Recently, I was asked to review a backpack for my moto adventures… The Fly Racing Back Country Backpack. I’m a total stickler for backpacks. I own several of them, and each has it’s own function. Normally, you’ll find me in the woods wearing a NorthFace arctic expedition, seal-clubbing, dynamite-carrying, bull-riding adventure pack with all sorts of strappy things and loopy loops and pockety stuff that works flawlessly for what I do when I’m out mashing in the woods at death-defying speeds.
So, being offered a proper back country backpack made by a moto company, Fly Racing, I was totally stoked to give it a whirl!
The day after I received it in the mail, Kevin and myself went on a moto-camping adventure for the weekend. No better time than then!
Holy baby Jebuz, I just had the scare of my life-time. Seriously, I don’t ever remember a time feeling the way I felt only about 2 hours ago.
I’d been editing wedding pictures all day today, and I needed a break. I haven’t ridden at all in a few weeks, and I’ve been going bonkers… not to mention, life has just been tough the last few weeks as well…
I close my eyes to try and sleep, and once darkness takes away my physical sight my minds eye takes over. It runs wild, unless kept in check. To sleep I try and think of some place serene, quiet, where I can wander and explore, eventually get so lost in my narrated story that it goes off on its own, seamlessly into dream. So I follow the steps, turn off the lights, tuck myself in and close my eyes.
Tonight I find myself in a forest, early in the morning, the light running against the sides of trees, creating dark shadows. I can see my own breath floating slowly up and swirl in front of me, and I can feel the stinging cold in my fingers. I have to wait, wait for the rest of my senses to join me here in this dream, so for the time I continue to gaze around myself. I begin to feel my arms, wrapped and covered to keep warm, continuing until I can feel my chest beat. I can feel my feet, and that same cold sting in my toes, even through the hard leather boots and wool socks. Last of all I begin to hear, it is the last of my senses to join my mind in this waking wood. Coming in slowly, as if water was draining out, I take a deep breath and hear
Fuck, sleeping is damn hard when you are going dirtybiking the next day.
I’ll start by talking about what it was, I guess… RawHyde Adventures in Castaic, CA, hosted a competition called the Adventure Rider Challenge to fill 3 spots on a team to represent the US in the BMW International GS Trophy competition held in South Africa.
Here’s a snippet taken from the Adventure Rider Challenge page:
“Every two years, BMW Motorrad hosts a 10 day, international skills competition for amateur riders, or in BMW’s own words, ‘Ambitious hobby riders’. Riding BMW F800GS’s and working as a team with your fellow countrymen, you will compete against amateur teams from countries spanning the globe. You’ll face ten days of river crossings, hill climbs, sand dunes, mechanical challenges, and cross county navigational tests designed to test your ingenuity, determination, and riding skills. This is not a race, but a journey to determine which country gets to claim the title of ‘World’s Toughest Adventure Riders’.”
I gotta say…I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I knew it was a skills competition with most everyone on BMWs…but I didn’t know exactly what this past weekend would entail. I was a little bit nervous. Luckily, I brought Toe with me. That dude is every bit as versatile as me, and can adapt to any situation quickly, skillfully, and without complaint (I hope he doesn’t read this! hehe).
Sooo…not too terribly long ago, Toe and I went to Rawhyde Adventures to shoot a BMW GS Challenge.
Quite probably the single phrase/question I heard most during my 9 days in Baja, Mexico was “Choo hab steekers?” I’ve come to understand that stickers mean a lot to those people…the young children running around the streets barefooted to the geriatrics, leathery wrinkled skin and hunched over from probably a lifetime of hard work…work like the most of us would never understand. I’m pretty sure stickers represent status. If you’ve got stickers, and you give them stickers, you become a celebrity of sorts…if you didn’t have any (which I did forget to bring some with me while prerunning and the likes a few times), suddenly their expressions change from excitement to “choo hab monies por tacos?”
Osso, Maico, Can Am, and Bultaco. Not the capital of Norway, a body shop, an airline and a new Mexican joint. These are brands of motorbikes that many have never heard of, but that does not mean that they are not fast in the right hands.