Category: Dual Sport

Just a Girl And Her KTM in the Forest

Just a Girl And Her KTM in the Forest

Last weekend I did my first solo riding in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey on the KTM. Up to that point, my riding in the Pines had always been with friends. But when you’re a boat anchor, you have to know when to cut the tether and let everyone else float away. It’s no fun to feel like you’re holding people up and it’s no fun for them to be held up. That’s how I found myself moseyin’ around in the forest on my own.

The games that we play with ourselves to deal with feeling unsure are funny. I happily ride alone most of the time. But I reasoned that if I was going to be in the forest, I needed to keep myself in places where I could easily relay my location if I needed help. It sounds funny now when I type it out – I wasn’t in Siberia or anything. But the mind works in mysterious ways sometimes.

Following the easy extraction plan meant keeping mostly to roads that had names that I could read on my Zumo 660 GPS. It has only road maps loaded.

When you’re in Wharton State Forest (if you are unfamiliar with the area) you might be surprised what constitutes a road. It can often be a sandy 2-track affair, covered in pine needles, encroaching branches and looks like nothing has traveled on it for years. And yet, glancing at the GPS you’ll find yourself Traveling on X Road.

Granted, in more rural areas than south Jersey maybe you’re used to 2 track forest roads. Not quite as common here in congestion-land.

All in all my first ride alone in the forest was pretty awesome. I got to stop and take pictures, lollygag while looking at trees and streams and the light filtering through – it was exactly what I love about road riding alone. I can hardly wait find myself there amongst the pines again.

Every time that I ride the 690, I am acutely aware of what a great decision it was to buy it. Why did I wait so long?

The Eyes are the Window to Your Soul. Or Something.

The Eyes are the Window to Your Soul. Or Something.

fuzzygalore goggle selfie

On Saturday afternoon while doing the Meteor dualsport in south Jersey, we stopped at about the half-way point of the ride to get gas at a small gas station. When Gary and I pulled in there were probably 20 other motorcycles already there filling up.

Because New Jersey doesn’t allow you to pump your own gas (technically) you have some type of interaction with a pump attendant. In my case, he pushed the button, handed me the nozzle and then took my money at the end.  I was one of dozens of motorcyclists that passed through the station that day.

Hours later after packing up my bike and shedding my stormtrooper gear I washed my face, put on my baseball hat and pointed the Ridgeline towards home. My first stop before hitting the highway was filling up the truck. The first available gas station? The one I’d stopped at with my bike.

I pulled up to the pump, the (same) guy walks up to my window to take my card and says something like “Oh, you’re back. You were here earlier.”

Hmm.

Now… I have a way better chance of recognizing the same guy, in the same clothes, at the same gas station than he did me. But he recognized me out of a helmet, different clothes, in a baseball hat, in a car. How? I saw dozens of other riders throughout the day and I don’t think I’d know a single one without a helmet on.

What is it that allows us to really “see” and recognize people? Is it really the eyes?

Am I Finally Getting Better at Dirt Riding?

Am I Finally Getting Better at Dirt Riding?

Time – the most precious commodity there is.

When you find a person who willingly shares such a precious resource with you – it’s a great feeling. I have a friend, Gary who has taken me under his wing and has gone out of his way to help me along with my dirt riding. He has a manner and patience that seems to be helping to turn my mindset around.

He’s just a good dude.

fuzzygalore and advwannab

The last few times we’ve gone out riding, Kenny gets to zip off and run with the gazelles while Gary babysits me and coaxes me in to relaxing. Not by doing anything in particular but rather just being his natural laid back self. The result has been a boost in my confidence and pace.

fuzzygalore in the woods

When Kenny and I drove home from riding in the Pine Barrens last weekend I couldn’t help but remark that it was the best day of dirt riding that I’d ever had. For the first time I felt like I’m actually getting better. Can you believe it?

fuzzygalore  in the cranberry bogs

It seems like with Gary’s encouragement and patient tutelage I’m finally chilling the fuck out. I’m just so glad to be feeling good.

