Ruddy had been my friend since we were kids in Fourth Street, somewhere in the Arizona suburbs where our parents had been friends too. As a kid, he had loved for bikes, and he used to run and jump at the Calvary Park on his dirt bikes, where we would all go to watch and cheer him up. Then, we had thought he would one day go pro and race in state or national competition, even at the world level maybe. Well, all those are dreams best left in the abyss of the past now. I’m sure he had forgotten that he ever had that dream too.
Ruddy for one thing still has love for racing and dirt bike, the reason why he still had his dirt bike from our teenage years in good shape till date, and race it with some other guys who probably had his kind of dream back then; funny how dreams and reality don’t wake to same day. The space behind old Jorgensen factory was where they cleared to make tracks and hips to jump.
I do not race or jump on dirt bikes, at least not until recently when I got into a challenge with Ruddy after a long and fierce argument about who was the greatest Arizona dirt biker of all time. We had always gotten into arguments like this from time to time about various subjects but spoke out of place this time around, and Ruddy had decided that my best way of penance was to make a jump on a dirt bike.
“Perhaps if you make a successful jump on my dirt bike, maybe we can go back and talk this over,” he said
“Well, if you plan on breaking my spine, then I will do it to make you see how sorry I am. God Zeus, my spine is the sacrifice to you.”
“I guess we are not talking then.”
For one, I knew he was mad at me, but he loved me enough to want to forgive me. If I did not make the jump, he would surely forgive me eventually though, and it might only take a little longer. But if only he wants for me to make the jump to forgive, I decided to do it as a way of saying sorry and making sure our friendship does not get hurt. More because I knew he was trying to unfazed me and gives himself a little pleasure.
We drove down in my truck the next day, his camera on my face the whole time.
“My friend here, Jake, wants to go and make the first jump of his life,” he started saying in the camera. “Although I have blackmailed him to come to make the jump, I intend to enjoy myself very much.”
I knew already what it was about and I was ready to go along with it.
“I hope you enjoy yourself,” I said with a smile on the camera on my face.
“Oh… I will do that quite alright.”
We got too old Jorgensen factory and drove to the back where the track was, parked the car and brought down the dirt bike from the trunk. It was the same one he rode when he was on the community stardom.
“Ok man, this is your moment to shine.” He started being dramatic.
‘Like you shone till your light forgot to rise one morning,’ I was tempted to say, but I suppressed the urge.
I got on the bike and could not even make it move, so he decided to show me how to get it started and even did a simple jump to show me how easy it was. He handed me the camera.
“That is how you do it bro, simple as 1, 2, and 3,” he screamed after making the jump.
He rode the bike to where I was standing.
“Now you get on it and make this thing go flying,” he said as he collected the camera and handed me the dirt bike.
I started the bike and went for the track while he kept the video on me. I rounded the track, and when I got to the first pile, I couldn’t go over it. I decided to try again. I made the round through the track and slowed down before I got to the track.
“Dude, you have to make this jump, my battery is going down, man,” Ruddy protested.
I could tell he was enjoying himself while I humiliated myself on the bike. I think one of my fears was that I did not believe I could make the jump successfully, but when he started to protest, I made up my mind to make the jump.
“Give it gas and hold the bike firmly between your thighs,” he advised.
I raised the bike and started it at a good speed. I was sure I was confident that I was going to make it. Then I got to the pile and took the jump, but at that moment I released the hands and flung the bike forward while I ran after it with the speed it took me to get down from it. Eventually, the bike fell, and I stumbled on it and fell too. I knew Ruddy could have shit himself if he had not controlled his laughing. The event so amused him that he laughed till tears started coming from his eyes.
“Man, why did you do that to my precious bike,” he said when he started to gather himself.
“Your bike almost broke my spine,” I said. “I hope you enjoyed yourself because I’m not making any more jumps again.”
He continued to laugh as he collected the bike from where it was, as other guys he used to race with joined us one after the other. Everywhere came alive as the guys arrived and started racing with their dirt bikes, showing skills and making jumps. Some of the jumps were so cool I wished for a moment I could really do it, but my weight was always the first to object to such thoughts.
I admired the skills of the guys, and I was forced to make a jump, myself. After that, however, I couldn’t do another no matter how much I tried.