Each year, the Soboba Trail Ride takes place for a very fortunate few off-road riders. Dirt Rider makes it a point to hit this one-off event, and the 2011 running proved to be one of the sweetest yet. Check out some of our shots from what turned out to be a perfect day of riding:
A spectator-free, invitation-only event, the Soboba Trail Ride is renowned as being one of the most fun off-road rides of the year in Southern California. Held on the Soboba Indian Reservation, the ride has been held with Tribal Council Approval for 35 years. As a result, all of the participants treat the terrain and the local Tribe with appreciation and respect.
Here’s how it works: Off-road great Malcolm Smith parks his bike up at the start of the ride, and then bikes are lined up behind his to form the starting order. Riders are treated to two loops of single-track, each about 30 miles in length.
Joe Mckimmy (left) and former DR publisher Sean Finley came out to Soboba to roost the sweet dirt on 2011 test bikes, with Mckimmy on the KTM 350 XC-F Long Haul and Finley riding our Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke. Both riders took time to throw down a one-fingered salute before the ride took off. They must have known what was coming.
Motion Pro founder Chris Carter (left) and Scott Denison were smiling this big all day long at Soboba. Between the perfect weather, perfect dirt and well-marked course, there really wasn’t anything to frown about!
Malcolm Smith gives his son, Alexander, some advice right before the start of the first loop. Alexander is an ace single-track rider and was almost back to the pits before the last rider had taken off.
Bob Graziano (center, yellow jacket) is the man behind the Soboba Trail Ride. A cousin (through marriage) of the Chief of the Tribe who originally started the Soboba Grand Prix back in the ’70, Graziano is a friend to dirt bikes and puts his heart and soul into making the ride a success.
The Dirt Rider crew gets ready to take off at the start. The first loop of Soboba features some extremely tight trail sections and several long, flowing canyons. The second loop has more elevation changes and is a bit more difficult in terms of a few nasty, tight creek crossings and rock sections. Both were an absolute blast to ride.
Check out that snow in the hills! We’re not sure if the Soboba Tribe threw down a traction dance before the ride, but the dirt was perfect and the traction was plentiful.
DR Photographer Scott Hoffman wanted to bring back a souvenir from Soboba. This raspberry was not what he had in mind.
A view from the trail. We grabbed some cool GoPro helmet camera footage from the event, and with a little luck we’ll have it up on the site soon. There are more than a few shots of branches tagging the helmet camera at full speed-one rider referred to it as a “20-mile caning!”
Great dirt, cool terrain, dirt bikes…what more could you ask for?