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Friday, April 9, 2010

Getting dirty in a big way

Finding events to ride a dirt bike in New England is pretty tough. Most of the "dual sport" events are really just untimed enduro routes. I tried one on the Transalp and only made it to the first gas stop before giving up. Wrong bike with the wrong tires. The other riders were supportive and helped me get through a couple of tough sections but, for me and the TA, every section was a Hero Section.

Luckily, somebody must be paying attention because there are more and more events that are oriented towards the big dual sports like the TA and GS. BMW has an Adventure Riding Series and KTM and AMA have teamed up for a national dual sport series that has separate routes for lightweight and heavyweight bikes.

Three events for New England are coming soon. The 30th New England Classic Charity Trail Ride 5&6 June starting at NHMS in Loudon, NH is a great affair. It has both big bike and lightweight enduro classes. It even has a kids ride so they can get out and enjoy the fun too. It's well run, lots of fun, and has contributed literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year, in addition to the lunches and banquet, they are raffling off a brand new RMX450Z (think of the old DRZ400 on steroids). Hit up a few friends for donations and you can ride free and get a chance at the RMX. Here are some photos of a past event.

The Berkshire Trail Riders are hosting the Berkshire Big Adventure on 23 May 2010.
200 miles of dirt roads, back roads, and unmaintained roads of the scenic Berkshires. Main route for Big Adventure Bikes with Hero Sections for Dualsport Thumpers. Do Not Bring Your Enduro Bike!
Signup at 7am Riders Meeting at 9am
Entry Fee $40 ($35 by 2 May)
Start/Finish at Tucker's Pub
61 South Main St
Sandisfield MA 01255
Info: or

Hoot Owl Scramblers are hosting the Hoot's 100 on 2 May
Arrowed from CT/RI border on Rt 44
Signup 7:30-11am First bikes out at 8am
Turkey Run - 100 miles of 40% back roads & 60% nice trail with optional Hero Sections
Dual Sport - 100 miles of nice back roads with state park dirt roads. Easy wide trails with some Hero Sections (if you feel like being a hero). This ride will be rider friendly for any size dual sport bike.
Contact: Kenny Law at 401-567-0964
These are fun runs that anyone can ride on any dual sport bike. Don't let the gear (or lack of it) stand in the way of riding in one of these events. I rode in one with an old open face helmet and cowboy boots! Skip the Hero Sections and it's just a ride in the park. Dave rides with his Nolan helmet and Aerostich suit.

Maybe I'll dig out my old '66 Honda Scrambler for one of them just for the joy of riding it again. I used to ride it everywhere because it's what I had and I didn't know any better. Who says I know any better now?