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Noob in over her head

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by RayT, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    213
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Sooo new to this off-road riding thing, and have been mostly tearing around riding parks. I'd gone in search of locals to go play with. And, I found 'em!! Ruh roh!!

    I planned to meet a guy up at Prentice Cooper WMA, just north of Chattanooga, TN. I'm so new to all this stuff that it takes me about forever to get prepped to go out. I'd packed up all my gear the night before, but then had forgotten to get gas in my truck (and the bike, oops!), kept having to peel clothes off and on as I forgot one piece of gear after another.

    I finally get myself where I'm going, and am struggling to get my bike off the carrier off the back of my truck. I was so frustrated, I'm too short, even with the little workout bench I drag along with me to put beside it. I just can't seem to reach far enough to control the brake well.

    IMG_5918.JPG

    In a fit, I said, "F-it!!!," crawled up on the bike on the carrier, (yeah, I was envisioning starring in an 'Epic Fails' YouTube video somehow!), nudged myself away from the window of the Nissan and rode right off the back of the thing!! Under, over, parachuted right off the back of THAT problem!

    I finally found Dave who had since picked up a couple of other guys to ride with. I, then, in a fit of enthusiastic niavety agreed to ride the hardest route in the park - I didn't know just how hard hard can be!

    Then, I rode over, not baby heads, but tweenie heads, and not only downhill, but uphill.

    Then, I only crashed like 17 times, but also got my ass back up 17 times.

    Then, I put a hole in my sweet Tinkerbell (who isn't even through her first 300 mile break-in period) and she's still really grumpin' at me.

    But, most significantly, l made my first ever water crossing, and lived to tell the tale!



    Had a blast!! I can't believe I was lucky enough to meet up with such a great group of guys - I wouldn't have made it out the other end of Prentice Cooper if it weren't for them!!

    IMG_7012.JPG

    #bestmidlifecrisisever
    #1
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  2. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
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    348
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    Worldwide, home based in the United States
    You are learning the hard knocks. Keep at it, the curve will mellow. Ride well. be well.
    #2
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  3. NxtGoRnd

    NxtGoRnd This Time Around, Wearing Out Tires Supporter

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    Sep 22, 2014
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    South of Atlanta, North of Macon
    Nice really like Prentice Cooper, looks like you had a great time.
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    #3
  4. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek Big Ear Inc - Virginia Provider Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    VA
    That's pretty awesome!

    Reminds me of my early years riding and all the things I used to do...but looking back now, even the dumb mistakes were lessons and knowledge earned. Doesnt sound to me like you are 'in over your head' though...just about right when you can tip-toe in the water to keep your nose out of the water and breathing. :lol3

    To me, time in the saddle will build that muscle memory and you'll reach a point where you go back and ride stuff that used to kick your ass and wonder why it's so easy. You may even find yourself looking for gnarly terrain to ride when regular trails are no longer challenging...or you can be the guru helping out noobs who want to get into riding. That's a whole different set of challenges. :D
    #4
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  5. Hamamelis

    Hamamelis Inmate

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Oddometer:
    475
    Location:
    RVA, Beast Coast
    I'm also a newbie with a CRF Rally - mostly used it as a commuter and light tourer (lots of 100-300 mile days of backroads in VA, MD, and I do intend on getting out TN-wards as well before long!) but one of my winter projects is going to be adding some barkbusters and engine case guards so I can off-road more in Spring. My last attempt at off-roading broke a lever and one of the turn signals, haha

    It's not the lightest bike, but it's comfy both on and off road, and can hang out at 65-70mph literally all day!
    #5
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  6. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
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    Location:
    Temecula CA
    That’s awesome! When I first started riding dirt I was lucky enough to have someone take me under their wing, he’s a really good friend now.
    #6
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  7. Ride4Life4Ever

    Ride4Life4Ever Is it beer time yet?

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    NW AR
    You fell off 17 times???
    I don't think l've fallen that much since l 1st started offroading 25yrs ago...............keep trying, or try something easier!
    #7
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  8. dualindalton

    dualindalton Been here awhile

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    Jun 9, 2008
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    North Ga.- slightly toward the west
    Have to admit, I chuckled a little watching those tip overs. Good to see that you rode away without any bumps and bruises.

