Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fast and Dirty the CanTeen Way

Today 12 members of CanTeen from Tauranga and Rotorua spent the day riding motocross dirt bikes with Pure Dirt Tours out of Rotorua.

We arrived just before lunch and split into two groups - the girls and the boys (no experience vs. some experience). Lucky me, I got to ride with the boys! I've ridden a dirt bike only just a few times on the farm but never for any real length of time so I was excited to get more experience.

The guys at Pure Dirt Tours were absolutely fantastic! They were so chilled out and relaxed, they made it easy to feel at ease and confident on a bike. After a quick explanation of how to use the clutch and change gears and where the brakes were, they sent us off to just give it a try. There's a track to practice on until you get the hang of it while they watch to monitor your skill. When they think you're ready, they take us off into the hills for a ride and on up to some rougher terrain tracks. We had an absolute cracker of a day - perfect weather - and the tracks had just the right amount of mud to make it really fun! Getting filthy was the best part!

There were a few minor crashes and spills - one of the guys in my group lost control and drove straight into the barbed wire electric fence on his first lap! He didn't get hurt at all but the bike was pretty tangled up. Later, another one of the guys plowed into everyone knocking them over like bowling pins. Very amusing. Lucky for me, I was behind him.... and stayed out of his way after that!

The girls hadn't had much if any experience on bikes at all but they all picked it up very quickly. If they were scared you'd never know it (CanTeeners are a pretty fearless bunch anyway). It was really entertaining watching them go around the track learning how to change gears (they only really just got to second gear) - there were a few more spills and minor crashes but they were all having a grand time! The squeals of laughter could be heard echoing across the paddocks. Rachel, CanTeen's Member Support Co-ordinator fell off her bike numerous times. You need to work those biceps girl! It's really amazing we got away completely unscathed and didn't need to use the first aid kit even once. I'd say that's an accomplishment for a group of novice riders!

I discovered a new sport that I really enjoyed and would love to do again. I love anything to do with racing (I've said it before, I'm convinced it's in my blood) and I think that if I had tried this when I was younger, I might have gotten into motocross. This was cool fun! Totally envying farm kids right now. Lucky buggers, they get to ride dirt bikes all the time!

Check out this link to the video for Pure Dirt Tours.

After we warmed up with our practice laps on the track, they took us up into the hills for a ride through the paddocks and then onto some rougher terrain tracks. We didn't have a camera with us but the video will give you an idea of what that was like. Fantastic! I'd highly recommend this if you come to New Zealand. Another fantastic CanTeen event. What a day! I'm still buzzing.

I'd better get some sleep though. Tomorrow I have to get up early. I'm joining my friend in her helicopter to do a tour of White Island (the world's only active marine volcano) and Mount Tarawera. I love my life.

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