The VI Winter Riding Season. Dual Sport Style. With a Big Bike.

The summer riding season is good… but man… we’ve been having a killer winter riding season here on VI.

Dual Sport, ADV bike… same thing. Just make sure to ride them together. If they drop them at all, after the dual sporter’s are done picking up their lightweight bikes they’ll have plenty of energy to help you pick up your yours. 😉

Up the west side of the frosty island from our very familiar meeting spot, we cut past the gate with an icy taste of what was to come behind it. Stay in your track or your eating snow in a hurry. If your flying along and there isn’t a dry track disappears, then open wide, here comes your first meal! At least for the only guy running 50/50 tires. Horseshoed my shift lever not twice but three times today… just left it bent after that. 

Reminiscent of some of the challenging rides out here on the island, Mr. Chong sat passenger seat as the role of punisher on this one. This was a Colin Beck special. Leading the way through the mushy playground with some winter mayhem thrown in just for fun. 

Everyone had an opportunity to grow some more skills today. A couple of us riding new to them bikes Mr. Luke and our track ripping J. Chartrand finally riding a dual sport that wasn’t a supermoto.

Deep puddles surrounded by the unsightly stew of mud and snow, a hilarious scene to take so much pleasure to burn through. Fully accepting the wet, the rain was not even noticed as it came and went all day. Hitting the lake side shelter was the closest we would get to an inviting environment for the rest of the ride.

A little sip of bourbon and a couple laughs and it was time to get playing in the hills.

As the only ADV bike (Triumph Tiger 800 Xcx) rider  of the day, this was not easy. In the dry (no snow) tracks stand up and be very accurate with your tires, there is no mistakes allowed. In the snow… sit yo ass down, it’s just farther to fall. 🙂  Actually, drifting around the rear wheel and keeping your speed down it’s not so bad. Keep your feet ready to catch yourself, and if you don’t… Let’er lay down, It’s OK, this is why we buy the bars. Other than a gnarly looking shift lever, at the end of the day some paint scraping on the bars is the only harm done.

With the boys making sure to never pass by a nasty trail, it became very laughable to see them stop up ahead and make a turn. Stopping at the foot of our next trail I’m not surprise at all. Grinning and shaking my head I release my clutch to follow.

With the first punishment out of the way we were good and warmed up for round two. Hitting the road for a short stretch we took it right back into the bush. Tighter, muddier and way, way wetter. If we had any dry spots left this would take care of them for sure. 

These guys making easy work of it. However personally, I took two of the scariest looking water crossings I have yet seen. Icy cold, muddy and long.  At these moments you really need to disconnect yourself from reality. Have faith and give’er gas, only. 

Hitting a wide creek with only big rocks in sight, my only suggestion is… put everything in a sealed dry place. These guys zipping across like nothing, I was wishing I packed some TP to clean up after myself.  Barely making it across, my nerves… and, well the big damn rocks, slowed me down. Thanks to Colin for helping me cross it for the first time. With a dead end up ahead, thanks to Brad for picking me out of my icy bath the second time. Soakers from head to toe. 

Returning the way we once came, we landed our tires back on the reliable asphalt.  Many of us carrying the creek in our soggy boots I was a surprised the little diner didn’t turn away our muddy, wet and rugged looking crew. Another great ride in the bush guys, and not a single complaint.