Babes in the Dirt New to Dirt Biking

Hungry Valley Trail Recommendations | Babes in the Dirt 5

While all the trails in Hungry Valley are clearly marked as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced; they each have character all their own! I have put together some recommendations to help you navigate the park and make sure each rider has a great time! Check it out! if you need recommendation throughout the weekend feel free to ask a ranger or myself ! - Anya

Babes in the Dirt 5

Heading out of camp:

Step 1: Grab a trail map. They will be available on site. These are super easy to follow and will help you navigate out and back.

Step 2: Grab a buddy. Buddy system only! We much prefer that no one venture out solo for safety purposes.

Step 3: fill up your camel pack or water bottle and make sure your gas tank is full. There are so many fun trails to explore and some can be quite a trek. Pack a snack, stay hydrated and have some fun!

The Hungry Valley Trail Map can be found HERE

Exiting Quail Canyon Event Space:

For Beginner riders there is only 1 way to leave Quail Canyon and that is on North Pronghorn Trail. Please do not take South Pronghorn as you will encounter a salt rock wall climb that is actually super fun but not meant for beginners by any means. I have included a video of North Pronghorn Trail so that you can see what it is like.

Salt Rock Wall on South Pronghorn

Salt Rock Wall on South Pronghorn

Intermediate and Advanced Riders can exit Quail Canyon and access trails via:

1. North Pronghorn: Easy.

2. South Pronghorn: Chill but has a salt rock wall climb that can hold people up a bit.

3. Quail Pass Trail: hill climb that takes you up and over the ridge.

3 trails that exit Quail Canyon event space

3 trails that exit Quail Canyon event space


BEGINNERS MAP TO QUAIL CANYON EVENT SPACE

BEGINNERS MAP TO QUAIL CANYON EVENT SPACE

New to moto:

I have been on a dirt bike less than 5 times. I am not fully comfortable operating a dirt bike yet or do not know how to at all.

I recommend spending your time on the beginner track and  trail loops within the Quail Canyon Event Area. You will get plenty of action and experience a variety of terrain. Plus you are close to camp! Both the North Loop and South Loop within Quail Canyon are 2-way trails so if you encounter anything that you feel uncomfortable with you can simply turn around and go back the other way. Easy!

Beginner:

I know how to operate a dirt bike. I am comfortable with shifting and braking. I am comfortable off-road but am still learning how to ride different terrain.

If you want to head out and see some of the trails around the park definitely stick to the clearly marked GREEN trails. If you leave camp make sure and take the North on Pronghorn trail. It is the easiest way in and out of camp. See video below to get a visual of what that trail is like.  From North Pronghorn Trail you will connect to Powerline Road which is the easiest trail in the park. It is essentially a fire road but highlights some really amazing views and will connect you to the rest of the trail systems in the park! The only thing to make sure and watch out for is on coming riders and sometimes jeeps or buggies. Any of the GREEN trails that shoot off Powerline are great loops! If you stay on Powerline and cross over the paved road there are some absolutely stunning views! My favorite green trail in the park is Old Cottonwood Trail to Meadows Trail. The views up there are rad and Cottonwood has some fun switch back turns! If you do head out onto the trails in the park just remember that Powerline will take you back to Pronghorn and back to camp.

Beginner transitioning in to Intermediate:

If you have been riding for a while and are super comfortable with shifting and breaking and operating your motorcycle in general than you might be getting bored with the GREEN trails. If so then I would recommend easing yourself into an BLUE (intermediate) trail. A lot of the trails that are marked BLUE in Hungry Valley SVRA are marked as such because of a semi rugged section such as sand wash or hill climb section OR it is a narrower trail with a drop off along the side. You may be surprised how chill the BLUE trails are. If you are comfortable in sand, switch backs, narrower trails and hill climb section then you will have a blast on the BLUE trails in the park.  Nearly all of the trails within Hungry Valley are 2 way trails unless otherwise marked. So… if you do try an intermediate trail and encounter something that you don’t like, you can easily turn around and go back the way you came!

Intermediate:

I am very comfortable operating a dirt bike. I am very comfortable in a wide variety of terrain.

My favorite intermediate trails in the park are:

Mesa Trail

Brome Trail

Lower Brome Trail

Upper Brome Trail

Tataviam Trail

These are not super technical but have a ton of fun switchbacks and up hills and down hills. The middle wall hill climb is super smooth and fun to climb. You just want to make sure and let off when you get to the top so you don’t send it over the other side. The Quail Canyon Moto X track is really fun with mostly table top jumps that you can easily roll if you want to or gas it and get a little boost.

Advanced:

Pretty self-explanatory

Well if you consider yourself and advanced rider than you can easily tackle any trail in the park. There is really nothing too savage in Hungry Valley SVRA in my opinion. Most of the black diamond trails are marked as such due to the fact that they go along a cliff or are single track. They are all fun and thrilling in their own way.

babes in the dirt

Thanks and Have Fun! - Anya

Hungry Valley Trail Recommendations

Photo By Genevieve Davis

Photo By Genevieve Davis

While all the trails in Hungry Valley are clearly marked as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced; they each have character all their own! I have put together some recommendations to help you navigate the park and make sure each rider has a great time! Check it out!

