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DRZ Fun: Spending a Saturday on the Trails

On Saturday, GL, Kenny and I spent the day riding doing some trail and woods riding. It was, in a word… fabulous.

The morning started off a bit cold and windy. My un-gloved hands were stinging as I tried to buckle my boots before heading off on our ride. It’s amazing how quickly you warm up once you get moving and get into the woods. I was able to peel off my windbreaker and enjoy the sunshine even though it never crested 45 degrees all day.

I’ve been pretty open about my feelings regarding my progress or lack thereof transitioning from street to dirt riding. Someone I know jokingly tossed out that maybe taking up dirt riding now that I’m a lot closer to 40 than 30 isn’t the best idea. At first I just laughed it off because he likes to bag on me that I’m getting old. But, I think that in some ways there may be something to it. I’ve got decades of learning to be afraid under my belt :lol:

Thinking back now about what it was like when I first started street riding, I don’t recall having the same general trepidation that I do now. Giving myself over to the process, allowing the bike to float, avoiding the front brake; it all seems so different. So much to unlearn and re-learn.

There is a vagueness in feel of the rear brake pedal through the sole of my boot that I just can’t seem to completely come to terms with yet. I keep expecting the feedback that I get from the soles of my street boots and it just isn’t there. But even as the day wore on it became less of an issue. I guess I began to get used to or understand the sliding better.

Simply put, I just need more practice.

Flexing my muscles
Flexing my muscles

I had some personal breakthroughs that helped me better manage my shortcomings. One being that I have found it helpful to think only of the obstacle at hand and work on tackling it and it alone. I’m working on not thinking about the next thing until I find myself at the next thing. Narrowing my focus and not looking at the bigger picture has been helpful.

While talking with our friend F’n Hal, he mentioned something so simple but easily overlooked depending on your general mental outlook. The basic premise was – If you say I can’t do this, you won’t be able to do it. You can’t go in defeated because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to say okay, how do I do this… and figure it out!

I know, this may all sounds like new-agey mumbo jumbo to some of you but, it’s what carries me through to the other side. I’m one of those annoyingly “thinky” people.

Being able to watch and ride with people who are patient and understanding helps a lot. That said, I’m still having a hard time getting over the feeling that I’m holding everyone up because I’m not moving as fast as they are. But, I’ll get there.

Hands down – This was the best day of off-road riding that I’ve had to date. I came home buzzing with excitement. I can hardly wait to be able to go again.

And on an entirely girlie and (hideously kitschy,) superficial note… my leopard print Shift jersey is awesome. To spice it up a little more, do you think anyone makes goggles that look like the frames of Dame Edna‘s glasses? I would totally get those.

Comments

Stacy
Reply

Sounds like a great trip. And you had dry surfaces to learn on, too. ;)

Fuzzygalore
Reply

It really was. Such a great day. The weather was perfect!

Declan
Reply

Glad to see out there. I sure miss it and wish I was out there with you.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Aww, Dec. I know you do.

Any chance you’ll come to camp and drink beer at some events anyway? you can be in charge of the fire at the Berkshires :)

Declan
Reply

If only I liked big raging fires and beer ;)

Anthony
Reply

Sounds like a fun day out! Love the first shot looking over the bars at the open road and sunny skies ahead!!

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Thanks, Ant :)
It’s so good to finally see the sun fr longer stretches now. If we could just bump the tempts up another 10 degrees things would be perfecto!

Shybiker
Reply

It’s great you’re enjoying this. And I like how you wax philosophical with lessons learned from the activity.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Yea, I like your take on it.. waxing philosophical.

As opposed to what my honey probably calls it… “rambling on about some crackpot nonsense” :lol:

OG
Reply

Glad to hear you’re enjoying the dirt more and more. Hailey and I really have a blast when we find the time to go roost it up a bit.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Yea, I just need to relaaax.

Maybe we’ll see you guys at Tower City sooner rather than later?

OG
Reply

That’d be great. I re-upped our membership at Rausch Creek and I intend to make better use of it this compared to last!

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Sounds good! Looks like a really awesome area.

