Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by RedRockRider, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    If you are feeling like a good hike, do Angel's Landing! It is a strenuous hike and you need to bring water but it is worth it!

    One time when I was riding the shuttle up the canyon, the driver stopped and showed us a not so well known spot where there is a waterfall you can see from a nice deck. It was a short walk from the next shuttle stop. It is called Menu Falls.

    Another interesting place I went to once was outside of Toquerville, UT. On a local tip, I followed Spring Canyon Road out of town for several miles to a spot where a bunch of kids were swimming in the creek and jumping off some cliffs into a deeper pool. It was very nice and refreshing! I never really knew exactly where that was until just now when I searched around for the spot using Google Maps! Ain't technology grand. This was way before I had a GPS or a dual sport. Probably 1995. Anyway, I drove my Saab 900 turbo out there. I kind of messed up my exhaust on that drive. Spent the rest of the day trying to find some rubber exhaust hangers in some tiny towns. Crazy!

    There is so much to see in the "Grand Circle" within Zion, Bryce, Glen Canyon NRA, Grand Canyon, Escalante National Monument and numerous federal, state, county, and local parks and recreation areas. Have fun!
  2. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    More pics from my weekend ride to Cedar Breaks, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce NP, and Zion NP. :D

    I was in Brian Head for the night so it was easy to have a relaxed start and still hit Cedar Breaks National Monument early. Still quite a bit of snow around, but it is melting.

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    View into the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. Not as spectacular as Bryce, but still very special. Not at all crowded. And very, very close to our place at Brian Head!

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    The "famous" rock tunnels in Red Canyon on the way to Bryce. Certainly many inmates have driven their bikes through here. Any pics??? :ear

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    Info sign. Part of UT Highway 12 -- not to be missed!

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    Next stop was a drive-by of Kodachrome Basin State Park. Last time here was 20+ years ago. Easy paved road all the way. This is near the take-off point for Cottonwood Canyon Road and the Skutumpah Road -- good territory for future rides. :clap

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    Just north of Kodachrome Basin State Park.

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    Scene near Cannonville.

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    Time to gas up . . . :lol3

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    Good sense of humor.

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    Time for Bryce. Been here many times. Always fantastic. Good in any season.

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    The big view.

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    Details.

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    If you only have time for a short visit, Sunset Point is fantastic. Several easy hiking options including walking along the rim in both directions. This is the best that Bryce has to offer!

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    Messing around a bit. Really a very easy pic to get. More of a steep slope than a cliff.

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    Rainbow Point is at the southern end of the park.

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    Self-portrait.

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    Slowly working my way back north, stopping at about half the overlook points.

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    An Asian tourist approached me at this spot asking if I was a "Ninja" -- no, I replied. Then he asked if I was a "ranger" -- politely, no again. I said "motorcycle guy" and pointed to the bike. He smiled. We had a laugh.

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    The Natural Bridge or Arch.

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    Leaving Bryce, time to starting heading towards St. George. Starting south down UT 89. Sevier River just south of Hatch.

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    Typical roadside scene just north of Mount Carmel Junction, intersection with UT #9, heading east to Zion.

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    The east entrance of Zion.

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    Zion scenery near Checkerboard Mesa, above the tunnels.

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    And just through the long tunnel at the top of the switchbacks. Classic Zion.

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    Thanks for ridin' along and all the positive comments.

    Local inmate ride at 10 am on Tuesday am. PM me if any last minute availability. Details in post #294 above. Meet at gas station in front of Walmart in Bloomington. Explore dirt past Navajo Drive.
  3. DCZ

    DCZ Been here awhile

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    Excellent!
    I've just got to get over there - Bryce and Zion have been on the list for a long time.
  4. Superhawk

    Superhawk Been here awhile

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    Thanks Master Marine - Angels Landing is the main reason im heading there, menu falls is going on the list !

  5. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Appreciate all the positive comments and PMs. Thank you. :D

    Specifically, BEEF706, LittleWan, MasterMarine, tgregg, telejojo, Ringokelly, Superhawk, and DCZ.

    To answer a few questions:
    - In Zion National Park the two marquis hikes are probably: 1) Angels Landing, and 2) The Narrows, possible to hike from "bottom up" (Riverside Walk and keep going) without a permit.
    - Angels Landing is NOT advisable for people with a fear of heights or in wet/bad weather. It is really like no other "established" trail in any National Park I have seen. Probably wouldn't be built today.
    - For hiking up the Narrows you want warm weather. The hotter the better. At the end of the Riverside Walk (easy trail) you enter the water, typically about knee deep, but in some places waist or even chest deep. Slot canyon -- No option to avoid water. Heat isn't an issue once you hit the water, and some shade from canyon walls. Walk upstream until half tired, then turn-around. Best to have water shoes and a walking stick.
    - Both hikes will have lots of people on nice days, but still very enjoyable.

