A friend talked me into joining an ADV ride this weekend. The bike was sitting ready to go so I decided to tag along. Now, the meet time was 7 am and I ran into some issues getting geared up. Namely my riding kit is partially scattered on the west coast. Well, between that and my attitude to waking up early I missed the group. I had a rough idea of where they were going so I figured how fast could a group of 20 people move?

It's a very easy route of mostly graded roads. Every now and then I passed a vehicle but otherwise I had the place to myself.
I thought I knew where the ADVer's would be but I didn't see hide or hair of them. Up on this view point I looked back in the distance to see if there was a tell-tell dust cloud from a pack (herd? brood? swarm? battery?) of ADV riders. No dust... hm. Oh well, just keep moving.

I got to the end of Bloody Basin road and still no drove of ADV'ers. Well, I had no real plans (other than camping later that night) and I prefer to eat meals with other people so I found a spot in the shade and curled up with a book. The book "The Art of Racing in the Rain", I highly recommend. It's a story narrated by a very eloquent and observant dog with great insights on racing and life. Eventually I heard the roar of a lead party of KTM twins. And the rest of the mob descended over the next half hour.
Lunch was provided by... a gas station. It's a beautiful sight seeing this mess of motorcycles all in one place. Terry was trying to direct traffic, more power to him. After lunch the group settled down to 11 riders and the real fun began. Rain gear was called for at this point... guess where mine is? Either Sacramento or Portland.

Ahead of us it was dark and dreary. Oh boy! We headed up the road to Breezy Pine which is a fun dirt road. Now after Breezy Pine it gets a little rocky! And the rain officially came so we lost two more and the group was down to 9.
Our fearless leader stopped to take pictures, and unbeknownst to me one of the riders decided to make for home... guess who followed him? Well, after he passed a couple of turn off's I decided to stop to wait for the rest of the group. Another rider had followed me (poor misguided person) so we sat around and waited... and waited. A couple of trail workers from ATR stopped by and we chatted but still no group.
After some backtracking we found tracks from a bevy of dual sports. The trail led to a brilliant trail with lots of rocks and an unfortunate mud hole. Unfortunate for me because today I'm sporting bruises on my left knee and thigh from a sudden slip to the ground. At the end of the trail we caught up to the main group and we all headed home.
I was all packed up for camping out but between all the riding and a proposal of mountain biking on Sunday I decided to head back with the group. Dinner was in scenic Wickenburg with the final four until the lights went out. But with the rain come rainbow's (out of Terry's head)! I arrived home around 8:30 with my Odo (I can see though the haze in the dark with the backlight screen) reading 330 miles for the day!
All in all, it was a great day even if I'm feeling it today. It was fun to put the 690 through it's paces in the dirt. It faired very well and I felt much more confident on the challenging sections than with the 990. I could have ridden them on the 990 but it would have been a lot more work. And the repercussions of a mud slight would have been much larger.


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