As you may have guessed by now, by reading previous posts, I am not an English professor. I am what most people would consider an uneducated college dropout, who for the past few years has muddled around working for himself in various business ventures. Some have been monetarily successful, and others have offered an abundance of autonomy. In my opinion, the latter, would be considered more valuable. It has been said[d] that “time” is the only commodity that cannot be artificially duplicated, and therefore makes it the most valuable. The word uneducated is often used very loosely, meaning someone who doesn’t have a college degree. Even though I never finished college, I would not call myself uneducated at all. I would say I am unschooled, or self educated. Self educated actually sounds conceited, so I will give credit where credit is due and call it environmentally educated. The philosophies that make me who I am weren’t contrived by me, they were pirated from others more intelligent than I. Lord Coward said to Sherlock Holmes[e] “how terrible is wisdom, when it brings no profit the wise.” My only claim to anything I’ve learned is that I have committed it to memory and tried to live by it. That being said, I’ve never received higher than a B+ on any paper I have ever written for an English class, therefore, if you want perfect grammar and punctuation, read the World Book encyclopedia, you’ll be much more satisfied.
While reading my “about page” you probably thought to yourself, this dude was a grandpa in dirt bike years, before he even learned to ride, what on earth can be learned from him? There is no way he is a professional! This is all true, I didn’t learn to ride until I was about twenty-one years old, and I’m definitely not a professional. What I do have is a love of riding that I am trying to share with my young family and others. Don’t discount what could be a contribution to your education and experience, because of first impressions and your own preconceived notions.
For example, I once worked as a drywall contractor for a middle aged man who I thought didn’t have two nickels to rub together, but as I went about trying to get to know him, I learned how he got to where he was and I learned some fascinating things. To my amazement this man,in his dilapidated truck and thrift store clothes was a real-life millionaire next door. He was in his early fifties and owned 80 rental units with only 10% having small mortgages. I learned more about business, money, and time management in 30 minutes talking to him than I could have learned in a semester at college, and it didn’t cost me a dime, just a half hour of my time. The moral of the story to me, and it may be different for you, is that free advice is sometimes a “you get what you pay for” kind of deal, but other times you hit the jackpot and can learn a lifetime’s worth of lessons in whatever short amount of time the giver allows. You may not get everything you are looking for from somebody but you can get something you are looking for from everybody.
A wise friend of mine once said when I first started riding the old XR250 that “if you aren’t crashing you aren’t getting any better, now go for shit!” Sometimes that’s exactly what I got, but that’s what has made me the rider I am today. I may not be able to show you how technical of a trail these bikes can handle because of the level at which I ride, but you will be able to see how much abuse the levers and blinkers can take being smashed on the rocks time and time again.
Enjoy the commentary and the footage, but don’t judge the bikes by my incompetent riding or my lack of eloquent writing. Judge them on their ability to be bashed off the rocks, bounced through the bushes and road like a rented mule through the tough back country of the western states.
So for the first unofficial trail ride, the bike handled really well. It has plenty of ground clearance to step over the rocks and roots, and plenty of torque in the first three gears to move comfortably over the groomed, as well as the technical, sections of the trail. Since my last bike was a 450 with a recluse clutch[f], my tendency was to want to ride in an imaginary gear between first and second, and my clutching skills have also deteriorated. I hope as I get more time on this bike I will become reacquainted with the clutch and accustomed to how it pulls to be able to ride this bike to its full potential.[g]