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..
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.
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
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...
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
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