Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Conquering Fear (Off Road on a Yamaha XT 225)

Remember my pathological fear of riding upon anything that is not smooth asphalt?


Lil Burro Saquaro NP West Bajada Loop 006a
Bajada Loop Drive in Saguaro National Park, Western Division

That’s right!  That’s me, fishtailing about in sand!  On purpose, even!

In a great act of generosity and trust, a local Tucson rider (who hardly knows me, even!) loaned me her mini dual sport motorcycle to drop*, errr, I mean, ride.  Perhaps it was karma for loaning my Kawasaki for off road experimentation years ago.  Make no mistake, I adore my Ducati, but there is something delightfully liberating about riding a bike you don’t mind dropping.  I mean LOOK at this thing…

Lil Burro Saquaro NP West Bajada Loop 010
You gotta love race track apparel on what I’ve been calling the “little burro,” aka “Eeyore”.

Who CARES if it falls?   And it’s so light, I could land it upside down in a ravine and still be able to haul it out.  (Maybe.)  This bike is everything the Ducati is not:  Ugly, utterly devoid of any power, eminently droppable and fixable with a plastic spork.  I LOVE it!

Remarkably, I would actually voluntarily repeat this activity.

So I did!  This time up Redington Pass.  No deep sand, but now a dirt road with hills and switchbacks.  I’ve often wondered the point of going off road (especially as a passenger) if there isn’t a prize at the end of the line.

How’d ya like to have Pastrami Gorgonzola sandwiches* HERE?

Tanque Verde Falls
Tanque Verde Falls.  A cool, deep pool, smack in the middle of the 100+ degree desert.  Waterfall included at no extra charge.  That makes TWO miracles.

Now I find out this little Yamaha XT225 is mine for the buying.  I may not be able to stop myself.

I am SO ready for the Dakar.

* Make gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce (butter, cream, and Gorgonzola of course).  Use the leftover sauce for a sandwich spread.  Genius, thank you very much.
** As of this writing, I have not (yet) dropped the bike.  No one is more surprised than I.


G. Rasmussen said...

Love this account as much if not more than I loved your "Eating on Two Wheels" blog posts Paula! Thanks for sharing with us on XT225.com, and keep riding - safely!

G. Rasmussen said...

Loved this account as much if not more than your "Eating on Two Wheels" blog posts Paula! Thanks for being part of the gang at XT225.com, and for keeping us posted as the adventure unfolds! If you're ever in the Valley area and want a riding partner for the day don't hesitate to look me up!

Eating On Two Wheels said...

Thanks so much! This and the other posts are all part of "Eating on Two Wheels." This little bike is good fun, and I've come a long way since the day of this post... I'll soon begin writing about "Phase Two" of my "Sort of Sabbatical" - the Ducati earns a rest, while I continue my summer adventures on the XT!