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pilo 01-01-2011 04:14 PM

Solo Solo 2011 <Vegas to Reno> <Baja 1000> Slow Man Racing for a charity
Happy 2011 everyone...

Years of dreaming about it and a false start on racing the Baja 1000 in 2000 have led to this year. I’m planning a solo attempt at Baja this fall with a little shakedown run at the Vegas to Reno in August. I don't claim to be the fastest rider (especially after 30 miles of whoops), but I love longer races and rides and tend perform better as things get tougher and longer. There is some chance that I'm getting into the deep end a bit, but I've done my research and put the stake in the ground for 2011. My goal is to finish both races with the V2R really being a warm up for the big show to test my setup, training and logistics. So you can get a picture of the sucker with the plan, here is a picture of me with a dirt mustache after the Utah national a couple of years ago.

Also, here is a link to a ride I did this past year that has some more pictures just for fun...

Cheesy Riders - Conquering the West

I’ve done some writing in the past and hope to use this experience as either some fodder for more fiction writing or perhaps an article in a magazine somewhere. Hence the value of the experience as opposed the finishing position. I’d certainly love to see motorcycle racing get some attention in Men’s Journal or a similar ‘check-out stand’ magazine where an interesting story along with some fantastic photos might prove to be some fresh content for them. We’ll see what happens; I’m a long way from there right now.

Like many people here on ADV I have a pretty full schedule with a full time job, a young family and a brutal addiction to two-wheeled activities. Fortunately though I like to try and pack a lot into a day and my sleep requirements seem to be less than the norm. To get a better picture of my support system, here is a picture of my great friend Chris and my number one sponsor, my wife.

The most exciting part of this adventure however, is that I am tying this adult silliness to a program for driving some donations to a local charity, the Salt Lake City YWCA. This is a really excellent local group (though certainly they are a part of the national YWCA) that focuses their energy around helping women and their young children get their lives back in order especially as it relates to domestic violence. Many of these women are running from bad situations where they have little resources or options. The YW provides a powerful environment as a baseline for these ladies to start again. They are a great local group adding value to the community who could use more local support and attention.

My plan is very simple. Anyone who donates to the Salt Lake YW will get their name on my race bike for the V2R and the B1000. By supporting this charity these people will get to race with me and they will really be the best sponsors someone could ask for. I really hope over the next months I can drive enough attention to this effort to get most of the bike and maybe even my gear covered with names. That would be the most fantastic sight rolling across the starting line in Ensenada. I’m not taking any of the donations for the YW myself. I’m letting them handle it through their website and I’m just going to let the donors email me when they’ve made a contribution. Likely some bad Karma for anyone who abuses that honor system!

So that’s it really. I wanted to get this thread started so I could use it as a rolling journal over the next few months as I get ready, keep training and enter some local events. You can read a little more about the YWCA donations and watch them tally up at my website and I certainly welcome any ADVrs who want to make a donation and get their name on my bike for the ride. Also, if anyone is hung up on donating to their local YW chapter instead of the Salt Lake chapter, I’d be ok with that if it makes the difference between donating or not. I’ll still put you on the bike; it is certainly a worthy group for contribution.

It’s time to go now. With all of the snow on the ground I need to get back to what seems to have become my yearly dates with Tony Horton and his group of P90x superstars.

So sit back and enjoy the ride to the Baja 1000 with me and in the process perhaps we can drive some attention to a good cause along the way...

-Phil Walker

wrk2surf 01-01-2011 04:19 PM

subscribed... good luck and honorable!

Whatever Dood 01-04-2011 10:35 AM

You Go Pilo!
I'm proud of you dude.


