Monday, September 24, 2012

Dual Sport Riding - It's all about the exploring

I've had an extra set of wheels mounted with some dual sport tires for my KTM for a long time, but most of the miles I had on them, which weren't many, were on asphalt and gravel. This past weekend we decided to go out and try to find some new trails, so armed with a map and a GPS we started off on trails and roads unknown, somewhere in Scott County near the Kentucky state line. After starting on asphalt, we turned on a freshly cut dirt road (evidently made for a gas line), and after about 4 miles we spotted an unmarked, but apparently somewhat used, trail. Hey, we came to explore. "Lets see were it goes" was said more than once, often followed by, "I guess we should go the other way"
Here is what I have learned about dual sport tires. If its dry, anything works pretty good, when the trail gets a little slimy, you'll pray to find a set of worn out knobbies on the side of the trail. I was able to get by with the tires I had, and the rear IRC actually did a lot better than I thought it would. I only fell once.
After several miles of some pretty tough trails things started opening up a little bit. We actually found some really neat mountain top fields (old reclaimed strip mines I believe), and the map and GPS combination kept us from feeling completely lost. I never felt like we couldn't find our way back out, or at least to a gravel road. Keep in mind that most of the mining roads aren't on maps, or on your GPS.
Out in the middle of nowhere we ran across a young guy on a 140cc Kawasaki who was out doing what any 13 year old who lives in the mountains and owns a dirt bike would do, ride the wheels off of it. Here I was whining and crying about being on Dual Sport tires and then I looked at his. They were so bald you could see the air inside! I shut up and just rode from that point on.


 It had been a while since I had been out riding trails and roads that I had never been on, and didn't know where they went, and it made for a fun day. It also made me realize that there are a lot of places to ride that I have never thought about before.

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