Sunday, September 13, 2009
Part 3 Riding Colorado and the AMA Women & Motorcycling Conf.
Day 5 Keystone CO
Today was to be an early day for Ellen, Laura, Cathy and I. We had to be at the Coach 2 Ride dirt bike school in the Tenderfoot parking lot at 8:30AM. While waiting for everyone to show up, I was able to sign up for a demo ride for later that day at the Ducati tent to finally get my chance to ride the Streetfighter, a very fast and aggressive bike. I signed up for the noon time slot, thinking that would give me plenty of time on my return from the dirt bike class that was scheduled to finish at 11:00AM.
A dozen or so women lined up on the 250 dirt bikes in preparation to go down to the dirt lot that was just down the street, to practice the rules and techniques of dirt riding. A quick 5 minute ride and we were soon standing in a half circle listening to Andrea and her assistant, Carolyn give us the needed instruction to get us started.
After gearing up and firing up our bikes, we did a lot of slow maneuvers, using the clutch and throttle. We learned how to lean and steer, stand and steer, counter balance, and ride over obstacles, among other things.
Andrea and Carolyn were great in their teachings, especially in such a large group, being we were the last class of the conference. Because we were a big class, it was taking longer in between turns and I had too much gear on for a progressively warm day. I would take my jacket, helmet and gloves off while waiting my turn, but with only one bottle of water per person and the consistent loss of fluids, I was starting to dehydrate.
At one point, I thought I was going to have to bow out and go back to the Tenderfoot parking lot. But, I had come too far and I made a commitment to complete my goal, so I pulled it together and headed for the hills with the rest of the girls!
After several hours of practicing the techniques, we were ready to then ride to up to one of the chair lifts at Keystone ski resort at the 10,000 ft level, it was pretty amazing, standing most of the way. It was mind blowing, how the center of gravity shifts when standing, the new experience had all of us beaming with big grins on our faces as each one of us arrived at our destination.
It was quite an experience and I am so glad I participated, even with being as uncomfortable as I was. Unfortunately, because we were a bigger group, it took us over our time frame and I missed my highly anticipated demo ride on the Streetfighter.
After losing out to my ride, I then went to the conference building to attend some seminar classes again. And once again, I had no success.
Feeling frustrated after losing out to my demo ride and not coming out any smarter, just hot and bothered, I rode back to the "funky" house to join everyone else. It seems, they were a lot smarter than I!
Later that evening, Laura, Cathy, Jane and I went to the closing ceremony to the AMA Conference. We had a great dinner, chitchatted a little and listened to a few of the speakers. One , was Lois Pryce, a very funny British woman with bright red hair and English lisp! She has written several books, her first being "Lois On The Loose", where she rode from Alaska to the very tip of Argentina. Traveling over 20,000 miles in 10 months on a Yamaha 220 motocross motorcycle....ALONE!
Lois was quite an amazing lady, with a very entertaining wit. Another fun filled day and we were ready for bed, so we headed back around 10:00PM and crashed!