Big Kids Playing in the Puddles

Big Kids Playing in the Puddles

At some point you just come to terms with your shortcomings. I will never be a confident dirt rider. There is something about the looseness of it that I cannot give myself over to. That and the fact that I don’t do it nearly enough to become good at it.

Riding dirt roads, gravel roads, dirt trails – I’m fine. As soon as I see water and mud? Forget about it. I freeze. When the answer is often to keep your momentum going to carry you through I end up shooting myself in the foot and slowing down to collect my thoughts before tackling whatever sopping mess is in front of me.

When we were riding inΒ Berkshires this spring, things were…. damp. I tentatively putt-putted my way through some big, long puddles.

fuzzygalore riding in the puddles

My dude and fellow unicorn spotter Gary directing me to avoid a big rock under the water.

fuzzygalore riding out of the puddle

He must’ve been looking out for me after witnessing me fling both me and my bike down an embankment about 10 minutes earlier. Judging by the look on his face when I came back to Earth and looked at him, it must’ve been quite the spectacular wipeout. Oopsie.

fuzzygalore riding in the puddles

I’ll just keep tagging along on these dual sport rides when I can. If nothing else, the scenery is always great! πŸ™‚

9 Replies to “Big Kids Playing in the Puddles”

  1. Hell–beginner, novice, pro, whatever… The only thing that matters about most activities, such as motorcycling, is that they put a smile on your face or a thrill in your guts. And it sounds like the way you, um, familiarize yourself with the landscape, Fuzzy, you’re getting the most out of your riding experiences.

    Compared with all the funky folks in the great Fuzzygalore community, I’m probably relatively new to riding–I should have started a decade earlier at least. About five years ago I graduated from a Vespa GTS250 to my first real motorcycle (no offense to the scooterists here–I loved that Vespa). I had hit a ceiling (figuratively, not literally) with my trusty scoot: In the three years I owned it I tacked on over 13k miles, and I’d begun riding it, laden with camping gear–tent, sleeping bag, small cooler, the works–on 350 mile roundtrip weekends (boy, was that a sight to see).

    Yeah, it was time to get a ride more suited to my evolving interests, so what did I do… I bought a BMW F800GS. And let me tell you, that was one tall, seemingly heavy, ass-kicking learning curve. Especially as I’d had no–that’s zero, zip, zilch, nada, nothing–serious motorbiking or dirt riding experience. And to think I first had my eyes on the 1200 Adventure–that was until I met it face to face (silly rabbit, that ride will SCHOOL you). That first year on the GS was terribly discouraging. I desperately wanted to be able to ride it with confidence, geared up for camping, to all the places I’d otherwise take my truck.

    Here it is almost five years later: I’ve since added two more steeds to the stable and cumulatively logged many, many tens of thousands of miles (as my poor pickup hibernates in the garage and sees maybe 2k miles per year). Sure, I’m no dual-sporting pro, but the types of terrain that I can now ride with confidence on a fully loaded bike would have, a few years back, left me whimpering and wetting my pants–and not in a good way.

    As for water crossings, I haven’t yet experienced vast or deep ones, like the awesome looking ones in your photos, Fuzzy… Here in the desert southwest, it’s the formidable sand drifts across the remote routes that can still cause me to pause–that shit is shifty, and it has successfully thrown me down a few times.

    But hey, if you come up smiling, be there water in your nostrils or sand in your teeth, you still come up smiling, and that’s what matters. πŸ˜€

    1. “…sounds like the way you, um, familiarize yourself with the landscape…”

      That actually made me snort πŸ˜€

      Yea, i hear you loud and clear that if i’m having fun that’s what counts. I suppose the one thing that stinks is when you are riding with people who are far more brave than you are, they’ve got to wait for you. They never complain to me directly but I know it’s a drag for them. It’s not an issue i have street riding so i feel it rather acutely in the dirt.

      I wish you would hurry up an write a blog, Raindog. Or if you’ve already got one – share the link.

      1. Wow, unless everyone’s been messing with me my whole life, a snort is like one of the greatest compliments a person can receive… I’m glad I could give you a laugh.

        Be patient with yourself–your fellow dirt riders might be more impressed and easygoing than you realize.

        A few years back, my big sister (being supportive and encouraging in the dictatorial, do-it-or-else way typical of big sisters and oldest siblings) said, “Dammit, R-, you must do a motorcycling-photo blog!” or something like that. That’s how I happened upon Fuzzygalore.com, researching how others write about motorcycling–not to duplicate, just to know.

        Last fall I established my domain (shhh, it’s sleeping in cyberspace), and between other projects, I’ve been working on content. When I launch it, you’ll be one of the first to know. Thanks or being an inspiration, Fuzzy, and for having such a damn cool website.

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