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A quick recap of my weekend - a weekend of trying to develop some skills, for one, and attempting to overcome my natural timidity, for two.

Saturday was the first dirt day since Slydrite's surgery, and my first time out on my CR80. Potential for crashing? High. Slydrite's shoulder isn't 100% yet, and he had crappy tires (he traded his knobbies for supermoto wheels, so he was on my stock DR-Z400S wheels with old stock tires). As for me - the CR80 is my first time out on a real-deal two-stroke motocross bike. However, it turned out well. Once I got over a lot (not yet all) of my fear of the bike, I made great strides, riding a bike with real power and a real suspension on the dirt. I got better at revving my way through rough terrain and turning the bike with the help of the throttle. As for Slydrite - as long as he's sliding, he's happy.

Sunday was the Brok SM school! Slydrite put his supermoto wheels on his DR-Z, and I took the Titter. I made significant strides there, too - this was my first time doing real-deal supermoto, with both pavement and dirt.

However, at the beginning of the last practice before the little race they had scheduled, Slydrite glanced down at my tire - and said something along the lines of, "Holy crap." I had corded my rear tire. My Titter was unridable.

Brok was very cool and let me use one of the school bikes - a CRF150 - in the last practice. I decided to just run that in the race. However, Neal and I wondered if we could rent one of the CRF-230s in the race instead, and Brok was amenable.

The CRF-230s were on slicks, which I had never tried before. But I went out on it anyway. I was trepidatious for the first lap or two - and then a girl who I just knew I am faster than passed me as I tiptoed through the dirt. I wasn't going to stand for that! I tried to pass her. According to my lap timer (Slydrite), my laps went down 3 seconds per lap, in a 50-second lap. I was suddenly much more aggressive on the throttle in the dirt, and it felt good. I was now faster than that gal in a number of places, and looked for where to make my move.

The second time I got alongside her in the dirt section, I bombed through. She turned in on me, and instead of doing what I should have done - hit the throttle - I grabbed a handful of front brake and went down in an eyeblink. Unfortunately, I landed just right on my right ankle, and sprained it pretty well.

However, I learned three very important things.

-Do not shun contact. I should have gassed it out. If we had banged bars, we would have banged bars - big deal.

-I have a very bad habit of covering my front brake when I'm tense. I drive so conservatively on the street that it hasn't caused a problem yet - but in a panic situation, there's nothing but a hand-tightening between myself and a bad response.

-Don't skimp on gear. I have been wearing the lesser of my two pair of boots when doing SM, as I did not want to scrape up the soles on my good boots just dragging them. But in retrospect, it's stupid to give up any degree of protection on a bike.

I tend to hang back unless I'm challenged, and that school challenged me for sure; I'm still not fast, but I improved a great deal. It was a good weekend, with a lot of fun and a lot of learning. The ankle was the price.

Slydrite kicked heinie - in a heavy street bike with a license plate, lights, and a rock-hard rear tire.

A few preliminary pictures, taken by Slydrite. The dirt bikes, tied up and ready to go.

Me on the CR80. Slydrite's DR-Z in the foreground.

Fun at Supermoto!

The price:

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