Lessons of proper riding in the terrain
We have a lot of experience in motorcycle riding … but only on the road. We have realised already that the riding technique in the terrain is different from what we know. Reading books and learning the theory has brought us a bit closer to this knowledge, but it is still not the same as a look of an expert. That is why we decided to complete Enduro training to get to know the secrets of overcoming obstacles which we will encounter during the journey. Away from civilization, we will not avoid gravel, rocks, mud or rivers to cross.
The instructor from the Enduro Flow school, Tomek Lorek helped us. In the late morning, we met Tomek close to Krakow, in the Polish Jurassic Highland. He had been waiting for us with prepared motorcycles – Suzuki DR125 for Łukasz and Yamaha TTR125 for me. After the presentation of the equipment, a few words of introduction and repeated attempts to start the different engine by Łukasz, 🙂 we set off.
First of all, we learned the correct and ergonomic riding position while standing and sitting. Ergonomic is very important to minimise fatigue and energy consumption required during a long ride. The effort is big anyway and additional, unnecessary muscle soreness are not desirable. The second, not less important learning, was balance control. It makes riding a bike, adjusting to it and relaxing overworking muscles easier.
Probably in the field, we had to go through all possible obstacles, except for the torrential river. 😉 There were steep slopes, slimy mud, snow, ice and our “favourite” ruts. In addition, brimmed with water and mud. These are still the biggest problem for us and it is going to be a challenge in the future. Moreover, it turned out that we even can ride on ice! Łukasz managed it very well thus he and Tomek stopped from time to time to wait for me. My “technique” mostly came down to sitting and using my legs as skis to keep balance. 😉 I know, I know – I still have a lot of work to do.
Tomek corrected our mistakes all the time, he made us aware of what we did wrong and gave valuable tips. There is so much new information in my head, but while riding there is no time to process and implement it! While I remember to keep my elbows wide, I lean my body too far. As soon as I correct the posture, I forget about holding the motorcycle with my knees. And so over and over constantly attempts to improve myself and at the same time maintaining the balance and the track. On the other hand, Łukasz always keeps the motto “the rush is your friend” in his head, thus riding and overcoming obstacles with higher speed is easy for him. However, slow manoeuvring and riding are tough on him! Of course, all these things did not derogate taking pleasure and fun from riding and learning! And quick acceleration with every rear wheel grip loss was a great fun too!
Except for riding in the terrain, Tomek gave us various exercises. After discussing them, we learned how to turn back using slopes or to overcome obstacles such as fallen trees. We also practised sharp turns, steep ramps or traverse the slopes.
We had the opportunity to extend the time of the training, which Łukasz had even considered before we started, but after three hours we found that training we had already was enough for us! Three hours were perfect! Not too little, not too much. At the end of the course, the curve of concentration and endurance was dropping significantly. And the next day muscle sores reminded us about the training. 😉 Łukasz had such a hard clutch, that the constant tension of muscles caused the involuntary flexion of his fingers for some time afterwards (in our KTMs the clutch is hydraulically controlled and the difference while using it is huge). And my constantly leaned forward position has hurt my quadriceps thighs muscles. But the smile did not come down from our face for a long time. It was a super positive experience!
Of course, one training does not make us champions, but enriches us with new knowledge and awareness! After the course, we feel more confident and know what to work on! Probably we will meet Tomek again to improve our skills!