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Past Force Rides Archive of all the past Force Ride threads.


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March 7th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #1
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I Ride: Cannondale Scalpel
Force Ride 2005 Blow by Blow

Ok guys, for the sake of both those who were there and those that weren't, I'm going to write my experiences at the ride. A lot will be lost in the telling(inflection is paramount the way I tell a story), but this will have to do. Before I get started though, Here's my list of thanks and great guys.

There were so many people that made this trip possible for my brother and I. Had I not had the assistance of these guys, I would have never seen the most amazing place I've ever had the pleasure of visiting, so without any further ado:

DezDuster & Tuts: If not for these two guys, we'd have been sleeping under a bridge. We stayed at the Paris in LV with comped meals and the finest company on the ride over. Mike and Paul remind me of the odd couple. Mike's sensible, calm, cool and collected, and well Paul is..... not. Out of everyone I met this week, Paul is the guy I'd want next to me in the Gov't food line to cheer me up. He can truly make you forget any of your problems, and make you glad you're more lucid than he is. Of course when he walks away, it all comes crashing back, and you're in a deep depression, but it was good while it lasted.... Mike keeps Paul from going too far over the edge, a necessity after viewing the two of them again.

berger: Ken stuck with me through my incredibly painful learning curve of getting back on a bike. On the first day, Ken put down his margarita and blender so he could ride behind me and pick up any body parts that fell off(both mine and the bike's) during my ride. From start to finish, he never admitted getting tired of watching my lame ass bounce from rock to rock(I seem to be magnetically drawn to them).

Splat: Truly the glue of the ride, Brian spent most of his time setting up the rides and getting everyone's "wishlist" together to bring it to fruition. He also allowed me the use of his computer in his RV so I could get the site back up. Side note: There's something wrong when an RV has faster access than me. It's kinda funny. Not ha-ha funny, but man-I-gotta-crappy-connection funny.

Everyone who contributed to the secret fund: Obviously a lot went on in the background to get me there, and I'm eternally grateful. I appreciate everyone going to great lengths to do this for me, and I'll remember it for the rest of my life.

Right, now on to the trip. As I get the time, I'll give you a day by day run.

thanks,
json
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March 7th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #2
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I Ride: Cannondale Scalpel
Day 1

There we sit at 4 am, without a trace of caffiene in our systems when Mike and Paul pull in front of the Paris hotel to pick us up. It becomes immediately apparent to me that Paul is an "always on" type of guy, in the sense that he can always make you laugh, even when it's too early for your face muscles to work. He keeps me occupied while we head out of Vegas. We pull into a truck stop to grab something to eat. I felt bad for Paul because he didn't get to enjoy his meal because he was busy worrying about not being able to see the truck and it's contents. He finally went out and moved the truck to another spot that he couldn't see from inside, so I'm not sure the benefit, but he seemed happy.

Back on the road, we saw some gorgeous terrain and Paul and Mike told us of the great rides they've had out there. The concept of riding in one direction for any great period of time is a foreign concept to me, being from the east coast. I can ride for miles and never leave sight of the truck.

Aside from myself, everyone took turns driving. Paul gets behind the wheel and quickly scares the living daylights out of everyone else in the vehicle. 95-100(he's hitting the rev limiter), and he has slept only a couple of hours in 2 days. We talk to him to test to see if he's awake if he's quiet for too long. Next gas stop finds a mad dash to the steering wheel from the other passengers while Paul is in the bathroom, so he falls asleep in the back on the next leg. Oddly, it's in the same position that he was driving in, but I don't say anything.

As we get closer to Moab, everyone begins waking up and getting giddy, then we see it. The grand and majestic sign of the "SlickRock Campground". It seems to be generating it's own light(later I found that it simply has flourescents inside the sign). We pull in to see berger riding up towards the street on his Husky. After introductions, Mike asks Ken if he's seen the cabins. Ken replies "That's one way to describe them." My keen senses tell me to prepare for less than "Hyatt" accomadations. We were not to be disappointed. After checking in, we pointed the truck towards the back of the campground and quickly arrived at "Le Casa de Tiné". After loading our gear in the room, we immediately began to check out who had arrived. Splat, JoeUSA, berger, Bobzilla, velosapian, lefrog, fryguy, coronaberg, ossaman and a couple others have already personalized their pads, and we checked out everyone's bikes. Berger is making margaritas complete with salt on the rim of the plastic cups.

