Sunday, January 24, 2016

San Diego desert loop: 150 miles of much-needed bliss

I had 1/2 day free and wanted a nice ride outside of the city. The weather was looking good so I hopped on my big KTM and headed east toward the desert. It was brisk on the highway but never got colder than 48 degrees.

I passed a few of my favorite rides as I rode east: The Viejas Grade and the Sunrise Highway (S1) are two fine rides in the eastern San Diego area. You can just see those cool roads slicing through the hills…

My soul poked out of my chest, then hopped on to my shoulder for some fresh air and a better view.

"Faster, FASTER!" OK. I smiled and my soul smiled back. Man, I really needed this ride today.

I rode about 60 miles on the I-8 to Ocotillo, then turned north into the desert on the S2, a lazy old paved route that cuts nicely through the middle of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Even better, the temperature averaged a fine-feeling 65 degrees.

There wasn't much traffic in either direction. Not much happening. Even the green-garbed agents at the Border Patrol checkpoint just smiled and waved as I rode past.

Now, if you want to set a personal land speed record, the S2 is a good road on which to do it. But not today, no sir. Today I was just cruising along enjoying the day.

I noticed that the area had received a lot of rain and that means we’ll see quite a desert wildflower display this spring; I look forward to seeing that.

I passed many trails that went to the right off into the desert or to the left up into the hills. But I wasn't exploring sandy trails today so I continued along on the S2’s weathered pavement. I smiled as I passed Canyon sin Nombre, remembering the place where I rode and camped this time last year.

I pulled off the S2 to snap some photos and drink some water. It was dead quiet; just me and a cactus or three. I walked over the landscape as I enjoyed the soothing silence of the desert.

Time to go. I slid my leg over the bike’s seat and throttled through the gears. In 20 minutes I’d reached Highway 78 where I took a left and headed west toward Julian. I leaned into the curves of the Banner Grade, bypassing Wynola Road, a cool little backcountry ride in the Julian area.

I stopped in Julian to have pizza and beer with my friend and fellow rider Dan at the Nickel Beer Co., a newer establishment frequented mostly by locals. The jalapeno and habanero beers were perfect for the brisk, sunny day…

From there we continued along the 78 to Ramona, taking the 67 and the I-8 back to San Diego.

The ride was barely 150 miles but was just what I needed. My goal was some thought-clearing bliss: Goal achieved.

Friday, January 15, 2016

WARPED XII: April 21-23 (Kernville, CA)

So...WARPED is an annual event that my friends always attend. And it always sounds like there's more drinking than riding going on (all you can drink beer is included in the event price). WARPED is the Western Adventure Rider Party and Edurance Drinking event. And that should tell you all you need to know.

It appears the planets are aligned this year. I'm leaving SD on Friday and returning on Sunday. I'll report back if and when I return...

More info:

Your ticket INCLUDES unlimited access to the beer (and other libation) kegs.


It’s included. You can show up, park, set up camp and go to town as much as you want. Truly a life changing event for many-some of us barely make it out of camp..! There is also the super secret voluntary donation SPIRITS TABLE for those of us who enjoy cocktails or whiskey (having one right now as I type this, actually).

Let’s talk about the significance of number TWELVE, this being the twelfth WARPED.

There may be twelve steps to recovery in some of the programs out there, but for those of us who AREN’T quitters, there are twelve steps to WARPED!!!!

1) You admit you are powerless over WARPED.
2) You believe WARPED is a greater power and can return you to insanity.
3) You make a decision to turn your will over to the care of WARPED as you understand it.
4) You make a searching, fearless moral inventory of your ADV riding and endurance drinking capability.
5) You admit to WARPED and yourself the nature of your previous ADV wrongs.
6) You are entirely ready to remove the defect in your character of NOT going to WARPED.
7) You humbly ask the past HDIC’s & noob welcome squad to remove your shortcomings.
8) You make a list of all the times you’ve not partied or rode hard enough (either one is ok) and be willing to make amends at WARPED.
9) You make direct amends by personally taking action on these matters.
10) You continue to take fearless personal & public inventory of these shortcomings in your ADV life in the thread all the way up to WARPED XII.
11) You sought through the bottom of a bottle to improve your conscious contact with Bacchus, the god of wine, ritual madness, and parties, as you understand his will and power.
12) Having a spiritual and existential awakening as a result of these steps, carrying this message to other ADV inmates on our beloved site.

There are also TWELVE gods in the Greek pantheon, BACCHUS, the god of wine, winemaking, parties and ritual madness, being the most important for this event - and he HAS given his blessing to this, our twelfth WARPED!!!

“Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.”

Aristophanes (the Greeks knew what was up)

Oh man. You know I love this event.

What is WARPED?

