www.whyville.net Jun 12, 2011 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

I Will Ride

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"Daddddyyyyyy, I want a dirtbike!" Aren't the words most dads expect to hear come out of their 10 year old daughters' mouths. My dad certainly didn't expect it. But hey, I was never like all the other 10 year old girls, and after taking me to visit my cousins, my dad should have expected me to take an interest in dirtbikes.

My cousins live a half hour away from me. Now, unless you knew where I lived it would be kinda hard to describe what it's like. My cousins live in the bush, like up in the forest on a mountain. Now, they aren't secluded hillbillies or anything, there are quite a few other people that live up there, although the houses are pretty spread out. I used to live there too, until my parents decided to move down the mountain to a slightly more populated area. Anyways, where my cousins live there are tons of places to dirtbike. Growing up there, my cousins have both developed some pretty good dirtbiking skills. My one cousin even went on to become a professional motocross racer and was even featured in a milk commercial.

My dad took me to their house countless times to visit. Whenever I'd go there, my cousins would start up their dirtbikes and start zipping around their property. They were much older than me, so I looked up to them. I always wanted to ride on their dirtbikes with them, but my dad wouldn't let me since I was way too young. "When you're older," he said.

Well, finally that day came. I was five years old at the time and we went to my cousins' house for one of our regular visits. I was sitting on the couch watching TV with my uncle when my dad and cousin came into the room. They exchanged glances then my cousin sat next to me and said "So . . . Kelsey. You ready to finally go on your first dirtbike ride?" My eyes lit up and I raced out of the house up to the dirtbike. My cousin fastened a helmet to my head, then lifted me onto his lap, then we were off. We went around and around the yard and I didn't want to stop. It was so much fun I couldn't believe it! But of course, it had to end sometime. Our speed steadily decelerated to a stop, and my first dirtbike ride came to an end.

My ride may have came to an end, but my love of dirtbiking was just beginning. After that day, I wouldn't shut up about wanting a dirtbike. Every birthday, every Christmas . . . I would ask for a dirtbike. Finally, on a random day (not even a holiday) my dad led me out to the garage where a surprise awaited me. He had fixed up this old bike that had been sitting at our house for my whole life, an old Honda Trail 90. Now if you know anything about dirtbikes, you would know that this bike wasn't exactly motocross material. It lived up to it's name and was nothing more but a trail bike. But I had waited so many years for this, so I didn't care what kinda bike I had . . . it was a start. So my ten-year-old-self climbed onto the bike, and my dad taught me how to ride it.

If I said that I was an amazing rider when I first learned how to ride, I would be a liar. I finally had the hang of steering the bike and switching gears. Everything was going great until I accidentally popped a wheeley (went onto the back tire and the front tire lifted up), jumped off the bike, and my bike flew into a ditch. My dad ran over to me to make sure I was okay. I had a couple scrapes and bruises. My dad was positive that after that I wouldn't want to ride anymore. But I did. I got back onto my bike, and I kept going.

Since that day, I've become way better at dirtbiking, and have upgraded to a different bike several times. My newest bike being a Honda CRF 230. I didn't think anything in the world would stop be from riding. Oh how wrong I was.

On August 1, 2010 we took a family road trip to the states. We were on our way to California and we were so close to the Oregon/California boarder when suddenly our car was jolted forward. We had been rear-ended by a truck who's breaks had failed. Now we were only rear-ended . . . nothing worse. But that impact was enough to give me whiplash and a shoulder injury.

That accident caused me to stop riding. I had to heal my injuries before I could ride again. Well guess what, it's getting close to being a year since that accident, and I'm still not healed. Well you know what? I didn't care. I was going to go ride my dirtbike anyways! My dad agreed that one ride wouldn't hurt, so we loaded our bikes onto the trailer and went to a track. I started up my bike and tried to switch into first gear . . . but instead stalled the bike. I tried again . . . and again I stalled the bike. I kept trying and eventually I flooded it and I had to wait to try start it up again. I was so frustrated that I was so out of practice that I couldn't even get my bike into first gear. I tried to dismount my bike, but couldn't hold it up, so the bike started falling to the ground, and it dragged me with it. I lay on the ground with my heavy dirtbike on top of me, with tears streaming down my face. The tears weren't from pain, but from frustration. I didn't even have the shoulder strength to hold my dirtbike up. My shoulder was burning with pain as my dad rushed to lift the bike off of me.

The tears were still streaming down my face, but luckily my helmet and goggles prevented my dad from seeing. If he saw he would have packed up the bikes and we would have been headed home and I wouldn't get a chance to ride. After a few minutes, we started up the bikes again, and this time I was able to switch into first gear. We rode around the track and up the mountain for a good 5 hours. We got home late that evening and I lied down on the couch from exhaustion. It was then that I noticed my shoulder pain. I had forgotten all about it while riding, but now laying on the couch, it all came back.

My mom took me to the physiotherapist the next day, and he told me that I can't go dirtbiking for a long time until my shoulder is completely healed.

I'm kind of losing hope that my shoulder will heal. It's been taking such a long time. I hate it. I just want to ride my dirtbike, I just want to zip up and down the mountain without pain.

I just want to ride again.



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