A noob's first day out on his own

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Casey., Jan 26, 2013.

  1. pne

    pne Long timer

    Mar 21, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    to be fair gravel is not dirt and even though I am able to handle myself on a dirt bike, I still get nervous sometimes on a gravel road with the wrong tires. You will get the hang of it, don't worry it will come with seat time. I recall the first time I tried dirt riding, my friend brought me to a riding spot with sand trails and whoops. I nearly shat myself. Now I can hit whoops at unreasonable speeds with the bike kicking and crossed up thinking "this used to be so difficult!"

    What really helped with my dirt riding is just finding an empty field and practicing turns, stops and starts. It's a strange feeling turning the bike underneath you and pushing it into the ground vs the usual street riding style of shifting your weight to the inside. But you will be surprised how much grip you can get in the dirt. Just beware this doesn't translate to slippery gravel roads.

    Also regarding standing up, the key is to keep yourself centered on the bike and clamp the bike with your knees, slightly bent. Hands always relaxed on the controls or you will get arm pump. In this position you can ride over nearly anything and not come off the bike.
  2. Casey.

    Casey. Nerd on a bike

    Jan 22, 2013
    Wichita, KS, USA
    Lots of great advice, thanks everyone (more condensed and relevant than the "advice for a noob" thread I'd say). I do wish I had easier access to more dirt rather than gravel. I suppose I could just turn off the road and ride through grass, but 99% of the land is owned around here, so I doubt people would like that. I'm considering a move to the Raleigh, NC area within the next year. If anyone has a suggested area around there for great offroad riding, I'd appreciate it!

    The brunt of winter has subsided and I've started riding my bicycle to work again. I should be out on the CRF more often as well. I'm also planning a ride with a fellow ADV'er at the end of the month. Lots of benefits to being part of the ADV community - happy to be a part of it.
  3. OKlr

    OKlr 25mph gate inpector

    Sep 23, 2009
    Ponca City Oklahoma
    i'm on the north edge of oklahoma if you ever get down this way shoot me a message.
  4. Havingfun

    Havingfun the road less traveled...

    Aug 18, 2006
    Plano, Texas
    An excellent choice in a bike. Congrats!
  5. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

    Jun 27, 2012
    100ยบ W
    One thing to consider, and I don't think the OP mentioned it, in Kansas the gravel is a mix of polished stone and sand (there used to be an ocean here). It's a PITA to ride on, even on the rare windless day. Keep practicing and it'll get easier.
  6. rodmuzwa

    rodmuzwa Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2012
    Pinjarra, WA
    Mate, you are doing great. Gravel is a bitch to ride on but you do get better at it. One thing, as someone mentioned previously, be very careful going on your own. It's easy to come of on gravel and if you hurt yourself you could be neck deep in the brown smelly stuff with no help. I'm a relative noob. Only been riding a couple of years and I love riding on gravel but it scares the living daylights out of me. Went on yesterday having not ridden on gravel for a while and it was like back to square one. Keep at it and keep smiling, but FFS go with someone just in case!
  7. Stovebolt

    Stovebolt Team Ruptured Buzzard

    Mar 4, 2006
    Way to go, Casey...

    You really have an inspiring quality and a sense of determination that we can all admire. Keep up the good work and the great attitude. And as many of the folks here have suggested, a solid key is relaxation. It's hardly anything somebody can call upon on demand when things are new and scarier, but with time it comes. With more time yet, it can actually be called upon on demand and used well.

    After a while of continued effort and enjoyment, your improvements will have you on longer and more challenging terrain. You may even end up on one of our annual "Legends of the Fall Rally Raids" with Team Ruptured Buzzard one day, if you're not careful...


    All the best, Good Sir... salute.