SoMD ADV Riders Present: The 2014 GS Trophy Challenge USA Qualifier
It's an old moniker in the horse world, never throw your leg over a steed that you don't want to buy. Well, back in June this year the local BMW dealer had an off-road training day with 75 riders. BMWs fell out of the woodwork. The weather would have none it. She rained the previous day and most of the training day. Needless to say, ground conditions were moist and the track would rated as downright soggy. Anyhow, at the end day many owners were pretty much exhausted so we were talking. And then I had my undoing.
As bona fide shortypants (under 61" tall), I was a bug to a light as I spied a GS650X-country. I had never really given much thought to one previously, but this one had just followed in the footsteps of the rest of us. We went through the mud,
Blaster over the logs
Dorito and up the ravines....
So, I took the fateful action. And sat on the another bike. Normally, I find the GSs like a lumbering hippopotamus. If in their element, they are truly a ballerina in the water; graceful and light, and surprisingly nimble. However, out of their element, they are a metric ton of catastrophe happening.
Nonetheless, the G650X has me intrigued by the comfortable ergonomics. With that, I begin to scope out one to buy. Only imported for three years (2007-9), they are like hens teeth to locate. Nationwide, I find only a half dozen. Luckily, I find a nice low mileage one 300 miles away.
Shortly after I buy her, I begin to prep the other bike for the summer ride. The G650X sits near stock condition...until I find this advertised:
At first, I think it might be fun, but I some of the reports on previous events (at other locations) are not encouraging. Nonetheless, J4S throws the gauntlet down and puts his entry in the mail. Nothing left to do, but jump off the same bridge. With that, an entry for Blaster and I is mailed.
During the following months, much building is happening. The GS650X gets armored: chain/case guard, skidplate and crashbars and handguards:
Now, on the eve of the event...it's clear what I've signed up for :eek1
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Nonetheless in a few short hours, my chariot will arrive. J4S is hauling Blaster and I down to meet our destiny in Greer, South Carolina.
It's been a few years since I first walked the hallowed halls at the BMW Performance Center. In fact, I had probably been off-road only a half dozen times before taking their GS training. Their training has provided me some sound building blocks for riding. More over, the fun we had down there has provided years of tall "fishing" tales.
BMW Off Road Class Ride Report
Here's the map of events:
And the timetable of events:
I hope to see you guys riding on Sunday!
On the road.
The Rules of Engagement
As we wait for the chariot arrival, time to review the rules of engagement for the weekend. It appears there will be four main categories for scoring:
Complete rules here
Good Luck....try not to break anything (or anyone)
Obligatory stop for lunch.
South by Southwest
We leave the humble abode for a 450 mile trek south by southwest. It should only be 7 hrs or so, but with cast of characters, we stretch it out for a few more.
If you ever wondered what kit for a few riders would look like in a linear fashion...I would gander like this:
I do wonder if Blaster might have a teenaged girl trapped inside that masculine body. I took Lakota's advice and just decided to bring all the gloves (not just one pair). Heck, mind as well bring both helmets too! Remember, always fill by VOLUME, not by weight.
Soon enough it's time to load the kids.
For the current trailer "residents", this can be a tricky moment as you meet the new neighbors.
A very furry (and B.I.G) Wolfe Spider
This Black Widow has her "lunch" packed. I sure hope it wasn't the previous Wolfe spider. :huh
I knew it would be a good day of traveling when I find this f.i.n.e looking vehicle. I looks strangly like my login name :evil
J4S was using this cool app which marks the cops. You get points for verifying/adding cops as you drive by. He is no longer a baby wazer :D
Despite all the weaving, somehow I was able to get some pictures of the pretty North Carolina flowers..
Here's a funny tribute: Anybody looking to relocate to Gastonia?
South Carolina has funny way of welcoming folks. I guess this water tower is suppose to be peach...but maybe it's not?
Twelve hours before the games begin!
Good luck today...have fun :clap
Some one is begging for points.
Well, how did today go? :lurk
It started with this.........
For the rest of the story you'll have to follow me on Twitter. :D
It was a good day but it was all on road and sitting only.....some interesting exercises and several I should have been better at, Dana is doing her right up now.
Off With My Head!!
