Another set of firsts for this morning. I went back to the road where I first laid down my first bike for the first time. After my bike falling over the day before I’ll admit my confidence was shaken. I was also running late to get there and still make VIR for volunteer registration. As I mentioned my first long trip was about 4 years ago and was also 3 months after getting my moto license. I was following my friend (the same one who happens to be headed down this weekend) through the VA mountains. He was on a Multistrada and I was on a Bonneville. I had built up enough confidence on the bike to get it pretty well leaned over and I was excited for some serious twists and turns. About an hour after setting out the first morning we hit some intense switchbacks. They changed elevation and camber and had decreasing radius (radii? - whatever). Oh, and many were blind too. My friend was cruising through them and I was keeping up. At one turn it was a bit tighter than the others and I was pushing harder than my skill limit. I started to scrape the peg and freaked out. I had no idea pegs were built to scrape and that I should have held the turn and let it scrape. Instead I stood it up a bit. Then I was crossing the centerline so I leaned back in. I started scraping the peg again and stood it up again. At this point I was headed straight for the side of the mountain. I dumped the bike at maybe 5-10 mph. All this happened in the space of maybe a few seconds. We checked the bike out and ended up doing another 4 days on it. The damage was really cosmetic but my hip got a nice chunk of skin torn out of it (at the time all I wore were jeans). Two massive lessons learned that day. #1 ride at YOUR own pace. #2 Jeans are like wearing nothing at all when they hit asphalt. Anyway, so I’ve wanted to go back to that road for a while and I was heading out for it. A little nervous reminding myself of the basics in my head as I got closer. I kept thinking ‘you’ve got 4 more years of experience and a ridiculously better bike for these roads’. I assumed it would ‘feel’ better going through those turns the second time around….. Well, it did and it didn’t. The bike is perfect for it and I’m really glad I went. It was a beautiful morning and the view was amazing. But the turns were still REALLY gnarly!! :) I was surprised how intense they still were. I’ve been studying riding techniques fairly obsessively and have felt more comfortable than ever but I think there's still a next level of riding to come. I’d love to do some things like Cornerspin and CA Superbike School and eventually put the 6 on track. Anyway, it’s off the list and it was a gorgeous ride. Now gotta book it to VIR!!