New Jersey Pine Barrens: Scenes from the Firetower

New Jersey Pine Barrens: Scenes from the Firetower

On Sunday we spent the afternoon dirt riding in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Our friend Jeff took us to one of the firetowers that are out in the woods. Being the chicken that I am, I didn’t make it more than two levels up before I decided that I was better suited to being on the ground.

fuzzygalore firetower

Though I was safely back on the ground, I still had to worry about Kenny taking a header down the stairs. Then who would’ve helped me load my bike back in the truck? 😉

fuzzygalore kenny firetower

The view from up there:

fuzzygalore firetower view

Once again with a hat tip to seeing signs – this was scribbled on the gate we passed to get to the tower:

fuzzygalore seeing signs

I try to be a good human but sometimes I stumble. It was a good reminder for me to see that sign.

Sunday Funday in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

Sunday Funday in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

On Sunday Kenny and I packed our little dirty bikes into the truck and set of for the pine barrens in New Jersey.

fuzzygalore husqvarna te310

Our destination was Wharton State Forest. But not before stopping by Might Joe’s for a quick picture. I’d been there once before but it was after dark and I couldn’t get a good look at the big monkey. He’s pretty awesome.

fuzzygalore might joe

It’s always fun to ride with my favorite fellow unicorn hunters 🙂

fuzzygalore and advwannabe at mighty joes

For people not familiar with New Jersey and it’s diverse natural areas, I bet this isn’t what you think of:

fuzzygalore and advwannabe riding in the pine barrens

The pine barrens are super sugar sandy and yet, as the name implies are a pine forest. It is a pretty interesting landscape.

fuzzygalore riding in the pine barrens

Mixed in with the sandy roads are also some giganto puddles. What lies beneath is often nasty stuff that might suction your bike in.

fuzzygalore lou mud suction pine barrens

This pic of our friend from a couple years ago illustrates that quite nicely 🙂

fuzzygalore pine barrens puddle

This motorcycle girl goes ’round the outside, ’round the outside, ’round the outside…Say whaaaaaat?

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 in 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! 🙂

Trailside Snapshots – Meeting Some Four Legged Friends

Trailside Snapshots – Meeting Some Four Legged Friends

We’re From the Internet. We Come in Peace.

fuzzy and crud

You make me feel like sayin’… FOXY

On our last dirt ride, while I was standing around having a drink I saw something scuttling across the field. It was a couple hundred yards away so I couldn’t make out what it was. At first I thought it was a dog. But as it skulked closer to us, I realized it was a fox.

It sure was a mangey lookin’ bugger. Even so, it was still cute in an I might have rabies kind of way. I had no idea at the time but apparently Long Island has a booming fox population.

foxy on long island

Neigh Baby, Neigh!

Look at this cool guy. Isn’t he cute?

He totally looks like he’s smiling. I think Kenny had just told him that old joke ~ “A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, why the long face?

Cool Guy here just might be giving Rockstar Horse a run for his money in the awesome horse department.

cool guy horse

Having a motorcycle that can go anywhere really opens you up to seeing parts of the world that are hidden from the road. That is my favorite part of riding the Husky.

Motorcycle Kids – They Grow Up So Fast

Motorcycle Kids – They Grow Up So Fast

In my mind it was just yesterday that my husband Kenny and I were wheeling the little KLX110 in to the living room to surprise Chloe for her birthday. She was home from school, sick with a fever and feeling miserable. What a terrible way for a kid to spend their special day.

But, as sick as she was – she managed to muster some excitement 🙂

Watching Chloe learn to ride gave me so much joy. I’ve said it before but, watching your child triumph is one of the greatest gifts EVER.

chloe on her klx110

Our little girl – well, she isn’t so little anymore. When I stand next to her now, she looks me in the eye without even looking up. I’m pretty sure that she went to bed one night and just… grew up.

Chloe recently said goodbye to her little KLX. It went on to a new home to start the riding life of another young lady. I hope it’s new owner loves it as much as we did. Happy trails, little one.

chloe and kenny walking

Now we start the bike shopping process all over again. This time though, Chloe will have an active role instead of being surprised. I’m pretty excited about that.

In the blink of an eye, we start a new chapter.

%d bloggers like this: