The local ADV riders encourage me to attempt a ride up the back of Mt Lemmon. They assure me it is newbie friendly and something I can totally handle…on the TW200. I meet with a small group at Bill’s house to grab the TW. Another rider, Will, gifts me some amazing motocross boots and we head off in high spirits.
I think they are a product of the 80’s.
We parade off to the gas station where the main group is gathering.
There were about 25 riders that day!
We take off and naturally start sectioning off into groups. I’m leading the rear pack with my friends Mike and Will on supermotos, Bill and a couple others who decide to hang back with me.
The first part of the ride is long graded dirt roads and we start really getting some speed up. I’m having a blast, but a little anxious about being so far behind the majority of the group. I give it some more throttle and the adrenaline really starts pumping. I come over a crest at around 35-40mph only to discover a sharp right turn on the other side. I know absolutely nothing about turning in dirt at speed and whatever default response I had was obviously a poor choice.
I’m not sure how exactly I dismounted the bike, I only recall skidding on my right hip and then consciously deciding to start rolling instead because I was getting some wicked road rash. I got up and checked my damage. A rock had embedded itself in the middle of a nice patch of missing skin to create a bullet wound effect. Click for nastiness
I apologize profusely about the TW. Luckily they are fairly tough and the bike sustained only scratches on the plastics here and there. I slapped a band aid on myself and catch up to the group who were waiting patiently under a tree. They wanted to know what was taking so long and why I’m covered in dirt.
I am a lot more cautious after this. I have to keep repeating the “ride your own ride” mantra. It can be hard being a new rider in a group of people who are very experienced. But you can’t ride as fast as them, not for a long time, so don’t try. It’s painful.
Eventually we reach the summit and have some delicious pizza before descending down the paved front of the mountain. Nice tarmac twisties were a pleasant contrast to the rocky climb up the back.