Baby Steps: Thoughts on Learning the Way of the Knobbies
The idea of riding on knobbies opens up a whole new world to me. I have no illusions of being some kind of motocross expert. At this point in my life I just want to be able to look at a gravel road or a dirt trail and instead of just wondering what is at the end of it, being able to easily go find out. I want to see parts of the world that you wouldn’t from a paved roadway. Kind of like hiking, but on wheels.
To the seasoned offroad or dualsport rider those may sound like small and naive goals but that is where I’m at for now. We all have to start somewhere.
Suspend the Fear – Trust the Machine
Being that I know the mechanics of making a motorcycle go from point A to point B so I get to bypass “learning to ride”. Instead, I have to learn to ride differently.
One of the first and most important things that I think I need to learn is to not approach imperfect surfaces with complete avoidance. Of course there are limits to my skill and the equipment. But, I need to unlearn some of the things that have become second nature to me having strictly ridden street-only bikes up to this point.
- Its okay to go through the grass
- Its okay to go down the dirt road
- You can make it through the gravel
- A little mud never killed anyone
- A little snow? eh.. should be okay
- Dropping the bike in any of these places is ‘okay’
While I may have done all of these things on a street bike at one time or another, doing them with confidence is a whole other matter. That’s what I want: confidence.
I want to learn to do more of this comfortably: