Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Backroads to Hell and Back

I'm off work all week; a near perfect staycation. Lots of riding. I use to do a weekly road ride to Hell Michigan but the roads between here and there are horrible. This year I got a cross bike so I could substitute dirt backroads for broken up paved roads. It works out well, nice roads and no truck outside rear view mirrors whipping past my head.

Crisscrossing the backroads are freeride trails made by young hoodlums, hoodlums I can relate with. Making trails on public property is technically illegal but admirable, much more admirable than playing video games.

I noticed one of these trails right behind the Hamburg Police department. This must put the police in a conundrum. The thought of an overweight police officer on his department issued Trek chasing a group of trespassing 12 year old boys is a wonderful image. Apparently some lack luster detective came up with a different plan: trap the kids by posting a sign asking for their help to build a freeride course in a parking lot. Seriously? That's the best the Hamburg Police could come up with? I can't imagine any 12 year old boy would fall for such nonsense. The whole scenario cracked me up. My driver's license says I'm 45 but my heart thinks I'm still a teenager.
Bill, not 40-dollar Bill but someone I work with, took my Yamaha RD350LC this morning. Apparently Cyclo-Dan reads my blog because Bill burst into my office after going to Dan's bike shop last week and asked if it were true I own a Canadian RD350, and if I would sell it. Ah no. I explained how it was more than just a motorcycle, it is the last little flicker of my youth. Bill is one of the few people who understands such things, and he also understands the art and science of tuning 2-stroke motors. He called me earlier this week and suggested I give him the motorcycle for free. He would tune, ride, and store it until I wanted it back. I agreed to this scheme but as the truck left I felt like one of my children was leaving me for prep school. Anyway, now I can fit everything left at my house in the back of my truck. A big step along the path of simplifying my life.


  1. My friend and I once had a similar deal with a '75 RD350. I received it for free, used it a bit, then it passed over to another pal.

    Kids build "illegal" jumps in our parks all the time. I don't see the harm in it. The county (or other official types) occasionally bring in the bulldozer (or who knows what) to flatten 'em out. They always eventually come back. I guess since I grew up in the '70s with what seemed like open land everywhere (or just nobody cared), say let the kids build some jumps. Everything today is officially way too locked down.

    On the good side, we do have Duthie Park, an official mountain bike park - complete with jumps and freeride stunts - all officially approved. XC Geek me hits none of it, but still dig the idea.

  2. I heard we have official freeride parks in Michign but I can't say I've seen one. Regardless, I don't have a problem with kids building trails. Maybe the problem is their parent are too litigious.

    A 1975 RD is valuable these days.

  3. This seems to be a very GOOD deal... will he let you come over to ride it???

  4. Yes I can borrow my motorcycle but what makes this deal even sweeter is Bill is keeping it at his cottage in Boyne. I use to trailer it up North when I went on vacation, now it will be there waiting for me. But I am a little nervous with it so far away. This must be what it feels like when your kids go off to school at Interlochen.