The California Adventure Rally 2015
(10 years after)
10 years ago RawHyde hosted its very first “Adventure Rally” an event which gave riders on all kinds of Adventure bikes an opportunity to come together and enjoy their motorcycles in the manner for which they had been designed. A rally like this had never been done before… and so the event was held at an abandoned Ghost Town called Ballarat which is located on the western edge of Death Valley in the absolute heart of the infamous Mojave Desert.
It was a huge success… nearly 300 riders came to enjoy the locale – and the camaraderie. The pictures shown here illustrate what it was like.
Many things have happened in the past 10 years… RawHyde has matured as a company, we have facilities in several places, we host tours all over the world… But just for a weekend we want to turn back the clock and re-visit our past… Please join us in Ballarat, California on the weekend of November 14th for a real adventure in the Mojave.
Below are all the details… just as we explained it 10 years ago. (with a few updates of course)
A Weekend of Adrenaline & Exploration - all you can handle… category 1 to 5 Adventure rides, mild to wild, and a Paris-Dakar style bivouac experience…
Brought to you by RawHyde
Have you ever wondered what a couple of days at a Paris Dakar Rally “bivouac” might be like? Join us and find out! There is nothing like the clarity of a desert night sky, the twinkling of campfires illuminating a sea of tents, the big support trucks, and the rumble of motorcycles coming in & out of the desert. This rally will be held in the heart of California’s Mojave Desert region, far from the trappings of civilization. Just for a weekend…Feel the rush… Experience Adventure!
When: November 12th to 15th 2015
Where: Ballarat, California
What you get:
- 8 count ‘em, 8 meals (dinner Thursday thru lunch Sunday)
- All beverages included
- Camping pass & raffle tickets
- A special Adventure Rally Shirt
- An opportunity to ride with like-minded adventurers on some of the most beautiful “Adventure Tracks in the West”
- A truly unique overall experience!
Your personal experience: The idea behind our rally is not to numb you with alcohol and entertainment, but rather give you the time and the chance to enjoy a remarkable weekend in the desert and mountains, exchange stories around a campfire, make some new friends, & “feel the desert” during this perfect part of the season. Most importantly we want to demonstrate how rewarding the world of back country riding can be.
The California Adventure Rally can only accommodate a “limited” number of bikes & participants (solo or two up), so sign up now.
The Rally Program: How to sign up?
Register online here and click the Adventure Rally link on the homepage. Contact your local BMW Motorcycle Center listed below for additional information and to tell them that you will be part of this exciting experience!
Riding to the Rally:
Several BMW dealerships across the state will serve as starting points for those of you who enjoy the camaraderie of riding with a group. Each dealership will have a “ride master” leading the way to the rally.
- Irv Seaver BMW in Orange cty. #714 532 3700 ask for David Diaz
- San Diego BMW. #619 286 1971 ask for Gary Orr
- Cal BMW in Mtn View. #650 966 1183 ext 934 ask for Arlie Ray
- Santa Clarita BMW Mamba Motorsports. #661-964-2222 – ask for Owen Balduf
Browns BMW in Pomona. #909 629 2132 ask for Dave Brown
Directions to the Rally will be made available once you have made the decision to join us for this epic event. Once you’ve signed up you’ll receive a complete information package including a GPS route to the venue as well as written directions.
Riding at the Rally:
Adventure riding is one of the most rewarding things that can be done on two wheels and the Panamint Valley and Death Valley have many wonderful places to explore. Do you know that more than 95% of the world’s roads are unpaved? And some of the most beautiful and interesting places in America are somewhere beyond where the pavement ends. This provides a lifetime of potential new rides! But if you’re nervous about the prospect of riding in the dirt… Don’t worry there are plenty of wonderful paved roads in the area as well as a plethora of great places to explore on dirt roads. Panamint Valley and Death Valley offer tons of great options for dirt and street alike and listed below are just a few of the “off the beaten path destinations” that you can visit during the rally. We’ll provide a careful briefing during the Thursday night orientation about everything there is to do in the area and we’ll explain difficulty levels and time requirements for each.
For safety reasons there will be a sign up sheet for “ride outs”. Please write down on the ride out sheets where you plan to go so that we can come looking for you if you don’t return on time. Its important to note that there are no “guided” rides to any of these venues because of Bureau of Land Management and NPS restrictions, but for those who want to do the more remote rides there will be volunteers from many of the BMW dealerships that know the area and will be happy to offer advice, and possibly go along with you as your explore the region.
You might consider visiting any of these locations while you’re at the rally:
• Charlie Manson’s cabin. (or whats left of it…) Barker Ranch or Mansons cabin is the place that the famous serial killer of the “70’s was apprehended. The ride up Golar wash is quite challenging, but it’s manageable on a GS if you are a very good off road rider. Rock ledges, lots of sand, and large rocks. (Difficulty level 5) - 30 miles, half day ride. Vandals burned the cabin a couple of years ago, but the foundations are intact as are much of the walls. (you can still feel the evil that pervades the atmosphere ! ***Expert riders only !
