Reality Check

How many times have you wanted something but couldn’t quite bring everything together to make it happen? Somehow, some way the timing was just, off. It could be either not enough funds or not enough time. Or maybe it’s something as random as the planets are not in alignment. Whatever it is, the gears just aren’t meshing. I was talking with a friend of mine the other day and he told me he finally has the money to do what he wanted and actually has the time, but now that these two have come into alignment, his body isn’t cooperating. He’s got Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s a shyte thing, getting old…

On another occasion I had a bright young fellow, who was still in college, drive an hour and a half to come into the shop. He was well dressed and had obviously put some thought and money into his “look”. He came in to follow up to an email he had written to us regarding a project he was working on. He paid some dude a small pile of money to do a bunch of work on a cafe bike he had. He had seen several great looking café builds on Pintrest and figured he could pay someone to build one for him. It makes sense, we do it all the time. He got the completed bike back from the builder and was less than pleased with the final product and was hoping we could get the train wreck that was sitting sheepishly in the back of his truck, back on track. What he had was champagne taste and a beer budget and the bike reflected this. In his defense, the bike was pretty rough and none of the paint appeared to be chemical resistant. It looked as if the builder threw a few café parts on it, did some really sloppy welding with a Harbor Freight wire feed welder and after a quick rattle can paint job, stood 20 feet away from it and said “awesome, I’m done”. Clearly what he thought he was going to get and what he got were two completely different things.

Another example of this for me, is having to rely on vendors to be able to deliver our product or complete a task. On three occasions this past month we have had vendors not live up to the promise they’ve made regarding delivery which puts us in a crappy situation of having to back peddle. What makes matters worse is they all kept saying they will get to it. On multiple occasions each would apologize and tell me they will have it finished next week. So I tell my client we need just a little more time. I drives me crazy and makes me want to be able to do these things in house. I absolutely hate having to make excuses and explain to a client why their bike isn’t finished, most people are understanding and making a phone call to communicate the situation helps but I never enjoy it. It’s absolutely shocking to me that these vendors are able to keep their doors open with such awful delivery and communication skills. Needless to say we have found other vendors for the services these dip shits provide.

The crazy thing is, at some point we must to be able to have hope for things to go our way. Without hope we would never be able to begin anything. Can you imagine starting a task thinking it will never work out? Henry Ford wrote “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” I like this quote. I say, expectation can be a good thing as long as the only person you hold in the light is yourself. The moment you project expectations outward you are opening the door for some sort of B.S. and possibly failure. Unless communication is crystal clear about what your expectations are chances are under delivery will usually be the final result. The trouble with this kind of communication is it makes most people really uncomfortable. What we have to remember is we cannot do it all alone. We have to be able to rely on others for growth. The trick is finding the right people and trusting that they will do what they say they will.

I say don’t under deliver, stand for something, set the bar high and don’t settle for anything less than what you expect.

Why I Ride

I just recently re-watched a movie by Transworld Motocross called Why. The movie asks the question of several top level riders from many different disciplines in the moto world. Why do you ride? It’s a great movie with some excellent riding footage and interesting answers to the question. I’ve watched it several times and it’s got me thinking about why I ride.

As I sit in front of the computer trying to put it into words, it’s much more difficult to articulate than I thought it would be. Initially my response to this question is, because its mad fun! But this answer neglects the depth of the reasoning behind why I ride and really only scratches the surface.

The more I think about it, the more I know there’s no simple answer. For me the reason is more of a body and soul thing, sure riding is fun but it’s more like the blood that pulses through my veins. Most riders, if not all that I talk to, can totally relate to this. Ask any of these guys what its like for them to go without riding for a month or more. Then try to describe this to a non-rider and it makes no sense to them, often resulting in them giving you a blank look while doing so.

Explaining this “in my veins” concept to a non rider, while sometimes difficult, is a good exercise as it enables me to reflect more deeply the why I ride. As I do, I realize just how much more there is to the reason I do. One of the most important reasons for me has to be the fact that every time I go riding it is a new experience. Even if I am riding at the same track or trails I ride every weekend, conditions are never the same. This keeps it interesting and ever challenging.

Another reason is there is always room for improvement in my riding technique, no matter how long I ride there will always be something new to learn, a technique to improve or some other rider whose line makes a section of track more fun or faster. Next is the concentration factor; a favorite of mine. Off-road riding is the only place in my life where I can escape the constant assault from my mind, I go to a place where nothing else exists except for the next obstacle. This escape has been a primary reason for my continued sanity throughout my sordid life.

As long as I’m riding fast enough there is no room for thought and there is no room for a laps in concentration, we all know what happens when we lose concentration. Can you say lawn dart?

Another part of why I ride has little to do with the actual act of riding, it’s the camaraderie. A sense of belonging is vital to the human condition and the guys I ride with regularly are the greatest. I’m glad to have met them. We tease each other constantly and challenge one another to reach for greater heights. Good times, it’s a good thing.

In addition to this, the different people who turn up to the track always adds something to the day. You never know how you might meet, what kind of bikes will be there, the different levels of riding ability, all the different personalities.

Isn’t this sport the greatest?

Tell us why do you ride in the comments field below.

Benjamin