BikePilot 01-05-2011 10:20 AM

Have fun! I did v2r solo for my first-ever desert race (have done a little bit of east coast racing a decade prio) and virtually first time riding in the desert. I had a blast and even surprised myself with the results :clap

nxdirtbag 01-13-2011 06:57 PM

You go Pilo. I will be staying tuned and maybe I can join you for a little practice riding back here in WV soon. :ear

pilo 02-18-2011 08:35 PM

Nothing huge happening here. Lots of training and cardio. I've been traveling quite a bit so that makes it hard, but I'm averaging about some type of exercise about 70% of the days. I've done a lot of training in my basement, but I've also tried to spend some time showshoeing up in the mountains behind my house for a different workout. I've ridden only a little since we still have snow and wet out here. My last ride my legs felt really strong though, compared to my past winter hibernations...the running and plyo I'm doing seem to be paying off.

I got some new backgrounds for the 450x for the local desert races so I can hit a few of them. A little more detail on my website if anyone is interested.

My friend Jesse was also playing with front lighting against the sun. Kind of cool...

pilo 04-18-2011 10:31 PM

The past few months...
I have not had any trouble staying busy.

- Training as much as possible - running, rowing, tony horton, etc...
The Sweatshop
- Traveling for work - Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China (2x), Germany, ugh...
- Traveling for fun - Yucatan with the fam for 9 days...yes
Me catching a big snake for the kiddies

- Riding - some loops in the desert early in the morning - a quick day trip to Moab with my Utah partner in all things moto, Brandon.
Some time spent at the local MX track where just yesterday I rode a 90 minute moto (42 miles) with the local MX guys shaking their heads that a dork with a big tank, kickstand, and GPS on the handlebars just kept going around and around and around. They seem to like to crank out a few hot laps and go back to the truck for a rest.
- The rest of the time spent with the kiddies and wifey. Very supportive crew...I'm blessed for sure.

I have a BOR race ( at the end of May but I'm really focusing my energy to V2R in August.

fano 04-19-2011 07:07 AM


Nice, good luck in your efforts. It is going to be a fun year for you.

Whatever Dood 04-19-2011 10:57 AM

Looking good, Fish!
Keep it up dood. Can't wait to hear how V2R goes!

pilo 04-19-2011 08:10 PM

Thanks guys...I'm taking it one step at a time.

By the way, if anyone comes across a blown up 450x engine or complete bike I'm looking for a starting point to build up a spare motor.

Also, for the past few years I've been fighting my right hand going numb during riding and I've just kind of figured out how to keep flewing my fingers to get the blood flowing again. It's majorly disconcerting though since my braking ability is limited. Anyone have any tips for managing sleeping hands?

wrk2surf 04-19-2011 09:33 PM

mine buzzed for two days after last years race..thought I had nerve damage.. mine comes about from leaning on the bars while standing with the outside heel of my palm... I try not to do it and using different positioning.. but its like arm pump sometimes you get it sometimes not..

And get with the guy fano that posted above you and likes dust.. and his buddy whom never gives up and rides a tire roaster.. Frog they are your neighbors and will get you dialed in..

BikePilot 04-20-2011 06:24 AM

Good luck! I ran V2R solo last year with a week's notice, zero training, zero prep and on a 11yr old used bike I'd never ridden before. Worked out fine and I snagged 5th overal iron man and 2nd in class (I'd also never ridden much in the desert and certainly had never raced in the desert). Don't stress too much and have lots of fun :clap Baja is a loop this year so won't be tremedously longer than V2R, though V2R was as far as I could have gone. I was fat and out of shape from not having worked out or ridden much for a decade though. I think the loop baja races tend to be in the 700-750 mile range. V2R was 534 last year. Others will know much more about this than me.

For the hands I think the two main causes will be arm pump and vibration. For the arm pump try and not grip the bars too tightly, use your legs and arms to support yourself. Also, the race is long enough that if you pump up at first it should work its way out before too long. I pump up pretty badly in MX and had no such issues in V2R. Some of the fancy workout drink mixes at GNC help with this too.

