Friday, July 06, 2007


A couple of weekends ago, I got to go to Rich Oliver's Mystery School.
After this year's Sheetiron, Paul was so mortified to be seen with me, that he decided to ship me off to school to learn to ride a dirtbike.

2 Day Fun Camp, coming right up.

Given that the only dirtbike I have is my DRZ400S, I was really looking forward to being able to learn on a smaller, lighter bike. All the students in the Fun Camp ride the same bike: TTR125 with a kick start (Rich sets the bikes up for each individual rider before you get there) These bikes were terribly fun. For one thing, I could finally just step over something instead of having to climb up onto it. Second, the kickstarter actually worked, every time, third, with a whopping TEN horsepower, I was pretty sure I could not actually hurt myself. But mostly? I didn't need that bike to get me to work in the morning!

I am in no way interested in racing. I consider myself interested in dirt riding mainly for trail riding type stuff. This camp was mainly geared toward flat track style turning techniques, and a bunch of races. Despite that, I had a really good time and I think I improved some. I definitely felt more confident afterwards?

There were starting, stopping, turning, and crashing drills (OK, not crashing) there were timed trials, and races. We watched the pros go around, then looked at the corners and talked about how to take them. But there was also a lot of off-track stuff, about seeing, health and fitness, and mental and interpersonal stuff, inasmuch as how it can pertain to riding.

I was lucky enough to go on a weekend where the other people in the class (one of whom I knew, coincidentally) were really nice and friendly. There was a lot of clapping and cheering, which I think isn't all that common for other classes. So yay.

Paul and I stayed in a barn converted into a rustic cabin. There were llamas staring at me in the morning when I got up. It was grand.

Now if only I had a TTR125 and a big pickup truck?
Actually, we went down to Metcalf on Saturday to give it a whirl on my DRZ. Of course it is heavier and bigger, but still fun. I went around in ovals, and on the TT Track, and did not fall. We saw a roadrunner, which I had never seen before. Dirt biking is fun, yes?

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