Dirt Noob - learning is painful

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by trc.rhubarb, May 4, 2014.

  1. bka0721

    bka0721 Adventurer

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    I'm surprised it has not been mentioned yet, but what kind of friend lends you the bigger bike and takes the smaller one. Is he afraid of his wife kicking his butt if someone touches her bike. Like many things, you take someone out with the idea you will have a future riding buddy. Whether skiing, hiking, kayaking or mountain biking, the faster rider keeps a ride out for the Noob. Nothing wrong with starting out and an experienced rider is going to see your level of skill right away. I blame your injuries on your buddy, as well. He should have rode home and got something to come back and get the bike and you.

    Broken ribs suck and actually heal fast, too. One day they will hurt like all get out, then the next day you won't even recognize they hurt anymore.

    Start with a smaller bike. A 250 gives you plenty of time to learn the innate skills of riding a dirt bike. Too many "older" guys can't adjust their desire (ego) of getting that big bike, like a Harley, Goldwing, Adventure bike, before they put in their time on a small bike. When the stuff hits the fan, on a big bike, the lessons you learned on a smaller bike (when you were younger) will come back and help. There is always a benefit in starting with a small bike, then sell it as your skill level climbs, or keep it for someone else to ride with you. Just be a better friend, to this new riding buddy, than someone was to you.
    #21
  2. TexaNate

    TexaNate Been here awhile

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    A DRZ400 is actually a pretty large and top-heavy bike - not the kind of thing I would want to learn to ride dirt on. Consider a CRF250L, WR250R or KLX250S. Or even an XT250, TW200 or similar.

    OP - you didn't mention if you were wearing any protective gear. If you're getting into dirt biking, you should definitely invest $150 or so into some armor and definitely, definitely put some money toward proper MX boots. Do not skip this essential gear, or you'll spend a lot more in hospital rooms. They'll feel weird to begin with but search "protruding tibia" on this forum and you're sure to find many, many posts of guys whose DRZs fell on their legs and broke them because they were using street boots in the dirt.

    Also - you mention that you kept going down the hill even with the rear wheel locked. Get used to your rear brake being almost useless - as soon as you start braking, all the weight of the bike goes to the front wheel. Especially on steep downhills, position your body all the way over the rear wheel and use the front brake as much as possible, the back brake sparingly.

    My advice is to start out on some easier trails with a willing coach to get the basics down before you rack up any more medical fees. Heal fast!
    #22
  3. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Good points.
    You are exactly right, he's looking for someone to go riding with. I'm a very experienced street rider and that may have been part of the problem.

    He offered either bike but the 400 seemed to fit me a ton better where the 250 was set up for his wife and he was quite cramped on it. She doesn't ride much anymore so it was more of me thinking I'd do better if I could focus on riding rather than trying to be comfortable. Also, inexperience on my part... I've ridden the GSA on dirt, 1//3 the size sounds small :lol3 I was wrong but it honestly wasn't the bike that got me. It was me not yet knowing how to ride real dirt well. Downhill and turning at any speed is still hard for me... what with all of now 2 hours on a dirtbike in the dirt.

    We didn't know I was hurt as bad as I was, and I wouldn't have admitted it anyhow. He offered several times to go get his truck but I kept saying that I was fine and just needed a break. You know how it goes. Here's how sick I am... I was glad something was officially wrong with me so he wouldn't be able to call me a pussy.

    I learned a lot the other day. While there is room for some ego on the street, in the dirt I need to be much more honest with myself. Stuff can go wrong real fast on the dirt with almost no warning. I know better, I know I should have ridden my own ride but having chickened out before, I was committed to do this or die trying :lol3 I want to push my comfort zone, I did that and had a blast.

    Time will tell if this injury was a good thing. CT scan found something in my abdomen. Another scan on Friday. I hope it's noting but it may have just saved my life. (or it might not have).

    What it comes down to is that I'm a stubborn SOB and I'm 100% at fault.
    1. I didn't ride my ride
    2. I didn't admit I was injured
    3. I didn't care I was injured and decided to "man up" - although this just exacerbated pain and not the injury

    He was concerned for me, didn't care about the bike. He tried to make me take the 250 but I was convinced the 250 couldn't handle my fat ass. Next time will be better.

    I still can't wait to get back out there though! :D I blame this place for that. :deal
    #23
  4. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I was wearing:
    Arai XD4 - dual sport helmet
    Tourmaster 3/4 mesh with elbow, shoulder and back armor (hard armor)
    First Gear overpants with knee and hip armor
    Lee Parks Elkskin full gauntlet gloves - damn those were hot :lol3
    Forma GT Adventure boots

    I also own an EVS G6 pressure suit but didn't wear it because it shrunk and I had to ride a long way to the park on the streets.

    I'd like to get some quality knee braces because beyond head and hands, knees are my next biggest concern.

    Dedicated MX boots will come if I keep doing this and I'll wear the pressure suit more as well.

    I don't have a single bruise or scratch (so far). So I think the gear helped.
    #24
  5. TexaNate

    TexaNate Been here awhile

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    Sounds like you were pretty well decked out then! Apart from chest protection. You may consider something like a Fox Titan to go underneath your mesh. I seldom go off road without it because it provides much better impact protection, particularly to the ribs and arms. It's also not unbearably hot, which is a deal breaker in Houston in the summer. If you wear this, you can ditch your mesh when you hit the trail - you probably won't need abrasion protection off-road.

    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. bka0721

    bka0721 Adventurer

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    You have it licked, that most don't even understand. You are honest with yourself, and allowing others to learn from what happened to you. That makes you a quality person and helps me understand better the person you were riding with, too.

