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I Like To Ride Nekkid!
Posts: 314
Reply with quote  #1 
After two years in Osceola waiting like Noah for the great flood to recede, I acknowledged reality. The trails are under water  and will remain so for the foreseeable future. [shipwrecked]

 I decided to move my COS (=Center of Slowness) to Salt Springs in Ocala NF. So now I am praying for rain, instead of dreading it. [rain] Ocala NF after a good drenching is wonderful.

I have started riding after a few weeks of remedial work to make this old cracker bungalow (on Hwy 314 just south of town) somehow habitable as a weekend home . Until I moved here I knew this area little, being familiar mostly with the area around Astor/Alexander Springs.  Of course, I had always avoided the Delancy area: beautiful trails but strictly for four wheelers. That sand is waaay too deep. But there is a lot of good riding between Delancy and 40 aside from the OHV area.

Now I am exploring, updating my maps and trail references. Sorry, no recommended itineraries yet. I am working on it. I know there are other active riders because I see their tracks and the occasional orange ribbon, but I have not run into anybody. If it happens, I hope it will not be head on in a blind turn. From their track marks, I can tell they are far more aggressive and faster riders than me. (I know, it does not take much!)

Unfortunately the King of Ocala, his majesty Mundy The First, the man who knows every square inch of this area, is missing in action. At the moment he is taking his lumps (literally) in the Alps of Interlachen. He mumbled something to the effect that slow riding over sand with me is too dangerous ... and I have to agree. It is not for the faint of heart.

Good news. This part of Ocala NF is mostly (say 90%) rideable, even by your Queen of Slow who hates sand. Thanks to the wet weather pattern I am now riding (albeit slowly) forest roads which had avoided for years. There is some really good riding and I am loving it!

My sand riding skills have improved a little bit (starting from zero...). Interestingly, I have found what really works for me. I will share my secret.

No, it is not what my friends have yelled at me for years:

- give it gas!
- give it gas !!!
- gas, dammit!!!!!!!
- shoulders back!
- elbows out!
- gas!
- no grip of death on the handlebar!
- lighten up the front wheel!
- slide your axx back on the seat!
- gas gas gas!!!!!

All good things, but my experiments in following the aforementioned instructions resulted in a variety of crashes, from slow motion to pretty good slides- still no improvement. I have kept dog paddling on sand for years.

The epiphany occurred yesterday, as I was catching my breath after dogpaddling in a spot of sand in a very remote area. Of course, as usual all by myself in the middle of nowhere.

I happened to look down on this patch of virgin sand I was trying to get through and I noticed a set of paw prints. LARGE, FAT PAWPRINTS. Fresh pawprints, VERY fresh. Followed by a large, fresh guessed it right.... clump of bear poop. Still smoking, sorta.

Then I noticed another parallel set of much larger pawprints, equally fresh, and it dawned on me. ???

Baby bear + mama bear   [yikes][yikes][yikes]         

A weird feeling, as if I was being watched.  TOO DARN CLOSE.

At that point I found myself standing on the pegs, flying over the sand. My exhilaration was almost as great as my terror. Wow!

I do not know if I will ever be able to ride over sand at that speed again- sans bears- but it was a heck of a good feeling!

All is good. Come and ride. Bears are optional. [dirtbike]

Giovanna, Queen of Slow, Honorary Member of Team Smartass
"Husky" Husqvarna 450 TE
"Pumpkin" KTM 250 xcf-w
foster home for "Torpedo" KTM 505

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You've Been Busted!
Posts: 2,484
Reply with quote  #2 

Great Report.

Good tips/pointers on sand riding (which I do not like too.)

Yes, one does have to look out for BEARS!!

“There is only one reason for pavement and that is to get to dirt.” - “King” Richard Burleson

-- If you argue with a Fool you are a FOOL! --
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