Since acquiring the DRZ and improving my dirt skills, I had been dying to retry the treacherous Death in the Desert route. I had a feeling it would be a lot easier than I remembered it, but I had no idea it would seem so much easier I would barely recognize it! That’s even with all the rain we had creating some large mud bogs…
I had asked for a late start this morning, thinking it would be nice to sleep in, but I ended up waking early and I couldn’t wait any longer. I decided to roll up through Gates Pass again.
I’m a little bit obsessed with riding through here, but look at it! It’s fantastic!
Then I went to the gas station and made circles in the dirt lot next door until the crew rolled up.
The crew (in no particular order):
Brian, Aaron, KB, BobM, Stephanie and me.
There aren’t any pictures for most of the ride. We were really caught up in just going and took very few breaks…until the giant mud bog slowed a couple of our riders down.
Aaron was way too fast picking his bike up, but we got a couple shots of Brian’s GS taking a little mud bath.
My favorite picture ever (by KB)
I should probably not laugh too hard at Brian, he did help me put on my new knobbies the night before. (and by help I mean…put on my new knobbies…with some actual help from Sean)
The new Desert Maxxis IT’s worked awesome!
Not sure how much I can attribute to the tires, how much was the rain packing down the loose stuff or how much was riding skill improvement and the new bike, but the ride went amazing! I struggled to recognize the obstacles that posed a challenge before and I didn’t drop the bike once! Not even in the mud bogs!
The last little washout that Brian pushed our bikes through on the original Death in the Desert trek was a bit of a challenge to Aaron…only because he was trying it without a clutch lever! Apparently it busted loose in the mud bog and jiggled off somewhere after that…
KB and BobM wandered back in search of the fallen lever, but unfortunately didn’t find it.
We arrived at the coffee shop early and hung out for a while. Most of the crew returned via dirt, but I had stuff to do so I headed back on pavement with Aaron and his gimped up bike.
As we were hauling butt up I-19 home, I ran out of gas (I thought I could go further, but I guess my mileage wasn’t so good up all that dirt stuff). Aaron saw me and crawled along slowly til I switched it on reserve and got going again.
I guess he spotted a gas station and dove off an exit at the last minute. I missed the exit and stopped a little further up the road. The exit was a steep downgrade from where I stopped, but I just looked at the embankment, with its weeds, ruts and decorative cement and decided it was no worse than anything else I’ve ridden across and did a little urban enduro!
What a thrill! The whole day really. I just had an awesome time. I’m in love with my new bike, it handles everything so well and it’s just so damn fun to ride!
We had a great group, great weather and a fantastic day!