Yes, yes we shall. Let's dancing!
When some of my students asked me to come along for a weekend of riding KTM bikes in the dirt, you know I jumped. And it doesn't hurt that they just happen to be KTM mechanics. Cause I rode these bikes hella hard! Not hard like, "Dude was pulling off some sick stunts and barreling through mad crazy terrain," but hard like, "Dude kept crashing into trees and shit, all the while red-lining the engine in 1st gear."
Yeah, my first experience doing motocross was, to put it bluntly, a challenge. Everyone riding here was a seasoned vet. In fact, the Japanese motocross champ himself was here to give pointers. Serious riders. It was my first time in dirt ever. Challenging. But fun.
Before coming, I thought this would be rindo touring. Rindos being fire roads in the mountains. Shit that I can ride at a snails pace on the road bike, upgraded to high speed on a proper offroad bike. But no, it was singletrack motocross, in the rain and mud.
What I learned:
- There are 2 tricky aspects to this, the uphill and downhill
- As for the downhill, you can pretty much just go. It's a nerve thing. The bike can handle it if you can.
- On the uphill, in muddy conditions, you need a bit of skill. Lots of speed is needed, if you slow down the bike will just slide out from under you. But too much speed and the rear tire will spin out. So you have to alternate between full power until the rear wheel starts to slip, and low power until the read tire is back in line. At least thats what was explained to me.
- It's tiring. After crashing a dozen or so times your energy will be gone.
- Standing on the pegs is an important skill. I rarely stand up while riding on the street. It feels really awkward. But, motocross riders are almost never seated.
The weather slowly became worse and worse, with the second day getting the blunt of the seasonal typhoon weather. Anyways, I filmed my first ride with my helmet cam. It's over an hour of some pretty boring footage. Here's the last 9 minutes. This amazing video features me being out of breath, speaking broken Japanese, and a camera lens all fogged up and blurry. What it doesn't show is how steep these hills were. They were pretty steep. The helmet mounted camera makes everything look flat.
After watching some more "first time" videos on the internet... damn, I had it rough. Dudes are riding around in meadows and what not.
The boss split after we set up the event tents on the first day, and came back a few hours later with about 30 fresh river fish. Grub!
Everyone was eating and drinking, then riding around all drunk in the hills. Fun times on a closed circuit.