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Topic: Ride Report: Black Dog Dualsport 2007  (Read 3528 times)

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kurtw
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« on: July 16, 2007, 11:59:12 pm »

Prologue: I busted my left hand in June (not riding, klutz, don't ask  Lol) and have been off the bike with a splint for most of that time. This is the first real ride I've taken since then.

July 13-15 was this year's AMA Black Dog Dualsport Rally. Friends Dave (#62), Scott (#73), and I (#61) rode both days. Click here to skip to the photo gallery, which includes bonus pictures of lots of cool dualsport sidecar bikes.

We arrived late Friday night in a borrowed RV, courtesy of Scott's parents. All that supposed luxury comes at a price in terms of gas and hassle, but I slept very well. This is always a good thing before a 300 mile weekend of dualsport riding. We staged this year from the Hood River Fairgrounds, a perfect location.

Saturday





We arose early Saturday to do final prep on the bikes and get our bearings. After db check at the start checkpoint, we were sent off.  Almost immediately out of the fairgrounds, we began climbing the notheast slopes of Mt. Hood towards Cloud Cap on gravel and A-section dirt tracks. These quickly brought us up to some stunning views of Hood, seemingly a stone's throw away.





Temperatures were hot but comfortable for riding. Trail conditions were very dusty, which made riding difficult if riders were not well spaced.



We passed through eye-popping landscapes of mountains views, wild flowers, and wild fires. In fact, there were several active forest fires burning in areas that we passed.

For lunch, our rollcharts lead us down into the burg of Tygh Valley, where the landscape began to take the appearance of high desert and the temperatures rose still higher. It's always fun to see what happens when 150+ dirtbikes and descend upon a town of population 224. We were treated grandly at the market/deli, our prearranged lunch and gas stop.



After lunch, we had a last minute re-route for road closures due to another active fire. Without an accurate rollchart or clear directions, we had riders going in circles every which way trying to find the next reset point at Friend, Oregon. I finally just let the GPS lead the way and we arrived in Friend, a four way intersection with a landmark white church and a few porta-potties in the middle of open, rolling desert ranch land.

The rest of the day was more of the same. A great mix of gravel/dirt roads, fun narrow 2-track dirt, and single-track A trails that included rocky hill-climbs and other challenges.



Upon finishing the final checkpoint back at the fairgrounds, anyone who wasn't too pooped was treated to tacos and a valuable riding techniques seminar given by "Coach" Stroud.

Sunday

Sunrise Sunday morning brought the honking of horns in camp signaling that it was time to get moving for the rider briefing. Tom, our fearless leader, briefed us on the ride for the day, including the bridge crossing into Washington and the route up there. The briefing highlighted various tricky bits of the route including trail features such as this:


After leaving the fairgounds, we rode farm roads through the Hood River orchard country and crossed the toll bridge (MX knobbies on a steel deck...) into Washington. A few twisty, paved miles up through White Salmon brought us gravel and then very quickly to narrow single and two track trails.







More wildflowers, more incredible mountain views, more great trails, more dust. The views of Mt. Adams were as good as they get.



The silty, talcum powder dust was even worse than Saturday in many spots. This factored largely into how the rest of the day went.

On the section before lunch, we came up on the group that was riding ahead of us. One rider had possibly overcooked a downhill gravel corner in the dust. He was clearly not going to be getting up and resuming the ride right away. His bell was rung, but it wasn't clear yet how badly he was hurt. After placing calls to base camp, confirming that his four friends were looking after him, that there was a working mobile phone in the group, and that there was nothing else we could do there, we departed to get the word down to the next checkpoint at Trout Lake. We heard later that he had been ridden out on a side car with broken ribs, collar bone, and a concussion.

The section after the lunch stop included some very fun humpty bumpy two track and narrow silty trails. This is where we came upon our second accident of the day. Another rider had gone down ahead of us at slow speed in the silt and caught his leg under the bike. It was badly broken and he was going nowhere. We got him comfortable, built a shade for him, kept him hydrated, etc. Again my cell phone was working so we called down to base with our location on the rollchart and GPS coordinates so they could help route assistance to us. We stayed with him for several hours, exchanging bad jokes, until sweep riders and eventually an EMT crew arrived and he was airsplinted, litter-carried down the trail, and loaded up into an ambulance.



This was my second Black Dog. Tom and the other organizers and crew do an awesome job of putting on this event. Big thanks to everyone involved.

Epilogue: I saw the doctor today (Monday after the Blackdog) for my scheduled followup on the hand. He reports that it's mostly healed and I can start to take it out of the splint a little bit each day.  Wink
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 07:36:25 pm by kurtw » Logged

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Mac
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 12:59:17 am »

That looked like lots of fun. I've been wanting to try the AMA dualsport ride in Arkansas, but have never had the time and gumption to go.
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007, 10:02:12 pm »

Kurt,
Did you get to meet the infamous Mr. COB from Russian Iron?  He rides a Ural Gear-Up with ADV sticker on the hack and normally takes his dachsund, Spot, in the hack.  

Glad you had a good time; looked like big fun.
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kurtw
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2007, 10:34:42 pm »

Not really. I have a few of his bike/sidecar but nothing of him or his dog riding. They rode by when we were waiting around with Luca for evac and I was cursing myself for not having the camera out... little dachsund poking its head out of the sidecar cover and all.  Smile

Sorry this is the best I have:


I'd love to have a Ural for this kind of stuff. All the sidecar folks looked like they were having a blast.
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2007, 01:02:55 am »

Yep, they are surprsingly good off-road, even the 1WD like mine.

In our usual fearsome foursome only one of us has 2WD.  John has an '06 Gear Up with knobbies all they way around.  We can go just about everywhere he can, but I still lust for a GU.
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2007, 01:27:30 am »

Slick ride. So I take it that it was more of a ride than a race? Perhaps a loose race? Seemed you did some picture stops.

I like the side car shots - and their camera mounts!
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kurtw
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2007, 02:13:07 am »

Slick ride. So I take it that it was more of a ride than a race? Perhaps a loose race? Seemed you did some picture stops.

No, not everyone rides the same speed, but these aren't races. The challenges are the navigation and the riding itself. The trails included a great mix of semi-fast (if you want) trail riding on the main route and technical offroad challenges on the optional A trails, in addition to primative public and forest roads. The points competition comes from silly games and things like slow-riding challenges at the checkpoints (ride as slow as you can over a small marked off course with obstacles, etc).

I guess it's racing for guys who don't care how fast they are  Wink
« Last Edit: July 21, 2007, 02:45:37 am by kurtw » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2007, 10:21:04 pm »

Very nice. Man that looks like a lot of fun. Glad to see your hand is working again.  Thumbsup
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kurtw
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2007, 10:41:35 pm »

Thanks!
Same bike, different weekend...  (yesterday) Lol

« Last Edit: August 05, 2007, 10:43:36 pm by kurtw » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2007, 10:44:56 pm »

That looks skeery!  EEK!
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