Scoot Commute

Ride to Nantasket Beach, Hull MA

I finished the MSF RiderCoach course a couple of weeks ago. Last weekend, my first “free” weekend in a month, I went camping with the CT/RI crew from ADVrider, the first Camp N Ride of 2012, in Pachaug State Forest. It was great to get out into the air, cook over the campfire, and do a really fun “big bike” ride.

Pachaug CNR April 2012 Campfire

Pachaug CNR April 2012 Campfire

The ride was great as we did forest roads and dirt roads in Rhode Island, a couple “abandoned” roads where people drive off-road equipped Jeeps and ATVs (mind you, they’re living in a fantasy as the roads aren’t that bad), and a tiny slice of the Pachaug enduro loop. That’s right, I did some of the loop and 1) didn’t fall off, and 2) didn’t get hurt.

Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, Rhode Island

Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, Rhode Island

Actually, quite the opposite. The one rocky death section was not that bad as I kept repeating “don’t slow down, keep going, weight up front, don’t slow down, don’t slow down, this will end soon, this must end soon, there must be an end to this.” It did end and as I roared up to the top of the hill to stop with the gang (I ride sweeper), I was shouting “I didn’t fall! I didn’t fall!”

Pachaug Loop

Pachaug Loop

After lunch we did a super-duper fun section that was all roots, pine needles, whoops and sand. I was having the time of my life; seriously good fun. There was even a thick sandy berm and I didn’t freak out. There was one section of roots and pine needles on an angle down to a stream where everyone was going very slowly. After watching others before me, I said to myself, “Keep your feet on the pegs…the ones having problems are the ones using their feet as outriggers, keep on the pegs.” And wham, I went through no problem. It felt great!

Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, RI

Arcadia Management Area, Exeter, RI

Sadly, the babies I was riding with wanted ice cream more than the next challenge, so I split off to head back to the campground via an easy section of the loop. Yes, I’m joking about the baby part. I ride a DRZ400; the guys were on heavy KLR650s and F650GSs. No way would I take those bikes where they take them. I can barely manage the DRZ (even with her knobbies).

The boys went off for ice cream and I swung back into Green Falls campground, one of the two campgrounds in Pachaug State Forest. I took Green Falls Road through the campground and then up toward route 138. The guys ride Green Falls Road for a section so I kept it in 3rd gear and casual around bends, just in case. Well, I’m sure glad I did because

pew pew pew

KTM, KTM, KTM, KTM, KTM, and a couple of red bikes (you know who you are, Honda boys)

brake, into the ditch, hold while they fly past me. “Holy shit!” I thought to myself. I’m really glad I was being cautious and not all “I got this!” I waited for the last bit of orange to fly past me when I noticed they had all stopped. Before I let the thought creep through my head, I gunned it and headed off in the opposite direction. I know if I turned around and asked if I could tag along, they would have said ‘yes’ and I’d probably not be able to type this up.

Later in the evening, when we’re all sitting around the campfire, one of the orange bike owners said, “Hey, who was that person we passed? It looked like a girl.” Boys, motorcycles, single-track. It takes its toll.

Following the Harleys

Following the Harleys

This Saturday, one of the freshly minted MSF RiderCoaches organized a reunion ride. I met two of my compatriots in Providence and we rode to the Minutemen Harley Davidson dealership in Swansea, MA. There we met up with another RC who had just finished teaching, and his friend, and we rode to Nantasket Beach in Hull MA to meet up with yet another graduate.

Suzuki bookends to keep the Harleys safe & sound

Suzuki bookends to keep the Harleys safe & sound

For me, it was a hilarious ride. We’re on a major highway and they’re all holding back while I’m in top gear at 40 mph, bike SCREAMING at 55. Yes, that’s right, I still had the dirt wheels on Elsa the DRZ.

We had a good meal and great conversation at a seafood place in Hull. They’re really a great group of people that I would never have met except for the fact that we all ride motorbikes. It’s so cool!

I still don’t get the leather chaps thing, but I’m sure they think the same about me with my hi-viz jackets and enduro boots.

Can you believe Gerard let me ride this bike? Ugh, it was schweet.

Can you believe Gerard let me ride this bike? Ugh, it was schweet.

Getting back home was quite an adventure as our fearless leader managed to get us lost a few times. When we finally got to the highway, we lost two of our riders who, I’m sure, just couldn’t take the slow pace. But good ol’ Dale stuck with me, cruising in the slow lane at 11:00 pm at night on Route 95. I’m sure she was in 4th or 5th gear and my poor little Dizzer was completely wrung out.

I get home and there’s an email from one of the profs I work with. “Hey, was that you on Route 95S near the Foxboro exit around 11pm? There cannot be any other riders in the area with a purple jacket on a dirtbike.” The best part? She said she and her husband saw me from about 3/4 mile away. There’s something to be said for the retroflective on my Rukka Julia and the tape I have all over the rack on the DRZ.

The crew: Dale, me, Scott, Krissy (not an RC), Gerard, Josh

The crew: Dale, me, Scott, Krissy (not an RC), Gerard, Josh

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