Finally, got my dirt on! I spent a few days in Anza Borrego State Park (roughing it at a b&b) so I could try out my complete lack of skills at riding dirt roads. The idea was to take a dirt class and then go to the park, but I kind of ran out of time......so off to doing things in complete ignorance! Yay!
Dumpovers - 0
This is it, my first dirt road. I checked the conditions at the visitor's center so I would have some idea of what I was getting myself into (especially sand). Started up the road and the first 30 feet was.......sand. Oh well, my bike is short (thank goodness for not buying that klr650 for a first dual sport and getting my little xt250) so the feet were put to good use. I finally got my feet up on the pegs and with some wobbling around, that I'm very glad went unwitnessed, up the canyon we went. I did leave some pretty funny tire tracks - some probably looked like an anaconda with feet crawling up the trail.
Pinyon Mountain Valley
Dumpovers - 0
There is a huge drop off that I've always wanted to see at the top of this road (not to ride down, just to look!) I started up the road, the sand was so deep that I never felt the actual road bed. This was not going well. Again, feet, feet, feet. It was exhausting. About 1/2 mile up the road I came across a couple in a little passenger car
who had somehow - no idea how - made it up that far and now were as stuck as I've ever seen a car (I would have hesitated taking my 4wd up that road in those conditions). They had stuck pieces of vegetation under the wheels and a little log or two - there was no way they were getting out. I offered to head back down to get help, but no, they said they were fine. Okaaaay.....For all I know that car is still up there (it was only about a mile walk out for them to a campground). I went a little past them and decided that going up the hill in very deep sand was probably not the best way to break in a new engine. Turned around.
You can see the car in the background. I wanted to get a closer picture, but I figured they wouldn't find that amusing. It doesn't look too bad, but the front tires were in about a 3 foot deep hole and the backs were down about 2 feet.
My turn around - run away, run away!
Dumpovers - 1
I was feeling a little over confident at this point so I decided to ride up to Font's Point (as you guessed, an overlook) for sunset. Like a lot of Anza Borrego you're riding up a wash. I've been up this road a few times in my truck so I knew it could be pretty sandy, but there are strips of hard packed sand and after all, I had just survived the sand pit road. I stayed on the hard sand and then all of a sudden I didn't.....
Nice shot showing my tire tracks where I overcompensated (f'ed up)
And a nice shot from the back.
Damage - bike, none. Me, scraped the back of my leg on the foot peg on the way over, ouch!!!!
Learned how to pick up my bike -
(wasn't sure that was going to happen at first until I figured out to dig some sand out where the tires would stand up - this was after sitting in the wash for a little while just staring at the mountains)
At this point I decided I'd done enough for the day and headed back.
Did nothing. Back hurts. Ouch.
Dumpovers - 0
The night before I hit the internet looking for some advice on riding sand. Got a few pointers and decided to hit one of my favorite roads. At the visitor's center the road was posted for having sand past Desert Garden, but I figured I could always turn around. This road can be pretty challenging after the rains - there are 3 water crossings that can vary from 2 - 3 feet deep and about 20 feet across to full on driving up an underwater road. The road itself isn't bad until you go through the 3rd crossing and then you hit a rocky hill and then another hill that can only be described as a staircase. I planned on looking
at the staircase.
Oh my gosh! I had actually improved riding in some sand! Not deep sand, but where there is actually a road under there with some thick sand berms on the sides and middle. I rode both and had only a couple of bobbles - finally relaxed and started using those leaning street bike skills. Yay, improvement!
I also got in my first water crossings. Pretty funny, you look at the water and then wonder - hmmm, how deep is that? Are there big boulders under there? Slime? Really deep mud? Aaah, just go for it. So I did and made it through the 1st and 2nd crossings OK. The 3rd crossing was "interesting". It was the longest and deepest of the three with what felt like a bunch of slimy cantaloupe size rocks underneath. I just kept the throttle on and kept the feet down. When I rode back, same thing. Lots
of water in my boots.
Ooookaaaay, not ready for that yet.......time to turn around.
Back down the canyon and home, booo. Looking forward to the next trip! Still need to take that class...........