Horizons Unlimited Motorcycle Madness 2018 – Monashees
I entered the rally not entirely sure what I was signing up for. As near as I could tell it was orienteering on motorcycles for lack of a better explanation. Turns out it was an awesome time. A good excuse to bomb around the mountains on a motorcycle & a good riding challenge all in one.
I figured that the trails looked pretty rough so I’d take the KTM. It’s by far the best in the dirt, but less good on the road, and I knew there’d be a bit of road riding. So I had my head mechanic drop a tooth on the front sprocket to gear the KTM up a bit. It’s an on-road registered KTM 250 XCF-W. It’s actually pretty awesome at 80KM/h and below. Above that it’s a bit buzzy being a dirt bike and all.
Threw it on the bumper carrier & I’m ready to roll!
Basically what happens is the rally organizers give you a book of a few hundred pages that look like this:
And you’re supposed to find them using this:
I love a good treasure hunt, but I was navigating so we chose to go the GPS route. I like the maps, but it’s a little easier to follow a GPS co-ordinate. There’s more confidence in locating where you are even if I don’t know where I should be.
Day one we got the maps, set up and everyone charged out of town. We weren’t planning to be overly competitive to be honest so we (My brother Jason, Dean & I) charged out and went to a restaurant for breakfast. lol
We settled into a rhythm pretty quick. Screw the black diamond waypoints. The big bikes like a challenge, but we figured we’d take it easy and hit the green & blue ones first. We picked a valley & started to gather them up.
Fantastic trails. Awesome scenery & it was a great day as we reeled them in. Nothing too bad even for the big bikes. Some trails were more grown in than others & more rugged. Some were pretty easy gravel roads.
Here Jason & I grab a brothers team photo.
The full team. Our team name was “Blackness”. lol
The first day went off without a hitch & we were in 3rd place! Not sure how that happened considering we were loafing it, but whatever. We’ll take it. Day 2 is a shotgun start where everyone rushes out and crowds the start line. We did the same & pushed hard… Right to the restaurant for breakfast again. Lol. Sat on the patio with a breakfast burrito while the cafe made us a sandwich. 🙂
Day 2 was tougher. We took a tougher line or 2 & it was great. One pass we went through had a ton of switch backs & was steep. Pretty sure we took it the wrong way as we met several teams trying to climb it. I’m still torn as to whether up or down is tougher on the big bikes. Wouldn’t bother the 250 either way.
Stopped to soak our heads in the creek.
The rules are that you MUST be back before or at 5:30pm. Any later and you face STIFF penalties. I think it said 10 points per minute?
We set the GPS for Nakusp & the arrival was 5:24… Ok, no problem. Better hit the road… Ok, minor problem… I don’t have a gas gauge on the KTM, but I have a gas light… And it’s been on for an hour or so. Heh heh. Oops. We hit the road making good time hoping I wouldn’t run out of gas. Of course, then I did run out of gas. I sort of half expected it would happen at some point. I knew we were doing a lot of miles & I know the tank on my bike is small so I had a good chunk of siphon hose in my back pack.
We had 6 minutes to get the hose out, siphon a gallon out of the bigger bikes & hit the road again. Like a well choreographed maneuver, I think we used 5.5 minutes. On the bikes again and rolled into the home base at exactly 5:30. Whew.
Luck or good planning it’s hard to say, but we placed 3rd in multi cylinder GPS class. I’ll go back for sure, but I’ll be shocked if we got another trophy. There are some serious riders there doing some serious trails… For us though, it was a ton of fun.