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Old 04-02-2013, 01:29 PM   #15
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Orange County, CA
Oddometer: 458
Talking A total Noob Goes to Death Valley Rally - AdvFord

Obviously since this is my first trip. This will be my first RR.

I mentioned it at the Rally but the 800 miles I rode over the 4 days were more than I've ridden in my entire life. I've had my license for 6 months but have just ridden around town that all changed when I was lucky enough to get a spot at the DV Noob Rally.

So here's the story...

Thursday morning I woke up, put on some gear that I borrowed from a friend, including a 30liter backpack cause I don't have any luggage on my G650X Challenge yet.

All ready to go, I turned the ignition and nothing. Silly me. I must have left the ignition on after prepping the bike till late the night before. First tried a push start for the first time and that was completely unsuccessful. Luckily I had plan B, jumpstart. Success!

I left Costa Mesa and jumped on the highway. Note: I never rode more than 5 miles on the highway so I was a bit nervous, especially getting my G650X Challenge up to highway speeds. But about 90 minutes later I was at Kramer Junction on 395 N. Where I found another group of travelers. These hippies held a sign "Full on love, Empty on Fuel" I gave them a few bucks towards their trip and was back on the highway.

Riding 395 was an adventure. With a heavy crosswind every time a semi truck passed I braced to be blown off the highway. Mother nature would have to try harder to keep me from getting to DV.

I reached Trona and stopped to fill up and met Fergus and his friend (sorry forgot your name) great guys who told me about the side loop out to Ballarat. What a great detour. There was a group of inmates there including Joel who called out as being a noob cause I was wearing hiking boots.
I also met Dave [meat popsicle] And that's when I rode on a trail for the first time. We took ?Indian Ranch? back out to Panamint Valley and arrived at PSR.

FRIDAY - The real adventure begins

Woke up early and met LostRider and the other 13 riders to go on Finn's noob tour around Darwin, Olancha Dunes, Trona Pinnacles, Panamint Valley.

The first few miles of the ride wasn't what I was expecting. We took the trail pass over the mountains to get to Darwin. Bikes were dropping all over the trail. LostRider would probably agree, it was chaos getting 14 mostly noobs up. I think it was BigTodd or Conteacher who helped me up and gave me the best tip. Stand up on the pegs and keep your momentum. Well that was so much easier.

LostRider photo of me "trying" to ride up the trail before getting some helpful tips.

Made it over the pass and onto some sandy trails.

Rode through the town of Darwin (LostRider) photo:

And down to the Olancha Dunes.
I've rode past the town of the Olancha dozens of times on snowboard trips to mammoth and never knew this existed right off 395. Amazing!

Me and LostRider playing on the dunes

Meat Popsicle giving it a try

Scubalong and a few others on bigger bikes tried to get out to the dunes but I can imagine a sandy trail on that is not so fun.

Trona Pinnacles

On the way to Ballarat we took a slight detour at the top of Trona Wild Rose Rd and turned off to a small trail before the road winds down into the Valley.

Lyle quickly realized this was no place for his loaned new 1200GS

This trail was so fun but challenging. Sadly, Scubalong had a fall and broke his collarbone.

LostRider photo of me

BigTodd and LostRider helped get him back to PSR and Izzyblue, Meat Popsicle, Conteacher and a few others of us continued on the dirt road till we found pavement. Smooth riding all the way back to PSR.

We did 240 miles! Wow. What a introduction to off road riding and the desert.

SATURDAY - Second Day Ever Off Road

Another early start to the day. LostRider planned a cabin loop around the valley. And I was excited to get back out there.

Unfortunately a little two excited. Less than 3 miles in I came into a corner too fast and could't avoid a large rock in front of me. my first wipe out.
Meat Popsicle and AirbornDad stopped to help me up. It only knocked the wind out of me. oh and busted off both mirrors, cracked the fender, and busted some of the plastic on the side. Not so bad! Back on the trail!

LostRider captured this pic right after I went down. Lesson learned. Slower on the corners.

We rode around on some trails for what seemed like forever. After my crash I was a riding a lot slower and even though I was trying to relax I couldn't. It was pretty exhausting. But still fun.

LostRider photo:

LostRider photo:

We rode around the dry lake bed near Ballarat. An awesome trail with some fun whoops, tight turns, sandy washes and hard packed trail. It had it all. My hands and legs were starting to get pretty tired.

We connected to the mining road and road it around the east side of the dry lake and into Ballarat. Sitting on a chair never felt so good. Thanks for the shade, old man of Ballarat.

Guess when you live in the middle of nowhere you have to do something to pass the time. Why not make bottle trees?

LostRider group photo:

Saturday night was a great time having dinner with Finn, Nancy, Dave, Casey, and Jimmy Lewis joined us for a few beers too.

The raffle was hysterical though I was really hoping to win something I could use. Grateful for a few discount coupons to A&S and BMW Motorcycles of Ventura County.

Ended the night with a campfire with the crew.


Packed everything up and said goodbye to my first and not last DV Rally
Rode with Finn, Nancy and Dave to go play on the Olancha Dunes but the wind was so strong just getting to Olancha was exhausting and we all had hundreds of miles to go to get home. We said our goodbyes and were on our way. The wind never settled down and the 240 miles home rode with a strong headwind and crosswind. Never a tailwind :-/

So that's my first trip, RR, and time in DV.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible!
Those who dare, risk defeat. Those who don't, ensure it.
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