So, if you've ever been a beginner on a dirtbike, you're like "OK, going straight is cool...I can do this...now wait...how do I turn around?" When I made my very first turn almost 2 years ago, I fell off the bike. I didn't know when to clutch, use the throttle, brake...anything. So, in making the turn, I gave it some gas...too much gas...got all squirrely and threw myself over the handlebars. Thud. Ouch.
What I started doing was making extremely WIDE turns, holding my clutch in the whole time, so as not to even consider applying power to the back wheel as I entered my turn - lest I be thrown off the bike again.
Well, this week I learned how to corner. I had been sick ALL weekend long, and stayed home from work on Monday. All 5 of the kids were also home, and so was hubby. At about 3pm, he was like "We can not keep these kids inside any longer" and loaded up the small dirtbike (mine) and the kids' quad. I popped some Dayquil and off we went.
At first I was just taking the kids around on the quad, and Aaron said "Get on your bike". So, reluctantly I did - but took it pretty slow riding in a really open area, where I could continue to make my previously described extra-wide turns. I started to feel a little more comfortable in the straights, so I picked up my speed, but then slowed it WAY down when it was time to turn around.
In the desert where we ride, a lot of people make their own 'mini' tracks - and in the area where we parked was one of those - a pretty simple loop, but with much narrower turns than I would ever want to attempt. Aaron said "Let's learn how to corner." Me: "I don't want to." Pout. "C'mon". "No, I'm going to fall." More pouting.
The corner closest to our car had a berm - meaning you are supposed to turn.on.a.hill. Ummm yeah. So, he started marking stuff on the berm with his foot - "You want to start slowing down here, stick your foot out here, then get on your gas here..." Riiiiiiight. But, I decided to give it a try. I looked like a little kid trying to ride a bike with no training wheels for the first time - with both of my legs sticking out all weird and my arms shaking on the handlebars. I didn't go anywhere near the top of the berm - I wanted to stay on flat ground. My first turn was bad.
But as I kept coming around, I started to feel more comfortable in the positioning of the bike. I was confident in the straights, picking up my speed - then slowing WAY down as the turn was approaching - but I found my "line" and each time made it a little bit further up the berm, and made it out of the corner a little bit faster each time. Dare I say...this is...fun??
I kept going round and round that little loop track - and pretty soon I was going 'fast' (for me) through the corners. I got a little too confident at one point though, came out of the corner too fast, hit a bump and there I went again...over the handlebars. But I laughed! Aaron was proud, I was proud, it was a fun day. But boy am I sore.