Entering the Performance Center...a warm welcome indeed!
First order of business is sticker the rear helmet, left and right side bike and the windshield.
OOPs no windshield here...so how about a sticker on front facing tool box?
HP2 sexed up!
J4S had to chisel some bug juice off, but gets 'er done.
We run into an old instructor, Ross McKinney. We try to scam some points, but judging by later results this will prove fruitless.
The sun rises over 75 participants. I was the only X-country, there was one other G650, a 650 twin, two HP2s, one R1100, one R1150, two R80GS, and the rest were F800s/R1200s.
There are 5 groups of 15 (75 riders total). Turns out we miss riding with J4S by 3 riders.
J4S, the orange clan:
Blaster and I in the purple clan:
At first we thought it was based on what riding ability we selected. We figured he signed up for baby-novice, so we guffed him a bit about it :rofl
The photog for the day, none other than Neil Bayle himself.
Well, needless to say I would probably come back down again next year, but Blast Off Adventures will be get some extra implements of destruction for the yard.
I had some really nice wins and so many abysmal failures too. Rules for today--no standing on pegs. Points for dabbing, DNF (Did not finish) for any exercise you drop the bike.
This was a simple right angle turn. Basically, enter the cone gate, make a 90 degree turn and leave the cone gate. Lose points for dabbing, or hitting a cone, or over the lines.
There was an option, and I took the harder/sharper option. Bad move....I DNFed, 0 points.
Slow ride. You have a about 100 feet, which has a left and right boundary marker. The first section is twice as wide as the second section, which is twice as wide as the third section. This rider is in the second section, about to enter the final third (narrowest section)
You had to ride for 30 seconds without dabbing, or leaving the left/right boundaries. Every 10 feet you traveled you lost another 10 points.
For my group of 15, I was the only one to score, and it was 40 points.
This was a typical lock to lock figure eight.
I snatched full points, 20 points.
This was series of salom weaves, and a sea of cones. I should have walked to course, but we ran long on time. Meanwhile, I lost focus, realized my salom was now riding as a straight line, so why not throw the bike on the ground.
I DNFed, losing 200 points.
A series of 5 gates offset up a hill. You had to come to a non-spoke moving stop, but not dab.
Worth 60 points, and I probably got 50 pts
This was after lunch, and honestly, I think my mojo had a full tummy. Dismal points after lunch. This exercise was a small box. You had to do two full revolutions. However, the box was smaller than lock to lock turn. Basically, you had enter with some speed and either trials stop the bike around the rear axel, or have decent bike lean (centrifically) get the bike around.
Lest you not go big or go home, one to the barrels. The barrel had a cone on it. You had to ride the bike, and pick up the cone from barrel one (right side) and put it on barrel 2 (left side). Then immediately pick up a cone from barrel 3 (left) and put it on barrel 4 (right side). The last two barrels are too close to ride straight through.
Worth 20 points, I decided it would be more fun to drop the bike at barrel one, get back one and crash throw the last 2 barrels. DNF at any rate..
15 cones in a straight line. 10 feet apart. Salom weave. Leave the course for missing a cone, touching a cone, -1 pt for dabbing.
I tried to go wide and thread the needle. Should have just stayed straight on them. probably got 20 points of 150.
Ride a 16 feet long TREX dekking board. Then drop off that and ride between two 16 feet long boards, which are have a tire width.
10 points possible, my score Zippo!
Ride through a gate, accelerate to 35 MPH, do a quick obstacle avoidance swerve then swerve back through a set of cones. -3 points for every mile you enter the swerve under 35MPH. We were the last group and nobody had gotten it all day.
Oh, they had a no kidding calibrated radar clocking your speed.
It was worth 40 points, and I was probably under by 7MPH. So, 18-19 points...maybe.
I think I got about 148 points total for the day. Apparently, tomorrow is worth more points, but at this point just enjoy the ride.
It was about 30-40 mins per exercise, between waiting for my team of 15 riders to complete, as well as, waiting for the previous group to clear. It was a bit toasty weather wise, with the barometer and the humidity. The had a nice tent for us, but no cooling down between morning and afternoon sessions was probably my undoing.
Might get some go-pro after dinner. Sushi in downtown Greenville. :clap
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