Jack-Hammering Through Trails

Honda CR250Yesterday was a perfect day for dirt bike and ATV riding through Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area in Gorman, CA. It had rained for the two days prior, so the trails were moist and the whole park was void of dust. In fact, there was a good amount of mud as a special benefit for the day’s riders. Add to that the pleasantly cool temperatures and we were ready. New snow on the surrounding mountains inspired some moments of peaceful tranquility between the joy and abuse of the physically demanding terrain.

Larry and I blasted around on his Honda CR250 and Suzuki QuadSport Z400. He reminded me to keep the CR’s 2-stroke engine in the high RPM range to take advantage of the power band, as well as to keep from fouling the spark plug which was igniting the pre-mix of oil and gas. We did a loop around much of the area via Powerline Trail (and its various offshoots) and stopped to rest at the edge of the I5 MX track. Speaking of MotoX, did you know that Motocross has its roots in the British off-road Scrambles event, which by the way evolved from Observed Trials events (also popular in northern Britain)? I can imagine them Brits would have more experience than Californians in regards to playing with bikes in the mud.

In my earlier days, I had done quite a lot of dirt bike riding but have been primarily sport-touring since then. By the end of yesterday’s riding, I was reminded of the physical beating a body takes powering a vehicle over gravel, rocks, ruts, hills, whoops, deep sand, steep hills…and well, I’m sure you get the picture. Today, my arms and shoulders are still feeling the stress of jack-hammering through trails I would have a hard time walking along. I don’t remember feeling these stresses when younger. Are kids really that invincible?

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