In the end the weekend attracted riders from Nevada, Arizona and California in addition to the Montanans that started the whole thing. These riders had never met in real life, but they coordinated a major weekend complete with road trip, and pulled off three days of varied riding.
Along the way they used the forum message boards to make sure everyone was prepared physically, mentally and legally for the adventure. The one thing the riders had in common was a love of dirt riding so strong it motivated them to take action and go meet some others.
Most of the participants are regular contributors to the message boards, and all spend time trying to help other, less experienced riders who have questions. In that way they contribute to the Dirt Rider brand, so I wanted to meet them. I didn't let anyone know that I was coming. I got to at least shake hands with everyone, and hoped to ride with everybody after their poker run.
As it turned out I only rode and interacted with a few of the board members, but now I have names and faces to go with the screen names.
These are the main ones:
Paul B, despite being rusty from a winter buried in deep Montana snow, is a skillful and dedicated rider with the vision to put the plan in action.
Sanders is a gutsy and determined 18-year-old making a bike one year older than he is do his bidding…at least most of the time. The bike acted up and Sanders spent about seven hours alone in the desert before rescuing himself with the help of other campers.
Csully is a local lady rider who helped a great deal with the planning for the out-of-staters. She is a talented rider from a die-hard dirt biking family, and she is soon to be a school teacher.
Hellamic led the AZ component, and I was impressed with his riding, his trail etiquette, his well-stocked tool pack and his willingness to dive in and help.
Durty Gurl is a dirt riding lady Marine, and a tough cookie. She crashed pretty hard right at the start of a 65-mile ride, but toughed it out. In person she is a treat to be around.
Daggit was another one I was interested in meeting, since he is the first dirt riding sculpture I've met. He downplays his art but you may have seen some in a town square near you. He and his son were well-prepared, capable and knew when to take the easy split to keep the entire weekend fun.
There were many others, but that 65-mile loop kept me from spending more quality time with them.
It's great to meet new dirt riders, and especially those experiencing some new facet of the sport. In one of his novels Howard Fast wrote that some things are best seen through another person's eyes. I got to see riding, road trips and the desert in spring through new eyes. I feel sure that this won't be the last time this group meets up, and already they have sparked interest in other regional gatherings. DR.com: you guys and gals rock. Thanks for having me.
Be sure to check out the story of their adventure. We guarantee you will be motivated to have one of your own!