It’s beautiful to share something you’re good at, especially when others benefit. And that’s exactly what happened at the inaugural Cycle World Adventure Rally Sierra Edition held last fall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near California’s Yosemite National Park. A small group of the some of the most talented, knowledgeable and passionate adventure riders put together a fantastic riding event. Justin Bradshaw of Butler Maps and Dakar Rally veteran Ned Suesse, together with the Bonnier Motorcycle Group, created a program in which riders of all levels compete for points on their own bikes while improving their skills and generally having a blast.
China Peak Resort in Lakeshore, California, was the perfect home base, and Ed Mann, a local medic/firefighter/motorcycle racer extraordinaire, made sure we rode all the best trails. Additionally, trials champion Gary LaPlante, author of “How To Ride Off-Road Motorcycles,” was on hand to lay out three challenging “special tests” for the rally, which was sponsored by Klim, Kenda, and Touratech and featured several BMG editors in attendance.
On Thursday afternoon, we were teased with a walk-through of the special-test courses, then suited up to score some points on the easiest of the three. For the next two days, in teams of two, we rode some of the finest paved and dirt roads and trails in the world, taking in the beauty of the snow-capped peaks while searching out predetermined destinations that we captured on our smartphones for points. It was up to us to decide where to go, and when, just as long as we were back by 4:00 p.m. to run the next special test. Some took it all very seriously; others had a more relaxed approach.
At breakfast on Sunday, tired but satisfied, we reflected on the rally, which proved to be just as much fun for a four-time Baja 1000 winner as it was a woman who had begun riding in the dirt only last year. And therein lies the beauty of the Cycle World Adventure Rally; you’ll explore cool places and make new friends while becoming a better rider. Look for two events this year: the Rockies Edition on July 24-27 in Gunnison, Colorado, and the Sierra Edition at China Peak September 25-28.
For more information: www.cycleworld.com/adventure-rally-sierra-edition