Getting the hang of it, after 35 years off the bike...

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9/19/2018 4:52 PM

4 months after the first ride in 35 years!

A while back I posted after my first ride in 35 years, so here is where I am at the end of the summer with 5 track days and 3 trail rides under my belt...

It was rough at first. After the first two rides, I was having second thoughts. I'd see the bike in the garage wondering if I should take up golf. It was Like waking up next to a hot, Italian model, but not being man enough to satisfy her! I was getting killed in the sand, could barely turn, bumps were like a jack-hammer. 2 laps in I was whipped-out and my fore arms were swollen. Slowly I loosened up, began to anticipate, learned how to gas it, brake, lean, slide and fall...it got better, I improved, which kept the faith. Then an epiphany...

Two weeks ago, I was chatting with a fellow 50 something rider at my track. He has a 17' KTM like mine'. He took one look at my forks, and asked if I had a problem turning? The forks were at the last line down in the triples. The fact is, I had to get up on the tank and press the handle bars down to make a turn. Guess I was thinking that's normal.

He then asked what PSI I was running in the AER forks. I told him I went up to 152, on the reco of an article on sand riding. And yes, I was getting killed in the chop and bumps.

He said he too learned the hard way. He said that guys he was racing... over 50 guys...run the forks high in the clamps and soft with the air. So he helped me move the forks to the forth groove and went to 132 air. He said go out and let me know what you think...

Well, it was like night (wrestling Pythons) and day (sleeping with Sophia Loren)!!!

The bike turned effortlessly. Everywhere. With confidence. I was starting to gas it, close to the apex out of corners and felt great.

Bumps and chop? Well, I did 6 laps and still felt less beat up then when I was doing 2. No arm pump, the bike felt stable, even on the straights. The combo changed my level of confidence and the fun factor.

After my first few rides I was more afraid than excited. Now I can't wait to do it again...

Conclusion: After a few tough first dates, I am back in love with riding. Learned the importance of set-up (WTF) and how suspension can be really good and really bad.

Also, thank you Kenny #44 for paying it forward.

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9/19/2018 4:57 PM

Great story and keep riding,you will only get better. Congrats in falling in love again!

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9/19/2018 5:01 PM

That is awesome. I'm glad you found a way to make it more comfortable and confidence inspiring. Now you can practice with it and keep having fun as you progress, just like when you were younger. That is what is fun, getting better and better and knowing it. It's also good for the libido which Miss Italy will enjoy.

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