Rick Sieman Column: Get Out of Shape Quick!

Rick Sieman takes a serious look (not!) at getting in shape and tackling proper motorcycle maintenance so you can maximize your dirtbiking fun.

All of this talk about getting in shape, running, eating right and doing a zillion pushups every day has finally made me sick to my stomach. Every time I pick up a magazine or go online, I see yet another article about how to get in shape and end up with hands of steel and legs of coiled rubber.

shapeEnough of this bull!!!

What in the pluperfect hell is so wrong with getting wasted on the night before a race and then going out the next day and still enjoying it as much as your protesting body will allow? Who says that every racer should be Jack Armstrong?

Sometimes, I think that the only riders with common sense are the Old Timers Club and the Over-the-Hill Gang. These fine fellow racers don’t take things quite so seriously and actually have fun at what they’re doing. They have also been known to have a cool tall one in between motos on a particularly hot day. Are they any less the man for giving in to the natural urge to have a beer when the call demands? No. A thou­sand times no.

There is a place in this world for the beer gut. Twenty pounds of padding makes falling down easier to deal with.

Does every rider have to weigh in at 130 pounds and look like Eli Tomac of Kenny Roczen? Can these lean young riders ever experience the thrill of eating an entire bucket of fried chicken right before a moto? No. They’re so caught up in the seriousness of their approach that they stave off enjoyment in the pursuit of enjoyment.

Wait until after the race to have that Big Mac or pepperoni pizza, they say. It’ll slow you down. Oh, really now? How many tenths of a second will a ham sandwich take off your lap times? And for that matter, who cares? Aren’t most of us in this for the pure fun of it anyways? It gets me sick just to think about the extreme examples of dedication and so-called training that have made the fun of racing a mockery of itself. Let’s get back to those days of old, when the beer cooler was the first thing put in the back of the truck, rather than the toolbox.

And another thing. All this emphasis on equipment and maintenance. Hah! My method of motorcycle maintenance is to buy the cheapest bike I can and never touch it. Then, when it falls apart some time later, I merely get another cheap bike.

Having ridden both good and average equipment on various tracks tinder many conditions, I have yet to see much difference in the actual results. Clean a filter? Never! Buy a new one when the old one gets so clogged up it won’t pass air. This may seem like an expensive way to handle things, but I can assure you, that at the end of the year, I will have spent no more money than the average rider in my class who spends much time and money, only to have the same miserable record of finishes and placings that I do.

Ride, yes. But work? No. Enjoy. Let yourself relax. Leave the tuning and wrench raising to those who are paranoid about such things.

Those of us who have finally matured enough to under­stand and accept mediocrity can see the wisdom of this approach.Those who demand winning and perfection may never get it anyway. Isn’t it far better to not even try that hard, and be even more pleased the occasional times in life when everything works out fine by accident?

Again, face it. The best laid plans of most of us, most of the time, never work out. So why try so hard? Relax. Enjoy your racing, like our Creator intended us to do.

Sure, try as hard as you feel like during the actual race, but don’t get all bent out of shape by trying to get in shape. After all, life is far too short to spend all of your time working at your playing.

And one more thing. I promise not to pass you if you embrace my philosophy. Cross my heart.

Heh heh.