Dirtwise with Shane Watts in MA, Aug 14-15

Discussion in 'Northeast - Greater Flugistan and home of the carp' started by asfault, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. asfault

    asfault Non-normative

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Westford, Mass
    We now have the t-shirts to prove it: CariocaGirl and I survived Dirtwise this weekend. Shane Watts came to Wrentham, MA for the weekend to teach us as much we could absorb about dirt riding in two very full days. We were there with 15 other students (including Ritalin Boy and Chacifer). The weather was dry and not too hot and the site was pastoral, but dusty. The curriculum included practice runs on a single track through woods, over rocks, roots and logs. Most of our time was spent in drills out in the fields that focused on specific skills.

    Big thanks to CariocaGirl for making the effort to take these photos.:clap

    Opening ceremonies on Saturday morning.
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    For each exercise, Shane told us what we need to do, then showed us with a demo, then we did it (or tried our best), then reviewed it afterward.
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    Shane's explanations were thorough and insightful. And he always gave us opportunities to ask questions.
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    Lining up for the drag racing exercise (hard acceleration and braking).
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    Dragging was an exhilarating drill.
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    This Wrentham venue was a pleasant site to train.
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    Slow racing - last one to the finish wins.
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    I could ride slower during the practice session than in the race - performance anxiety. :dunno
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    Shane demos flat cornering.
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    Shane's demos were outstanding. He usually would start off slow so we could see what he was doing and then gradually crank up the speed.
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    Our turn.
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    Oval track exercise - putting acceleration, braking and cornering together into a fluid sequence. Easier said than done!
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    Shane shows us how to grind - or how to knock some knobs off your tires - or how to mill lumber the hard way. :lol3
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    Our turn.
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    Shane shows us cornering in ruts.
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    He is a virtuoso. :bow
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    Our turn. Andy roosts the tailgater with a plume of dust. :lol3
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    Shane prepares us for the wheelie drills with more excellent demos.
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    Our turn to act like hooligans. My clutch fingers were screaming before we were done.
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    We even had a couple of spectators that wandered over to watch.
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    Gratuitous wheelies these are not. One application is log jumping. Shane explained that the proper way is to pop the front wheel and bring it down on top of the log. Then he demoed exactly that with his usual precision.
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    After seeing the demo I was trying to keep an open mind, but I didn't really see myself doing this. Though with some pointers from Shane, it actually happened.[​IMG]

    Oh what a feeling! (But better than a ride in a Toyota.)
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    The finale was watching Shane demonstrate how to tear through the woods. We felt it through our feet as his wheels thumped against the rocks and roots as he raced by. Awesome.
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    In addition to a collage of bruises and aches/pains everywhere, we came away with dust powdered all over us, vivid scenes that played back in our dreams for the next few nights, and some excellent new skills that we will put to use right away.

    It was great meeting everyone. See you on the trail!
    #1
  2. Nice_Rumble

    Nice_Rumble Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Nice to see the pros setting a good example on noise control by promoting the DB Snorkel.

    http://www.thedbsnorkel.com/

    Thanks for the report. You never stop learning in this sport and a fun way to spend the day. Good on you guys mate!
    #2
  3. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    Yup.

    We discussed it at one point. While it doesn't make the bike quiet it did help keep the sound from reverberating off the trees and such.

    It was a great day. When Mike and Gina unloaded their bikes I saw the Adv Stickers and went over to day hi. I said that I saw their stickers so I guess you're ok with this and I gave them a double salute. Good times all around.
    #3
  4. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    Man if I had known about this I would have been all over it. Looks like a good time. Lots of bike lernin goin on.
    #4
  5. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    There sure was.

    We were all gently pushed out of our comfort zone by a true master and it was a ton of fun too.

    When we were doing the wheelies he gave me a big double thumbs up, next thing I know I'm on the ground looking at his boots. :lol3


    Chacifer ready to go.
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    The Man.
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    Hey Chace, you help with the log and I'll take your picture! :rofl
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    #5
  6. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    Here's a shot of Ben, a future champion.

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    One time Ben wadded up on the trail and was trying to get his bike out of a little gully / rut. I rode up and while the bike and rider where small he was working just as hard as the rest of us; picking up the bike, kicking it over and over, etc.

    I got off and picked his bike up and put it down on the trail. I got a chuckle and later wished a giant would come along and put my bike back on the trail. :lol3
    #6
  7. asfault

    asfault Non-normative

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    Oct 16, 2009
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    Westford, Mass
    Hi Skip. Maybe someday soon we'll ride electric bikes and noise will be obsolete.:evil

    Hi Steve :waveWould have been great to see you there!

    We had not been saluted until then. We're initiated now.:D

    +1... Ben was a demon out there.:thumb
    #7
  8. suzypoozie

    suzypoozie alpha bitch

    Joined:
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    Great report! I just got in to Big Sky and start my class tomorrow!
    #8
  9. fyrdog

    fyrdog n00b

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    South Windsor, CT
    Hi Mates! It was a great class in Wrentham. Gina and Mike had the ADV stickers on their bikes which prompted me to ask what's up with that? Anyway that's how I became an inmate (or was it patient at the asylum?)

    Shane's class was great. It was my first dirt bike class and Shane was able to instruct at everyone's ability level.

    Thank you Ritalin Boy for the use of your BMW kick stand. Thank you for the great pics. Where is the video of Andy sand blasting that tailgater?

    Good Times!
    #9
  10. bhd1223

    bhd1223 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
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    Location:
    CT
    Hate to dig up the old thread but I just signed up for the DirtWise next month (Aug 13/14) in Wrentham, MA. Since I just got myself a WR250R and am a fresh canvas when it comes to offroad riding I figured it would be a good idea. This review was what made me sign up. Everything I am looking for was addressed according to this review and I hope the experience is as great as it was for ya'll. Perhaps I'll run into some ADV folk there. I have no stickers to identify myself though.
    #10
  11. asfault

    asfault Non-normative

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    Oct 16, 2009
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    122
    Location:
    Westford, Mass
    Sometimes you have to dig a bit for the good stuff :evil If your experience is like ours, you'll be glad you did it. We are still practicing lessons we learned last year. Definitely get a sticker - it's fun to get a saluted when you least expect it :D
    #11