    - Tons of gorgeous road biking in Southwest Utah. Highlights would be Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Bryce National Park.
    - All of UT 12 from intersection with UT 89 in west (just south of Panguitch) to Torrey, UT, near Capitol Reef National Park is outstanding. Many state parks and open vistas along UT 12. Frequently called the most gorgeous road in america, and/or a top motorcycle road. Overall, there will be modest traffic on UT12, even during the best seasons, spring and fall.
    - Easy to extend from Torrey, UT further west to Hanksville and eventually to Moab area via either Green River or Hite (Lake Powell). All well worth it. But, this can be 100+ miles more of distance travel, some of it mostly chewing up road miles. Lots of great riding from Capitol Reef (Torrey) which is in the center of Utah and points west (back towards Zion and St. George.)

    - As a town, St. George has lots of inexpensive, decent quality motels right along the main street, St. George Blvd. These hotels predate I-15, but have generally maintained themselves well. Lots of choices for $50 or less. Some nicer also. All the low and mid-level chain hotels (Fairfield, Courtyard) cluster around the main I-15 exits (Bluff Street and St. George Blvd). Easy to navigate.
    - Camping options in state parks (Snow Canyon) close to town. Lots of National Forest or BLM camping ("free" - no amenities) also legal and close to town. Possible to camp within 5 miles -- behind Green Valley, past end of Navajo Drive, etc. Lots of nice choices within 10-20 miles.
    - Abundant food. Cheap restaurants and grocery stores.
    - St. George would be a good "home base" for several days of moto trips, either road or dual sport. Hotel or camping. Best to avoid summer, too hot, especially for camping.

    Dual Sport rides from St. George:
    - Key is to use elevation to moderate impact of heat. In winter, stay low. Head west (Beaver Dam Wash) or southwest towards Mesquite.
    - In heat of summer, gain elevation quickly. Lots of nearby areas get to 5,000 to 7,000 ft. Area by Enterprise, UT (Bull Valley Mountains) pleasant all summer. Higher portions of AZ Strip also good. Best in heat of summer is to be near Brian Head or Duck Creek, just north and west of Cedar City. Lots of terrain at 9,000 to 10,000 ft. Temp is never an issue at this elevation.
    - Best seasons for riding from St. George would be Spring and Fall.
    - The "classic" dual sport ride is probably the trip to Toroweap via Mount Trumbull Schoolhouse. The Grand Canyon at Toroweap is very narrow and the cliffs are sheer. The Colorado is easily visible. Take extra gas. Best to camp overnight if possible. More opportunity at sunset and sunrise.
    - In addition to the vast AZ Strip, I personally like all the dual sport riding immediately west of St. George (leaving from Navajo Drive in Bloomington), and the whole area between Motoqua, Gunlock, Veyo and Enterprise (west of UT 18). Generally this known as the Bull Valley Mountains and is part of Dixie National Forest. Never crowded and good all year, except winter or heavy mud. Easy to do multiple loops from 1/2 to full day variations.

    Thanks again inmates. :thumb

    Glad that so many have found the thread useful and made so many positive comments. :D
  6. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Seriously, put me down for the first copy of the SW UT Trail/Off Road book or guide, signed please!

    So did you inmates meet up today. I had it in the back of my head that I could run up to SG and do a little trail riding with you folks(and of course get in some golf). Maybe next time.

    Thanks again RRR, just some great stuff! :thumb:thumb
  7. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Thanks for the recent pics and thread update!
    I missed you guys this morning, I was sitting @ starbucks watching them set up for the Triathalon, then headed to Springdale, awesome day in the park. Great weather and only a few visitors to deal with.
  8. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Yeah, next time you gotta join up. :D I think I still owe lunch or at least a slice of "Ho Made" pie. :wink:

    Five of us FFs met up - 2 inmates and 3 lurkers. Good ride, no sleeping bikes. :clap

    Here's a pic about 30 minutes after leaving Navajo Drive in Bloomington, up by a few switchbacks as we climb to Blake's Lambing Grounds and eventually look down into the Virgin River Gorge, I-15 by Cedar Pockets.

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    Kinda hazy. The wind has been blowing a bit recently. Lots of dust in the air. Guys are still all impressed with the views. We exited out the backside of the Utah Hill, hit old 91 on pavement, then climbed back over to the Shivwits Indian Reservation and got back on dirt to return to Bloomington.

