AltRider’s Conserve The Ride 2012

Aug 14, 2012 View Comments by

When I got the call about an adventure ride in central Pennsylvania, it didn’t take me long to decide to attend. Organized by Altrider, manufacturer of heavy-duty bolt-on accessories, and Seven Mountain Conservation Committee (SMCC) the event was all about riding, supporting a cause, and making new friends.

The SMCC is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of off-road motorcycle riding in the nearby trails of Pennsylvania. Several landowners that happened to enjoy the sport of adventure riding formed this group to connect their lands with a network of trails. The proceeds of this event, which cost $275 to attend, went to the SMCC and their cause.

I decided to bring my ’97 Triumph Tiger to the event after speaking to Nancy at AltRider. She made it clear that the event is about showing riders that their big adventure touring machines can handle any of the roads and trails on this ride. So I left my KTM 450 EXC at home and trailered the Tiger eight hours north to Woodward. (Note to self: don’t check tire tread the night before.)

Friday night started with the set up of the tents. I brought along the Redverz Series II Expedition tent that was big enough for me, my girlfriend Sarah, our dog Maya, and, of course, the Tiger. It is by far one of the best tents I have ever slept in.

Once all the participants gathered around the picnic shelter, we all left on a short group ride to our dinner. A scrumptious buffet of chicken, veggies, beans, bread, and desert fueled us up. Immediately after, the guys from SMCC lead us to a personal Enduro Cross track set up in a backyard surrounded by forest. Had I taken my 450 EXC, I would have seriously considered joining the competition, but the Tiger was not the right tool for the job. All the participants stood around in amazement watching the local pros zip around the track, catching air, and weaving through trees. The dark ride back to the campground was challenging, especially without a map and with the area’s known deer population. We let the evening ring out with two kegs of beer around a campfire.

Saturday was the day we had all made our journey to Woodward for. After a warm breakfast Jeremy, Founder of AltRider, gave us some instruction on how to ride off-road. Look up, steer with your feet, give the front wheel some room to move around, these were just a few pointers he gave the group. The riders put themselves into groups no larger than five riders based on skill level. I decided to ride with Eric Lange from RideADV and some of his friends.

Although AltRider and SMCC provided GPS routes, the entire loop was marked with arrows at the turns. I’ve never used such a way of navigation, but it worked perfectly. If a turn was coming up, an arrow pointing up appeared in a visible place. Then, either indicating left of right, another arrow was fixed to a sign or tree. If both arrows were missed, then a third one pointing down signaled that a previous turn was missed.

Our group only used the arrows and navigated the tour without getting lost. The route followed scenic and curvy backroads, with off-road options thrown in. Option one was a gravel road that climbed a mountain, before dropping back into the valley. Beautiful views could be seen through the trees, but there wasn’t enough room to stop and take pictures.

Lunch was catered and we were able to fuel up and share some stories from the morning’s ride. The afternoon options would get progressively more difficult. I opted to try out the next option purely on peer pressure. I really didn’t want to bang my beloved Tiger around, but what could I do when Eric said, “Oh, come on, let’s see what’s down this trail.” Well, that trail ended up being a downhill battle that looked like a dried up creek bed. I won’t lie, it was tough, but I managed to arrive back on pavement without incident; quite remarkable for the terrain, no tread on the rear tire, and riding a ’97 Tiger.

Everybody made it back to the campground in once piece. Some had fallen and some had broken off parts, but that’s why it’s a good idea to invest in AltRider products.

For dinner we ate a roasted pig that was just delicious. Even Maya couldn’t resist begging for some meat. We all sat around the campfire, drank some beers, and talked about the day’s ride. All agreed that this was a weekend well spent.

For $275, registration included:

  • A weekend of GPS routed rides created by the members of SMCC for all skill levels
  • Live EnduroCross show with pro racers
  • 2 nights of camping at Woodward Caves Campground –find directions here
  • 5 meals including delicious BBQ and a special pig roast
  • Off-road riding seminar from seasoned coaches
  • Refreshing alcoholic beverages (locally brewed beer!)
  • Slideshow presentations from professional riders
  • Prize giveaways from sponsors Rox Speed FX, Shorai, ROK Straps, GSessories, Kissell Motorsports, and more
  • An unforgettable experience riding for an awesome cause

AltRider also puts on the Hoh Rainforest event, which is happening August 24-26. They’re already pumped up about it, and if you’re interested, click on the link below.

Visit www.altrider.com to find Events under the Community tab.

 

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About the author

As long as I can grab a handlebar, I'll ride it. Trail riding is becoming my favorite hobby as of late. Hope to meet you on the road.