Getting stuck upside-down in a ditch wearing your bike on top of you, watching it overheat as you get stuck between two tree trunks, or getting roosted in clods of mud by your mates. These have become my guilty pleasures in the last few weeks.
In the winter lull when riding road bikes on slippery, greasy roads covered in salt seems to be getting less and less exciting as the years pass by, riding sideways in the dirt on a cold winter's day is as thrilling as any biy European road trip, track day or adventure on a summer's Sunday afternoon.
Since the arrival of my KTM 350 EXC-F, I've spent as many weekends as I can out with the lads playing in the mud. Where the 450 I ran last year kept me on my toes and terrified me on anything other than flat fields, the 350 allows me to get through just about anything I can point it at and turns even average riders into dirt-riding demi-gods. Sort of.