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Monday, October 11, 2010

Ride Report

Reminder: MMM Tiddler ride on 24 Oct

Mart, Don and I met on Saturday to do a little dirt bike riding. The day started well by being sunny and bright. Forecast was for low 60's but 70F was more like it. We were quickly shedding layers as we began to heat up. Don was on his DRZ400, Marty was on an XR400, and I rode my trusty MT250 (also known as the Strawberry Express).

Start of the day, Marty and Don are ready to ride.

Freetown State Forest was new to all of us. The trail map didn't look extensive and I feared that we would run out of things to do quickly. Foolish me! The trails were very technical and both Don and I thought that Herman would be right at home with his trials bike. There were roots and rocks and lots of long narrow puddles. Luckily the bottoms of these were not too slippery and we motored through them with only moderate difficulty. One place on the trail had a fallen tree across it but we bushwhacked a new path around it.

We found a sand bank that Marty found irresistible. His first attempt was successful but when I asked him to do it again for the camera he got stuck.

The third time was again successful. Don declined to try it and I doubted that the little 250 had the motive power to make it up. Time to get the new piston and rings so I can try it next time!

After that we went back to the truck to get gas and take a break. We decided to try the trail on the west side of the parking lot for something different. Surely it would be easier than the trails we had been on. Silly Rabbit!

I can only describe the new trail as a Rock Garden. One section after another with bread loaf sized rocks. The XR and DRZ were having a better time of it with their longer suspensions and better ground clearance. The little twin shock MT just careened off on rock after another making liberal use of the skid plate for defense. We actually checked the map to see if we were on a hiking trail by mistake but it was, in-fact, a motorcycle trail.

Here is one spot that gave us pause. A drop off with a 90° left at the bottom. The consensus was that we should go for it and not touch the front brake.
Marty goes down
Don goes down

When we came to the road on the other side we had gone only 2.3 miles in 2 hours.  Not quite ready for expert enduros yet. However, we all agreed that we were having a great time.

As it was getting time to head back we decided to take a faster path back. This consisted of a dirt road that had huge (20-30') puddles across it's width. Too much work to keep trying to go around so we just splashed through at speed. Since they were often back to back with a lip between them I kept trying to jump off the lip to splash down in the middle of the next one. There was a lot of interconnecting forest roads and it was all quite beautiful. Don is going to explore further as a future TA Rally sight.

Back to the trucks and it was agreed all around that it was a great day. We were tired but happy and you can't ask for more than that from a dirt bike!