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Eric Hall

LAB2V 2019 Adventure Route

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I've been an AMA member for quite a few years and have done LAB2V twice.  My first time was 2011 on the GSA and I basically destroyed my rims (20 psi was too low obviously).  I did it again in 2015 on the 990 and it was much more fun given I could actually ride better and had a more dirt-appropriate bike.  I followed @motoguru and his buddy on small bikes and we finished quite early on day 1.  Day 2 we split up but it was still a lot of fast fun tracks.

Me in 2011.  Such the Starbucks noob in my BMW whale foreskin suit and Schuberth C3 touring helmet!

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I think there were about 60 adventure bikes this most recent event and unfortunately I know of at least a few who had some unfortunate spills with injury like @William Howard and Evan Brown.

I met the AMA D37 director, Kieth Huff, that year in 2011 as well and he's been trying with some degree of success to build a better ADV showing each year.  He's asked for help putting together a route before and I did give it some consideration but I was concerned the BLM was just going to say "no" and force us down the same power line roads they always go; roads I'd never choose to ride on a weekend fun ride let alone an adv-appropriate trail.  But this time Kieth says don't assume that's the case; that this event brings in quite a lot of fees to BLM and they've actually been very cooperative.  He's confident they'll work with us and may even prefer the more road-friendly motorcycles on the more tame roads out there.

End of first day

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So LAB2V has been historically quite the experience, for small bikes and especially for adv bikes.  But that's also meant not many can ride it on an ADV bike without a considerable risk to injury or damaging their bike.  Whoops and deep fluffy sand aren't really the type of terrain that's going to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for the average ADV rider.

"But Eric, THAT'S THE DESERT!" many crusty old dirtbikers will say.  "SACRILEGE!" they'll say at the idea of creating "some kind of Starbucks poser route!"

Exactly!!!  This really strikes at the core of what XLADV is all about from the beginning.  Our motto is "size matters."  It does!  Bigger adv bikes are made for different purposes.  They're made with stiffer rear subframes to carry gear, bigger tanks for longer range and more power and wind protection for long distance comfort on the highway.  They don't handle the same way as a dirtbike and aren't designed for the same terrain/riding style.  This is apples/oranges to compare big with small and somehow say "big bikes don't belong."

Bent my paralever strut in to where it was rubbing on the tire.  Found some ATV people camped with their RV who loaned me a pipe to bend it back out.

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This is nothing more than tribal bs akin to a "locals only" mentality that says unless you live and surf there regularly, don't bother trying to surf here.  The fact is that our public lands are public and belong to no particular group.  They are there for everyone's enjoyment.  Except for quads and side-by-sides!  Just so we agree on that! lol

Last day I hit a rock early in the morning before Baker and couldn't find a tube so used Slime to no good result

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I think this is a great opportunity for the AMA D37 to expand further in to ADV.  After all, it's the American MOTORCYCLE Association, not the American Dirtbike Association.  I'm sure there will be much blowback and wailing as well as "Starbucks" jokes thrown out there but I'm actually counting on that!

I'd love to leverage this in a number of ways.  I'm sure we can get sponsors and volunteers to set up "Starbucks bistros" along the way for photo ops that are then leveraged on social media (Instagram, Facebook) for points.  Prizes will be awarded the final night for those with the most points.  I'm sure many sponsors will have an interest here and perhaps each coffee station could be sponsored/manned by a particular company who'd LOVE the opportunity to also display their wares under their EZ-UP.  With over 100 riders posting snapshots of each coffee station (and sponsor) online I'm sure they'd be more than willing.  You'd need a selfie of you holding a Starbucks cup with the sponsor's sign behind you.

Managed to limp to the finish via highway from Baker stopping a few times to add air to the front wheel.

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I'm aiming for a truly tame course that the average rider on a GS could do with minimal "difficult" sections, no more than 10% of the total miles even.  Like the stretch between Husky monument and Inscription Canyon can be sandy (depending on time of year) but not impossible.  The route would be even a bit easier than the BDR-style Beyond Starbucks Gold route I came up with.  That would be a good practice run for those wishing to get some practice in.

I will be scouting routes with Mike Neagle who does the dual sport and hard routes for LAB2V in the next few months.  He's out of town this weekend but I'm going to do some scouting myself this Sunday if anyone would care to join?  Meet at 8:00 am at the Starbucks (of course) in Adelanto on Hwy 395.

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Mike Neagle here AKA as No Limit Dual Sport. I think we could layout a route pretty quickly as I know the area quite well. I am not sure how the permitting will work they do have a rider cap count approx. 550.  I have worked with the D37 group for numerous years and I have worked on the routes (ribbioning, proofing, etc) since 2011.

I have several options in mind already for a proposed route, however, some of this will be dependant of the actual LABToV course so it could correspond with checkpoints, lunch, etc. I would think. 

Just thinking out loud.

