Big Boy Toys

It’s very rare that you find me motoring down trails enjoying the great outdoors, if I’m not hiking it, I can usually be found pedaling or paddling my way around. At the same token, if you know me, you know that I’m always up for a challenge. So when my Uncle (David) came to me and asked if I would be interested in riding one of his dirt bikes with him, I immediately said, “sure!”, without putting too much thought into it. Now when I say dirt bikes, I mean big boy toys! A Yamaha YZF 450 tuned for motorcross racing and a KTM 450 tuned for enduro racing, with me riding the KTM. Probably not the best choice to introduce me to riding…

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Luckily, David was looking out for me and had a complete set of gear for me to wear: knee/shin guards, riding pants w/ hip pads, elbow/forearm pads, chest protector, and of course a helmet with goggles. I felt legit! Now keep in mind that my only experience that even remotely compares to what I’m about to do is a small four-wheeler I owned several years ago, nothing like what I was getting ready to saddle up and ride!

We’re off! I took off surprisingly smooth with no stalling.We started off a nice packed dirt road with patches of soft sand here and there. I navigated through the first test with ease and only laid it down while turning around in soft sand (no speed whatsoever).That proved to be my biggest issue; cornering. As I became more and more brave, we started venturing out on some trails, a little more off roading, and again, I handled it all pretty well. It wasn’t until about a hour into our ride before I experienced my first real taste of what these monsters were capable of.

We’re cruising down the trail, with David ahead by quite a bit. I’m traversing over small logs, navigating through mud and sand, but what got me was a lip of dirt in the middle of the trail. My front knobby grabbed it and jerked the handle bars, I tightened my grip in a effort to gain control, but while doing so, I also gave it a bit of what’s known as whiskey throttle, that is where you unintentionally open up the throttle and lose control! I SHOT off of the trail into a thicket of palmetto bushes and right toward a pine tree! I was fortunate enough to have enough time to throw myself from the bike and taking the stout pine tree to my chest (thank God for that chest protector), as opposed to my head, and trust me, those things don’t budge! Luckily the bike landed on a pillow of palmettos and suffered no damage. I sprung up, shook myself off and immediately killed the bike. I walked the 15 ft. back out onto the trail, and about that time David was riding back looking for me. He saw me standing in the trail and asked, “where’s the bike?” All I could do it point in the general direction where it laid. We both had a quick chuckle then went to free the bike from the woods. Needless to say, I was ready to call it a day! We rode back to the truck where we toasted a beer and relived the events from earlier that day.

It didn’t scare me off, in fact, I’m looking forward to next time! Oh, and did I mention, it’s all on GoPro! Maybe I’ll have to pull some footage out to show you guys…

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One thought on “Big Boy Toys

  1. Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard! The only time I’ve attempted a dirt bike I had the whiskey thumb pretty bad! Can’t wait for go pro on this one!!

    Sent from my iPhone

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