Valor. Great courage in the face of danger. Appropriate riding gear strengthens the mind in regard to danger and protects the body when danger is cashed in for carnage. Quality riding gear enables a person to encounter danger with firmness of mind. ADV and Dual Sport riding are inherently dangerous.
Elegance. Grace, refinement, and beauty in movement and appearance. Armor displays preparation, risk management, and acknowledgment of danger but can and should have a look and feel of beauty. ADV and Dual Sport Riding are inherently beautiful.
A minefield of a rock garden lay in wait just ahead of the idling Yamaha Tenere 700. The rider quickly contemplates his line as the bike creeps along the trail, inching ever closer to the chaos. Time for slow has passed, with a flick of the wrist the T7 begins its bobbing and weaving through the gauntlet. Bangs and bashes sound from below, letting the rider know there is carnage under tire. With confidence, inspired by the Black Dog Cycle Works Ultimate Skid Plate, the rider knows the thick aluminum plate and steel subframes will not only take a licking but will absorb the impacts and protect the precious undercarriage.
The loud bassy tone echoed through the valley, bouncing off the rocky walls. Muted slightly by the conifers grasping the steep rocky façade like nature’s beard, the Denali Electronics SoundBomb Mini Electromagnetic Horn called out to the rescue team.
The trail was barely wide enough for the Tenere 700 to squeeze through when a few snaking tight turns came out of nowhere. Counterbalancing the bike, a hefty thrust down on the inside Black Dog Cycle Works Traction Footpeg quickly angled the bike along the narrow path. The large platform of the peg acting like power steering, the bike was easily manipulated through the ebb and flow of the single track.
Mud clods and water spray behind the bike, a rooster tail of grime and chaos. The violence erupting from the rear Motoz Tractionator Adventure contrasts the smoothness of the front Dual Venture. With body weight shifted back and RiPeMs high, the rider sails through the mud pit. Aided by suspension, the front tire grips the edge of the earthen gash and climbs out towards drier terrain. The knobbly treads evacuate earth and maintain much needed traction to aid the rider in navigating the mucky obstacle.
A windy gravel road led the #TankTenere700 through the wilderness and into a forgotten thoroughfare. The rough track following the contours of the land, snaking to and fro...up and down. An embedded slab of rock grants the rider an opportunity to fly for a moment, off its ledge and into a banking turn. A leaning power slide keeps them on track and in line for the next rock garden enjoyment. As the track descends off the ridge and towards the valley floor the ruts from recent storm water drainage provide more excitement. Nothing like an unmaintained dirt road to provide a rider an opportunity of #ADVDualSporting.
Embers danced through the darkness as another log was thrown onto the fire. Laughter filled the cool air, working in rhythm with the crackling of the warm blaze. The flickering flames lit up the reflective strips on the tents, hidden in the dark pine forest surrounding and engulfing the group. A few of the ADV motorbikes sat in the circle telling silent stories to their riders, of adventures and wonders of days past. Riders playing interpreter for their quiet friends, sharing stories of their journey into the Allegheny.
The rider digs his knee into the tank as the bike leans into the turn, the uneven trail testing the nimbleness of man and machine. The previous waterlogged mud pit leaving the Tenere 700 awash in slippery sludge, his knee finds the friction of the R&G Tank Traction Grips. The rear tire flings earth as the bike power turns through the uneven terrain and continues to follow the ebb and flow of the Bald Eagle wilderness.
The Mercenary and his valiant T7 Steed charge out of the Battle of the Darkness only to find themselves on a new battlefield...
The Moon’s Army of Darkness fell upon the sky...
I was moving in slow motion, drifting slowly into the abyss. The thin layer of snotty mud covering the hard packed surface was no match for the knobblies. It didn’t help that I was heading downhill and the off camber angle was increasing. The Tenere 700 weighs in at 450+ pounds and if it wants to start going somewhere, it’s just gonna go, or is it? I dab my right leg on the upper camber, push down on the peg with my left and slide the rear down in towards the trench then bounce my arse off the seat while goosing the throttle… The T7 growls to life, freely slinging mud aided by the R&G Tidy Tail. I feel the sweet bite of the rear rubber as the #TankTenere700 pulses forward to regain my position on the thin flat spot atop the off camber trail.
Back when I first launched the website I put out an article called “Glossary Of Terms” which included 22 motorcycle-related words and phrases and my take on them. Some are commonly used in the industry and some specific to my experience as a motorbike aficionado. As I have built up Appalachian ADV the moniker has sparked new terms with the help of my Sweep rider and fellow route scouter OGB, a bit more specific to our style of riding and moto-camping. So I thought I would share a few new ones and see if we can add new terminology to the motorcycle lexicon.
After our first “No Maintenance” dirt road the group was properly warmed up and ready to pilot their various ADV bikes through more Ohio River Valley terrain. A short challenging off camber trail climbing in and out of the woods followed by a scenic gravel road then a nice twisty two lane paver leading into another no maintenance dirt road and onto the next off-road challenge spot… this would be the pattern of the day and is the pattern of Appalachian ADV’s signature style, ADV Dual Sporting.
The summer is upon us. Time to get out there on your two-wheels of choice, enjoy the wind in your face, and feel the freedom of the road and/or trail.
And there the tree laid, blocking our intended path… quite the unexpected surprise. Our bikes were barely warmed up, it had been less than 10 minutes since we left camp. The crisp June morning had us layered up but within a couple minutes of hand saws and dragging fallen timber, a bit of a sweat now accompanied us. I couldn’t have planned a better start to the Brush Creek Daytripper Rally, an opportunity for this random group of people to bond over some hard labor with the bikes resting on their kickstands. Usually at an ADV rally the bikes share in the effort but their chance would soon come.
There are many reasons we choose to ride a motorbike… freedom, travel, hanging out with friends in a shared activity, to get away from something, just damn fun… but everyone kicks a leg over for their own personal reasons. For me it is more than just having fun, it’s about meeting new and diverse people, challenging myself mentally and physically, learning new skills (riding and maintenance), exploration and adventure, and allowing my creative juices to flow in the various forms of storytelling, photography, videography, and route development.
This bike made me a better rider overnight...
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