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The Plunder Ride



Having just completed “The Best Ride Ever” with my buddy Jess on his newly acquired KTM 300 XCW, I rolled out in the same area for what turned out to be “The Plunder Ride”.

We rolled again into the same area outside of Orofino and rode a different loop with a lot of trail we had been working on for the past couple of weeks with our saws, both power and manual. We had been clearing brush and downed trees in anticipation of a great unobstructed ride of approximately 75 miles of single track.

It was now 2 days after being blessed with the summer rain that watered the trail system like it had been prepped for a local motocross race. I think the Moto Gods were smiling on us and paying us back for all the hours we had spent working on and polishing this trail in the previous couple of weeks.  In the first couple of miles I thought maybe the Best Ride Ever ride had just been one upped!  But before I got carried away with calling this ride the Best Ride Ever, I just upshifted, adjusted my still fresh ear to ear grin and let ‘er roll!

It was Awesome! Traction without a hint of mud or slick spots that let you ride like you were on Velcro.  Steep downhill, no problem, just apply the brakes needed to adjust your speed to your comfort zone. Steep climb with ruts, rocks, tree roots, no problem just adjust your seating position and dial the amount of throttle you want to scale it like a lizard. Tight trees, no problem, just throw your bike into them at whatever speed you think you could handle and it would bite, no slipping or sliding. Traction that resulted in direction changes like you were on rails!  Off camber, child’s play! I had high mileage tires and they stuck to the off camber like they were brand new tires.

The only thing this perfectly watered and seemingly prepped trail didn’t do was move all the obstacles off the course for a knucklehead head that was having more fun, laughing and riding too fast while not paying close enough attention to detail.  I was riding a steep side hill that banked and let me get on the gas and carry a fair amount of speed into the next bend. That is just about the time I noticed a large stick about 4ft long and about an inch or more in diameter being sucked into my front wheel and stopping it very suddenly!  Remember those perfect “Velco” like conditions?  Yup, lots of traction and my tire got so much traction it bit like I just slammed on the brakes! I got tossed forward and over the bars falling on the downhill side and into a pike of sticks and brush. Once I realized I wasn’t hurt and didn’t get skewered by any of the sticks in the brush pile I started laughing at my good fortune!

The impact when I landed tore the shoulder strap of my back pack off at the bottom of the pack. This required trail side fixing with zip ties to hold the torn shoulder strap to be able to wear it instead of trying to carry it home.  Most of the time spent during the repair I was smiling and laughing. The day was THAT good!

On our way back Jess took a few turns leading and it was fun riding directly behind another rider without being dusted out. Especially when we have the opportunity to see everything on the side of the trail.  Jess found a KTM radiator cover that actually fit his bike. I found a pair of 100% brand goggles. Then it happened! I found a bleached out skull of what appears to be an Elk!  Being more of a city boy I assumed it was a cow skull.  But my resident country boy, hunter, local Orofino boy and riding partner informed me it was from and Elk.  I didn’t care I finally found an intact skull that is going to reside in my garage and remind me of the almost perfect couple of days of riding in Idaho.

When we wrapped up our ride and got back to Jess’s house I laid out our newly acquired finds and took a photo.  Then it dawned on me with all these treasures it truly was “The Plunder Ride”.  This just may be even better than The Best Day Ever ride.  Sometimes I just can’t believe my good fortune! 


“Find something to laugh about”

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