Adventure Calling!

Slots are still available for the Cycle World Adventure Rally—Sierra Edition.

Adventure Rally Rockies Edition scenery photo

Looking for a great early fall adventure? We've already done the planning, so join us at The Adventure Rally—Sierra Edition, which takes place September 25-28 at China Peak Resort in Lakeshore, CA, just about an hour outside of Fresno. Promoted by the marketing staffs of Cycle World, Motorcyclist and Dirt Rider magazines, the event is a great way to bring ADV riders together for a fantastic weekend of riding.

The Rally is essentially a poker run, but for adventurous types. On the morning of the first of two riding days, a map created by Butler Maps and a clue book are handed out (30 minutes prior to scheduled departures) to teams of two or three riders. The objective: Ride to as many waypoints as possible over the course of the day’s allotted time and score points based on the difficulty of the route. Waypoints are documented by taking photos of the location as listed in the clue book (could be a sign, or a rock, or a building) and then uploading images to Instagram (with a preset hashtag for that location) to prove you were there.

Colorado scenery

Waypoints are rated much like ski runs, on a scale featuring green circles, blue squares, black diamonds, and double-black diamonds. Because of the wide range of difficulty, fun, scenic and challenging riding options are available for every level of motorcyclist—from complete novice to expert. Waypoints are accessed via asphalt roads, dirt roads, Jeep trails, even some singletrack. The key to success is good planning.

The routes and plan are completely up to each team. Some may choose to use the Rally simply as an opportunity to go sightseeing; others with a more competitive spirit might be more inclined to chase points and go for the overall win. In addition to capturing waypoints, bonus points can be accumulated by competing in special riding tests and by testing your skills at changing tires, a la ISDE competition.

Blake Conner and Ryan Dudek changing a tire

Having recently participated in The Adventure Rally—Rockies Edition, I can attest that these events are a must-do for any serious ADV rider. Cycle World contributor Ryan Dudek and I rode our two long-term test bikes—KTM 1190 Adventure R and BMW R1200GS Adventure—out to Colorado from our California base, with a quick stop in Moab, Utah, to ride the famous Slickrock trail. Upon arriving in Gunnison, Colorado, we were greeted by more than 30 teams of ADV riders mounted on every type of machine from 450cc enduros to large 1200cc ADV machines.

After receiving the map, Dudek and I planned a route that we were sure would score a lot of points, only to finish the day mid-pack. That night, we came up with a much better plan, and created a route that scored the highest total recorded all weekend. But the real point wasn’t so much the score; it was getting to ride on some of the most scenic and amazing trails and roads anywhere in the world. If you haven’t ridden Colorado, it’s simply breathtaking. Even for a jaded Colorado native like myself. Everybody I met thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and many challenged themselves to do more than they ever thought possible.

Blake Conner checking the map along the trail

This year marks the second running of The Adventure Rally—Sierra Edition, and it should match Colorado in every way. Not only are the Sierras—just on the doorstep to Yosemite National Park—beautiful, but the quality of the terrain is top-notch.

Mount up some fresh knobbies, file away the excuses, and get yourself to this awesome event.

To sign up, visit the links below.