It’s an outstanding of group of adv riders of any and all stripes, who are awesome humans and down for anything. Want to ride hardcore singletrack on a little bike? Plenty of folks have and are doing that.

Want to wallow your 500+lb pig around off pavement? TONS of those guys around (that would be me last year, someone has two up off pics).

Want to ride pavement only on some overloaded two wheeled dreadnought the size of a Honda Fit? Yep, Kernville has some of the most outstanding paved motorcycle roads in CA and plenty of other folks around to join in with ya.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least, want to ride in, park it, and hang out all weekend at camp? Well, that would be the rest of us left over!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Arivaca Outback: A mostly KLR camp/ride (February 20-21)

I've been invited to attend the 6th annual Arivaca Outback ride, a mostly KLR-oriented gathering g on 60 acres of land south of Tucson.

I'm riding out from San Diego on 2/19 and will return on 2/22. At least two other SoCal riders will be riding with me.

This looks like a lot of fun...but we all know that KLRs, good peeps and fun go hand in hand!

Here's some info on the event:

Dual Sport Riding in Arivaca, Arizona - February 20-21, 2016

Every year a bunch of us get together and ride around the mountains in Southwest Arizona, Eat BBQ and Sourdough Pancakes, Tell a Bunch of Stories, and Some of Us Sleep Under the Stars.


Take the Arivaca exit (48) from Highway I-19 south towards Nogales. Head up the Arivaca road: 23 miles.
Ride right through town and past the La Gitana. Keep to the right and drive another 1.7 miles to 18180 - at the 10 mile marker on the Arivaca Sasabe Road. Right there is a road that heads off to the east northeast (right) and you'll be there. Look for a big pile of rocks with a Panama Canal medallion on top. It is also marked with the address sign.


We never know just who's going to come except the "regulars" so if you plan to come let us know with an e-mail at Even if you are a "regular."

Announcing the Arivaca Outback!

(A series of tech/ride days on Weekend: February 20th-21rd)
We are again hosting "The Arivaca Outback" down at our place near Arivaca, Arizona on the dates above. Mark your calendars and join us! We'll have a barbeque, plenty of sourdough pancakes, and plan to do things right: eat, drink, tinker, and ride.

2016 will be the 6th year that we have held this event.

Arivaca is a very special place for a number of reasons, but at the top of the list is it's beautiful setting, sparse population and the great many dual-sport riding opportunities.
The riding in the area is phenomenal (see more pictures HERE). Comprised primarily of old mining roads, fire-roads and Border Patrol paths, there is something for all levels of rider and plenty of nice pavement if you'd rather stick to the "twisties." This is a very unstructured event where you can work on your bike, shoot the breeze with other riders, or ride 'til you drop.

Getting to Arivaca is easy. It is about an hour southwest of Tucson and Google Earth has the coordinates of Andy's driveway at:

31° 35' 29.08" N
111° 21' 19.31" W

Our "bike garage" is an outdoor carport with ample room to work on multiple bikes at a time. This event is weather-dependent and will likely be "adjusted" if inclement conditions move in. We'll keep everyone posted.

There's also ample room for RVs or tents on Andy's property (55 acres) for those who would like to spend the night(s). We'll have a fire going as well. A trailer that sits on the property can house a few riders and there's also some space in the main house. There are some local B&Bs lie the Cottage on Crooked Sky, but sufficient lodging is available in Green Valley, 23 miles away, if you prefer to go that route.


You are welcome to come early on Friday the 19th and we can shoot the breeze or go over to the La Gitana for a beer.

Day 1:

Saturday, February 20th: Meet and greet at the local coffee shop at 9am or at our place at 10-ish to get out riding or break out the wrenches and begin what work needs to be done. We expect to have doohickey tools, a few lifts, assorted other tools (please bring your own specialty tools and/or oil/fluids, if they're required), an air compressor, a small welder, torque wrenches, coolers, some barely edible food, and plenty of good laughs.

For those not wrenching, there is plenty of territory to explore and we'll provide some maps and GPS fixes of places we've been. At days end the barbeque will be cranked up and the fire going so we can sit around compare notes, brag and share lies about our rides. Also, the local tavern is just up the street and we can give you a ride.

Day 2:

Sunday, February 21: More of the same, with a night out at the 'La Gitana' or in nearby Sasabe for those who are interested. We have a couple cars so we can provide transportation.

Day 3:

Monday, February 22rd: For those staying on, we’ll do some more riding and wind it up sometime midday, so we all have time to ride home before dark. So come for a day or for the the entire weekend and enjoy meeting other riders, and tearing around the mountains.

Again, any questions or suggestions contact Andy at

Last year we had some biffs including me getting caught in one of these ruts and being thrown onto one of these ridges. I broke six ribs. This year we are going for no injuries!

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