you're more likely to play confidently when you play with a safety net, so build a foundation of safety that consists of your own health and fitness as a rider, your motorcycle's robustness and reliability, and collateral skills needed to survive in adverse situations. that said where's the fun in motorcycling if you're not tempted to push to that red line?
where is the edge?
The Edge... There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others (the living) are those who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there.
Hunter S. Thompson, Hell's Angels
there's nothing more to be said because all said and done, it's your edge to play with. not mine. not anyone else's. with access to everyone's adventures on social media there's plenty to compare oneself with. while you might be inspired, this couldn't be more detrimental to your own sense of adventure. forget how fast, how far and how skilled others are riding. the only thing that matters is your own ability.
your edge is the limit of your current ability. every day you have a choice to play well within that limit, to go right up to that limit, or to push that limit just that little bit farther than you dare. the only person who knows if you're playing with that edge is you, so be aware. don't depend entirely on others to tell you how much or how little to push.
playing with your fear is like playing in the friction zone between the clutch & throttle of your motorcycle. play too safe & you'll never experience any adventure. let go of fear entirely and you'll crash n burn sooner than you know.
grade your grind
your own awareness has it's limits and blind spots so seek experts who can show you why, where, and how you're likely to fail or fall. learning from the experienced and experts will help you grade yourself. know yourself.
you can choose to grade your skills and efforts on a scale of 1-10 and ask yourself how good, bad, or ugly you are at a particular technique. with off-road and adventure riding you'll find different terrain requires different techniques so your ability to choose which is constantly challenged.
if you know your grade, you can practise playing within that limit till you've built solid foundation of ability. when you're confident you can start playing on that edge, going only so far as to feel that fear before you return to safety. when you're eager to scratch that itch, don't!
play dangerously in safe spaces
before dancing on the edge, take a deep breath, step back and get a second opinion. take more courses and lessons before you start pushing your limits. even when you do, it's best to do so in a safe space.
there are many off-road and adventure riding schools that offer professionally created and maintained obstacle courses where you can push your limits with precision. under expert observation, guidance, and support.
the adrenaline from this kind of activity often blinds us to our own faults, and fuels us towards the edge without awareness. form a peer group of riding buddies who call each other out when they're making mistakes, too afraid to play, or playing carelessly.
you can only play dangerously when you've learned to care for safety. once that foundational mindset is imbibed deep within you will find yourself playing with danger confidently and comfortably. don't forget this is a multiplayer game and you're going to be riding out into the wild with your buddies. taking chances can endanger others.
the game must go on
if you're foolhardy, your first adventure could well be your last. you don't have to kill yourself by your careless stupidity for it to be so. often a bad experience can become a traumatic event that prevents you from ever playing again.
and nobody wants that. not you. not your riding buddies. not the community which delights in welcoming newcomers and cherishing old timers with equal warmth. so play the long game and find your sweet spot of safety and danger in order to adventure sustainably. keep riding. keep smiling. keep playing.
the most important outcome of any adventure ride is to return safely and be able to ride out again the next day.
this is my journey with motorcycles and mud, wanna ride with me?