Peter definitely drank the dualsport koolaid on our short ride on Saturday afternoon, so we decided to head to Metcalf yesterday for some real off-roading practice.
I knew from previous trips that I liked Trail 2, so I led us around it for our first lap. I had no idea how the conditions would be in mid-August (I’d only ever been to Metcalf in late winter/spring), so I took it slowly. An unplanned advantage to this 1st-gear-only lap was that I was going slowly enough to really pay attention to my body positioning and wound up doing really well! I stayed centered over the bike (head over handlebars) and thus was able to lean forward for the uphills and stick my butt back and out for the downhills. W00t!
I think we did two laps of Trail 2 and then decided to head to the TT track for some photos. Rhiannon and I discovered last April that the TT track is set up perfectly for one person to do laps while the other stands in the grass and photographs.
Peter went first on the DR650. He did a lap on the outer loop, which I didn’t photograph as I was still parking the XT, and then moved to the tighter inner loop to practice cornering. Unfortunately, the bike wasn’t as keen on that idea, and he fell in one section. I didn’t actually see why he fell — it was in a straightaway — so maybe he can chime in on that one. At any rate, the bike fell on him and twisted his right ankle pretty well. A nearby guy helped me pick up the DR, we pushed it to the side of the track, and Peter took a break and photographed me for a while.
I stuck to the outside loop and practiced different lines in the various sandy and rocky corners. The two jumps were still there, but I didn’t really like the first one that much — there was a huge pothole right where you land, and I couldn’t stop myself from looking at it. So I tended to just ride over the first jump and then try to actually get air on the second.
By this point, Peter’s ankle was feeling better, so he went out on the Serow. I haven’t gotten anything more out of him than that he thought the throttle response was slow (I disagree, but then, he outweighs me by a bit). He liked it well enough to do a couple of laps, though.
And then, finally, I did a few more laps on my bike. I’m pretty pleased with my posture in these pictures (though of course, anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about should chime in if you see anything wrong).
After that, we just rode back to the parking lot and had some lunch. We decided not to push our luck with Peter’s ankle (and my shoulder; we’re so old), so we headed home.
Overall, it was a great time. I liked the park a lot better when it was dusty and sandy in August than when it was muddy and rutty in April. Hopefully by next winter, I’ll have more of a clue and will do better in the winter terrain.