Brian stops by to say hi and give me some incredibly righteous gear, like mechanic's shirts and a banner, and tells us that they're going out for an afternoon ride. I look over at berger to gauge his "toastedness". He's still standing fairly upright, so I begin wheedling his resistance.

"Say, you want to go for a ride?"
"No, I've had a couple to drink, and I just want to get settled"
<petulant whining>"but I can't go unless you go..."
"Why, you big baby?"
"Cause I don't know how to ride, and I'll be on your bike."
"I'll get my gear."

In the truck, while looking at the trails that run up the side of the cliff faces, I begin to draft my will in my mind. I look at my brother, trying to mentally capture his cherubic features, lest I should fall off of a cliff, I'll have something to occupy my time on the way down. We Pull into the parking area for Gemini trail, and begin to unload the bikes. Since Ken is the owner of half the bikes riding today, he's moving from bike to bike starting them and giving them pointers on the idiosyncracies of each bike. Since I've never started a Berg, I'm in awe of how his left leg bends the Berg to his will. He gets me on my bike, and I make him promise(again) that he won't leave me to die on my own in the great wide open. He(again) promises that he will keep me on a short leash. He looks like he's beginning to regret the promise already.

We're off! I'm second to last in line, Ken's in front of me, and Husyodaddy's behind me. I'm feeling a sense of freedom, what with the wind in my hair and all. I'm in 4th now, and feeling pretty froggy. Oh yes, I don't know what I was worried about, I'm one with the motorcycle! I've got mad skillz! Swerve to the left, swerve to the right, ooh, pop a wheelie! Hah!, I'm a friggin.... where'd the road go? Why are there boulders here? Oh dear lord, I'm not ready to die! Where the hell is the rear brake again? Ohlordifyougetmeoutofthisipromisei'lleatallmyveget ables! ahh, shaving speed off now, and although I'm nowhere near to being on the trail anymore, it's hardly a true error in riding, more of a lapse in judgement, due to my innate ability to make speed on this bike. I quickly get back on the trail before Ken sees me using his bike as a tiller in the open, and sit down to try to get feeling back in my arms and legs.

Up a twisty that goes up 40-50 feet, and back down to some sand washes. Clearly leaning all the way forward in 2nd is not the way to ride these. Make a mental note to ask Ken(who's now behind me) how to do this.

I'm beginning to forget about my panic stricken brakefest at the beginning of the ride, and have begun to pick up speed again when I see some riders coming back towards us. It seems that I'm going so slow, that the guys up front thought I had expired. Make mental note to leave 2nd gear when I feel it's safe to.

We get to the end of the sand washes, and I see the crew sitting on their bikes. It seems that Neil has wiped out and has at least a broken clavicle and some broken ribs. He rides back to the truck while Bobzilla yells after him "Who's the camp bitch now?". Friends like this are few and far between.

Ken looks at the blank stare of fear in my eyes and suggests that maybe I've had enough for the day. Luckily, I don't mind being labeled a panty wearing pansy, and quickly agree. We head back. Back through the sand washes and up and down the twisty, past the spot where I almost planted berger's bike into the boulders, and we're home free.

We load up the bikes, and I secretly thank God that I've made it through the day without

A)killing myself
B)killing berger's bike

and pat myself on the back. We wait for everyone else to get back, and it seems that Fryguy has locked his keys in the trailer. Fry and berger leave to find a tool that will get the door open, so we can go back to camp. I stay there with Husyodaddy and fry's friends. It's very cold, and I wonder if I can kill and eat the other guys before I get too weak. An hour and a half later everyone has returned and we head home in the bed of the truck.

Back at the camp, everyone gets cleaned up and we head to the local restaurant/pub and begin to bad mouth each other. By now, we've got husabutt and fam to add to the list, and spirits are high. Paul wows us with his stories of moto-stardom and scares all of the little children at the table.

We head back to camp, all fat and happy now. It's been a great day and we're sure to have a better one tomorrow! Everyone is pooped from the trip, so Bob, Taf and I sit by our collective lonesomes at the campfire. We all seem to be saving our best stories for the coming nights, so kind of just stare at each other in the bitter cold over the fire until it's time for bed. This is male bonding, I'm told.

Being an insomniac that's bunking with a light sleeper, I've been issued a red map light to read by said light sleeper. . I fear that I will be blind by the end of the trip.