Heading out of camp:

Step 1: Grab a trail map. They will be available on site. These are super easy to follow and will help you navigate out and back.

Step 2: Grab a buddy. Buddy system only! We much prefer that no one venture out solo for safety purposes.

Step 3: fill up your camel pack or water bottle and make sure your gas tank is full. There are so many fun trails to explore and some can be quite a trek. Pack a snack, stay hydrated and have some fun!

The Hungry Valley Trail Map can be found HERE

Exiting Quail Canyon Event Space:

For Beginner riders there is only 1 way to leave Quail Canyon and that is on North Pronghorn Trail. Please do not take South Pronghorn as you will encounter a salt rock wall climb that is actually super fun but not meant for beginners by any means. I have included a video of North Pronghorn Trail so that you can see what it is like.

Intermediate and Advanced Riders can exit Quail Canyon and access trails via:

1. North Pronghorn: Easy.

2. South Pronghorn: Chill but has a salt rock wall climb that can hold people up a bit.

3. Quail Pass Trail: hill climb that takes you up and over the ridge.

3 trails that exit Quail Canyon event space

3 trails that exit Quail Canyon event space


Photo By Genevieve Davis

Photo By Genevieve Davis

New to moto:

I have been on a dirt bike less than 5 times. I am not fully comfortable operating a dirt bike yet or do not know how to at all.

I recommend spending your time on the beginner track and  trail loops within the Quail Canyon Event Area. You will get plenty of action and experience a variety of terrain. Plus you are close to camp! Both the North Loop and South Loop within Quail Canyon are 2-way trails so if you encounter anything that you feel uncomfortable with you can simply turn around and go back the other way. Easy!

Beginner:

I know how to operate a dirt bike. I am comfortable with shifting and braking. I am comfortable off-road but am still learning how to ride different terrain.

If you want to head out and see some of the trails around the park definitely stick to the clearly marked GREEN trails. If you leave camp make sure and take the North on Pronghorn trail. It is the easiest way in and out of camp. See video below to get a visual of what that trail is like.  From North Pronghorn Trail you will connect to Powerline Road which is the easiest trail in the park. It is essentially a fire road but highlights some really amazing views and will connect you to the rest of the trail systems in the park! The only thing to make sure and watch out for is on coming riders and sometimes jeeps or buggies. Any of the GREEN trails that shoot off Powerline are great loops! If you stay on Powerline and cross over the paved road there are some absolutely stunning views! My favorite green trail in the park is Old Cottonwood Trail to Meadows Trail. The views up there are rad and Cottonwood has some fun switch back turns! If you do head out onto the trails in the park just remember that Powerline will take you back to Pronghorn and back to camp.

Beginner transitioning in to Intermediate:

If you have been riding for a while and are super comfortable with shifting and breaking and operating your motorcycle in general than you might be getting bored with the GREEN trails. If so then I would recommend easing yourself into an BLUE (intermediate) trail. A lot of the trails that are marked BLUE in Hungry Valley SVRA are marked as such because of a semi rugged section such as sand wash or hill climb section OR it is a narrower trail with a drop off along the side. You may be surprised how chill the BLUE trails are. If you are comfortable in sand, switch backs, narrower trails and hill climb section then you will have a blast on the BLUE trails in the park.  Nearly all of the trails within Hungry Valley are 2 way trails unless otherwise marked. So… if you do try an intermediate trail and encounter something that you don’t like, you can easily turn around and go back the way you came!

Intermediate:

I am very comfortable operating a dirt bike. I am very comfortable in a wide variety of terrain.

My favorite intermediate trails in the park are:

Mesa Trail

Brome Trail

Lower Brome Trail

Upper Brome Trail

Tataviam Trail

These are not super technical but have a ton of fun switchbacks and up hills and down hills. The middle wall hill climb is super smooth and fun to climb. You just want to make sure and let off when you get to the top so you don’t send it over the other side. The Quail Canyon Moto X track is really fun with mostly table top jumps that you can easily roll if you want to or gas it and get a little boost.

Advanced:

Pretty self-explanatory

Well if you consider yourself and advanced rider than you can easily tackle any trail in the park. There is really nothing too savage in Hungry Valley SVRA in my opinion. Most of the black diamond trails are marked as such due to the fact that they go along a cliff or are single track. They are all fun and thrilling in their own way.

babes in the dirt

Thanks and Have Fun! - Anya

Going from Street to Dirt? 5 Tips for Riding Dirt by Kelly McCaughey, Creator of the Ladies East Coast Dirt Bike Event Over and Out

"I’m super stoked for anyone who wants to try riding dirt for the first time or take off-road riding to the next level, because riding is as rewarding as it is challenging, both physically and mentally. There’s a lot to learn, and to keep learning for many years to come" - Kelly McCaughey | Creator of the Ladies East Coast Dirt Bike Event Over and Out 

Babes in the Dirt

Getting started or making progress can be tough if you’re not set up for success with the right information and guidance.  So, whether you are a street rider trying dirt for the first time, or new rider altogether, these tips should help you understand a little more of what to expect, and what to do, as you set your sights off-road.

