Tag: Meteor

The Eyes are the Window to Your Soul. Or Something.

The Eyes are the Window to Your Soul. Or Something.

fuzzygalore goggle selfie

On Saturday afternoon while doing the Meteor dualsport in south Jersey, we stopped at about the half-way point of the ride to get gas at a small gas station. When Gary and I pulled in there were probably 20 other motorcycles already there filling up.

Because New Jersey doesn’t allow you to pump your own gas (technically) you have some type of interaction with a pump attendant. In my case, he pushed the button, handed me the nozzle and then took my money at the end.  I was one of dozens of motorcyclists that passed through the station that day.

Hours later after packing up my bike and shedding my stormtrooper gear I washed my face, put on my baseball hat and pointed the Ridgeline towards home. My first stop before hitting the highway was filling up the truck. The first available gas station? The one I’d stopped at with my bike.

I pulled up to the pump, the (same) guy walks up to my window to take my card and says something like “Oh, you’re back. You were here earlier.”


Now… I have a way better chance of recognizing the same guy, in the same clothes, at the same gas station than he did me. But he recognized me out of a helmet, different clothes, in a baseball hat, in a car. How? I saw dozens of other riders throughout the day and I don’t think I’d know a single one without a helmet on.

What is it that allows us to really “see” and recognize people? Is it really the eyes?

Caption Me: What is Fuzzy Thinking?

Caption Me: What is Fuzzy Thinking?

Last night my friend Dave sent me this photo he snapped while we were on the Meteor Dual Sport back in October.  He prefaced it by saying I look like I’m deeeeep in thought.

When I look at the pic, I’m pretty sure my thought bubble would contain nothing more than the sounds a failing florescent bulb makes but… how about YOU caption it? Let’s hear it!

What is Fuzzygalore Thinking? Caption Me

Riding Meteor MC’s 2010 Ride in the Pines Dual Sport Event

Riding Meteor MC’s 2010 Ride in the Pines Dual Sport Event

At o’dark-thirty on Saturday morning, Dave and I left Long Island with our bikes loaded in the back of his pickup. We were heading three hours south into the sandy wilds of New Jersey for Meteor MC’s 2010 Ride in the Pines dual sport event.

Ride in the Pines Dual Sport Meteor

Starting from the Wading Pines campground in Chatsworth, the route for Saturday was 70 miles of sandy lanes and trails that made their way through the Wharton State Forest. I knew the Pine Barrens were sandy, but never having been there before, I didn’t know just how sandy.

I make no allusion to having any idea what I am doing on a motorcycle once it leaves the safety of the pavement. So far it seems like it has been luck that safely carried me through to the other side of the trail as opposed to skill. I expected this ride to be much of the same.

Pete & Dave - My Babysitters
Pete & Dave - My Babysitters

One noticeable difference though was that I went in to the ride without the sinking feeling of defeat. This time I tried to take a different mental tact. Instead of psyching myself out I figured, hell – if those guys can do it so can I. Maybe I can’t do it with as much grace and speed, but if I take my time and don’t pressure myself too much, I should be fine. I really think that was the biggest favor I did myself.

Way to go Wawa! Fruit & Cheese for lunch <3 Pete in the Pine Barrens Non-sand section of the Meteor Ride
Thanks to Dave for supplying me with some photos!

Did I mention that the Pine Barrens are sandy? Near the tail end of the first half of the ride, we came upon a pocket of deep sugar sand that seemed to go on forever. This was the first section where I felt like I was not really in control of what I was doing. This was also the scene of my first drop. And second… and… third.

By the point that I’d dropped the bike for the third time in less than 300 feet, I felt hot and tired from picking it up. I sat there for a few minutes with my flooded bike, collecting my thoughts and taking sips from my camelback. I was frustrated but,  still I didn’t feel deflated. That in an of itself was progress.

We motored on to the Wawa at the halfway point and grabbed a bite to eat. I was feeling generally good about my riding. It was a gorgeous fall day, the company was good and I was loving life.

Always making new friends - Me & Bigfoot
Always making new friends - Me & Bigfoot

Pete and Dave gave me some tips on how to deal with the deep sand which I tried to put into practice on the second leg of the ride after lunch. I was up on the pegs, keeping my speed up and allowing the bike to move around much more easily underneath me. I started to settle into my own comfortable rhythm going through the sandy whoops. That feeling of being out of control subsided.

Mr Bill got an Oh No! Workout in the Pine BarrensIn hindsight, maybe I felt a little too proud of myself. One minute I was cruising along at a good clip (for me) and the next minute I was on the ground seeing stars. You know that feeling when something hurts so bad that you can’t make any sound at all? Yea. That’s what I felt.

I lay on my back rocking side to side thinking OMG did I just break my hip?!? F*CK that hurts! I lay there for a few seconds trying not to freak out. I lifted my legs, wriggled my toes and when everything seemed to be working as it should, I rolled over onto my hands and knees and stood up. Yea, that’s was going to leave a mark.

I looked over at my beached whale of a bike and saw that I managed to find and fall on what seemed to be the only tree root stretching across the sandy trails of Pine Barrens. There we were in miles and miles of soft sand trails and I fell on something hard. Figures.

With my hip smarting like nobodies business, I just didn’t have the strength to pick my bike up again. Before long 3 guys from Meteor came up behind me and righted my bike and waited with me until I could get moving again. I felt kind of bad that they were obliged to babysit me until I could get my shit together but they were really kind about it.

Fuzzygalore on Meteor Dual Sport Ride 2010

That fall took the wind out of my sails. I rode the remaining 15 miles or so at a snails pace, wiping out once more for good measure. I felt really gun shy when I saw the sand getting deeper. My thigh and hip were on fire and I just couldn’t stand up on the pegs anymore so I wobbled my way through the remaining sand pockets.

It was such a relief to find Dave napping on the side of the trail waiting for me. I think he grew a full beard in the time he was sitting there. I felt bad that he was there for so long but it sure was nice to have the company. We rode back to the campground together.

I feel like I learned a lot on the ride and that I did the best that I was capable of doing at the time. So I’m happy about that.  I can’t wait to get back out there and try again.

[EDIT  February 26, 2011]

My bruised thighJust thought I would share some of sexy photos with you all. This time line covers about a 12 hours span following the day I fell.

My thigh began to blow up and was very sore. The lump was HUGE. Looking down, the lump stuck far enough out to rest a cup of coffee on. Kind of like my own portable side table.

It is now 5 months later, my thigh still has a visible lump on it.

My bruised and swollen thigh