    Nice ride with the boys. Seems like quite a bit of interest in repeat jailbreaks. Apparently the inmates need out. :lol3 Or, we're all driving the wives crazy and they want us out. :rofl

    Also some interest in road rides, perhaps to Springdale for lunch. The boys have some nice road bikes as well. A few more pics tomorrow.
  9. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Bob - WTF? You're turnin' in to a St. George guy. We'll have to organize a little inmate road ride. Glad you had a good day in Zion -- tough to beat. I'm riding moto support for the Triathalon on Saturday. Should be interesting. Ride safe, my friend.
  10. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Red. More great ride reports. I love reading them and seeing the pictures. Keep it coming.

    On a ride later this year we are planning to take a primitive road that takes off northeast from Elgin and goes over to Barclay and goes near Pine Canyon Resevoisr.

    Do you know anything about the quality of the road? I got the track off of DualSportMaps.com.

    In the interest of fair play here is a ride report on a ride a bunch of us did in southern NM back in March.
    I usually post these in ADV\Rockies.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770090&highlight=burma
  11. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    taken from the big bike. I really have to get down that way some day. And actually stop and spend some time there instead of just driving through. Anyone tell you you're a good picture taker? Nice job as usual!
  12. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    I haven't been on the road road from Elgin to Barclay via Pine Canyon Reservoir. On Benchmark it is called the Pennsylvania Canyon Road. Goes right past Ella Mtn (el. 7479) and shows some switchbacks. Here is a pic from a few weeks ago of the start of the road right next to the Elgin Schoolhouse.

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    :huh Sign says "Road Damage Ahead" -- my guess is that the road is passable with motos. Probably some washouts, but not a complete disaster. If it was a complete disaster I'm guessing the sign would have said "Road Closed" or "Road Impassable."

    Planning to go to Barclay tomorrow (Thursday) via Bunker Peak Road (Bunker Pass) from Motoqua. Might poke around a bit near Fife Road, Barnes Canyon Road, etc. Not sure. Will keep eyes open for any clues about status of (the northeast end of) Pennsylvania Canyon Road.

    Should have at least a few steep, rocky spots around the switchbacks? Washouts might make it interesting . . .

    Enjoyed the pics and video of you and the New Mexico boys on the Shelf Road! :thumb
  13. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Just to set the stage. We had 5 bikes: 3 Yamaha Dual Sports - WRR, XT250, TW200, and 2 KLRs. For the most part we can all ride on weekdays, so probably more of this in our future. Nice ride guys, thanks for coming along! :D

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    A few of our ugly mugs, taken up on top near the overlook point above the Virgin River Gorge on the Utah side. On the left in white is fellow inmate Gregg (tgregg), Miki (non-ADV), me (RRR) in black, and my lurker buddy Elliot with the white helmet. My other lurker buddy Eddie (Toroweap Ride) snapped this pic. You'll see him soon enough.

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    Here's the KLR boys on the back side of the Utah Hill on dirt. Eddie and Miki. A little bit of loose gravel on some descending corners kept the KLRs on their toes.

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    Elliott and Gregg. Both ex-motorcycle racers! Elliot is on my TW200. Shall we say his dual sport bike has a slight registration problem. Perhaps best if it doesn't take longer trips on pavement. Easier for Elliot to drive to my house by cage and ride bikes from there.

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    Hangin' out in Bulldog Canyon. Similar rides are Post #3, #17, #44, and #95. Post #44 on page 3 is best! Check it out if you want to see a few more pics of the territory we covered. Plus the "famous" Benchmark map. :thumb

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    Once we hit pavement (Old 91) we raced up to the top of the Utah Hill. I know the road, but my WRR managed to keep a slight lead on the two KLRs. Here's the three of us - RRR, Miki, Eddie - waiting at the summit for the XT250 and the TW. :lol3

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    Gregg pulls in after a few minutes.

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    We've all finished lunch before Elliott pulls up on the mighty TW. :rofl Actually, I appreciate Elliott not hammering the crap out of the TW up the hill, although even if he did he still would have missed lunch. :D

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    A few glamour shots of the KLR guys. Don't look too closely but that might be a Walmart tool box bolted onto the back of Miki's bike. :lol3

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    It was just a short trip so Eddie left his milk crate at home. :lol3 We'll probably see it soon. :rofl

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    The KLR guys had to scramble back to town on pavement. That left the Yamaha boys to take the dirt way back to Bloomington. Last pic of Gregg up on top near near the Apex Mine, above Bloomington Cave.

