#142b Playing in the Dirt Basics

Fleeter Log #142b
Playing in the Dirt Basics
MSF Training at the Honda Center
Day 3 - Tuesday
June 9, 2009

Many motorcyclists got their start on two wheels riding small dirt bikes. Not me. My mom wouldn't even entertain the idea of me on a dirt bike. I had my eye on a small trail bike with small fat knobby tires, the kind you see on a riding lawnmowers, and a "pull-cord" start. But I was left with unrealized motorcycle dreams. Instead, my childhood was spent riding one horsepower rides and pushing grass-cutting machines.

Playing "Indian" on Little Bit, the Shetland pony, was fun and . . .

 . . . teaching Copperhead to rear up like the Lone Ranger's Silver impressed my friend's, but I never realized my motorcycle dreams until much later in life.

For me, learning the techniques of riding in the dirt starts with the Basic Dirt Class here at the Honda Training Center in Troy, Ohio.

Our herd of Shetland Ponies patiently await.

Instructor, Dennis Beam, goes over the basics before handing the reins over to the students.

Everyone got their Honda pony, but me. I practiced by pretending. Just like when I was a kid.

Eventually, I was able to saddle up with the rest of the group.

First, we trotted around the cones.

 Then learned to make pivot turns by planting our foot and turning around it.

We learned how to weight the pegs while we changed leads as we wove in and out of the cones like in pole bending.

Dennis even had us do some log hopping as he taught us how to shift our weight over the withers to help carry the momentum up and over the obstacle in the trail riding portion.

Dennis hosed down our mounts before returning them to their stable after a hard day's work.

By the end of the day, I may not be ready to go single tracking (unless on horseback), but I do feel more comfortable taking the GS to places it yearns to go.
Tomorrow, we move on to Indiana for the MTF Founder's Feast gathering at Spring Mill State Park.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs


  1. I LURVE the picture of you and Copperhead!!!!

  2. Love the horse pics........and when you're pretending to ride!!! Looks like fun!