• Ride to the “Race Track”. One of Death Valleys best kept secrets, a dry lake bed with “boulders” that mysteriously move on the surface of the mud. 110 mile loop, partially paved. (Difficulty level 4) - all day ride.
• The “Cerra Gordo Experience”. An amazing ride to the perfectly preserved ghost town of Cerra Gordo. The site of the richest silver strike in California. The site is so remote that there has been no vandalism, and the original 3 story hotel and all the major buildings still stand. We will follow the Wells Fargo Stage coach trail back to camp. 90 miles off road (Difficulty level 3) all day ride.
• Agueberry Point, a stunning view over Death Valley that few ever see. Mostly a street ride, with a 6 mile dirt road out to the “view point” considered one of the top 10 best views in California. Difficulty level 2, generally passable by stout 2 wheel drive passenger vehicles). On your way to Agueberry Point will be a jaunt through Wildrose Canyon to the “Charcoal Kilns”, an engineering marvel of the late 1800’s. The view over the Panamint Valley and Range to the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains is beyond spectacular.
• Ride to the Minietta Mine. This incredible mine is just at the base of a mountain where the infamous “Modoc” mine and LookOut city are located. The Modoc and the ghost town of LookOut are not easily accessible but the Minietta is pretty easy to reach. The main road into the mine is well graded and easy to ride… but the last 1/3rd of a mile is VERY rocky. However if you don’t want to risk dropping your bike in the rocks its easy to park along the road and walk the final 500 yards to the mine. (difficulty level 1-easy except for the last 1/3rd of a mile – that’s level 4 stuff).
Camping space at Ballarat is included with the Rally fee. Your tents, motor homes, and campers are all welcome at our rally site!
If you prefer a room (reservation and payment are your responsibility) here are the three closest motel/hotels in the area, and links to them:
#1 Panamint Springs Resort: located about 23 miles from the rally site is an 1800’s era stagecoach stop. Originally built as part of the stage line to carry silver from Cerra Gordo, this funky “resort” has 13 modest but clean rooms, a nice restaurant, and a truly unique “air” about it. Has a fuel station (credit cards only). The web-link below has driving directions and all the contact info. This would be a good choice if you are not a camper but would like to ride to the Race Track in Death Valley, or take the Cerra Gordo ride!
#2 The Carriage Inn: in Ridgecrest is about 45 miles from the rally site, and is a nearly new 100 room “Best Western” class motel. Easy to reach from the rally, you have all the amenities of the big city if “camping isn’t your style”.
#3 Stovepipe Wells Village in Death Valley National Park. 73 rooms, a pool, a general store, a good restaurant. Fuel station (87 octane only). Operated by the park concessionaire.
The Rally will officially open at 4PM, Thursday the 12th of November,
Welcome & Orientation will be at 7 PM
Welcome Bar B’Q dinner 7:30 PM
8:30 to 9 PM: Fireside Chat with Jim from RawHyde Adventures, we’ll discuss the various riding options for Saturday, safety issues, and question answer session.
Friday: November 13th:
7 - 8:30 AM: Pancake Breakfast, with “bag lunches for ride outs” and Chile with the all “fixins” for those who stay in camp! Dinner on Friday.
9 AM: A member of the RawHyde Adventures coaching staff will be offering a 30 minute overview of safe “off road riding tips”.
9:30 AM: All Adventure Rides begin!
If you have signed up for a half day ride you’ll be back for lunch and a chance for a 2nd ride before sunset. The all-day groups will have lunch “on the trail” and will be back in camp for happy hour.
7:30 P.M: Dinner at 7:30, followed by a live music from Epic Nomad. This gritty band is comprised of fellow GS riders and they’ll be playing all your favorite songs.
7 - 8:30 AM: Breakfast Mexicana, with “bag lunches for ride outs” and a burrito bar lunch for those who stay in camp!
9:30 AM: All Adventure Rides begin!
9:30 AM: All Adventure Rides begin!
If you’re taking a half day ride you’ll be back for lunch and a chance for a 2nd ride before sunset. The all-day groups will have lunch “on the trail” and will be back in camp for happy hour.
7:30 PM: Dinner at 7:30, followed by a recently filmed movie about “riding the Continental Divide” by Brad Barker from the “Ride of my life”. After the movie we’ll have more live music and good old fashioned hang out time by the fire.
7 – 8:30 AM: Breakfast
10:30 AM: Pick up lunch boxes, link up with your “Dealer Ride Masters” for the trip back home (if you want to ride with the group), and depart for home.
What to bring:
Essentials if you are camping:
Sleeping bag & pad
Tent & ground cloth
Folding chair or stool
Clothes and personal items
A towel, soap and shampoo
Sandals to wear to the shower
Sunscreen and sunglasses and a good “shade providing cap”
Typical weather in the Desert: The early winter is the most glorious time in the desert, warm days and “brisk” nights. Rain showers are possible but unlikely. But think ahead & please be prepared.
For your comfort at Rally Camp:
There will be a first aid station.
There will be toilets on site.
Water trucks will be available with outdoor showers and wash facilities.
All meals are provided, and special needs (within our abilities) will be met.