The 2014 motorcycle seasons starts early here. Got myself a dirt bike, or, to be honest, more of a dual purpose motorcycle. It’s a Honda CRF 250 L (insert Honda joke here…) and it struggles to get me near 100 km/h on the road. Needs about 15 minutes of full throttle to do so and conditions need to be favorable. But it shines on dirt roads. I had a lot of fun on them yesterday when I drove it home from the dealer’s. It had rained the night before and there were puddles to traverse and slimy tractor tracks to negotiate. I tried to reactive my (decades old) mountain bike skills plus learned some new ones when i realized that first gear had too much torque for these conditions and second gear felt damn fast. Don’t imagine me jumping and getting air time like the freestyle MX riders in all those magazines. This overweight eagle doesn’t fly!
So, the dual track dirt roads went reasonably well (lots to learn there, of course), but I got into hot waters when I went up a forest road that turned into a single track that followed a dry riverbed. There were bridges over the river which I could’t use because there were steps leading up to them. Trials riding didn’t come naturally to me, obviously. But there were motocross tire tracks leading into the riverbed beside the bridges, enticing me to follow them. Down and up, follow the single trail on the other side, down into the riverbed again and… stuck! I decided I’d bit off too much and turned around. Up, trail, down and laid the bike on it’s side when I took the exit from the riverbed at to steep an angle. Didn’t hurt at all, though my leg got pinned beneath it. Good protector pants. Levering it up again was doable, but the bike wouldn’t start up again. After an embarrassing phone call to the dealer I toggled the kill switch, took the exit at right angles and with some more speed and left that arena for later. I’ll be back!