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Old 07-29-2013, 12:20 AM   #35
Gnarly Adventurer
BigBearJoe's Avatar
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Bothell, Washington, USA
Oddometer: 144
Originally Posted by Goofy Footer View Post
Question for you guys - In your opinion how does this race compare to other races (Baja 500, Nat H&H, Norra) from a racer's perspective?

-ie fun factor, price/value, race terrain, accessibility (to event and for pit crews), safety, bad-ass-ness factor ha

I'm just trying to get a lay of the land. V2R is the Longest Off-Road Race in the US which is badass!
First off I'll start with my disclaimer. I am about to brag about and revel in my past glories. I consider my race record in the Vegas to Reno to be one of the top highlights of my entire amateur racing career.

I raced and crossed the finish line in the first seven Vegas to Reno races, starting in 1996. The first was done as part of a three-man team but the final six were all solo ironman. So just to put a point on that, that's six, consecutive solo finishes in a one-day 500+ mile race across the Nevada desert. It's likely that some type of unofficial record and I would love to see someone take on the challenge of topping it.

I've always loved the concept and the actuality of spending all day racing a motorcycle. But those first few years were brutal on my body. I was completely pummeled by the time I finished which was usually several hours after dark and after around 16 hours in the saddle. In the later years my speed and skill had improved enough that I was able to finish in daylight and feel relatively decent afterwords.

I always treated it as a race, not a casual trail ride, but with that said, the dust first thing in the morning is absolutely insane and you really can throw your whole race away in the first hour or so. Just be patient at first and wait till people start to spread out and the dust becomes manageable before you worry about making any challenging passes. It is obviously a long day and many guys will do the work for you by taking themselves out either with physical exhaustion, crashes, or mechanical issues. Keep your head, maintain a comfortable steady pace, and just focus on moving forward all the time.

Try to keep slowly sipping water all day. And try to eat just a little bit of food at the pit stops. Maybe a power gel, pieces of energy bar, some grapes or Apple slices. Whatever's relatively healthy, full of energy, and easy to put down in a few bites.

Unless you're absolutely sure you're an upper tier racer, bring a good headlight because you most likely will be riding after dark. All your hard work and effort will get thrown out the window if you try to ride an hour or two (or six) with poor lighting.

But most of all, just glory in the fact that you live in this great country that still allows you to spend all day flying your motorcycle across the desert!
Once upon a time, in a wee little shack…

Six time consecutive Vegas to Reno Ironman finisher. Lover of desert motorcycle racing. Now navigating the world via power wheelchair.
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