It’s nearly March and I’m antsy, antsy, antsy. Big Herbie isn’t ready for the season and we’re already having some beautiful spring days out here in between the showers.

A lot of people start on dirt as kids or teens and find their way onto the street. I spent almost a decade riding street only, afraid of dirt and its rough-and-tumble-and-snapped-collar-bones reputation, but last year, I finally found my way onto dirt for the first time on a little XR100 and it blew my mind.

Everything was brand new to me. Let the bike fishtail under you. When in doubt, more throttle. Don’t touch the front brake. Let the handlebars wobble. Lean away from the turn. Sand? More throttle. Small rocks? More throttle. Medium rocks? More throttle. Big rocks? Okay, put a foot down, knock it down into first, and take it one boulder at a time (for now).

But the one lesson that street riding taught me still applies here: tenacity. Get up. Pick it up. Keep going. No one else is going to ride your bike home for you, so you better get back on and make it back to the trail head. I love hiking with the Doofus, but there is nothing else in this world like brapping up a hill to the crest, cutting the engine, and feeling the breeze whip around me as I revel in the silence.

Time to call my mechanic!