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Had a great ride, even closer to home

Posted by desflurane on December 13, 2010

[I started writing this post back on the 6th and just finished it now, not that it really matters…]

Sometimes treasure is hidden in your own backyard! Today I discovered a little slice of heaven just minutes away from my doorstep.

The forecast called for snow today, but heavy clouds overhead this morning cleared and the sun was shining bright by 11:00 am when I got done with work (I was on call Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – so I got a short day Monday). At about 2:00 I climbed aboard my bike and headed for the hills. Now that winter is here, it has been getting dark at around 4:30 to 5:00 pm, so time was of the essence, so I decided to ride close to home.

I didn’t think about it at the time, but I made my way through the hills that ring our subdivision working my way toward the trail that started my whole dirtbike riding career about three and a half years ago. Jim and I took his bikes out (a Suzuki DR350 and his son’s Honda XR 100) and rode up a switch-backed trail that climbed a long steep hill then meandered down the other side until intersecting a power line road several miles away. We were going to try riding our mountain bikes up the next day, and wanted to get a preview of what we were in for.

I remember having tremendous difficulty getting his DR around the switchbacks. As I recall I spent a lot of time out of the saddle pushing that thing around the corners. It seemed ridiculously steep and way too dangerous at the time, but we made it all the way up (primarily because neither of us had ANY desire to try riding down those tight switchbacks). I could see that a skilled, confident rider would probably be able to just ride the bike right around most of the turns, but I was DEFINITELY not that rider.

One thing led to another and a few months later I was the owner of a nice 450 EXC. From there, offroad history was made… well it was made for me!

Back to my ride today:

I can say that I was able to make good on my prediction of a few years ago – that riding the bike around the tight turns would be FAR easier that getting off and pushing. It was! and with two exceptions, I was able to swing right around the corners without any difficulty. While I didn’t do a full wheelie turn, I did frequently loft the front wheel while swinging the bike around the switchbacks. It worked really well. I only dropped the bike once – and put a few little dents in my shiny new FMF Gnarly! Can’t keep it pristine forever, sadly…


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