BEST OF JODY’S BOX: VERY FEW DIRTY RIDERS EVER ADMIT THAT THEY ARE DIRTY
By Jody Weisel
If there is one person I hope I never have to race against it’s me. Why not? I’m a dirty rider, always have been and always will be. When I was young and fast I thought that it was my inherent right to go wherever I wanted. I was almost offended if people tried to race with me—and I made sure that they never wanted to again. But, as the years flew by, I lost a few clicks off the clock. Actually, I lost a few clicks off a sun dial. Now, a sensible man would have said to himself, “I’m not trying to be a star anymore. I get paid whether I win or lose. I could cut the guys around me some slack.” I have never been sensible. I don’t think I know any other way of riding—it’s how I do it.
If the guy behind me is faster than me, and after all these years I don’t think there are too many people racing who aren’t faster than me, he is free to go on his merry way as long as he goes by on the outside. But, if he tries to come up the inside, there will be hurt feelings.
Very few dirty riders ever admit that they are dirty. They always try to pretend that they didn’t know you were there or they missed the brake lever or they hit a bump and lost control. Not me! No alibis. If I rammed you, then I meant it. If I blocked you, I did it so obviously that it resembles a cab driver in Kabul.
There is only one thing I won’t do and that is cross-jump. Not because I am of such moral fiber that I could not justify jumping across the face of a jump to stop you from passing me, but mainly because it is low percentage move that could get me killed.
Pass me on the outside. Pass me in the air. But don’t get too close.
If you are next to me on the start it is ordained that I will move over on you as soon as the gate drops. And if there is a guy next to you, I will move over on him. And if there is a guy…well, you get the idea.
IF YOU YELL AT ME I WILL RIDE WIDER AND SLOWER, FOLLOWED IMMEDIATELY BY FASTER AND DEEPER. IF YOU SHUT UP, YOU WILL PROBABLY GET BY IN THE NEXT OUTSIDE LINE.
If you guard the inside line and think you didn’t leave enough room for anyone to squeeze by, you will soon find my fork leg pressing against your leg.
I will go into a corner so hot that you think there is no way I could possibly get the bike hauled down in time to make the inside rut. Wrong! I will not only get the bike into the rut ahead of you, but I will brake-check you once I’m sure that you can’t get out of it.
Over the top of hump jumps, the ones that most people are jumping, I will roll down the backside so that my rear tire can shoot a flamethrower-like stream of roost in your goggles. If there is a mud puddle on the start straight I will choose a gate that goes directly to it.
Just about the time you have set me up to make an inside/outside pass in the chicane, I will change lines and take the outside/inside line to mess with you.
In the one-line sections of the racetrack I will dog it because there is no way you could get by me without a 75mm howitzer, then when we break out to an open straight I will channel my inner John Force and drag race you to the next inside line—where I will immediately slow down to mess with you.
If you yell at me I will ride wider and slower, followed immediately by faster and deeper. If you shut up, you will probably get by in the next outside line. Yelling at another rider makes some of them move over, some of them speed up and some of them turn into Charles Manson.
I know what you are thinking, “If you pulled those tricks on me, I would knock you down.” But, in truth, you wouldn’t. Why not? Because the physics involved in a take-out move always favor a rider who knows its coming and leans into the crash. And I never veer away from the inside line when I hear a rider coming hot up the inside, instead I turn in, slam the brakes on and lift my leg out of the way. Then, I ride on by myself.
A lot of my competitor think that I have an inner sense about what they are doing behind me —and I do! I think “what would Jody do.”