My last thought is that I only have two more days to get through without killing myself or the bike, and with that I slip into the sleep of the dumb.
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March 7th, 2005, 10:16 PM   #3
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I Ride: Cannondale Scalpel
Day 2

Day two found me with bad breath and worse hair. Seems that the bed slopes to one side, and I can't seem to get away from the left side. Seems good for my posture though, so I don't complain.

Charles is up, and we head to the community potty to brush & floss. Seems everyone is excited to get on with a ride. Brian, being the most chipper of the morning is trying to get everyone on the trail at 9AM. When I look at my watch, it's 8:13 and the crew is talking mutiny by way of Denny's. I figure I'm safe if I go with majority vote, so whoever wins will simply have an extra vote. I keep my mouth shut and head to the bathroom.

When we return, it's already been decided that a crew is going to Denny's, so I've been spared my "puppet vote". I breathe a sigh of relief and hop in Mike's truck.

Once in Denny's, everyone orders. When the food arrives, Taf goes from plate to plate trying the various dishes, and them telling us how bad they are for our heart and how we're sure to die from such bad diets. I'm envious that he's come up with a method that will make the other person feel bad for eating something, and will still allow us to eat the same darned thing... I make a mental note to hold onto this very important bit of information.

We finish and head back. I talk to Brian, and he lets me know that we're running the second easiest trail(in my head, I'm thanking God), and that we're leaving in 30 minutes. Husyodaddy and I get dressed and then hang out in the room looking out the window until everyone else has lifted the heavy objects into the trucks. We then run out and make a lot of noise about how we wanted to help. Everyone seems to have fallen for it.

We run out to Hole 'N The Wall and park, pulling the bikes off, airing and gassing up. Again, Ken starts my bike, and Bob ends up starting bro's, since he got it started but stalled it, and now it's not playing nice. We get all our gear on, and mount the bikes and we're off! 30 feet into the ride, we realize that we've taken a wrong turn and we turn around to go the right way. I feel that this won't be the last time that this happens today, and I'm so right, that I should look into being a fortune teller.

We start out, and I'm feeling better about being on the bike, and Ken's still behind me, so no worries. We're following a stream for the most part every once in a while hopping out to run beside it or cross it. We've gone probably 1/4 mile when we stop to wait for the tail of the pack. We're told that Husabutt and fam had to turn back because the quad's clutch was slipping. I envy their making it out alive, and we move on.

The quick riders move ahead and the slower riders are attempting to keep in a pack. We wait for Josh and Brian and when they arrive, we start going again. Not seeing where the other riders go, we make a right at Albuquerque, otherwise known as zigging when we should zag, and end up on the top of a rock plateau, and what I will call, my first stomach clencher. A 14-18" step. Yes sir, I said a foot and a half. I can sense your disbelief, but I'm told that people traverse these with ease. I watch Brian approach and seemingly hop over it with ease. I'm feeling worse instead of better, because each person who makes it is only going to make me look worse when I fall over like a drunken lemming. Joshua is up next on the KTM 65. He approaches and due to the less than 1 foot clearance between the bike and the ground, he cases it at the top. I'm really sweating now because everyone knows he would have made it had he had a taller bike. The heat's really on now, and I begin to wonder if I can fake a head wound, or something equally terminal. Husyodaddy runs and hops over it like an older brother would in my time of need. It's just me berger and JoeUSA. Brian comes down the hill to talk me off of my mental ledge, and lets me know that:

A)He'll ride it up for me if I'd like
B)All I have to do is give it some gas and the bike will do the rest.

I appreciate A and believe he's lying about B, so I start the bike and idle to the step, stalling out with the front wheel up. He again tells me that I can make it by gassing it and letting the bike do the work, so I back up and open it up to 1/8 WOT. I make it to the very top and stall at the edge. I wait for the cheers, but none come, so I figure that everyone is awestruck. I push the bike out of the way, and Joe Starts his bike up. I think he got stuck in my roost rut from my awesome display from power, because he ends up right next to the tree, and can't make it up due to getting whacked in the head with a branch, I think. Joe hops down and rides it up for him, and we're all up and off! We head down the hill and..... end up right where we started before we went up to the plateau. Taf pulls up and lets us know that they've been waiting for us in a completely different spot. We follow him to where the others are and where a REAL set of descending stairs await us.

Everyone waits in a quiet line while each takes a turn down the stairs and across the stream at the bottom. When it's my turn I grab Tut's arm and tell him that I'm feeling faint and need him to take my bike down. I can tell he doesn't believe me, but he does it for me, I think just because he doesn't want to see me cry. He's my new best friend.

