Last week, the AltRider team packed up and headed to Redmond, Oregon for the BMW MOA International Rally. We were looking forward to meeting people and showing them our products, but what we were really excited about was the ride wed organized with Giant Loop. Giant Loop headquarters are there, so Dave Wachs (co-owner of Giant Loop and local long time rider to the area) volunteered to plan our route, while we took care of invitations, food, etc. It was our first annual dual sport ride, and we were joined by a great group . We met at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday to drink some coffee, eat some breakfast, and get briefed by Dave. People were riding mostly BMWs (hey, it was a BMW rally), but we also had a few KTMs, a V-Strom 1000, and a DRZ. I was riding the AltRider BMW R 1200 GS with Brianna on the back, filming the ride. Dave gave some last minute instructions to Austin, our video guy who was staying ahead of us to capture footage of the ride. We set off from the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center, with Dave leading the way. Video of everyone setting off, filmed by Giant Loop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kxavj298tA Started out on some pavement, but the beautiful scenery made up for it. We made our way onto a few dirt and gravel roads, which gave us a taste of what was coming. We passed through some farm country and a ranch or two on our way to the dirt. By the time we got to this bridge, we were starting to get hungry, and Paul realized he was low on gas. Luckily, we were almost to our lunch stop at the Chinook Village Store. Here, we had just enough time to dismount and stretch before lunch arrived from Tate & Tate Catering. Great sandwiches on freshly baked bread, homemade cookies, chips, and lots of fruit pepped us up so we were ready for dirt. Before leaving, Dave gave us a few pointers for what was coming next. We spread out a little for the rocky sections, since eastern Oregon gets hot and really dusty with so many riders on the trail. This helped somewhat with visibility, although it was still tough to see other bikes. Later, some guys confessed they had thoughts of dropping the bike in the sand during this section, and then having the next guy run them over without any visibility. We had to share at least one beer with them before theyd admit such things. We stopped at the rim of the Deschutes Canyon to take a few pictures. There were quite a few people with cameras both video and still so they could capture this cool ride to share with their friends and family later. Such a great view and great day for riding. We headed out again, but after several miles of off road riding, then regrouping, I realized Id forgotten my camelback at the stop. I rode back to get it, and tried to catch up. I may have turned the wrong way but there are no pictures, so its hard to say for sure. I ended up back with everyone, who stopped and waited for me when they realized I wasnt with them. I was, after all, supposed to be helping lead the group. From there, it was on to the water crossing. On the way to Wychus Creek, we went over some gnarly bits that curved all over the place. One guy did drop his bike on a curve with loose dirt his pristine F 800 GS was no longer. He was pinned under the bike when we rolled up. We quickly pulled the bike off him and he got up, and for the most part he was unscathed but still had a helmet full of dirt, a several inch gash on his nose, and a busted bike. Still, he had the best attitude. As soon as he pulled off his helmet, he said, Well, I was overdue for a crash, its been quite some time. At that point we laughed and knew it would be cool. He also, luckily, just got the bike insured 2 days before coming out. We arrived at the creek and noticed something interesting. Wychus Creek was originally forecast to be 18 inches deep (I think many a rider remembered the ride briefing where Dave made it seem like a nearly dried up creek that a newbie could cruise through), but when we got there it was quite a bit deeper. No turning back, though, right? I think a few people wished they had taken Dave up on the option to go another route, but no one wanted to be the person who cried uncle. This was the first water crossing that many in our group had ever done. Yeah, that's a V-Strom 1000 doing a water crossing. Photo courtesy of Edward Wilkinson. Austin edited together some of the video footage he captured of the river crossings into a short video all of us enjoyed with some beverages that evening. The video really demonstrates how well everyone did even those who had a setback or two. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6liPz6n4_g Pretty exciting stuff for all of us. Fernandos bike stalled mid-river, and although he got it going again, it was pretty funny when his buddy Guy insisted on filming instead of helping him start up that motorcycle again. When everyone had gotten across, we realized from some intimidating noises emanating from it that Peters bike sipped a little too much water. We waited in the shade and in the water for it to dry out. Then it was back on the road. Photo courtesy of Edward Wilkinson. More of the beautiful eastern Oregon scenery awaited us as we rode back to the expo center, where most of us were camping. The next night, we all got back together at the AltRider booth to watch the highlights video. It was a great ride with great people we might never have had the chance to hang out with otherwise. We cant wait till next years ride! Thank you to everyone who came a day early to the rally to join us on this ride. You had no idea where we were going to take you or if your bike would make it back in one piece thats a lot of trust on your part. We truly enjoyed hanging out and getting to know you all, and look forward to riding with you again!