I tried to learn how to ride a dirt bike. It didn’t go so well.

I spent my Friday afternoon waiting in line at a motorsports store. You would think I was waiting in line for some desperately needed toilet paper or something. As I was waiting in line, I got to thinking, how did I get here? Never in a million years did I think I would be voluntarily waiting in line for some dirt bike parts, but yet here I was.

Here I am, excited to finally have made it out of the store after waiting FOREVER.

I was introduced to the life of dirt bikes and motorcross by association. My boyfriend is a fan of extreme sports, as he likes to call it, and because being in a relationship means supporting your significant other, I have recently found myself at dirt bike tracks, in the middle of the desert, Super Cross at Angel Stadium, and waiting in line at Chaparral Motorsports on a Friday afternoon.

Four years ago dirt bikes were something I knew nothing about. Now, I like to pretend that I am pretty well-versed on the dirt bike life. I actually don’t know much, but I’m going to keep pretending that I do. It’s part of my life now and the numerous minutes I have spent watching dirt bike videos on YouTube, looking at dirt bike parts obsessively online, and watching my boyfriend work on his dirt bike has to count for something.

As you can probably tell by now, I had no previous knowledge or experience with dirt bikes, but I definitely knew that I did not know how to ride one.

I’m probably the most uncoordinated person I know. I once sprained my ankle just by walking. My lack of athleticism is likely one of the main reasons I’m such a huge fan of sports, because when you can’t do, watch. That’s how it goes right?

Below you will find the pride and joy that belongs to my boyfriend. I’m pretty confident he likes this bike more than he likes me. But that’s a whole different story.

2016 Kawasaki KX 450

This is definitely not the dirt bike I tried to learn how to ride because I don’t currently have a death wish. Instead I tried to learn on what I like to call a “baby dirt bike” and what the people who know what they’re talking about call a pit bike, a Kawasaki KLX 110.

A baby dirt bike.

I had gone out to the track and the desert once or twice, and as much fun as it was to watch everybody else ride, I decided that I wanted to learn how to ride for myself. I wanted to join in on the fun! Also, I wanted a reason to buy some cute riding gear. But who can blame me?

So, the baby dirt bike was purchased (and also a helmet, VERY important) and the clumsiest girl in the world began the processing of learning to ride.

Day One of learning was a bit of a nightmare. I had zero experience and zero coordination. I also knew nothing about shifting gears, which apparently is something that you need to know how to do in order to ride a dirt bike…

The training session lasted about 30 minutes. I went up and down the street a few times, but never by myself and was quickly over it. The shifter was a pain in my a**. Learning to ride a dirt bike was a lot harder than I thought it would be and I was getting frustrated.

Day Two was better, sort of. We drove out to a field in Irvine, CA that was perfect for pit bikes. I put on my helmet and riding gloves and I was determined to get this down. I hopped on the bike and took off. I did pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I was a little more confident this time around, I had the throttle down and shifting gears down. I rode around the track a couple of times and even my boyfriend was shocked. He was expecting me to whiskey throttle and chase me around while I stumbled. But your girl had it down.

Then I crashed.

I took a turn a little too low and the bike slid out from under me. I laid on the ground for a second rethinking my life choices and then I got up. I shook it off and got back on. I rode around for a while, starting to get the hang of it and was having fun.

Then I crashed again and that one hurt both my body and soul.

See below for my lovely war wounds. Cute, right?

Snapped this quick pic at work, a day after riding. This was just a couple of the many many bruises I had.

After my second crash, I did hop back on and continued to ride. I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to talk to myself into doing it again. After that day I had a new admiration for people who ride dirt bikes and especially the pros who race at Supercross or any of the other events.

I rode for about an hour or two and my arms were sore. My legs hurt. My body hurt. I had the grossest bruises.  I couldn’t imagine riding for longer than that, on a bigger bike, hitting jumps or racing lap after lap.

I have always been a fan of sports, but more traditional sports, or you know basketball, football, baseball. I was never into motorcross, but I am now. I’m always down for a new sport to love and enjoy. Im excited to keep watching and learning.

Learning how to ride has been a challenge, and thanks to quarantine I haven’t really gone back out. But I will.

Right now the score is Dirt Bikes: 1, Monica 0.

But the battle continues.