As they say, “Careful what you wish for.” I had wanted practice on gravel roads, and today I got a full four-hour dose of up and down, rocky, gravelly, rutted-with-wet-clay riding! Hahaha! But I was OK because I was not alone. I was with Honda Red Riders. So I had fun and am glad my wish came true!
As I was riding to go meet up with them to go on this off-road trip today, I had to psyche myself up by telling myself that I was a “good enough” rider to go on such a ride. I was worried about not being able to do it or about slowing down the group.
BUT — I made it! Yay! No problem. 🙂
We rode quite fast over to the the area where the United Nations University For Peace is. The road to El Rodeo is like a tunnel of love! Gorgeous with trees and coffee fields hugging both sides of it, nice and green and lush now because of the rains. I haven’t been on this road in a while and may go just to take photos.
We headed down to Piedras Negras and up to Puriscal. The bridge was down on Rt 136 so we took another route. As usual, the views were incredible. But I couldn’t pause to look because I had to focus on the road up, down, and ahead. So, no pictures of the trip along these fun and challenging roads.
Here is an 18-second video of the group, with me #5 on Ruby! 🙂
Wow. I have to say I am proud of myself and my Ruby. We made it, even with not very good tread on the tires. She sure took a beating after her overhaul. We road rough and hard. But the truth is that she is made to ride these kinds of roads. She is, after all, a Honda XL 200. 🙂
From Puriscal, we headed down 239 to the third entrance to La Cangreja National Park. Lovely park. But me and another fellow, Deivid Sanchezz, did not go for a walk with the team. We turned around and headed back.
Finally hitting the pavement was a pleasure, and I enjoyed myself tremendously riding fast all the way home. Wish I could have stopped about 10 times to take pictures of the wide vistas. Yes, we got caught in the rain but it was no big deal.
I do think I prefer company on gravel roads, but I am gaining confidence that the bike can handle them well. I just have to loosen up and trust it. (And I have taken tons of rides on gravel roads alone since I usually ride alone.) I will take this trip down to Piedras Negras again, but will probably wait till the dry season. There were a few wet-clay areas.
I am happy to be part of the Honda Red Riders group of Costa Rica and grateful that they trusted me enough to have me come with them on these rough roads.
The adventure continues.
LIVE THE POWER!
Song: Take me home, country roads.
Here is an older photo of Rt 239 for you to get a sense of the views:
Ha, you mentioned your worries about slowing us down or not been enough rider to the challenge, but once you made it to La Cangreja I just smiled to you and told you, “you serious?” ja ja. You rock, several times.
Jajaja! You are a great Red Riders leader!
The comment “Careful what you wish for!” reminded me of the first time ride a sidecar in Costa Rica…on 13.12.2004, down from Puriscal, Piedras Blancas over rocks of children head’s size. Comment from a brother in law when I later arrived in Atenas: “Did you buy the Christmas lottery?”-“No, why?”-“You just hit the jackpot / Acabas de ganar el gordo!”
Most roads are getting much better these years. A good tire that for such kind of roads that really convinced me is Pirelli MT21. Still handleable on road and excellent on gravel and mud. The trick for them to last long on asfalt is to pump them up to where only the thread blocks work and not the neumatic. (up to 3,5 bar) and bleed the air when you get into the wild tracks. (got that tip from Lena Larsson the enduro champion) From then on the KLR finally became fun.
Thank you for the tip about the tires.