For the vibrations run rubber-mounted bars (the 450x has these as standard most likely), tall enough gearing that you aren't revving higher than needed, fairly soft grips and consider something like vibranators. I haven't run vibranators, but hear they work very well. You might even try Flexx bars as well. I'd guess that flex bars + rubber mounts + vibranators should have your hands seriously pampered :deal

BajaBound does race support at both events and really provides an extraordinary level of service. Might be worth looking into. From what I saw (I had a front-row seat, but am inexperienced in these things) the bajabound crew's bike prep and race support was on par with the Quinn's JCR setup. Quinn won the overall at V2R last year riding solo and didn't even seem particularly tired after the race. :clap

nxdirtbag 04-20-2011 06:37 AM


Originally Posted by pilo (Post 15710657)
Also, for the past few years I've been fighting my right hand going numb during riding and I've just kind of figured out how to keep flewing my fingers to get the blood flowing again. It's majorly disconcerting though since my braking ability is limited. Anyone have any tips for managing sleeping hands?

Pilo, I have noticed this problem the last couple of years when I commute to work on the pedals. I haven't spent enough time on the dirtbike to know if it happens on long dirtbike rides (my riding buddies, aka my kids, don't have much stamina yet). But I have noticed I put too much weight on the bars when pedaling these SWVA hills. I was hoping my backpack/hydration system straps across my shoulders may be part of the problem and have experimented a little with the adjustments.

I don't ever remember this happening to me on pedals or dirtbikes around b'burg. Of course I didn't carry heavy books to class in a backpack like the heavy laptop I have to commute with. Who am I kidding, I didn't even go to class... much. :lol3

That said, I hate to admit this, but for me I think it may be an age thing. Let me know if you find the fountain of youth in your training and racing out west.

pilo 04-20-2011 08:00 PM

Thanks for the advice and encouragement guys.

W2S - Fano and Froggy are fast and fun. Frog bounces instead of breaks which is the amazing thing about him...oh yeah, and the fact that he doesn't like 450's cause they don't have enough oooomph. A few years ago at one of the local races Frog couldn't race but came back the following day and whipped out like six loops before lunch on the race course (I think the pros only did 4 the day before). Respect...

This picture is from that race in fact. My good friend Brandon is in the front (93p) and Pilo is sucking up dust to the left (92p). I did pass him though in the fast stuff before I hit a broken off tree branch - ouch!

Bikepilot - I smell something stinking in your riding or exercise in 10 years but 4th O/A Ironman (not 5th, I checked!). I'm guessing you were a pro or fast AM MX'er in your teens. You're downplaying your finish for sure. Excellent result by the way. I beleive you, just most regular guys with no desert experience have no chance of such a good IM finish (or a finish at all) unless there is some speed and endurance hidden in the past somewhere...

Just for fun, one more cool pic. Again my buddy Brandon and I entered in multiple classes at the Power Mountain MX. A random local was snapping pics and got this one of the two of us running (like 12th and 13th place I think!). Beautiful scenery though the mountainous uphills on our 250 SX-Fs were brutal. I think the elevation was 9500.
I'm ready to have fun for sure. No stress here, I just want to be in shape physically and finish strong (physcially strong, I'm less concerned about my place).

The numbness in my hand comes I think from some tingling I got during a construction project a couple of years back. That hand just seems sensistive to the vibration for some reason. I had solid mounted bars on the 450x but just switched them back to the rubber mount variety. It helped but it wasn't a cure. It's not arm pump. That always comes for the first 15 minutes of my ride but goes away.

Bajaboundmoto for sure is class A all of the way. I've heard nothing but praise for them.

I've never tried the mixes in my camelbak but need to for this event. For 400+ mile days in the past I've stopped and loaded up with bars and stuff but for racing up till now I've just used water. Does anyone have any recommendations for hydration? I have a few things I want to experiment with, but I'm up for suggestions.

NXDB - I don't know about any fountain of youth. I'm still suffering from a back injury where I was rear ended on the 950 a couple of years back. I will say however, though I haven't been doing it for long, that the rowing machine comes about as close as a fountain as I have found. Especially for riding bikes. With some intesive sets of push ups and sit ups combined with some 2K intervals on the rower, every important muscle group in your body is hit, along with some descent cardio. My back muscles love it.

buryurfear14 04-21-2011 11:16 AM

Good Luck! I'd love to move out west so I could do the same thing! Racing the baja 1000 solo (competitively) has been a long time goal of mine.

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