We went to the Kisatchie National Forest yesterday for some trail riding. We explored the Vernon Enduro Trails, southeast of Leesville, LA. You can see a trail map here, if you’re so inclined. We rode the two shorter trails south of the Enduro Camp and we tried to do the small loop just northwest of it but part of the loop was closed or we got turned around. Either way we rode around a little above the camp but we didn’t fully explore the mass of trails to the north yet. Maybe this weekend…
I started out a little rough but by the end of two hours I was enjoying myself.
We took a break and took pictures in this open area so I don’t have any pics of the actual trails. The trails are a mixture of hard packed dirt, sand, gravel, and tree debris, as well as lots of roots. Some areas were open without many obstacles, some were a little more tricky.
Don made a comment when we were done that you can’t frown while riding. Well, some people can. I did. For maybe the first 30 minutes. I just I don’t learn new things well. I can remember similar unpleasantness when I was learning to snowboard about 14 years ago but when I mentioned it to Don he said, “Yeah, but with snowboarding you cried.” So at least I have that. There’s been no crying with riding. But man do I go kicking and screaming inside. I know it’s because I’m afraid but I don’t know what I’m afraid of most: getting hurt, looking stupid, making a mistake, or not being able to figure it out. Wait a minute, sounds like I don’t like to fail. That’s it. I knew that! Well, I’m just going to have to keep working on that.
As for my second day out riding, I stayed in 1st gear, barely moving, and only coasting down the trail if it had any decline to it for a good while. By the time we left I was moving from 1st to 3rd and was getting up to about 15 mph, maybe a little faster; I was keeping up with Don without him stopping to wait for me so I count that as doing pretty well.
There were definitely some squirrely moments. I almost lost it a few times. And…I did have my first spill. Nothing major! I know some of you (parents) are worried. I was trying to get over some roots in the trail and after getting past the worst of the roots my back tire was squirrely and I had one of those moments where I twisted the wrong way and gunned the engine so then it really got squirrely on me. And…I lost my balance and…tipped over into sticker bushes on the side of the trail. So I didn’t run into anything. I didn’t get hurt. I wasn’t even going very fast at all. The stickers did scratch me up a bit. LOL Too bad Don didn’t take a picture. Although I do appreciate that he was more concerned about my well-being than pulling out the camera to immortalize the moment. All in all, I think it was good for me. I learned a little more of what not to do and hopefully learned a little more about how to control the bike to avoid those kinds of things in the future.
On a totally different note, when we were done and loading up the bikes, this little fella was taking a break on my shoulder.
~ Dale Carnegie