On the other side we begin climbing up a steep jeep trail attached to the side of a cliff wall. I'm having some shortness of breath oddly related to every time I look over the edge, so I decide not to look over there any more. We single file across it, and meet up at the other end back on terra firma. Taf and Tuts are still with us, since they helped some of us make it through some more steps.

We're all sitting at the bottom, by another stream, and I'm beginning to feel pretty overwhelmed, kinda worrying about how everyone is liking the ride, how I'm over my head, what's going on with my 401k, and are there really children starving in China like my mom told me when I wouldn't eat my vegetables. Tuts walks up to me by the stream and dips his hands in the water splashing it on my face, raises his arms over his head yelling "so big!" and then does it again. I'm kind of worried about him now and he tells me to try it. I politely decline, but he's very insistent, so I do it to appease him since he scares me. This was the turning point of the day for me, because it really did work, and I thanked tuts. He seemed less scary too, so it was a double plus.

Joe and Taf's(I think) bike of the day have leaks now from hitting rocks, so we pull the rad hose off one, and tape it with electrical tape, then refill the rad with the creek water from my helmet, and we get back on our bikes to head out. Tuts and Taf have hauled buggy to catch up to the front pack, so we're by our lonesome. We cross the stream and start the next section, one which I like to call "path of many stream crossings and much sugar sand". We hit a sweet section of single-track with very few rocks, and everyone has a blast running through as fast as they feel comfortable with. I take this opportunity to take it out of second. I can feel everyone behind me breathe a sigh of relief.

We get to an opening with a barbed wire gate, and wait for the back of the pack to show up sipping water and enjoying the sites. Everyone agrees that the last part was great fun. Once everyone is back together, we drop the gate, and pass through into the next section I like to call "path of a buttload of streamcrossings and more rocks than I can count". This is where we start to fall apart as a unit. Due to the 65's short wheelbase and clearance, Josh spends more of his time pushing than riding, and I'm really beginning to feel his pain. Unfortunately, we have to go faster to keep from faceplanting in the sand, so we run ahead to wait for Brian, the guy in the know to let us know where to go next, which would have been awesome, but we keep picking the wrong way to go, and spend more time backtracking than we do in going forward. We end up in a cow trail so tight that the bars don't fit through when Ken tells us in the kindest way that Lewis and Clark would roll over in their graves if they could see us now. After filling Husyurdaddy's radiator with Ken's gatorade from his Camelback, we happily relinquish the lead and he gets us back to Brian, Josh and Joe. We're at a deep water crossing and we get in line to cross, and we all make it across. At the other end, berger's Husky quits, due to indigstion from the water it sucked down. He begins taking it apart to dry it out. Bobzilla and some others are coming from the other direction and stop to talk. They start up and head out. Bksavs, otherwise known as traitor, latch on to their pack and leave us to fend for ourselves. Ken gets his bike dried out and we're off again. After a few minutes, we're out of the sand and into the best part of the ride yet. It's bedrock trail, with a lot of elevation changes, but not many loose rocks, so you can pick up some speed. We run this for about a 1/2 hour. At the end of the trail, we get to a gravel road. Originally, we were going to turn around and head back to the beginning, but due to getting lost a few times, we were running late, so we decided to follow the road down to a parking area and the guys w/dual sports would ride to pick up the trucks.

While at the parking area, Husabutt returns with his wife and son, and we hang out together. Husabutt's got a stocked cooler, so we really suck up to him. After a little over an hour, the trucks arrive, and we load up and head back into town. Ken takes us into town to pick up all the items we forgot to bring with us like towels, shampoo and such, and then we head back into camp.

After dinner with JoeUSA and his wife, Taf, Tuts, berger husyodaddy and I, we head back for the night. Over the fire, we have a larger crowd than the night previously. We each begin letting out the really good stories that we've saved, and after a few hours, we've all got sore cheeks from laughing so much. Personally, I think tuts wins the best storyteller award, and I don't begrudge him.

I bid everyone adieu, and head back to the cabin where I pick up my red map light and book, and read until I can't anymore. I fall asleep thinking that maybe tomorrow if I'm lucky, I will ride as well as Joshua.
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March 7th, 2005, 10:21 PM   #4
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I Ride: Cannondale Scalpel
Day 3

Ahh, yes, welcome to day 3. The sun is coming through the window, and the chipper sound of excited chatter is right outside the door. I wonder why my butt cheeks feel like they went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, then I remember the intimate relationship they've had over the last two days with the seat on the 470 that berger is loaning me. I make a mental note to make like the Charmin kid and stuff a roll in my pants for today's ride. No, not on that side....

