‘Adventure Motorcycles’ in Vermont…

Riding the Husqvarna TE610 on some of the class 4 roads...

Riding the Husqvarna TE610 on some of the class 4 roads…

Since the move North to Vermont, I had been hoping to ride some dirt, finally living in an area that has plenty to spare.  After attempting to find some cool trails to ride on my own, I finally broke down and posted on the ADVRider forum (the largest forum for Adventure Motorcycles).  I had been looking long and hard at the maps, but it was time to turn to some folks who have first-hand knowledge of the local terrain…

Adventure Motorcycles in Vermont…

The ADVRiders were a great bunch, with some great Adventure Motorcycles...

The ADVRiders were a great bunch, with some great Adventure Motorcycles…

I had spent some serious time with the Gazetteer, and the local town maps, trying to find some quality, yet legal roads to ride in my area of Central Vermont.  Although I did find some, I found myself hitting the end of a road, despite the maps showing a through-path.  I needed something more substantial, to really test out the Husqvarna TE610.

About 2 hours after posting on ADVRider, I was contacted by Ted, letting me know that an organized ride would be taking place on the coming weekend.  Perfect!  The description of the ride was that you needed some ‘off-road skills,’ but I made the mistake of thinking that since it was ADVRider, there would be a bunch of large Adventure Motorcycles (read: BMW), so my smaller, lighter and more nimble Husky, would balance the scales.  Big mistake!

This shot is right before I laid it down on the rocks at the bottom of the photo...

This shot is right before I laid it down on the rocks at the bottom of the photo…

We all met at Bob’s place – a gorgeous piece of farm land in Tunbridge, VT.  Great location to begin a 160 mile ride, complete with some of the most amazing Class 4 back roads, as well some unmaintained trails, that really pushed my limits.

I have just gotten back into dirt riding after 20 years, and I was looking to take it slow.  But the ride included some trails that were clearly WAY over my head (and skill level!).  Rain had caused the rocks to be slick, the mud to be thick, and my stress to run high.  “Water bars” are the dug ditches across a road to prevent water from flowing unencumbered down an entire lane.  Unfortunately, they also seemed purposed to prevent me from getting up the road in style.  I finally got the hang of it, gassing it just as you approach the bar – hurtling yourself upwards and over the obstacle.

I ended up laying the bike down a couple times, and getting pretty exhausted along the route.  When you get that tired, you can begin to ride sloppy, which is what I did.  I tried to maintain some composure, but in the end, I had to finally just take it extra slow, to make sure I was safe.

The Husky shows some of the mud I brought home from Central Vermont...

The Husky shows some of the mud I brought home from Central Vermont…

Overall, it was a great time and an amazing learning experience.  I look forward to riding with these guys again…

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