Operation Phoenix Part 1

I don’t really know where to start.

Let’s just go ahead and say that I haven’t really much felt like myself lately. Honestly, life is going well right now and shit is getting knocked out just fine but something feels like it is missing.

One thing that has suffered a bit for me is the guitar playing. I started taking lessons roughly two and a half years ago and the journey has been good. Basically I just need to buckle the fuck down and get my nose back on the grindstone so I can earn my damn denim vest. Playing at an open mic night is a dream of mine that I would like to turn into jammin’ at a local bar or two every now and again. It would be a big step for me as I do not love being in front of people as the center of attention but you gotta face your fears at some point, right? I feel like I have something to say musically but whether or not anyone wants to listen is another story for another day. And, to be honest, I need to play with some people that are better than me because I kind of need to be pushed to reach my full potential. Am I lazy? No. But someone better than me is a good kick in the ass to get my situation in order. I tried browsing Craigslist for a bit to get a jam buddy but that just ended up being a little weird. Maybe I just need to revisit that scenario and go with the flow to see where it’ll take me. Hopefully it just doesn’t end up being tied up in someone’s trunk.

Maybe it is a lack of goals. I mean, obviously I have goals but I have a harder time achieving them right now. Besides playing guitar and singing publicly I would like to race (and race well) in a hare scramble next year. Me and Kathy soaring like eagles through the forest on a trail leading to infamy. Now that sounds magical as shit. Do I have dreams of being a factory rider? No. But I want to jam out rock solid in an intermediate class. At this point I know that she is ready for the challenge but I need a bit of work. I’ve been riding pretty well lately but winter was coming and my frame prepared well. I need to lose about fifteen to twenty pounds to be competitive but at least I’m more 6’4″ than 5’4″.

Alright, so more gym, riding, and more guitar time. Check. Jam on. But still, where does that leave me?

Riding Phelps Farm

There’s no better way to gauge your level of fitness quite like riding a motorcycle off road and with that being said I’ve realized that I’m a big ol’ bowl o’ gravy.

Phelps Farm is roughly 400 acres of awesome located close by and I finally got the chance to go check it out and ride for a while on my Suzuki DRZ400S. My bike is a dual sport (street legal dirt bike) and while I love her I have to admit that she is overweight and underpowered but she will get you where you want to go if you are patient enough. Riding trails on a bike is pretty new to me and I have a lot to learn before I become comfortable.

When you arrive at Phelps there is a great parking area where you can camp and hang out when you’re not riding the trails. Or you can use it to attempt to catch your breath after you’ve fallen for the one hundredth time…either way.

The Beast unloaded
The Beast unloaded

There are a ton of trails that can be pretty difficult but there is a nice and easy loop for beginners to get their bearings and gain some exposure. The motocross track is probably my favorite so far. It is a good place to develop skills and there aren’t really any trees to impale yourself upon.

Take a break by the motocross track.
Take a break by the motocross track.

The trail sections can be nearly impassable when it is wet but when conditions are good it is pretty fun! Tree roots and mud puddles are my greatest enemies but thank God for compression shorts and protective gear.

A fun little trail section.
A fun little trail section.

I have located a few weak links in the DRZ’s armor and over time I will do my best to band aid the issues. An off road carburetor is on the way and after I install it I will set my sights on upgrading the suspension. I looked up the spring rates and she is set up for a 130 pound rider from the factory. Anything I can do to help her corner speed and stability will be much appreciated!

She's only happy when she's dirty.
She’s only happy when she’s dirty.

All in all, only a mirror, rear turn signal, gas tank vent hose, and my pride were lost on this trip! Not too shabby…

Check out the video I shot on my GoPro below. You can see how unimpressive my riding is while seeing a tiny bit of what is located on the Farm.

One not-so-hot-lap around the motocross track.

One minute of a little trail section.

And, of course, at the end of couple hours of riding I got tired and sloppy and fell off twice within two minutes. Enjoy!