I get dressed and head out to see what's going on. It seems that everyone is up and about, and more importantly happy about it! I make my rounds to make sure nobody snuck off into the night, when I run into Brian. He tells me that the site has been down for the last two days. Luckily for me, and all of you stuck reading posts while we were riding, he has broadband and a zoomy Mac(daddy) in the RV, which he allows me to requisition to reboot the server, store the db for later download, and purge the mail server which is clogged with two days worth of mails. Afterwords, I head back out into the sun to find out that JoeUSA and wife are packing it up and heading out. It seems that yesterday's ride wreaked havoc on his knees and he is afraid if he rides again, he may have a heck of a time driving home in the car. I'm incredibly bummed to hear this, but envy his ability to do the right thing. I've heard of self discipline, but only in passing. I say goodbye to Joe and his wife, and thank them for coming to the ride.

Heading back to my end of the camp, I hear talk of breakfast which makes me happy. Oddly, I never eat breakfast, but with all the riding, I always seem to be hungry now. I begin taking a head count of willing members to go eat some gutted and skinned french toast and drink some freshly squeezed coffee. Although many are up for it, when the truck loads up, it's only me and husyodaddy. We head down to Denny's, eat one of everything, and order some to-go for Ken, then head back. Upon arrival, I find Ken servicing the bikes, so offer to help. He looks at me warily, but agrees, between draining the gatorade out of the radiator, oil changes and filter changes, I touch one oil screen and one air filter. I feel empowered and wonder if Ken realizes how invaluable my assistance is. It seems he doesn't. I figure it's best not to mention it and move on to getting geared up. Brian's beginning to make the rounds, corraling the riders.

We've all decided to break into smaller groups today, each riding in different areas, and I join in with Bobzilla(the pack leader), John the tire-changing maniac, Dez, bk, husyodaddy, ossaman, berger and Andy the flying Canadian. We gear up, load the bikes up and head out to Gemini Trail. When we arrive, we see all the other groups there as well. We hang out until they've left. They head across the 4 lane to another set of trails, and we head off along Gemini Trail. Bobzilla's in the lead, and we all follow. About 1/4 mile into the trip, we've all stopped so Bobzilla can kickstart a girl's bike that has stalled on the trail. I don't think he's successful, and in my mind I'm ridiculing his inability to start the bike. I then see that she's looking into the tank and shaking her head, so I figure it's out of gas, and feel bad about thinking that Bobz's a non-2 stroke starting weenie. We all start up our bikes(at this time, Husyodaddy's starter starts dragging, and I can actually see the sweat pop out on his forhead just at the thought of kicking the 650), and we continue down the trail.

It's Saturday, and the jeeps are out in full force today, so we're taking it easy on any trails that may have traffic on them, which turns out to be a really good move, because there's quite a lot of traffic. We head up and down the twisty on the cliff, and through the sand washes. We get to a fork, and Bobz lets us know we can go right through the sand wash, or left through the sand wash. I decide to go left through the sand wash, and Bobz and a couple of others go right through the sand wash. I like decisions like this. It seems to take all the stress off.

We get to the sharp right and steep uphill grade where Neil bit it on day 1. I make a mental note to be the diapole of Neil, and thinking anti-Neil-like thoughts, I traverse up the hill giving everyone plenty of room, and making darned sure that I don't get caught in a dust cloud(don't worry Neil, all that excrusciating pain taught me valuable lessons). We make it up and over, and move onto the next section, one I like to call "Spot with Many Steps that Make the Seat Hit Your Bum". We head up and down, and over and through, and throughout it all, I watch Andy the Flying Canadian(TM) passing people while deftly hopping up and down. I decide he's my hero of the day, and try the next step in his likeness. I fail miserably and nearly ride off a cliff edge. I decide to stop trying to emulate him, and simply appreciate him from afar. It seems much safer this way.

