Day 1 w/ KTM 300 XC TPI at Highland Park

Working my way up the technical part of 15

When I picked up my new KTM 300 XC TPI, I was invited by the guy at the accessories department to go riding with him and a buddy a couple days later. We met at Highland Park Resort in Georgia which is an amazing XC venue with a few motocross tracks. Once ready, they led me out to the outer loop road which is shared by all vehicles including ATVs and SxSs. I was struggling to keep up with them – literally giving it everything I had, practicing everything I learned between trials training, and Jimmy Lewis about body position, balance, staying on the pegs. The loop road turned and headed up a fairly steep hill…no problem, but I lugged up it pretty slowly and continued along until we reached our first trail. No recalling which one it was, but it was relatively easy. Once finished, we got back on the loop and headed back to camp to rest. This pattern repeated about 5 times throughout the day. During the 2nd lap, we did 15 – a 4-diamond (1-5 in difficulty) and I did fairly well staying with them. There was only one technical part that I cleaned pretty well. Feeling confident, I upped my speed on the way back to the camp, launching off the rollers and nearly lawn-darting into a flying-W but somehow saved it. Shaken up and exhausted, I decided that I was starting to get stupid with a dash of confidence…time to reel it back and sit it out the next round.

But with every lap, I kept working on the fundamentals I’d learned before. Balance, body-position, throttle, clutch, and braking. Towards the end of the day, we did a really sweet single-track section – my first time ever doing single-track. Similar enough to mountain-biking to sort of know what I was doing, but conscious of the wide bars and the need to keep aligned to the trail very well. This meant NO acceleration until my position was balanced. Survived. ON the final ride down to the camp, I felt a lot more confident and smooth and could keep up pretty well. I practically collapsed into my camping chair – exhausted. It took almost an entire week to have the soreness leave my quads.

It was a great introduction to cross-country riding and so thankful for Josh, Chase, and Hendo for showing me around – it was a total blast and I look forward to riding with them again.



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