I started off the weekend in a funk. This is Indy GP weekend, and I didn’t go.
The past two years my little brother and my dad and I have gone to Indianapolis to see the MotoGP races. For a variety of reasons, we’re sitting this one out. I didn’t realize how much I would miss it.
So to get over my blues, I decided to take the big old YZ426F out for a trail ride. Please note that my YZ is not at all my best bike for trail riding. I have a TT-R 230 that is just brilliant for fun riding and gnarly terrain – it’s like a friendly, eager companion who pays his own way. The TT-R is just happy to do anything I ask of it, except for landing from a great height. The TT-R is not a jumper… and it’s not very fast, either. Ok, the TT-R is a friendly, eager companion who pays his own way, but don’t make him run, or jump, because he could die.
The YZ, on the other hand, is a fickle bitch.
She wants new valve shims and fork bushings. She wants a clean air filter and new oil. She wants you to show her a good time, or she’ll pitch a fit. She doesn’t care how much money you have left – you have to commit to every corner, touch her just the right way, or she’ll knock you on your ass. Even if you do everything right, she’s going to ruin a bunch of good stuff, and if you don’t clean up after her, she’ll leave you stranded.
But she’s fast, and she’ll jump further and higher than I have the courage to allow her, so there’s that.
Enough anthropomorphism. I rode the YZ today because I have two TT races in September, and some non-competitive seat time would be a great way to get more comfortable with my slightly wicked Yamaha. So I went by myself to Coyote Trails with the YZ, and rode for just a little under three hours. I spent almost all of my time in the woods. It was a hot day, and I wore myself out. The YZ worked flawlessly. I practiced setting the fuel screw once it was up to temp. I practiced feathering the clutch into and out of turns. I worked a lot on body position, finding that I rode my best with my knees ahead of my feet, and my butt behind.
No crashes. No mechanical problems. At the end of the day, I was smoother and faster than at the start. And I was no longer boo-hooing about not going to Indy. Mission accomplished.
This post is late in coming, and I didn’t get any pictures of this ride, but my wife and daughter and I spent a great afternoon trail riding at Coyote ATV Riders in Coulterville, IL
As is her style, Helen, my eight year old daughter was the first one geared up and riding, and the last one to come in off the trail. She tackled some tough stuff, and motored right through it.
My wife did really well too. It had been almost two years since her last trail ride, and at the end of the day, she was catching air off the jumps at the practice track.
I’m really glad my daughter has her awesome mom to look up to.
Helen and I went to Coyote Trails near Coulterville, Illinois this evening. We rode both on the practice track, and in the woods. It was Helen’s first time in the woods. She was fantastic. I could see the apprehension on her face when we approached the first creek crossing. Helen had never ridden across a creek before. But she watched me do it, then she followed, and she made it across cleanly. Each 2.5 mile lap of the woods has four creek crossings. By Helen’s third lap, she was leading me through the woods, and hitting the creeks at a run with her feet up. She is one brave little girl. Helen handled the steep hills very well too. I had a heck of a time getting her off the bike at 7:30 pm. On the ride home, she told me that she liked the creek crossings the best.
First Monday of the month – Vintage Bike Night at Moto Europa! I wouldn’t miss it. This month they had a DJ spinning great summer jams, and food and beverages served on the sidewalk. The atmosphere was great, the bikes were beautiful, and the riders were happy.
I met up with old friends Doug Scronce, Kris Williams, and Walter Bass. It was great to see them. I’m looking forward to riding with them again.
Enough chit chat. Where are the pictures?