We get to the top of Gemini Trail, and look out over a huge expanse of valleys and cliffs, with rock bridges between them, and nearly perfect circles carved through them. There's a plaque at the top telling of an unfortunate soul in a Jeep that obviously forgot where the brake was and took the express way down. A moment of silence, and then we're off for photo ops. After everyone gets their stills in, Bobz takes his bike over the bridge and someone snaps one of him. Once done, we all remount and begin to head back the way we came. It's an exciting ride, getting to ride at the top of these cliffs, and seeing as far as the sky will allow before mucking it up with clouds. We head back down and start heading towards Bulldog pass, which is the low portion that we were looking at from the top of Gemini, so we'll get to look up at where we were looking down. It's mostly sand washes, with rock creek beds, where you can pick up a lot of speed, but every time I get to feeling good, I nearly plant the front end into a rock, so I keep it going slow, and simply enjoy the view, not wanting to screw up the ride with something stupid like, oh I don't know, say a flat.

We ride for about another hour, and make it into Bulldog, where we were looking down, and park the bikes at the "No motor vehicles past this point". We respect the local law, and don't want to thumb our noses at the local John Law, so we walk the rest of the way to the cool stuff. I'm sure everyone else at the ride hold the local law in the same high esteem. We take some photos, drink some wa-wa and eat some compressed cardboard powerbars, then sit and rest for a little bit. Through the whole trip today, Bobz has made an effort to make this a relaxed ride, and it's easily become the favorite of the week for me. Everyone else seems to be having an equally great time. If Bobz didn't smell so bad, I'd kiss him.

After resting, we get back on the bikes, and start riding again. More sandwashes, and then up another trail that gives us some higher ground, so a little more elevation change, and slower trails. I enjoy riding these simply because you can simply relax without fear of shaving your face off like I do in the sand washes and rock beds. We head up to a dead end with a gorgeous view, then turn around to meet the tail end of the crew. Bobz makes us stop for a moment to tell us we're weenies for not waiting at the intersections for the next guy in line, and I think to myself; "self, you gotta be a weenie to get left behind, and deserve to get eaten by birds with bad breath." This thought will come back to bite me in the butt in short order. We head back to another dead end with a loop with a cave at the top. Bobz takes some of the guys up there to look around, but I and a few others wait at the bottom. I don't go because the return looks pretty nasty with a very narrow trail and steep dropoffs on each side of it. They hang out for a while, then return, and we all suit up and remount. Everyone but Ken I and John the tire changing maniac get going but my bike won't start on the button. No fear, one kick and I'm off! But there is nobody to be seen in front of me. "self, don't worry, bobz made it clear not to be weenies, so I'll see somebody at the next intersection". Wrong! Nobody to be found at the first, second or third intersections, which is the last intersection I remember passing, so I begin to worry. I have to keep stopping for Ken to guess at the next path to take(he seems better at guessing than I am), so we're falling farther and farther behind. Needless to say, I keep going faster and faster thinking that I'll actually catch up to these guys when it happens. Around a bend, I see sharp rock edged steps along the center of this jeep-wide road, with a baby-butt smooth pass along each side of it, so I make the obvious choice and ride up the center when all of a sudden, it feels like someone coated my rear tire with baby snot. I look down to see it flopping around, so I pull off the road and wonder if I can kill and eat Ken before I get too weak. Ken and John the tire changing maniac stop, and John says "Ride it out". I say "It's not my bike, and I don't want to mess it up." Ken says "Let the next owner worry about it." In the end, John the tire changing maniac rides off to get Bobz and his tube. Ken and I put the bike up on a log, pull the wheel, and have a seat. Within a half hour, Bobz and John the tire changing maniac return. Bobz loans gives me his tube, and John the tire changing maniac has it in in under 5 minutes. After 3 Co2 canisters, we realize that it holds air about as well as the old tube, so it's decided that we're going to ride it out flat anyways. Bobz gives me his DRZ and volunteers to ride the 470. I'm really contemplating kissing him now, but he smells even worse than he did the last time I considered this, so I refrain.

We head out single file in first for the remainder of the trip, watching Bobz traverse the windy up and down the cliff. It's awfully squirrely, but he makes it to the truck without any incident. We load the bikes up and head back to the camp, where we all unload and clean up.

Everyone decides that we'll do it camper style tonight, so Bobz cooks up some chili, and Ken and Husyodaddy head to the pizza joint to get some eats and we settle in around the fire to tell our nightly lies.

WARNING: Here's where the story gets "Ol' Yellerish" weepy like. You've been warned.

