I went dirtbike riding yesterday with a dude from work and some of his dirtbike homies. It was so freaking fun, you wouldn't believe it. All day I was just riding this Kawasaki KLR 650 over ridiculous obstacles, crashing it, jumping it, talking all sweet to it and then bitch slapping it... It was nuts.
The place we went was pretty awesome, I thought. The rest of the guys said it was too small, but there were miles and miles of trails to play on. The trails are set up like ski trails, with green circles, blue squares, and black diamonds to indicate degree of difficulty. The guys had me riding on blues in no time, and I even did a couple of blacks. Everyone was amazed at how well I did. I think I dumped the bike about a half dozen times, which isn't alarming or anything. It was mostly when I'd come around a corner and find myself in a mud bog, or I'd panic trying to figure out which side of a rut to ride on and ride right in to it. I did a couple of crazy hill climbs, which was brutal. My hands struggled to hold on to the bars as I flew uphill standing on the pegs.
At the park, there are some "play" areas in addition to the trails. There are a couple of tracks that include various obstacles and jumps and stuff. Little kids were buzzing around the tracks at ridiculously fast speeds, flying off the jumps as if totally unaware of how fragile their bodies actually are. Near the tracks, there's a little area with some practice spots in it. There's a mud pit and a sand pit, and something called "Frame Twister" which was not at all fun. The whole area had big puddles of water. One of my favorite activities of the day was to haul ass through a huge puddle and see if I could stay upright through it. The problems with this are that you don't know how deep a puddle is until you're in it and at the bottom of every puddle is slippery squishy mud. Still, I'd fly into them and smile as muddy water splashed well over my head. Not once did I actually bail in a puddle, but there were a few close calls. One of the puddles turned out to have a huge rock in it, which I slammed in to, causing my butt to relocate to a spot between my shoulder blades.
At one point, while resting on top of a hill, I made the observation that normally when I crash a motorcycle, I just go home for the day. One of the other guys remarked, "Yeah, but that's not YOUR motorcycle." Good point.
I might need to get a dirtbike, but not until I can dress myself without wailing in pain.