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Just watched your Intagram Live (ok, late so recorded).  Great idea Eric.  I think in true ADV style a "camp out" instead of the traditional Hotel / Motel in Barstow might be fun (and probably cold).  Great idea about the coffee stands too.  Think you could get Starbucks on board, or are they pissed about your Beyond Starbucks logo?

Per Mike Neagle's comment, did they it they max out the  550 this year?

 

Ron

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It's great to be working with Eric again. I hope to grow this segment of participants. The latest MIC numbers show the ADV bikes are leading all sales of motorcycles.

The AMA D-37 Committee was showing signs of wear when accommodating the big bikes. There were a lot of reasons, some of them being the size, the amount of resources required when one needed assistance as well as different skill levels. A beginner can ride b2v on a Honda 250 and have a blast. A beginner on a GS is gonna have issues on the route this year. A guy like Gerd or Big Todd and Eric can ride them and aren't afraid to bend a rim. Not all Adv riders are at this level. We want the average or even beginner to ride these bikes as they were intended. This isn't an XLADV ride a Joel event or even a Rawhyde, they all do great events and are good for the sport. LA-B-to-V is different. As Eric alluded to we are fully permitted and insured for every mile we ride. We pay dearly for that privilege and our riders benefit. We aren't going to hold your hand and babysit but we'll be there to help when you need it. This is a true Adventure, you want something to talk about at Starbucks, this is it. Eric's finally going to help us have a true dedicated ADV route for regular folks. You badasses can do the Dualsport route, we aren't telling anyone which route to take or limit anyone. We all party with the Showgirls in Vegas. 500 riders, 500 miles, 500 stories.....just get there baby!

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Thanks, @Kieth Huff and @No Limit Dual Sport for this opportunity.  Really looking forward to offering simply a fun time on an adventure bike people won't forget.  We'll do it safely and with respect to our environment so BLM and everyone are happy.

We'll be talking more soon and I'm sure I will learn much more about how to execute this successfully.  You have many many years of experience with this!

PS. please don't demo ride a bike in the parking lot and end up on someone's hood again lol 😂

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Had a great day of riding today with Nicholas Blewett and Ethan Demir.  We busted Ethan's dirt cherry too!  He showed up on his sparkle pony where else but Starbucks!  He has his bike extra clean complete with shiny aluminum panniers (which we left in Nicholas's truck) and his Klim Badlands suit (made from real whale foreskin).

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It was a chilly morning with temps at Starbucks about 42.  Had to crank up the heated jacket to 11!

We got on the trail and Ethan was doing alright but for two minor falls.  Later he had a more serious fall when he went to put a foot down but it was the downhill foot and there was nothing to touch so he fell hard and bruised his right hip but seems to be okay.  He handled the rest of the day pretty well, all things considered.

We made to to the Husky Monument (memorial).  Yes, those are street tires.  #newb 

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Nicholas on the AT

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So I hear this low familiar braap over the hill and guess who rides up to a brake slide stop?  Jordan Huibregtse, the KTM Challenge winner who KTM gave a 790 Adventure to to play around with.  He was in town still from last week's LAB2V and I think he wanted to show his dad the Husky monument.  Super nice guy and great rider.

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We then headed back across Cuddeback dry lake for some photos

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So bottom line is that we had a blast!  Having Ethan there as a noob guinea pig was perfect.  He got through everything fine with just a few minor tip overs and did the whole course if but at a bit slower pace than most.  Most importantly, he had a great time!

I'm sure we'll make a lot of crusty old dirt bikers really mad that it all went so smoothly 😂  The comments from FB have been pretty funny.  See, apparently "66% of ADV riders don't know what they're doing" and I guess we'll have to administer some kind of "dirt skills test" to keep out the newbiest of noobs.  😂

#xladv #sizematters

 

 

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@Eric Hall I'm really excited for this route to happen. There have been a couple years where I contemplated doing it but was always concerned my bike wouldn't make it out the other end. This is a big deal since my bike is also my form of transportation to get to work. Will be watching the developments closely. 

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The Backcountry Discovery routes are no different.  Tens of thousands now have ridden dirt routes over tens of States with minimal mayhem.  Turns out people can ride adv bikes off road after all.

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17 hours ago, NavyNuke said:

Would love to help if I can get free time.

Any major waypoints the route needs to hit?

Not that we know yet.  It's basically Palmdale to Barstow then Barstow to Vegas and has to share the same lunch/gas stop as the other routes which we don't know yet.  Will most likely hit points of interest like Husky monument, petroglyphs, crash sites, dry lake beds, etc...

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Was not able to make the ride this weekend.  My son had a volleyball tournament that I thought was Sat so I scheduled the ride for Sunday.  Then I find out late that the tournament is actually Sunday so I had to bail but I think 4-5 still showed.

It was Nich, @Trailzrider, @Bip Schkaboden, Rick Giroux and Drew.

I heard that long straight road north was sprayed down with what smelled like sewage.  I heard there were a lot of deep puddles from the rain and then a rock field over by Inscription Canyon but not too bad.

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