So, during the prep for the ride, I've heard of people bringing stuff to auction off, and I even brought some stuff to auction off, although I didn't know what the money was going to. So here we sit talking, eating gas inducing chili and pizza, when Ken walks up pushing the 470. I think to myself "man, I hope somebody bids on that, because I'm going to feel bad if nobody does". Cause I know that Ken's been trying to sell it. I also question his common sense, what with trying to auction the bike off at a Force Ride where almost everyone has one except for me. Yes, I'm that stupid.

Brian walks up to the center of the crowd and asks if he can interrupt. Now here's where I kind of can't tell you exactly what was said. Have you ever had something happen to you so amazing that your teeth went numb? I don't mean that's all that happened, but where something causes you to go so numb, that it includes your teeth? Well, this was one of those times for me. As Brian begins to tell the crowd and I how much they appreciate the site, I can feel it in my legs. As he gets to the point where he says that they wanted to do something for me, I can't feel any of my extremities. When he gets to the point where he's talking about how I don't own a Berg, there goes my teeth. That simple. Now I know what's going on, so I do what any manly, testosterone driven male would do-I begin to weep like a little baby. Everyone is talking to me, but I can't answer. Thinking that everyone now thinks I'm a heartless jerk without even enough courtesy to reply to these guys only makes it worse. I try to say something, but all that keeps coming out is "Oh, wow...." and even that is without any real inflection. I lost count at 12 "Oh wow"'s. In the end, it's told to me that a lot of members got together and gave Ken money to purchase the bike for me. They came up short, so Ken simply gave me the bike for what was donated. I gave berger a big girly hug. I also got banners, shirts, bum pack, Husaberg riding pants, a backpack and a battery tender from Brian, Husabutt and Fryguy. All in all, a pretty amazing night.

So in the end what happened? I got an all expenses paid trip to Vegas and Moab, and I think it's safe to say that I had the most amazing ride of my life, met some of the faces I've talked to for over seven years, made some of the best friendships I'll ever have and became one of the best outfitted Husaberg owners over the course of three days. I keep thinking of all the guys I met, and it makes me sad to think that it's over for now. I wish it never would have ended, but have the hope that it will happen again soon, and will have to make due with that knowledge. If the other guys had half as great a time as I did, then the ride was a success, and I can rest easy. For those that didn't make it, you missed such a great gathering of great people in a great location. I hope you consider making the next one.

Bless you all for making me the happiest webguy on the net, and although I know I can never repay the favor, I hope I can at least keep your time at the site a comfortable one.

As for my riding? I think if I had ridden one more day, I could have given Joshua a run for his money. Oh yeah buddy, he'd have heard the footsteps over the scream of his 65.
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March 10th, 2005, 08:14 PM   #5
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Final day added

My fingers hurt
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March 10th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #6
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Jason thanks for the stories, I really wish I could have made it just to meet you and Taffy (I already know Tuts, but that ain't saying much)

Jason THANK YOU for keeping this site going and I hope to make the next one.

Kraig
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March 11th, 2005, 08:14 AM   #7
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So json, we'll see you at the next Force Ride?

I hooked up with a couple Utah guys while everyone else was riding the trails we picked for this year's ride.
We found riding areas on Sat and Sunday that will blow your socks off.
Yes, it really does get better.
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March 12th, 2005, 07:35 AM   #8
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WOW

Wow Studley, all that reading has made you a great writer!

I suggest that you submit this to Ditrbike with a breif forward about the site and who you are. Great reading!

I wish I could have come, maybe the next one.
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March 13th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #9
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Excellently written, had me chuckling out loud a couple of times. Great stuff
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March 13th, 2005, 10:27 PM   #10
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They like me, they really like me!

Hey guys,

Wow, I'm really glad that you guys liked the posts.

@ Unkle- you're more than welcome. It wouldn't be successful if not for the likes of people like yourself. you'll always be an important part of the site regardless of your current ride

@ Carl- It really didn't come out as well as I had hoped. I think maybe Dirt Bike would think I've been drinking the drain cleaner...

@ Knopey- I'm glad you got some laughs out of it. It really doesn't touch the fun of it, and it's only my view of the bunny slopes, so you're not getting the reports of the really exciting AA rides, but I figured this would at least give everyone an idea of the fun we had.

@ all 3- That's why I posted! So you could see what you missed and make it the next time around. If we get more of you guys to come because of this post, then the bleeding fingers was worth it

@ Splat- Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I will be at the next gathering. I've got a lot of time to solve any crisii that rears it's ugly head, so I have high hopes of doing something this great again.

thanks,
json
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