Craig Murcott just left here, and he’s wearing his heated gloves and jacket for a ride he did on the weekend (it’s Sunday arvo). I fancy myself capable of dealing with tough going, but the cold really knocks me about. Winter isn’t my favourite, and here it is again. Bugger.
It’s been a quiet week for me. I had to go to Sydney for work, and the rest of the week I was at my desk trying to meet a Friday deadline. I made it, and I thought I’d reward myself with a leisurely ride on Saturday. When I went to the shed I realised I didn’t have any leisurely bikes available. Work’s Triumph 800 XCx is in Melbourne or Perth or somewhere in between, the Dominator is in Dan Vaughan’s shed waiting for reassembly, and the Montesa is in Craig Murcott’s shed waiting to be ridden.
That meant my choice was either my Yamaha cruiser or my KTM 125SX.
I haven’t ridden the KTM for over a year. It’s a fabulous bike with some great emotional attachment for me, so I thought, “Yeah! A blast on the 125! Awesome!” That was probably the last time I wore knee braces and a motocross helmet and goggles, too.
I always say to people I can’t ride the 125 properly, but I love it anyway. But I used to be able to punt along okay on it, in a reasonable, clubman kind of way. Not this time. After the first five minutes I was totally rooted and had Pedrosa-level arm pump. I couldn’t hang onto the bike at all. Not only that, but all my usual trails were totally overgrown. There were creeks where there were no creeks last time I went out, logs all over the place in the long grass, and of course I got totally lost. I must’ve fallen off at least half-a-dozen times.
So it was brilliant! I can’t wait to ride it again. It’s SO basic, and so seat-of-the-pants. It showed very clearly how soft and out-of-touch I am with real riding. Too much time on big, high-tech dualsporters that do everything for me and not enough time spent trying to wring a good lap time out of a very basic bike…even though there was nothing basic about the KTM in its day. By today’s standards it’s fast, light and very basic.
So I plan to spend more time on that bike in the short term.
Craig Murcott has been working part-time for Dan Vaughan, and Craig said this arvo his first job tomorrow was to put the Dominator back together. Gulp. I’m not looking forward to the bill.
Craig was also saying he has the Suzuki almost finished, and I’m pissing my pants to get a look at it! I’ll post a pic or two when it gets here.
This coming week will be another spent chained to my desk and trying desperately to keep up with my work. There’s a trial next weekend, but after my little run on the KTM yesterday I don’t think I’m in any shape to be fronting for competition of any kind. It’d be even more embarrassing than usual. I can handle finishing last – I’m used to it – but keeling over and chucking a thrombo after the first section would be more than I could put up with.
The weekend after that I’m renewing my coaching ticket with MA. I did the course maybe 25 years ago, and again 20 years ago, and I’ve sat through a course with my son at least once, so I don’t feel it will be too confronting, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of new and updated material to work through. It means another trip to Sydney, which is a horse’s arse, but there it is. I’ll be able to tell everyone how they should ride and what they should and shouldn’t do, just like all those people who know so much on web forums.
Marty had a ride on this weekend, so maybe there’ll be a report during the week. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.