I got my Beta Xtrainer in the beginning of June this year.
In a dozen or so rides I’ve put on over 1400 kms. I get out to ride about once a week.
Within the first few rides I tested how fast I dared to twist the throttle on the back road…the power literally made me giddy, being the first time to experience the feeling of inertia pressing against my body !
I finally got the nerve to kick it into 6th gear in a couple more rides, then a couple more rides later tapping into the top end. I was totally surprised of how much power the bike had and soon found myself riding in 6th gear on the back roads whenever I got the chance!
It surprised me to find myself becoming addicted to the speed, and how unexpected this thrill seeking has become!
My background comes from free ride mountain biking on the North Shore and trials riding in Britannia and Squamish. I was use to slow steep technical riding and never quite understood the appeal for fast pace dirt biking….but now I totally get it!
The 2016 season has been huge for my moto riding experience. My skills went up as soon as I sold my little Honda CRF150RB and Beta trials bike for the Beta Xtrainer.
After tweaking the new bike with a low profile seat, lowering link, “easy pull” clutch lever and off road Michelin S12 tires (the bike comes stock with road approved tires which are made of a harder compound, not the greatest for rubbly off road terrain), and finally adjusting the fork rebound, my confidence began to build with each ride.
Within a handful of rides I figured out that “speed is your friend” and getting the gumption to blast up and down trails at higher speeds than I’m use to. It seems strange to me that the bike actually rides smoother when going faster.
The Xtrainer rides like butter on the same rubbly back country roads that I bounced over on my HondaCRF, and with double the suspension of my trials bike, is a much smoother ride than my trials bike could ever be!
I have traded the technical woods riding of my past on the West Coast of BC for huge back country exploring where I have re located to, in the Shulaps & Chilcotin ranges of BC.
Our usual weekend ride is about 75 km’s and 4-5 hours long.
There is a mix of dirt road, double and single track. Some trails wind through trees and others cut through huge valley meadows that stretch as far (or farther) than the eye can see!
Views are spectacular, as mountain tops seem endless…
We rode over the season’s first bit of snow last weekend. The snow announcing that riding will soon be coming to an end for the year.
Within a dozen rides on the new bike, I had advanced as far as “getting” to the “hard” trail, thinking I might try to get it under my belt before the end of the season, but not really believing it.
During the week I got my fork rebound adjusted and figured out the right tire pressure for my 115 pounds.
As we neared the trail I felt pretty good. My balance was good and I didn’t feel like I was slipping too much even though it had been raining hard and I was drenched right from the get go and soaked arms and foggy goggles from riding through slush filled branches along the way.
I didn’t stop at the “point of no return” to decide whether I was going to keep going or not, having already made up my mind.
The week before I walked the steepest sections, noting each drop, tight corner and root to ride over, and what crucial places I had to cross the trail to avoid dead fall.
Surprisingly it all came together and I remembered every part of what I had noted from the walk the week prior and I flawlessly rocked the descent!
I was so darned surprised and happy that I made it, that I was shaking like crazy and fell down on the last corner!…a case of sensory overload!
I am hoping we have at least a couple more weekends of riding left before the snow hits, and even though the mission was accomplished, perhaps I will go back and nail that last corner!
About the rider:
Angela Kuprel is a grandma and who will be 54 years old this year!
She started riding as a bike messenger in Vancouver in the late 80’s while being a single mom.
She was introduced to the mountain biking scene on the North Shore of Vancouver riding with Todd Fiander aka “Digger” (the maker of the world’s first free ride mountain bike video’s that changed what mountain biking is today-North Shore Extreme) and the guys from On Top Bike Shop.
Angela was inspired to make one of the world’s first models of “mountain biking, bike and body armour” as an avid rider of the Shore’s trails, and soon “Core Rat Angie Wear” sales took over and she was pressed to leave the streets of downtown Vancouver for endless hours designing and manufacturing from her living room.
She moved to the mecca of mountain biking in Squamish BC and renovated her garage into a 1200 square foot shop, where she sold to riders from all over the world for a dozen years.
She also coached and led tours. Riding was her life.
In 2008 she met the love of her life and having the same goals, made plans to leave the “rat race” that the west coast has now become.
Angela bought her first dirt bike two seasons ago, and still rides her mountain bike a couple of times a week.
“The Original Fuel Holster” is one of Angela’s inspirations, spawned from the need to carry as much extra fuel as possible for cross country riding in the Laluwissin region also known as Onion Lake, a moto playground in BC where she rode a trials bike for her first time over 20 years ago.
For more info about the Original Fuel Holster, see:
She and her man now live a quite and fulfilled life, where the back country is endless for exploring!
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