It was another great n00bs rALLy in Death Valley.
Kudos first of all to h8chains (Joel) who's been the lead organizer for March MADness for the past several years. He does an amazing job trying to organize the chaos of an un-organized ADV event. DSM8 awarded Joel with a brass cowboy hat on Saturday night for "herding the cats". But there's a lot of support from a lot of people. I wont remember everyone, but thanks to all of those that chipped in to help in pulling this event off.
Not sure of exact numbers, but there were about 150 signed up. Many backed out at the last minute (several due to the weather in just trying to make it to DV). Those traveling from the north faced some pretty fierce weather conditions to make it to DV. I think about 120-130 actually made ended up participating.
But once everyone arrived, the weather was great for riding. Unfortunately, a few passes were still closed due to snow which caused some last minute rearranging of planned rides. Were an adaptable bunch, and it all worked out. Some even braved the snow. Hopefully we'll see more pics and stories from them.
You never realize how vast DV is until you get 100+ riders out there, and still you (usually) never see more than your particular riding group out on the trails. DV National Park is approximately 3.4 million acres. Although there's no true offroad riding (you need to stay on designated roads paved or unpaved), there's over 1000 miles of those "roads" to explore, and many of them are pretty rough and challenging.
Some of the organization of the event shows up in the fact that I believe the worst injury incurred was a sore finger. I think only one person had more than one flat (not sure how many had flats overall but don't think it was a large number this year). Riders ranged in age from 17 to 59, and I think one guy over 70. Wayward Rider travelled from Seattle and showed up on her Triumph Bonneville. Not sure where KJ travelled from but I think I heard he rode in on a DR200. It was a diverse group, and everyone got along just fine. Everyone looked out for all those in their riding groups, and everyone was accounted for. I believe the police were so impressed with us that they awarded a few with a summons to return (or the chance to pay a few extra dollars to the cash-strapped Calif or Nevada governments).
Unfortunately my camera stopped working on the very first morning. I'll provide some commentary on the rides I took but will depend on others for the pics.
Hopefully everyone is arriving home safely; and we'll start seeing some amazing pics and hearing about the adventures soon...
2006 R1200GS; 2009 Husaberg Rally 570; 2011 Husaberg FE570
"Speak to me of summer, long winters longer than time can remember;
Setting up of other roads, travel on in old accustomed ways."