Once a year, a sea of die-hard BMW enthusiasts converges at Jim Hyde’s 500-acre compound in Castaic, California, with the simple goal of exploring the limits of themselves and their motorcycles.
We spent one of the program’s two days embedded aboard a BMW R1200GS, and our excursion took us from the mountainous hills near Gorman across vast expanses of ranch land and desert. Sun-baked interstate time was punctuated by brief sojourns into wilderness, and our armada of bikes handled off-road bits with aplomb and on-road sections with ease.
Reaching the final destination of Randsburg—a dusty ghost town in the Mojave desert—we headed back to base camp to observe the heartiest riders pitted against a precarious “rodeo” of hill climbs, rock-strewn pathways, and a corridor constructed of wooden beams with large, swinging pendulums. The obstacle course schooled most of the big-bore riders, but encouraging shouts from the crowd suggested that this group’s camaraderie eclipses outright competition. At the end of the day, these dual-purpose motorcycles may be menacing, but at the core of the Adventure Rider Challenge are its good-spirited participants.(http://adventureriderchallenge.com/home.html)