Crash Master
Damn Yankees
Jan 20, 2001
This weekend was a good riding weekend for me and for my friends. Last weekend my buddy Chris had told me that he wanted to take his wife and two girls camping, but not in the desert. We talked it over and I told him about a great place to camp up in the mountains near where we live called Kennedy Meadows. Later in the day the topic came up again in front of a friend of Chris’s. Chris’s friend confirmed that Kennedy Meadows was a great place to go camp and ride. His friend was planning a weekend trip with friends and wanted Chris, his family and me to come up to ride. His friend said that they would have tons of bikes for us to ride. Chris used to ride back in the day, but his wife and girls never have.

I headed up the mountain later in the weekend then Chris due to work; we agreed that we were going to camp at Troy Meadows, so that’s where I went. After going to Troy and not finding them I checked out the other campgrounds and couldn’t find them. So I call it a night and decide to look for them the next day.

I get up the next day and spend the morning riding my mini from one campground to the next. I was lucky that my Mini was still jetted for Kennedy Meadows, so that made it much easier to ride. Kennedy Meadows is a wonderful place to ride on a big bike, but riding the Mini there takes some resolve. (For those that know the area, I rode from Troy to Troy Overflow to Fish Creek, to Fish Creek Overflow, and back. That’s a few miles of rocky whoop’ed out singletrack each way. Some of these rocks are huge compared to the Mini. After not finding them I go on a small ride on some random trails.

During my random trail ride I meet a family of riders and we head back to there camp to shoot the bull and kick back. I find out that they know a few riders that I ride with from time-to-time. Then know GETMETOCA, and Chewed Gravel from DRN. We decide to go on another ride and right as we are leaving to hit the trail Chris shows up in his ride looking for me. I say my good-bys’ to my new found friends and Chris and I head to my camp to break it down and move it to their campground. As it turns out they camped at Monache Meadows, about 10 miles up the road. As we’re braking my camp Chris tells me that his friends brought enough bikes that him, his wife and his older daughter got to ride over the course of the day. His wife and his daughter have never ridden before, and both of them did really good. His wife got to ride a CRF100, and only tipped over once during the day. His daughter got to ride a CRF50 with training wheels (she’s 4), and she took to it nicely.

We get to the new camp and get set up. I tell Marian (Chris’s wife) good job on her first ride, and tell her not to worry about tippin’ over; we’ve all done it. Well I guess that was something Chris wasn’t supposed to tell me. Marian was a bit pissed at him for it. After I get unloaded and get set up Chris and I go take off on the small bikes. (He’s on the CRF100 and I’m on the SDG) and he takes me on this great trail that I about 8 feet wide and all bermed turns. That thing was awesome! It was also full of exposed tree roots, and some sections with half exposed rocks. It was a blast. For the first 1/3 of the trip down the trail I was behind Chris, but as he slowed up for one of the rockier sections I decided this would be a great time for a pass. I wack the throttle all the way open and blow by him like he was standing still. As I passed him he looked over at me, he gave me a look that said, “Dude are you nuts?!” Now that I’m in the lead I pick up the pace a bit. Since the CRF has bigger tires, it’s easier for Chris to ride this trail. My SDG still has 10-inch tires on it, and it’s rather unstable. Even so I concentrate and start riding the mini hard, I mean to the maximum of my abilities HARD. All the while I’m working on keeping my elbows up, riding on the balls of my feet, and other assorted good habits to keep this thing going where I want it. I was pulling off a lot of two wheel sliding in corners, and some hacked out flat track style cornering. Man it was a work out, but a total blast. The ride back up the mountain was not as fast due to the crappy jetting on my bike. (We were well over 8,000 feet up, and my jets haven’t come in yet. So my bike has bogging issues.) While it was a slower pace I still tucked the front wheel, and went over the bars. And it’s not a ride for me unless I go over the bars. Once we’re back at camp Chris tells me about watching me ride from his point of view. He said that he loved watching me ride the Mini on the edge of control, and summed it up by saying “You are a more advanced rider then I am” he then confirmed that he thought that pass in the rocks was “some insane riding.”

Chris then takes the SDG out for a for lap, and comes back and tells me “boy that thing’s unstable.” After about an hour his oldest daughter says she wants to ride, so Chris put her on the CRF50 and lets her ride around the camp for quite some time. I was putting around with here helping her out here and there. But over all she’s got the basic idea down pat. Both her and Marian have really taken to riding, and it’s sounding like the will have some bikes in the near future.

The next day Chris and I go for an early morning ride. For this Chris was riding a CRF230, and I was on a TTR-230. We decide to go on the same trail, but are going to take it easy. We ride out of the Sequoia National Forest and into the Inyo National Forest. We ride down to the south fork of the Kern River. Now Chris crosses the river, no biggie. Where I crossed it was twice as deep, and the bike stalls on me. No biggie it’s got E-start. So I hit the button, and it will not start. I notice that I’m in water deep enough that I may have flooded the bike. Not a good thing. So I’m soaked pretty good, and start pushing the bike out of the river with some help from Chris. Out of the river I try to start the bike again. It will not start. OK no big deal, I’ll just use the kick-starter and kick the bike over a few times. I look down and see that there is no kick-starter. Just about then it hits me that I didn’t bring my tools on this ride either. Now I’m getting a little worried. So I try it one more time. The bike still doesn’t fire off. I’m just about to tell Chris that we may have a problem and the bike fires up. I am ecstatic! We ride a bit further, and then start our way back. The second time I go across the river I make it on the first try, barley. As we’re headed back up to camp I see a place where the trail splits and on the right there is a normal trail, with exposed jagged rocks and tree roots. (It’s sounds worse then it was.) On the left we have this big smooth rock wall thing. Chris takes the right side and I head over to the left. I come up to the wall study it really fast, pick my line, and imagine I’m on a trials bike. I get up it clean on the first shot. I had to do a one-footed wheelie to get up in cleanly. Meanwhile Chris is contending with the rocks, and we meet back up on the trail at the same time. We get back and I have to break down camp to head back down the mountain and go right to work.


Feb 21, 2005
wow that sounded like a nice weekend. wish i could do something like that....... i do quite a lot of "random riding." like im going down the main road that goes up the mountain, and i'd see a trail and slam on the brakes and take a rip on it. mostly on the quad is when i do this.
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