Trikefest 2007As most of you know, last week (Thursday-Sunday) I went to Trikefest with Rhuel. To give you some backstory, I have never ridden an ATV before. Actually, other than when I was 16 and my uncle was trying to teach me for an hour, I have never ridden anything with a clutch. So if I was going to actually ride when we got there, not only would I have to learn the ins and outs of ATVs, but I would also have to learn how to use a clutch.
I made that sound worse than it actually is. I know how a clutch operates and the principles of how to use it, I just have trouble starting out. I usually stall it.
Rhuel brought along his Honda 350X and his Yamaha Banshee. He would ride the 350X and I would ride the Banshee (mostly because it's less dangerous than a trike and he brought another clutch for it). What I didn't know at the time was that Banshee's are ridiculously fast racing quads. What a bike to learn on, huh?
Anyway, we got there on Thrusday and Rhuel took me behind our campsite where there was a little open area with some trees and small hills. He explained the front and rear brakes, the clutch, and the shifter. Then he had me throw it in first and gently let out the clutch so I can see where it grabs and starts to pull forward. Then he said to give it some gas and drive around a little bit. So after stalling it 2 or 3 times, I managed to get it going and drive up and down the hills, around trees, and through a big ditch I almost didn't get out of. Luckliy, his banshee has massive low end power, so when I let off the gas it didn't stall out, it just kept putzing along.
Once training was over, I said that I needed to learn how to shift. So we went up to a huge flat area near the small moto track and I let loose. Well, to me it was letting loose. Experienced riders can go upwards of 70-80 mph. I stuck to 3rd gear only going about 30-40 mph. That was enough to scare the crap outta me. But I kept going, back and forth, trying to get faster and shift faster every time. That was a blast.
After training session number 2, it was time for the people in the motocross competition to practice. We rode down to the track and watched everyone go around. That was the end of Thursday.
That night it poured... bad. We were woken up around 5am to a canopy upside down on Rhuel's Durango. So, out in the rain, we were fixing the canopies that broke and flipped over. Once that was taken care of, we went back to bed and slept til around 9.
I was going to do the poker run Friday morning, but since the whole park was a big mudhole, there was no way a novice rider like me would have been able to get up the hills and out of the traps. So I stayed behind. That afternoon was the drag races. We both rode down to the track to watch. It started out with a bunch of warmups, then the grudge matches, then the actual races. During the first 2 parts, Rhuel decided he wanted to race his trike a little bit. After a couple races, they needed people to drive on the other drag strip to pack down the dirt that was just plowed over. So I rode over on the Banshee and did a couple passes. Rhuel then decided he wanted to race the Banshee a little bit and gave me the trike. So what did I do? I did what anyone else does. I bit off more than I should have.
First, I took the trike up to the flat part and got a feel for it... fast. Then I went into the woods and rode around a bit, trying to get a feel for the turning and figuring out how to not flip over. After that I decided I wanted to go on the small moto track. So I drove down and off I went. Out the main stretch I only got up to 2nd before I had to downshift for a turn into the first double and tabletop. I went over them in 1st very slow, then cycled around and did that first part another couple times. Once I was ready, I kicked it in a little bit. I was still in 1st gear the whole way, but I wanted to get air. So before I got to every jump I gave it more gas. I hit the first double, then the table top (where I almost flipped backwards cause I hit it pretty fast), then caught some air on the step up, but the step down was too daunting for the pros to jump, so I slowly rolled over that. Then came another double and then a single, a long turn into another double, then a straight stretch. Next was a turn, some bumpy crap, another turn, then more bumpy crap. The only bad part about it was that no one was there to see me.
Yay! I rode on the small moto track. But that wasn't good enough. So I went down to the big moto track and rode that a couple times. I didn't get as much air there as I did on the little one, since most of the jumps required way more speed than I was comfortable with. After that I rode back to the drag strip and we watched the rest of it.
Saturday morning/afternoon came and it was time for the motocross races. I was up in the one building that was boarded up so I could get a better view of the track and videoed the races. Here are the links for the videos I took:
The end of Trikefest was the awards ceremony Saturday night. Everyone who placed got their trophies, there were plaques for other things, and someone won the raffle for a trike. All in all, it was a fun weekend. Now I have to buy myself one!