Originally written June 8th 2020 by Tiffany Ritchie
My first two days riding were back to back, then I had a week to think about it and watch my bruising really blossom. The following Sunday we hit Kook for another round.
It had rained through the night so things were kinda snotty but Alan adjusted the power valve on my bike to give me a little less snap until I am better at this. The power valve is a flap that regulates the size of the exhaust port. It is partially closed at low RPM, restricting air flow, and opens up with higher RPM, allowing more air flow and more power. With some tweaking, it takes more to get it to open up as much now. I did feel more in control but how much of that is learning and how much is the adjustment, it's hard to say. Alan has another idea he's going to try out as well.
It was hot, and muggy. There were just Alan, Keith and I again, and we took it pretty easy.
I have made sure that Alan knows that if he wants a day to really just go hard with the guys to let me know and I will make other plans. I don't want him to feel like he has to babysit me every time he goes riding this year. Keeping up is part of my motivation to push hard and progress quickly. Alan seems to be enjoying me tagging along, though this was the last day he could tolerate my hot pink boots that match nothing!
Working as much as we do right now, weekends are riding days if we can, so it was a couple weeks before we went again.
This was my first time riding with another lady! She's been riding for a few years, but hasn't in a while so she says she still feels like a newb.
There was so much mud! L's bike is too small for her so she struggled in the mud and with climbs. Size is really something to keep in mind when you get that first bike. I know that lots of women in particular might feel more confident on a smaller machine as a learner, just realize it doesn't give you much room to grow. The power can be intimidating, but you don't have to be on the pipe right away, stay in lower gears for as long as you need to.
Anyway, I rather enjoyed the mud, but I've always kinda enjoyed playing in the mud haha! Honestly I think that the mud moving the bike in unexpected ways under me taught me a bunch about controlling that weight and movement with my own weight and strength. I couldn't go really fast and I spent most of the day standing, learning to trust that while I felt so far above the bike, this actually gives me more control for a variety of reasons.
We made sure to take a minute here and there to appreciate the views, and sparkling mountain waterfalls. We really live in a spectacular area.
There is a lot to learn, right now it feels like endless things to learn and improve. A lot of my progress now is going to be refining the things I've learned, and getting stronger.
I don't actually have specific take aways from these days.
To complement the muscles I am working with dirt biking, I think I am going to start rock climbing/boldering. The core work, improved flexibility/mobility, arm, leg and grip strength can all benefit my riding. Plus, nobody is going anywhere far from home this year anyway, might as well broaden my home horizons!