1. Start Small

I think one of the biggest mistakes newer riders make is to start riding on a bike that is way too big for them.  In street riding, as riders gain experience and confidence, they may seek to increase engine size because that affords them more stability and comfort at higher speeds for longer distances.

When making the switch to off-road, many riders think this street experience translates to dirt, but it doesn’t.  So, regardless of what cc engine you’re riding on the highway you should always start small with a bike you can handle confidently.  There is so much that even smaller bikes can do, so don’t underestimate them.

In truth, riding a smaller bike doesn’t make everything easier. Many things are harder on a small bike, but you can seriously benefit from that!  The wheels may be smaller, the suspension leaner – and all that jostling around can do a lot to help you develop core muscles and reactions to sudden movements that would otherwise throw you off.

2. Invest in Gear, practice ATGATT

What’s ATGATT? All The Gear, All The Time. Trust me, because I’m one of the many people who learned this the hard way.  And look, even if YOU do everything right, you’re riding in nature so there are variables beyond your control. Slippery rocks, roots, sand, you name it. As they say, “it’s not IF you fall, it’s when.”  So gear up!

First, invest in a decent dirt helmet.  Dirt helmets and street helmets are different. They are made from different materials, and they are tested differently.  Dirt gear companies will also offer different levels of helmets, with the levels being in direct relation to the materials, weight and technical features.  If you’re planning on riding a lot, and you like your brain, I say spring for a decent level helmet.

Other types of gear include: knee and elbow pads or braces, neck braces, chest protectors and back protectors. 

My favorite piece of gear is the Fox Titan vest. It covers shoulders, elbows, chest and has full back coverage. It’s also connected with mesh, so on hot days I can layer it over a tank top, and on cold days I can layer it under a riding jacket.  I’ve taken some serious spills in this thing and walked away un-bruised and un-broken.

Babes in the Dirt

3. Learn the Fundamentals

In any and every sport, the fundamentals of form are crucial! Form comes first, speed comes later.  There are a ton of different techniques you can and should practice, including these basics:

Body position:  A lot of new riders sit too far back on a dirt bike. You should be seated or standing directly above the pivot point of the bike (basically the center engine and foot-peg area).  Your head should be just over the handlebars, elbows up and out.

Babes in the Dirt

Leg and foot positions: Squeezing with your knees helps steady your body to the bike, supporting your body weight with your legs rather than your arms. You want to keep weight and tension off your arms to avoid getting arm pump and to keep the center of gravity low.

When standing (which you should be as much as possible) you want to be on the balls of your feet so you are more at-the-ready to make different movements. It’s good practice to place your bike on a bike stand, stand on the pegs and practice shifting your feet on and off the brake and clutch back to the balls of the feet to build muscle memory. 

Babes in the Dirt

I personally don’t ride in sand too much, and upon my first visit to Babes In The Dirt I was advised by my own crew to maintain the grip in my knees, keep the front end light and keep on the throttle. Sure enough those simple tips made adapting to the sand that much easier.

4. Take Advantage of Education

Again, there is so much to learn when it comes to riding dirt and that learning curve can extend for decades depending on what you’re riding and where! A lot of this information that I’m relaying to you today has come to me from people who have coached me, but also from training resources, manuals, magazines and more.

Think for a second about the world’s best Motocross racers. We’re talking about a relatively small group of exceptional athletes out of millions of people in this world, and they still have trainers.  They’re not out there just riding; they’re training, and getting feedback and assessment from coaches and training experts. 

Babes in the Dirt

So, take advantage of lessons, classes and instruction from experienced riders and trainers.

5.  Get that PMA!

Positive Mental Attitude is something that can change your life, and I believe the reason I meet so many great people through off-road riding is because they all understand and subscribe to this general practice of PMA. 

With street riding you can relax somewhat and just cruise. And yes you can do that on dirt, but it’s more likely that you’ll be focused on the challenges that are right in front of you.

Riding is for sure a mental game, possibly even more than a physical one.  Top riders get special training for mental toughness and resilience, and confidence is something that is essential to becoming a better rider.

I still get butterflies in my stomach every time I go riding, but I’ve also learned that riding is the time to cast doubts aside, focus on myself and my ride, and dig deep for that part of my brain that doesn’t have time or energy to waste on fear. 

Written by Kelly McCaughey Creator of Over and Out, a east coast off-road experience for women taking place June 22-24th in Hancock NY . Click HERE for all details. 

Credit where credit is due: I get most of my knowledge and insight from my husband, Dan Sternaimolo, who has been obsessed with motocross for over 40 years and has taught me a lot but also done me the wonderful favor of encouraging me to read and watch training materials by Gary Semics. 

Kelly will be at Babes in the Dirt 4 with a bunch of east coast ladies in tow! Make sure to say hello and feel free to ask her for more tips and tricks on riding dirt.