Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Epiphany

Recommended Posts

This is the third and final installment in my beginner impressions odyssey. The first two installments are at this link. So, if you have nothing better to do, you can read that and see what I did to get newbie wisdom about the XR, dirt riding and life in general. Okay, maybe it isn't all that deep, it's just about me.

The second get-off and twisted knee gave me a constant, painful reason to question what I was doing on a dirt bike. Did I want to do big jumps? I admire guys who can jump and stunt. I admire high wire artists too, but I never wanted to do that. What is it that Hemingway said about motorcycles? Something like, "There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games." I guess I'm into bikes, and dirt bikes in particular, for the game and not the sport.

So what was I doing at an MX track, then? Why did I have a desire to progress past the PeeWee and Beginner course?

Aha!

For the same reason I took track lessons on my SV650S and VFR. I didn't intend to become a racer, even at the club level. I never wanted to get a knee down on the street, either. I rode with guys who do that I think they're nuts. I went to track days, and now I go to the MX track, for the same reason. I just want to become a better rider. A track is a uniform, controlled environment where I can practice new skills on varying terrain. If I learn the skills there, maybe I can use them out in the world.

So, where do I want to ride? What kind of riding did I want to do? I picture myself riding a light and powerful all-terrain bike to places where almost nobody else can go. I want to collect adventures. But to go to those remote places, I'd better be prepared to handle rough terrain, bad weather, trailside repairs, orienteering, banditos, wild animals and all that stuff that goes along with a weekend warrior, Indiana Jones/Mad Max lifestyle.

So what if I never leave Colorado? You've gotta have dreams, right? Dreams, big dreams in particular, are an urgent necessity of a happy life. At least they are in my book.

Armed with my newfound wisdom and attitude, I ventured back out to the MX track yesterday. I went onto the Peewee and Beginner's Course with a new sense of purpose. Besides not crashing and twisting my other knee, which was my other purpose. I wanted to get good at these obstacles, and not do a feeble imitation of the stunters on the more advanced courses. So, I smoothed out my riding style, tried to let the terrain dictate my body position, and kept a fun and purposeful goal constantly in mind. The result?

I sped up a little approaching table tops, didn't "gun it" but instead smoothly applied power going up and got good air! Nice long jumps, smooth landings, no fear.

I relaxed in the whoops, tried to apply a little power going up the steeper faces, and got air there too. I hopped over some whoops!

Instead of sticking my foot out in turns, I worked on keeping my weight on the outside peg. That really helped. Once I started getting the hang of that, putting my foot out became more useful and less poserish.

I did 8 to 10 laps at a time and didn't get nearly as tired, either. The folks who advised me to lower the air pressure in my tires said I looked a lot more comfortable and less stiff. I felt that way too.

So, I went to the Intermediate Course. I waited until the 8 (!) four wheelers got off, then I did two laps. It was harder for sure - the jumps were bigger and steeper, the berms were higher, there was a lot more packed and a less loose dirt. But I managed it without wiping out.

So, I think I'll keep going to the MX track for a while. It will be too snowy to ride in the Rockies for the next 5 months or so anyway. By then, I should be ready to hit the trails.

And there's always Moab this winter. Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, glad your getting better at it mate. And didnt injure yourself more in the process!! 😢

Wish there was a track round here, england sucks ass for stuff like that 😢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well put Larry. You have crossed many of the bridges, figuratively speaking, that I will hopefully cross in the next several months. I have had my bike now for only 3 weeks, and have yet to get out in the woods on it. I look forward to testing my limited skills on it. Dig the Hemingway quote. If I wasn't nervous before, i am now. Thats what gets us all going I guess. Testing ourselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alex_H and dolphinfatn, thanks for the replies.

dolfinfatn, I wouldn't worry too much about riding the bike. The XR is sooo easy to ride. The most important thing to do is ride at your own pace. If you do that, then you should be OK.

Alex_H, maybe there's money to be made in building and operating an MX track outside of London somewhere? Just make sure everyone who goes there signs a waiver of liability! Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...