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Ever since I rode my first dirt bike in '62 (a stripped down '59 Zundapp 250 street bike) I've never been able to quit riding. Buggies, 4X4s, quads etc. have been fun too, but nothing can match a bike for super-fun! The adrenalin rush I got on a desert race start line with several hundred other bikes was awesome. A dead engine mass start, so quiet before they dropped the banner you could hear a pin drop, only an occasional ratcheting of a kick starter and the pounding of your own heart could be heard. I started in '69 as a "novice" and five months later had transferred to "amateur" and by the next year had transferred to "expert". I was in over 250 desert races over the years.  Though, as an "old fart" now, I just ride "dual sport" non-competitive events and go "cow trailing" with friends, I'll never forget those racing days. Every time I look at one of my old trophies the memories return. This page chronologically highlights some of my "off-road" fun..

 

CIRCA 1969-1979

 

1971 Barstow-To-Vegas, the world's biggest and toughest race. 175 miles of rough desert. 3,600 entries, only 600 finishers. The start line (in Cycle News picture) was a mile long and several bikes deep. I finished 63rd overall and 10th in my class. Left above is Loren Davis and me (foreground) at one of the pit stops. Right above more pitting.  I raced three B-to-V's.

 

Other racing pictures of me, two out "on the course" and one pitting. I was in over 250 AMA District 37 desert races between 1969 and 1980. I usually finished in the top 10% of my class. It was the most fun time of my life.

 

This was at the famous "Hope Town" Grand Prix in 1969. Grand Prix's were the only time we desert racers got to ride a motocross type course and go through deep mud holes like that above. That's me covered in mud after the race.

 

(L) This is our "play" buggy that we built in '74. We got together with several other families with buggies and went to many fun places. (C) Us on top of the Panamint mountain range looking down 6000 ft. into Death Valley. (R) Crossing the East Fork Kern River up near Kennedy Meadows (Monanche Cow-Camp Area) in the Sierras.

 

CIRCA 1979-1990

 

In 1983 I started racing Enduros with my ol' racin' buddy Dennis Scammell. Enduros are a technical type of event where being "on time" at "secret" check points is critical. To not lose points you must be on time to the minute and at some checks to the second. They run you thru rough terrain to try to throw you "off time". We were in over 100 enduros.

 

A class 2 race buggy owned by John Preiss that I had the good fortune to race a number of times. We raced some of the "big ones" that are the type sometimes seen on ESPN and TNN. It was great fun. This was in '79 and '80.  On right: After the Las Vegas Mint 400 - really rough course - car is beat up pretty bad...

 

CIRCA 1990-Present

 

In 1990 Dennis and I quit racing and started riding Dual Sport (street legal dirt-bike non competitive) events and a lot of just plain "cow trailing". (L) Our favorite camping/riding area in Dove Springs. (C) On the Woolstaff Meadow trail in the Piute Mountain range. 25 miles of GREAT single track trail all through forest. (R) More on that trail.

 

(L,C) The rocky approach to the infamous So. Cal. Hill near Dove Springs. (R) Looking down the trail to the bottom. Super steep (about 45degrees) and 2,700 ft. down. Those are BIG pine trees at the bottom. This one will really pucker you up! Not for the faint at heart - experienced riders only. Back in '70 and '71 we had been able to race in this area, and down So. Ca. Hill, before the "enviro-nuts" got it shut down to racing.

 

Up above Kennedy Meadows at 8,000 ft. elevation are about 200 miles of the best single track forest trails in So. California. (L) Our camp near Troy Meadow campground. (C) The old Sherman Jeep Trail, undoubtedly one of the most scenic trails around. (R) Dennis and I on the Sherman Jeep trail. There used to be over 400 miles of trails up there 'til the "enviro-nuts" got them put into wilderness.

 

On organized Dual Sport rides. (L) A wet one near Big Bear Lake, CA. (C,R) Near Tecate, Mexico. Some great riding and scenery.

 

Though it's not off-roading I thought I'd include these pics of Convict Lake near Mammoth Lakes, CA. It's the favorite fishing/camping spot of my wife and I.

 

We feel very fortunate to have been able to enjoy all this racing, riding, camping and fishing over these last 40 years. Though we certainly haven't "done it all" we definitely feel fulfilled at what we have been able to do. The fun and excitement during my racing years, the fantastic scenery while "Dual Sporting"and camping, and the great times with my wife fishing and hiking in remote places has made many cherished memories.

 

 to some great off-road/racing sites

 

Super Hunky.com - superb articles - Rick Siemens' humor is a MUST read!

 

Dirtbike Pages at Off-Road.com -Great bike stuff - Go to their Main Page for buggies, trucks, etc.

 

Cycle News- The racers newspaper online!

 

Rams M/C - Loren Davis' rendition of our old desert racing club.

 

District #37 Racing Alumni - lots of pictures of lots of old farts...

 

AMA District #37 Home Page - Southern California’s Motorcycle Racing District

 

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