Powerline (un)Ride

That icy ride back from Dragoon really knocked me for a loop. I came down with a wicked cold and wasn’t up for doing much of anything.

So it was almost two whole weeks before I jumped on the Zeb yesterday, oh my what fun that bike is! I had almost forgotten.

I rode down to Aaron’s house where Alan and Mike would be joining us later to ride. I showed up early so I could try riding his Gixxer. Bikes with that much power intimidate me, but he was insisting that I could (and should) ride it, so I finally worked up the courage.

I had horrible butterflies in my stomach as I went to get on the bike. I was convinced it would rocket off and do back flips as soon as I kicked it out of neutral.

In fact it was totally smooth and completely manageable and now I kinda want one. Though I would feel like a poser owning a bike like that and riding on the street all grandma like.

So we return back and Mike shows up on my KLR (poor guy doesn’t have his own dirtbike yet) and then takes the Gixxer for a spin while we grab some tacos. At the taco joint we all got to talking about dragging pegs on corners and on the way home Aaron tried to prove some kind of point by dragging the whole right side of his bike.  Dragged the peg clean off!

So Mike and I hang out and chat while Aaron runs to Ace and tries to reattach the poor peg. Alan finally arrives after taking a scenic tour of North Tucson by accident and we all eventually head out to ride.

The guys and the bikes

We played on some sandy trails and then hit the powerline trail for some nice ravine action.

Alan hill climbin’

Mike did great for being a dirt noob, didn’t drop my bike once! It was nice riding with him, good to see how I’ve improved. The last time we rode was Mt. Lemmon and he was leaving me in the dust, this time I was faster (of course he was at a disadvantage being on the KLR with me on the DRZ, but don’t burst my bubble!)

The KLR happy to get some more dirt action

I did trade back for a short bit and I was surprised how much easier that bike felt to me too. Damn it feels good to be getting the hang of this.

Well, Aaron banged his newly bolted footpeg on a rock and off it popped. We decide to head back with him to the main road and then maybe explore some more. We stopped at a crossroad for Alan to catch up. It’s odd he has fallen so far behind. I drop my bike from a standstill trying to turn around and go back for him and Aaron asks if I’m qualified for a search and rescue…hurm.

Aaron and Alan hanging out

Before I can pick it up and finish turning, Alan comes over the hill and declares he needs gas.

A funny thing about those XRs, half their gas is trapped on one side of the bike. Whenever he runs out, he has to throw it down and flip it over. Quite a sight.

So we all decide to call it a short day and head back for gas and repairs. By the time we return, the forks on Aaron’s KLR are badly weeping.

We decide it’s too much to think about fixing now, Sean stops by to hang out and we all settle in for beer and pizza.  Not much of a riding day, but good times none the less!

Santa Ritas

In an effort to take it easy on myself, I gathered together the more relaxed dirt riders in our group and we went out for a day of easy trail exploring.

The group: James, JQ, me, John & Raven
The ride was generally glorious. Mostly smooth, graded dirt with some particularly nice sections near the gypsum mine which painted the roads a brilliant glowing white.

We spiced it up on the way back with a little more adventurous section feature a couple washes with short rocky climbs and some long stretches of sand. James warned me that the only tough spot was a 180 degree sandy turn near the end. Everytime we came to a turn I thought “Is this is? No, that wasn’t sharp enough…” and then “Oh shit this is the turn he was talking about!” as I slid over in the powder onto my right side.

The offending sand and subsequent panel damage (I bought it scratched on ebay to replace the one I destroyed at Sibley…that crack is new though…)

There was a benefit to my little spill though. My bike won’t start right up after it’s been on it’s side, so while we were waiting for it stop being flooded and for my adrenaline to subside, we realized Raven’s taillight had rattled off!

Brave James heads back through the sand to the rocky area where we suspect it got knocked loose…

Oh there it is!

And returns victorious!

Some action shots from the ride (these and a few of the previous pics were taken by James)

We ate some awesome pizza and watched the sun set on the way home!