The idea was to throw around some light dirt bikes, ones we weren’t afraid to fall off of nor were hard to pick up. Here we could learn the proper stance, then apply it to our larger, heavier dual sports. Basically, we wanted to learn a new body language for riding in the dirt. What I learned was that I was taught some bad habits from other riders, which made more proficient maneuvering difficult. I had to override what I knew and start on the basics to get that solid foundation I never built correctly.
We lucked out and it was only two of us with Gary LaPlante, the instructor at MotoVentures. It had rained the night before so the dirt was still moist and had lots of traction. The perfect setting for a closed course and ability to practice prescribed maneuvers. We set out on new Yamahas, a WR250F for me and a WR450F for my partner. He worked with us individually, requesting repetition or progressing as seen capable. My riding partner proved worthy of much more advanced skills, where as I had a hard time trusting myself in pushing the limits of even the basics: Counterbalancing… key. Throttle… ok. Picking lines… ugh!. Sand…forget it. At least the bike was light to pick up all those times.
It may seem like I am being hard on myself, but the bottom line is that I had fun challenging myself and would go back for a second round if I had more time before my departure. I know in my head what I should be doing, now just to get my body to do it. What Gary prescribed for me: to let loose a little more. Given the approaching amount of seat time (or really peg time) in my near future, I’m sure I will have many occasions to practice.
Besides, when the day ends like this… how could it be bad…