lap, after lap, after lap got really old. It’s hard to imagine you can get bored riding but we managed. Four days in a row tire testing! At one point every time I went out on the track I had a new set of tires on the bike. This happened five or six times. But each time we do a test I learn something new, either about the product we are testing, the bike we are testing it with/on or myself.
We look forward to another great year of riding and testing.
Thanks for reading EDM and spreading the word!