Before I ever worked for AdMo…
Back then I was completely new to the dirt bike experience and I decided to hire AdMo-Tours to do a beginning training for my daughter’s 20th B-day. It’s something she has wanted to try and learn for many years. She was going off to college and I thought we should have a new adventure before she takes off. I’m in my 40S and surprisingly my Dad who is in his 70’s decided to join us as well. None of us had any experience in the dirt except for myself with a few jaunts when I was a teenager. Dad rode a BMW and later a Ducati on the streets for many years of his long life. I even had a few years of riding backwards as a kid on his BMW hanging on to a sissy bar as we rode around LA streets. Otherwise the dirt was all new to us.
We first met at AdMo in Wrightwood and tried on all the safety gear which was reminiscent of jousting equipment from the movies we’ve seen, then our guide loaded it all up and we met him down in El Mirage. As we sluffed on our gear I looked at this young guy our guide in the beginning and thought I saw a few pimples. I also was wondering what in the heck was he putting out these cones for? This will be pretty boring if we are just running around this short flat area in between orange plastic. Come on I’ve been driving for years and ridden a street bike some, and never did I have to play with cones to get where I wanted to go. I admit I had a couple of fantasies of just hoping on the bigger of the bikes lined up and just riding off into those awesome hills surrounding El Mirage dry lake bed or just tearing off to see if any of them could catch me across that huge dry flat area just begging for a wide open throttle.
Then this young man goes over the basics and is explaining safety and how the clutch works and brakes and I’m thinking this is all great for my daughter so we’ll just wait for this to be over with. Dad seemed pretty stoic, and my daughter I couldn’t tell, but she seemed to be listening intently. All right finally time to get on the bikes. So, he sets my daughter on the smaller of the bikes and my Dad on the next size up then myself he lets get onto the largest. Oops, it’s a little heavy, but not to seem too unmanly I grab that puppy as if to master him, lol. Of course that just swings the weight just a little too much to the other side and luckily I don’t think anyone notice my quick shift to catch it from falling in the dirt within the first few seconds of just touching it. I look up and I notice the guides cheeks don’t actually have any pimples as he starts to ride around those little orange things I plan to squish with the tires.
Then it’s my daughters turn to do those silly figure eights around the cones with instructions to make the turns as tight as possible. She doesn’t do too badly after all she is my kid. Dad goes next and he’s not quite as close but he has a bigger bike and he is in his 70’s. Then I get a chance and sure enough I find I’m wider on those turns than either except on the second cone where I get my wish and I just squish the thing not turning altogether. What the heck? Now, it’s just beginning to dawn on me I have never really done this before and the back wheel on the bike just feels like it never stops sliding in the dirt… This is a different beast altogether.
Now, I look up and I find my strapping young guide actually has a little bit of hair on his face or stubble or something that a man would have. Alright to make this dissertation short. By the mid part of the day we get a lunch and when I look at my guide I gratefully see a beefy 50 year old with a thick beard sporting the testicles the size of a bull whom I hadn’t dared do anything else for the past 2 hours but gratefully follow as I white knuckled my poor motorcycle beast.
I finally realized I didn’t even have enough presence to see how my daughter or my father were getting along until we stopped for our lunch and water. Thank you for the guide. As we ate our sandwiches I’m sure he looked just like Gandalf with that long white wizard beard and those sagely eyes. If I had just rented those bikes thinking I had half a clue as to what I was doing, I’m sure we would have given up or someone would have been hurt by now.
After lunch we jump on and start to really have fun. As I begin to let my grip return to normal on the handle bars and our guide seems to be young again but not without the respect deserved I’m noticing all of us are smiling and having fun running up and down the little area I previously thought was flat and uninteresting. Now it has potholes and hills and we are having a great time as our guide leads us out on the dirt roads and a little sand along the edge of the dry lake before we end our day. And, yes, I found out later my daughter had an awesomely fun time for her birthday, and my Dad just loved taking on a new adventure more extreme then he has done in years and being with us.
I also had a great time and if I remember correctly only laid the bike down once stopping short on the top of a little hill, because I was nervous to go down the other side. Too funny looking back at those times now. Here I am at my desk at AdMo working on these awesome dual sport t! ours.
I work on the tours, but I seriously hope anyone who loves this sport as we do will consider being trained by some of the best. It makes all the difference for enjoying our world on two wheels with safety and confidence.
Keep the rubber side down,