Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dirt Biking at Metcalf

After many weekends of rains (and park closures), I finally had great weather to ride my 2013 Honda CRF250R off-road motorcycle at Metcalf Motorcycle Park.

I arrived early morning, around 9:00am and the park was already busy (but the parking lot was only partially full. I unloaded my dirt bike, filled it with gas, and put on my riding gear.

To warm up, I initially rode the easy, beginner's trail - also called Trail 1 - a few times. Once I got a bit more comfortable, I decided to try Trail 3 - the long trail that runs around Metcalf.

Trail 3 was much more challenging, and had a few steep descents and ascents. I dropped the bike twice, but incurred no serious damage (just a few scratches).

I had a great time riding trails for two hours.  I did not shoot a GoPro video this time, but there is a very good video already recorded:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Intro to Dirt at Hollister Hills SVRA

After purchasing my Honda CRF250R dirt bike, I realized that I need additional dirt bike training to get more comfortable with it. I decided to repeat the Intro to Dirt class with Garrahan Off Road Training in Hollister Hills SVRA, CA.

The class was initially scheduled for Sunday, March 13th. However, due to the rainy weather, Brian moved the class to Saturday, March 12th.

On Saturday, March 12th, I woke up early, at around 7:99am, to get ready for the drive to Hollister. I arrived at around 8:35am at the Hollister SRV (it was a one hour drive with almost no traffic). Brian was setting up all of the dirt bikes and unloading all of the protective gear.

Since I already had all of my own gear, I got dressed and ready to ride. Brian selected a Honda CRF150 for me. It was not too small, not too big, and very light. Compared to my CRF250R dirt bike, the CRF150 is much shorter and lighter.

To warm, we rode a few rounds on the nearby vintage track. Since it rained the day before, we used the kids track to start with.

We proceeded with more dirt bike drills, learning to smoothly break, accelerate, slide the rear wheel, and turn the bike. After a few drills, we rode the the Hamilton trail and rode it twice. After the trail ride, we stopped by the vintage track for refreshments and then rode to the training grounds to continue drills.

I did many acceleration drills. stopping drills, smooth shifting drills, cone weave in and out drills. After this, it was time for a quick lunch.

After lunch, we rode a few more interesting trails. Some were very steep and muddy! It was a real blast.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 Pops Concert at Dartmouth Middle School

Today, we attended a performance of Dartmouth Middle School's Pops Concert - the first concert in 2016. Alex played trumpet in the Jazz band and Concert Band and we were eager to observe his performance.

The Chorus started first with California Dreamin', originally composed by The Mamas and the Papas. This was followed by the Beatles' classic "Let It Be" and "Pinball Wizard" by The Who.

The Beginning Band took over next with "Cool Kids" by Echosmith, "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, and "All Star".

Since Alex plays in the Jazz Band, I was eager to see him play. The Jazz Band played two songs: "It Is What It Is" and "Elvin and the Hip Monks".

Alex moved back to the Concert Band, where he played his trumpet on "Cheerleader",  "Summertime" from George Gershwin's famous opera "Porgy and Bess", and "Take On Me" by the Norwegian rock group A-ha. I really liked "Summertime".

The Symphonic Band took over and played "Tell Me It's Over", followed by Toto's "Africa", and the "Greatest Hits of The Beach Boys" - a medley of tunes.

This was a fun musical program and I really enjoyed Summertime and The Beach Boys.

The Pops Concert Program

Jazz Band

  1. "It Is What It Is" by Victor Lopez
  2. "Elvin and the Hip Monks" by Doug Beach and George Shutack
Beginning Band
  1. "Cool Kids" arranged by Patrick Roszell
  2. "A Thousand Years" arranged by Paul Murtha
  3. "All Star" arranged by Michael Story
  1. "California Dreamin' " arranged by Roger Emerson
  2. "Let It Be" by Lennon and McCartney
  3. "Pinball Wizard" arranged by Roger Emerson
Concert Band
  1. "Cheerleader" arranged by Patrcik Roszell
  2. "Summertime" arranged by Robert Longfield
  3. "Take On Me" arranged by Paul Murtha
Symphonic Band
  1. "Tell Me It's Over" arranged by Sam Neipp
  2. "Africa" arranged by Jerry Davis
  3. "The Beach Boys Greatest Hits" arranged by Michael Brown