I’m really excited about all this year has in store.

Dawn
Reply

I admire your bravery in going out there in the dirt. I’m new to street riding and on the other side of 40, and I have to say the idea of hurtling through the woods at high speed is absolutely terrifying. I’m still getting up to speed with my little Ninjette.

Decades of learning to be afraid, indeed. The important thing is that you’re facing your fears, rather than letting them hold you back. Bonus: great photos.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Hiya Dawn :)

If it looks like i’m being brave, then it’s all smoke and mirrors :lol: I am a HUGE chicken!

I guess we’re in the same boat. Keep your chin up. Every day, every ride things get a little easier, a little more natural.

Brava to you for following your heart and learning to ride!

motorcycles
Reply

nice bike!! the trail seems perfect for an adventure..hope i can be there someday..

GLantern
Reply

Great post Fuzz i’ll say it again i’m really glad you both could make it out that saturday. I had a ton of fun and I can see you both did as well.

What Hal says is absolutely true the second you decide you can’t do something you are resigned to never conquering it. I like the outlook of approaching obstacles as if they are all something you can overcome with the right planning. In that single day I didn’t see a single hill you couldn’t get up or down and you followed through every section. Keep at it you are doing great.

We will all get out again soon, maybe when it is warmer we can do some weekday runs. Especially with the days getting longer.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

I’m really glad, too, GL.
It was really fun to be able to watch you and Kenny riding together. You look like 2 excited little boys having a great time. I mean that in the absolute best way possible.

Thanks too for the encouragement. Even now, I feel like I am better armed with a little more understanding. I’ve gone over some things in my mind and have thought about ways to approach situations differently and more positively. I just need more practice!

I can hardly wait to get out there again!

Will you be doing the Berkshire ride?

GLantern
Reply

Lol I do feel like a little kid riding the dirt there is something the hooligan side of myself loves about it. That one pic of me standing next to the bike in the sand just says it all for me. I can see myself grinning from ear to ear inside the helmet even though I just picked the bike up out of the dirt for the 3rd time in 10minutes.

And your right all it does take is practice just like you said. The more you ride the better you will get. I find that to hold true in everything no matter what miles you are putting on. When I commuted on the 1098 the first summer I got it I learned a lot just riding to and from work.

I will be at the Berkshires it is in my calendar I just have to send my payment in and do some small things with my trailer and i’ll be good to go. But we will ride again before that without a doubt.

Trailrider
Reply

Hey Fuzzy good to see you enjoying the dirt. Keep the head up and the arms loose.

Nice DRZ!

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Thanks so very much!

It sounds funny to say but I’m working on relaxing! If i keep it up, pretty soon i’ll be asleep on the bike :)

Reading your ride reports is a great inspiration to get better at this game!

keith
Reply

That looks like a lot of fun. I’m planning to do that myself. I haven’t ridden off road since before you were born. When I was riding dirt, I just wanted to get a street bike and go places. Now, I have a grandson that I want to teach to ride. I bought him a 50cc bike to ride and watching him ride it is actually a little sad because he needs someone to ride with. I’m shopping for one for me so we can chase each other around. I’ll also find other kids for him to ride with but I will want to go, too. I know it won’t be long before he’s leaving Grandpa in the dust. I’m looking forward to that.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

Aww, Keith-
That must be so cute watching him cruise around. I love kids. They’re the coolest.
How old is your grandson?

Its pretty amazing to be able to share something you love so much with someone you love so much. :)

What bikes are you looking at?

keith
Reply

He’s 8 already. Unfortunately, he lives in Myrtle Beach, so I won’t be able to ride with him a lot. I’m just looking for something used that’s big enough to haul me around but could be the kid’s next bike. Then I’ll have to buy something a little bigger in order to keep up.

Kari
Reply

Looks like a fun day! Beautiful weather. I haven’t ventured onto dirt. Not gonna happen this year, but one of these days, I imagine we’ll get there.

Fuzzygalore
Reply

It was an awesome day.

Apparently trail riding is like crack. Everyone who ventures there seems to get hooked. BEWARE! :lol:

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