    Chattanooga area? Not far away from miles and miles of nice roads in the Chattahoochee and Cherokee NF to hone your skills.
    #8
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  9. Henryarms77

    Henryarms77 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Oddometer:
    93
    Location:
    US
    Anyone riding slow kiddie trails like you won't fall. This chick was on an option,for a beginner.
    If you haven't fallen 25 times in your riding career you don't ride hard enough or long enough to count. time for a new career snowflake!
    #9
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  10. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

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    Apr 11, 2019
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    213
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Thank you so much for the encouragement!!
    #10
  11. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

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    Apr 11, 2019
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    Chattanooga, TN
    Not literally. Just havin' fun with the story ;-)
    #11
  12. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

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    Apr 11, 2019
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    Chattanooga, TN
    daulindalton - I cannot WAIT to get down that way again - was over near Helen last week and loved it!! I pinch myself that I get to live here!! I think the outtakes are part of the fun - I'm happy to laugh at myself - what do they say, if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right - couldn't agree more!! Thx so much for the encouragement!! :-)
    #12
  13. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

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    Henryarms77 - thx for having my back ;-) Now, you're gonna' have to educate me - what's "an option?" I'm loving all of this, having a blast - I get so giddy high tackling new things - they don't always go as planned, but as others have said, I always learn something, and I'm always so appreciative of the folks that take me under their wing so that I can get better!! Have big places I want to go in the next couple of years, so always pushing myself to improve.
    #13
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  14. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

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    Apr 11, 2019
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    Thanks so much, Snapper33!! This first part of that curve is brutal, lol - I'm counting bruises and tickled that I'm going to my kid's wedding in a week and a half with no body parts in a cast :jack I count the small victories!! Back 'atcha!! :-)
    #14
  15. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    I have a good friend who usually talks me through things through our headsets - it helps so much to get that continuous heads up and feedback - I now hear his mantra in my head - eyes up, look out ahead, weight off the front, lean forward going uphill, back going downhill, those roots don't mean anything, keep your speed up, get your butt out to the side. lol, I'd be dead if it weren't for that!! All the best to you!!
    #15
  16. RayT

    RayT Been here awhile

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    Apr 11, 2019
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    Chattanooga, TN
    #16
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  17. Vince

    Vince Been here awhile

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    Oct 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    979
    Here is a tip to make getting the bike off the haulier 100% EASIER, Put the bike in 1st gear engine off and pull the clutch in and push forward. Use the clutch as a brake and let it out to stop or slow the bike's movement off the haulier. After 30 years of unloading slippery trailers and having bikes skid using the brakes, this is so much easier and safer. It's also closer to your body so you can reach it much easier. Good on you having a red hot go at this on your own, fantastic job and good on those blokes for assisting.
    #17
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  18. Henryarms77

    Henryarms77 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    US
    Once you start riding a bit,you'll get into some dual sport runs. They're so much fun,look up the AMA. They have sanctioned dual sport runs. Gravel roads and trails some road connecting sections and to give a rest.
    Among those trials will be options,or hero or A sections. Theses are not required to continue. You can skip them.and link up with the more experienced riders at the nxt mark.
    Typically ya don't do the option unless you been in the saddle a couple seasons,but I never skip one! I just bought the 18 ktm 300 xcw this year. It's like a magic carpet! The season prior, I road a 97 dr650,what a pig!
    I'd suggest getting a role chart holder and look into sanctioned AMA dual sport event. The bike you have is near perfect for it and they're all over the country.
    99 percent of the riding community are like the fantastic guys you seemed to have found. Then there's the one percenters like ole never falls above.
    So you keep at it! It only gets better with time.
    Only other thing I'd do is go tubliss... google it itll be easier. All those rocks ya saw in the video will be traversed with tons more traction. You can essentially lower the pressure of your tires,adding traction but not risking a flat because there's a special air bladder to keep the bead locked in the rim....
    Best of luck on your new adventure! Other things to explore; the BDR[ backroad discovery route] my buddy spent two full days in the forest on backass country gravel roads!
    And check out the Shenandoah 500. It's a good one!
    #18
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  19. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Temecula CA
    I did a lot of riding before I came home from a ride I hadn’t fallen on! Learning!

    If you continue to have problems with your bike rack check at the ultimate mx hauler (the one with the tray), it lowers the bike to ground level with a bottle jack, sooooo easy to use.
    #19
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  20. NxtGoRnd

    NxtGoRnd This Time Around, Wearing Out Tires Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    South of Atlanta, North of Macon
    I believe camping is only at Davis Pond camp ground and at the sign in building campground at the entrance for those with vehicles. There is more dispersed camping on certain trails for the hikers.
    There are online maps and also available at the sign in shack. Davis pond is nice Sasha (pup) and myself were the only campers at Davis pond we did see a couple people go down the trail.

    You are right it is absolutely beautiful up there, we saw deer, fox, turkey, dove, quail and plenty of bear signs.

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    #20