2014 LAB2V - Prep rides
By Eric Hall
"Taste of Dakar" began back in 2012 when AltRider decided they wanted to do a couple of things. One was establish a relationship with the riding community through a destination type event. The other was to literally give riders a taste of what riding the Dakar rally might look like. Now of course the Dakar is run by professionals on custom designed 450cc rally bikes over severe terrain in stages that are sometimes 1,000 km or longer. This was designed to be more for the weekend adventure bike rider and has levels of difficulty depending on what type of rider you are (A, B, C).
The first was held at Shoshone RV park in Shoshone, CA. This was really more of an experiment and it's clear AltRider has learned much because each event has been better than the one before.
Here's a video from that first one.
I got my tracks jacked up because my 60 CSx won't handle tracks of over 500 points so it truncated most of the "intermediate" tracks I wanted to ride and I think I ended up routing us on one of the advanced sections because it was a very long and loose sand wash. Luckily, Jimmy Lewis rode by and showed us an easier way out and we finished without too much trouble.
The 2013 event was moved over to Pahrump, NV to the Lakeside RV resort. This wasn't really ideal since there was only one shower and the ducks from the lake crapped everywhere and were quacking all night long. It got really cold too, like 25 degrees. The tracks seemed better this year, at least the intermediate ones I rode. They asked me if I'd let two journalists ride in my group and I said "sure as long as they can ride." They could ride for sure! The highlight was ending at Big Dune and riding my 600 lb pig in dunes for the first time ever AND... with none other than Johnny Campbell and Jimmy Lewis. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!
But this ride report is for the 2014 Taste of Dakar. In so many ways this event exceeded the prior two. For one, they held it at the Wine Ridge RV resort, which has MANY hot showers as well as a jacuzzi, laundry, car wash, wi-fi, etc... The tracks were AMAZING. And of course the weather was a treat; we had a major rain/snow storm blow through that actually made for epic desert riding conditions.
Since the event, this video by Ride of My Life's Brad Barker, has really taken the event to mythical status.
I rode up on Thursday with Rich and we had planned to ride the day before. We ended up riding the intermediate tracks in reverse order (no big deal really) but in the afternoon, the storm really intensified and we got caught in a flash flood and for a while, it was a bit dicey exactly how we would get ourselves out of that area...
By Tomek S
I think this is very interesting read from a many angles. One of them would be not to underestimate the "desert". It is a beautiful place yet very dangerous if you make a mistake. Second one is the proper search, reading clues and how important is to understand a person's mind when in death and life situation.
This is great read, however very tragic and sad.
This is the tale of what for me was a rather remarkable adventure. It was assembled on the basis of my personal recollection and experience, emails, GPS logs and some official documents. It represents solely the perspective and opinions of myself, in my more lucid moments. It is in no way intended to represent the position of the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, nor any other agency mentioned. Further, my usual writing style tends to be somewhat lighthearted and flippant, which would be somewhat at odds with the serious and tragic nature of the incident being reported. I have attempted to remain sensitive to the underlying events, yet retain a certain level of casual narrative that some might find entertaining. And if not entertaining, then at least informative.
As part of due diligence I need to add an important note. In the past I’ve kept certain locations regarding this incident fairly well cloaked for a variety of reasons, explained as part of the narrative. Mainly, it’s a very difficult, even dangerous, area to get into, and there are a lot of armchair desert adventurers possibly tempted to try it. However in the interest of completeness I’ve decided to include images showing the GPS tracks of the various search efforts. I’ve also refrained from my favorite trick of photo-reversing images of the site. What you see it what it was. At this point, there is nothing left at the site for souvenir hunters, so I see no need for maintaining its secrecy. Anyone reading of the difficulties encountered in this search should consider any visitation very carefully. As a point of reference, if you’re not physically capable of doing a day hike to the top of Mount Whitney and back, and aren’t a skilled, off-trail hiker, you should stay out of this area. My opinion, anyway. That’s a measure of how hard it is to get into the area on foot (and out, safely!). At this point I know the location and surroundings probably better than anyone, and I’m not going back. The area scares me just a bit.
Introduction, July 23, 1996 The original search and interim years I get sucked in (It never seems crazy at the beginning) A pretty stupid day hike, 10/27/2009 I concoct a theory “Tom, we have some bones here….”, 11/11 – 12/2009 Intermission The Big Search, 12/5 – 6/2009 The craziest day hike, ever, 3/23/2010 Up the N3 canyon, 4/15/2010 Water Carriers, 10/30/2010 A whole lotta nuthin’, 11/13-14/2010 Epilogue
By Eric Hall
Sunday 8:30 am
McDonald's at 3870 Sierra
3870 Sierra, Fontana, California 91759
Two unique rides stacked back to back.
The First ride toward Lytle Creek begins at Chevron McDonald's at 3870 Sierra Avenue in Fontana. Meet at 8:30am and Stands up at 9am Sharp. The difficulty is 2/10.
Google Maps Link: http://goo.gl/maps/lvd5Y
The Second ride through Cleghorn Ridge will meet at 10:30am and leave at 11am Sharp from the Chevron/Mc Donalds 3260 Wagon Train Road Phelan, CA. The Difficulty is 4/10
Google Maps Link: http://goo.gl/maps/YmZvZ
* Reservations are not required and there is no charge; just show prior to the "stands up" time and be prepared to ride.
* All routes are considered "Big Bike" friendly, though light to moderate damage can occur.
* All hard luggage should be left at home, though each individual should carry basic provisions and hand tools in case a break down occurs.
* Plan and dress for a temperature range of between 40F and 80F, with elevation changes of about 3,000'.
* Be honest about your personal physical condition; if you get out of breath climbing stairs, this kind of ride will pose a significant hazard to your health.
* All riders must be prepared to autonomously manage roadside first aid and mechanical issues. We will do our best to help but you are ultimately responsible to extract a broken vehicle if needed.
All bikes are welcome! No snobbery here!
Please indicate if you are going so we know who and how many to expect.