    I have done a lot of vintage and late model racing at a national level and many things are the same here. Plus riding for 4 decades. Too often I see people get on something, car, horse, Harley and their ego can't admit that they are new at this, or this area, after riding a different bike/environment. You are right about dirt, then Sand, then Shale, downhill and jumping. The fact is there is a steep learning curve in all of it. Glad to see you are not giving it up either. Sounds like you know what to do, just need the right time to put it into action.

    Heal up, somebody needs to sale you a motorcycle, one day.

    b
    #26
  7. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    I had written about some of my "exploits" in learning to ride dirt (mostly by myself) and a very nice guy - who turned out to be a msf instructor - offered to take me riding. I wouldn't have advanced anywhere near as quickly without him and I completely trust his judgement on what I can and can't ride. If you can find a mentor like that rather than buddies who will throw you on any trail they think is OK (:lol3) - been there done that too - you'll be golden.:D There are also a lot of great schools out there.

    I hope the image on the CT scan turns out to be something relatively minor or early taken care of. Keep us posted!
    #27
  8. bryantjt

    bryantjt Long timer

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    For those saying the DRZ is too big for a noob, this guy is a BIG noob. At 6'2" he should have had no issue with the DRZ size, unless he is all torso. Power didn't get him in trouble, gravity did. Me being 5'-6", I would have had a terrible time trying to get started with a DRZ, my KLX was barely passable and I had it lowered 1" for the first year I had it.


    Regarding the rib injury, what type of armor would really protect against that? I haven't purchased any off road armor yet as I'm still not sure of what to get really. MX chest protector, pressure suit, other? Presently I wear my street gear which has padding and foam elbow/knee guards.
    #28
  9. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Tomorrow is the big day for me... Going to see the doctor to get the results of a 2nd CT scan.
    They didn't like what they saw in the 1st one and had a second done on Friday with injected dye and a barium 'smoothie' :eek1

    If I get cleared tomorrow by the dr, then the search is on for a DRZ400 of my own. :clap

    Thought I was special because I wasn't hurting anymore so I stopped with the meds yesterday. By the time I gave in and took them last night I was in pretty bad pain. Today was no better... meds finally catching up again tonight. I guess I don't have magic healing powers after all! :lol3
    #29
  10. RollingJ

    RollingJ The mud in your eye

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    I was an avid vert skateboarder for 20+ years and broke many bones over the years, but the ribs were the most frequently broken bones in my body. I learned not to reach out when falling, but generally that meant punching my elbow into my ribcage on a big slam. I was too cool to wear anything more than knee pads and a helmet back then.

    Now I wear a Troy Lee Hot Weather Shirt and TL elbow/forearm pads under a jersey and while I have taken quite a few very hard falls, I have not had the pleasure of any broken ribs while wearing this kit. The rib protection is excellent, and the gear is light and flexible.
    #30
  11. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    ^^^^

    I have the Troy Lee shirt too, really like it.
    #31
  12. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

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    :ear:ear:ear:lurk
    #32
  13. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Well this injury may have a silver lining after all.

    Got to get another set of xrays today which show my ribs are moving and not currently aligned as they came from the factory. Not so bad I need surgery but moving enough that they haven't started to glue themselves back together yet. That's the bad news.

    Good/bad news is that there is something wrong with me that they discovered in the multiple CT scans. Had my 4th blood panel since the injury and now have an appointment with an oncologist next week. to be followed by a biopsy.

    Sounds bad, and well, it could be but there were no detectable masses found so whatever I have must be in the very early stages. Had I not gotten hurt, who knows how long before I discovered something wrong. Focus is on enlarged lymph nodes around my liver.
    #33
  14. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

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    Oh man....keep us posted. That DRZ might just have saved your life.....now I know I will never sell mine:deal
    #34
  15. packerbacker

    packerbacker Been here awhile

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    This threads a life saver

    Sent from my XT901 using Tapatalk
    #35
  16. Rubiconnn

    Rubiconnn Adventurer

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    I'm from Oakley and I used to go to Carnegie all the time as a kid back before the hippies shut most of it down. Now it's all steep hill trails. Still fun, but a bit harder on a big bike. I still take my 650 Dakar up there and take it for a few jumps on the atv track and some light hill riding.
    #36
  17. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    This was my first time there. More than a bit above my skill level :)

    Monday I hear from the Oncologist if we need more tests or I'm all clear. It's been a long wait. :ear

    Still having bad days but I've managed to ride about 200 miles this week. (150 yesterday).
    I feel like Goldilocks... the Harley is too upright, the R90 and Duc are too leaned over. The GS is just right :lol3
    It's actually less painful to ride than to go in a car until my shoulder complains from holding the throttle.
    #37
  18. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee

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    Gotta say that being 300 lbs probably contributed to the broken ribs. I can say this having been 50 lbs overweight and falling and getting bruised ribs when a fall like that back at my 'normal' weight wouldn't have hurt at all. As they say about armies, mass has a quality all its own.

    Hope your visit with the oncologist was a big false alarm... and heal quickly. Oh, and I agree with the 250cc advice... it's not how fast the bike goes, it's how fast you fall!
    #38
  19. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Probably at least as much as age did. I've fallen many times without so much as a bruise, this time was bad luck but still no bruises :D
    #39
  20. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    So just got back from the Oncologist.

    He's giving me a pass for now. May have just been bad timing for the CT. Either way, I go back in October now for a full panel again and another contrast CT just to be sure. Hopefully that is the end of it!

    Ribs are healing but still hurting when I do too much physical. Back to riding street now for a couple weeks but can only handle a couple hundred miles a week.

    Gotta find me a cheap local DRZ before it gets too damn hot here! :lol3
    #40