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    Nice ridin' with you fellas. Have to do it again soon. Either dual sport or road bikes. Be in touch. Other inmates also welcome to join. Keep it safe!
  14. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Guess I would have missed lunch too:eek1 ! We TW riders try to keep up! Nice mix of bikes and riders to go along with some nice scenery. For me, weekday rides avoid so much of the traffic and are so much more fun.

    Last week I bought a small air compressor that runs off the cigarette like power adapter I hooked up. Now I can let the air out of the tires on dirt roads and trails, and air back up when I hit pavement when I don't haul the TW. Works pretty good too. I now can ride so much more comfortable with lower tire pressures on dirt roads without a compromise tire pressure setting.

    Looked like a beautiful day for a ride, thanks for sharing.
  15. drex

    drex So Cal

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    Wow! I thought that I'd ridden over a few roads in Southern Utah, but these reports are pretty amazing. Way to go!
  16. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey wbbnm:

    Back from Barclay, NV. Got close to Ella Mountain. Pennsylvania Canyon Road. Here is pic of a sign, taken from the Fife Road. On Benchmark, this sign is at sharp corner (intersection) just southeast of Ella Spring.

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    And here is what the Ella Mountain Road looked like. Graded. Recent maintenance. Some loose surface rock.

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    We didn't go up to Ella Mountain, 3 miles, or down Pennsylvania Canyon to Elgin. Only 14 miles. How bad could it be? :lol3 My guess is the road to the lookout from this side (Barclay side) was in good condition with recent maintenance. It is the other side from Elgin up to Ella Mountain that is likely less maintained.

    Talked to a local in Caliente. Didn't have recent knowledge, but thought the Pennsylvania Canyon Road would be steep/rough but totally doable on bikes. I think there is more traffic on the northeast side vs. the southwest side (by Elgin), although very, very little activity in either area.

    My dad and I didn't see a single person from Motoqua to Caliente, including poking around in Barclay for an hour. :D


  17. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Almost 200 miles with Dad. General route was St. George --> Motoqua --> Barclay --> Caliente --> Panaca --> Crestline --> Enterprise --> St. George.

    Long abandoned house / store, just below Mathews Canyon Dam on Clover Creek. Very solid wall construction with railroad ties. :D Very close to Barclay -- Union Pacific Railroad line.

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    The main street of Barclay. There are a few occupied residences, but didn't see a soul.

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    Barclay's one-room schoolhouse and church. Nicely restored with well-kept grounds. :thumb

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  18. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Good time. Met several inmates -- Brian, Brandon, Jesse, lacofdfireman -- hope you guys all had a good day. :D Throw a pic up here if you managed to grab one. Be in touch if any of you local guys want to ride.

    Out at "the wall" between Gunlock and Veyo. Fun, festive atmosphere, but the wind and the wall were taking their toll on the athletes. Times for the elite finishers were 30 min to 1 hour slower than last year even though the run course was flatter. Wind crushed people on the swim and bike.

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    About 1,400 athletes started. Just over 1,000 finished by midnight. 17 hours. Talked with a few athletes in Zion today. First hand accounts of brutal conditions at Sand Hollow for the swim. We watched the wind inflict pain on the bike course.

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    Here's my photo guy doing his thing. Good guy. Hope he got some good pics!

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    Athletes climbing the wall. They got to do this twice. Two loops. 112 miles. :eek1

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    Motos at the end of the bike course in downtown St. George at T2, transition to run. The green media tag would let you ride anywhere on the bike course including against traffic. Kinda different. Almost no cars so easy to avoid the bicycles. Photographer liked getting his shots with cyclists head-on with red cliffs in background.

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    Here is the lead woman just starting the run. She looked incredible. Only about 5 pro men in front of her. Amazing athlete on a tough course.

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    Ironman St. George will be shorter next year, 70.3 not 140.6, but will still need moto support. Pretty interesting. Give it a go if you're around with a bike.
  19. quota

    quota Been here awhile

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    Had a riding friend, who is also one of the inmates here, who finished the Ironman yesterday. Hopefully, the shorter race next year will do a better job at attracting more participants. Kind of a shame to see such an event have declining numbers every year.

    Still hope to get in a ride with you sometime. Look forward to more of your posts.
  20. GeoMoto

    GeoMoto FMAR Chump!

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    It was nice meeting you this past weekend! I look forward to riding with you in the future. I had a great time riding the course. Some of the windy sections back by Gunlock were tough on me and the moto at slow speeds, I can't imagine how the athletes felt. I hope to help out again next year.