Below are some photos that I took this year while riding in South Dakota. The Black Hills offer some good single track trail riding in the closest western mountain setting to Kentucky. By the way, all the YZs you see in these photos have wide ratio transmissions and are really WRs. Enjoy!
I suppose that most riders really don’t notice what is going on around them in terms of scenery, geology, topography, and wildlife. Bo can’t even see the darn mile markers so how in the world would he know what type of trees we’re riding in at the moment. For better or worse, I take all that in from the saddle. Chip said he was concentrating too hard on the trail to see the 3-4 foot high snow drifts on the trail up to Lookout Mountain. I noticed them right away. Cool stuff for sure!
Below I’ve provided links to photos taken “from the saddle” while riding this year in Idaho and South Dakota. I feel fortunate to be able to view the mountains in this way. Enjoy!
As noted in the Trials Tire Debacle, I’ve been running the IRC Trials Winner 4.00 x 18 radial with my Tire Balls. Like Jesse said, the compound is super soft and it does hook up incredibly well. I put 104 miles on it in South Dakota and 131 in Idaho for a current total of 235 miles.
There were three knobs in the center that looked like they’d been sliced by rocks after my South Dakota riding. There is some unique geology there and the rocks are abundant and very sharp. I was worried that I’d lose those three knobs soon, but 131 miles later, they are still intact. I suspect that I’ve put 4 miles of asphalt and 17 miles of gravel roads based on my GPS tracks. The road miles really worried me and the tire did heat up and get really soft but I still have a full set of knobs.
At first glance, there is no doubt that the IRC will not last as long as the original Michelin Tube Type (TT) tire, but the traction is just as good from what I can tell. It does good on the loose stuff and the rocks and logs. Of course the Tire Balls help the whole situation by improving traction and greatly reducing the possibility of a truly flat tire.
My plan is to keep the tire on there through this Fall and see how it holds up. I have gotten nearly 1,000 miles out of a Michelin and there were still knobs on it. We’ll see how long the IRC “Trials Winner” will last . . .
As a youngster my Father always made sure that I had on all of my riding gear, even for a short ride. Anyone that rides a dirt bike knows that sooner or later you “will” take a soil sample and that the more gear you have on, the more likely you’ll get up unscathed. I don’t know how many times I’ve hit the ground, gotten up, and found that nothing was really hurt other than my pride.
Recently, I had a little mishap that once again drove this point home. I was fully suited from head to toe even though it was in the mid-80’s and one particular piece of gear really came into play . . . my boots. Everyone knows that boots are important and that they keep us from hurting our feet and ankles over and over again.
I was riding down a fairly wide trail that was lined on both sides with tall grass. Little did I know that there was log that about a foot off the ground lurking in the tall grass on the right side of the trail. I did see the log at the very last second but it was too late . . . my right boot hit the log squarely as I ran along in 3rd gear or so.
After quickly stopping, I just hung my head down as a they guy behind me pulled along side to ask what was going on. I told him that my foot/toe was probably broken. The pain was sharp and throbbing. They asked if I wanted to continue onward to take roads back to the truck. We were about 20 miles or so from the truck but I decided to move onward. I was there to ride and the trails were awesome. The shock of the impact had numbed it at first so we forged onward down the trail. About 15 minutes later, the pain really sat in. Using the rear brake was no fun at all.
At one point, we went through a deep water crossing and I dabbed my right foot in the water. The Aplinestar Tech 6’s I was wearing are normally very good about not letting my feet get wet but instantly, my foot was wet. Initially, the cool water felt good, but that easing of the pain subsided within a mile or so.
We got back to the truck (after riding some awesome technical trails) and I hesitantly took off my boot. The first thing I noticed was that the tip of the boot wasn’t as rounded as the other one and that the metal top piece was mangled badly. The bottom of the boot was the surprising part. The sole was split about 1/3 the length of the boot from the toe backwards. My sock was red with blood but not quite as bad as I suspected. The bruises were setting in and my toe nail was kinda floating on my toe and blood was oozing out on all sides.
My riding hosts wanted to do a short ride again the next day, but I had to decline. There was no way I was going to shove that foot into a boot anytime soon. I didn’t go to the doctor but I suspect that only my big toe was broken. All the others worked just fine. I cleaned it up well with peroxide and keep it bandaged so as to absorb all the blood. The whole front quarter of my foot ended up being bruised but I soaked it twice a day in epsom salt (at the recommendation of my mother-in-law) and that certainly soothed the pain and kept the swelling at a minimum. I got my foot into a boot one week later and got to ride again 11 days after the incident.
The main point of all this is that I realized over and over again what the result would have been without a pair of quality riding boots in the equation. My entire foot would have been crushed and my ankle would most likely be compromised as well. So don’t take any chances, gear up entirely each time you through your leg over a bike. It will pay dividends!