Some experiences are not enjoyable until afterward


“Let’s go rescue Max!” I exclaimed to Rob.

Rob Brooks is Road Dirt’s owner, editor, chief cook and bottle washer and I was in Rob’s living room, having flown in from Washington State to his house outside of Atlanta, Georgia to ride Honda’s CB1000R Black Edition and Triumph’s lovely Speed Triple 1200RR.  As I fed Rob’s dog Dez copious amounts of cookies under the table, Rob was using social media to track the progress of Max Flinders, MotoAmerica Superbike racer and all around good guy, whose tow rig puked transmission parts, stranding him in Alabama.  Rob’s reaction to my suggestion was predictable.

MotoAmerica Superbike racer Max Flinders proudly sports the Road Dirt sticker on his #88 Yamaha R1. Photo by Nickless Photos.

“What??  Are you nuts?” Rob replied.  He looked me in the eyes and instantly knew I was as serious as a highside.

“Here is the plan,” I started.  “Tonight is Tuesday night.  First thing tomorrow morning we go to U-Haul and rent the biggest moving van they have.  Then we drive the four or five hours to where Max is stranded in Alabama.  We throw his bike and gear in the back, cram ourselves full of caffeine and Chick-fil-A and drive east non-stop until we get to Austin, Texas.  It’s only 15 hours or so.  What could possibly go wrong?”

“That’s a horrible idea,” Rob was not amused.

I began my plea.  “But Rob, think of the story I could write for Road Dirt afterwards.”

Rob’s eyes perked up.  He likes good content, and he knows I can tell a good story.

“Besides,” I pointed out, “it would be Type II Fun.”

“What the heck is Type II Fun?”  Rob asked.  He had no idea what I meant.

So this explanation is for my boss and dear friend Rob Brooks, and everyone else whose fun scale needs recalibrating. 

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There are three types of fun.

Type I fun is simple, easy, enjoyable while you are doing it, but the fun ends there.  It is what most people think of when they imagine a good time like a barbecue with friends, a concert outdoors, a track day, buying a new motorcycle or pairing a good single malt scotch with the perfect cigar.  Fun while it lasts, type I fun typically creates pleasant but fleeting memories.  Occasionally talked about afterwards it is glory, but no good story.  It is okay to spend time here, but few lifetime moments occur during type I fun.

On the opposite end of the fun spectrum is type III fun which simply, is no fun at all.  It is all suffering, no reward.  It is prepping for a colonoscopy, the death of your first dog, or crashing your favorite motorcycle.  Type III fun never gets better upon reflection.  Skip this category completely and avoid that colonoscopy, get a new dog and keep your bike upright.

Between those two is the Goldilocks of happiness, what we refer to as “Type II Fun.”  Type II fun may not be enjoyable in the moment, but becomes a lifetime memory afterwards.  It is not easy, may involve strife and could be sprinkled with slight suffering but overcoming obstacles provides the opportunity for true glory.  It is climbing a mountain just to see the view then skiing down, wrenching on a motorcycle past midnight to make a race the next morning, or just about any CrossFit workout.  The perfect example is Washington State’s Desert 100 motocross race.

A lot of work, a little suffering, a ton of fun. Trust me.

The Desert 100 motocross race has been happening since 1969 outside of Odessa, Washington and is basically just a 100 mile plane crash.  There is sagebrush, dust, rocks, washboards, breakdowns and misery, but once the race is in your blood, racers can’t stop thinking about it.  They spend absurd amounts of money, time and effort just to go to Odessa and compete in a mini Baja 1000, suffering the whole time, rarely finishing and enjoying every minute of it.  It makes no logical sense, but type II fun usually doesn’t, and if you have to explain it to the layperson accustomed to type I fun, they just won’t get it.

Thousands started the 2022 Desert 100, around 80 finished. Todd “The Carb Whisperer” Shiflett finished 40th.  And that is not a beard, that is dirt, the face of type II fun.

If you think back into your own past, many of your best riding stories are type II.  Ask my riding buddy Dave Wensveen or any other member of the Wild Rose Squad and they will regale you deep into the night with stories of breaking down at the summit of Glacier National Park, doing miles of forest service roads on our sport bikes, getting caught in cattle drives, rainstorms, snowstorms, thunderstorms, heat waves, and more.  If you tour long enough, you know type II fun.  They may not be your favorite rides in the moment, but the more you reflect, the more fun you had.  Stories of this type can be found everywhere here at Road Dirt so search through the links and dig deep because they make for the best content.

After we did too many dirt miles in triple digit heat on bikes not built for the task, Dave “White Girl” Wensveen showed his reaction to type II fun.

I never got to rescue Max.  A MotoAmerica tech inspector learned of his plight and drove to Max Flinders, picked him up in Alabama then drove through the night to get him to the MotoGP and MotoAmerica races at Austin, Texas on time.  It was probably a massive effort involving moving a ton of gear and bikes, guzzling gallons of caffeine, consuming prodigious amounts of Chick-fil-A and a lot of slow driving.  I’m sure it was no fun at all.

Or was it?


Are we having fun yet?

Got any Type II Fun stories of your own? We know you do! Take a moment and share one or two with us in the comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. Jeff

    The Desert 100 is badass! Come over for the vintage motorcycle dirt races in Farmington. Meet some of the legends of dirt track racing.


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