Published: August 18th 2010August 9th 2010
Having only done, at the most, probably only 30 miles on a dirt bike in one trip, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with an itinerary that planned for over 425 miles in 4 days. The starting point was in Hatch, UT where we awoke to humongous storm clouds headed our way. Having not eaten, or taking care of our number two duties, we rush to put all our equipment on. Luckily, once it was evident that we couldn't beat the rain, our trusty trail leaders decided to just get breakfast first and wait it out for a minute. Despite this, once we started on our journey it was pouring down rain anyways.
So, it starts off pretty good...it's not entirely evident quite yet that I am the least experienced of the group, and I'm wondering what kind of terrain I'm getting myself into... About 40 miles in, we reach this muddy area where everyone is sliding around on a flat surface. I drop the bike, no biggie, but then I notice that I can barely stand on this mud, which seems to be some sort of clay and feels like riding on ice, and it clumps up super
easy. I need help starting the bike because I can't even stand and there is about 20 pounds of mud already collected on each of my boots. Once I get going again, I continue to struggle, becoming more and more frustrated until I wreck the bike again with the bike sliding out onto it's side. It wasn't a bad accident, but I see that the clutch lever has broke...shit, no real biggie, until I see now that the shifter is completely bent up and as I touch it, just breaks off. The bike is officially out of commission, fortunately we brought a backup bike. My friend Jerry gets my bike started, and moving, and I nervously ride his KTM 525, hoping I don't wreck that too. We head back to camp to exchange bikes... The other guys keep going to the other town, but eventually another bike goes down due to a mechanical failure (there was a hole in the head of the engine?!?!).
After having to end the trip for the day at our halfway point, everyone, thus far, was pretty frustrated...and wet.
Day 2, we start our journey on open fire roads where I was having
a hard time keeping up to speed with everyone cause the terrain was still wet, and I was nervous about breaking another bike. Shortly in, another disaster, Joe's 250 seizes up on him and he's fucked! We get him picked up in the truck and we continue on...
After our lunch, I let Bryant, whose KTM blew a hole in the engine, ride my bike for the rest of the trip...it was beneficial to me AND him because I was tired already and he REALLY wanted to ride. Joe and I head to the motel where the gang was supposed to end up. A few hours later, we get a call that there's been an accident and we were told to come quickly without any information, other than meet them at a Texaco in a small town. An hour later, we arrive to find out that Mike hit a rock going super fast and flew off his bike, which also supposedly did a couple flips in the air ass well. Fortunately, locals were around to help him get to a doctor, and they were even generous enough to even make us dinner, which was good considering there was nowhere to
eat within 30 miles. Another day cut short, but fortunately Mike was okay and is going to live, for now.
Day 3 and it's finally a clear day! At this point, I didn't even want to ride because I was frustrated and my friend Jerry, whose bikes I was riding, was giving me a hard time about not going fast enough. As soon as I got on the bike and saw that the terrain was dry, I felt better and I finally began catching up because I was comfortable with increasing my speed. After doing about 110 miles or so through some rough rocks and various other terrains, I was pretty exhausted, so I traded off with Joe at the lunch break...I also knew that the gang was determined to make up for lost miles so they were going to do another 100 miles or so.
Day 4 was the cruising day with not as many miles to travel and a lot to see! This was a fun day for everyone and we made it back alive. I almost didn't...Jerry was intent on getting a picture of me going through water of some kind. Luckily, towards the end
of the trail, I saw this pond with Jerry standing next to it with his camera, and about 4 or 5 of the guys standing to the side corner of it waiting for me to go through...we got a great picture, but unfortunately I hydroplaned in it causing me to steer to where everyone was standing. I could have rode it out had they not been there, but instead I was going bowling, so right before I hit them, I slammed on the front brakes, threw the bike down along with myself and got a little banged up...I lived.
It was an amazing trip! I feel 5 times better on a bike and I got to see amazing landscapes of Utah that I never thought existed. However, I'm very sore.
There are more photos below