And there the tree laid, blocking our intended path… quite the unexpected surprise. Our bikes were barely warmed up, it had been less than 10 minutes since we left camp. The crisp June morning had us layered up but within a couple minutes of hand saws and dragging fallen timber, a bit of a sweat now accompanied us. I couldn’t have planned a better start to the Brush Creek Daytripper Rally, an opportunity for this random group of people to bond over some hard labor with the bikes resting on their kickstands. Usually at an ADV rally the bikes share in the effort but their chance would soon come.
After working together to clear as much of the tree as possible it was now time to get the bikes over the remainder of our obstacle. We left one good sized branch that was resting on the ground along with a few small pieces in front to act as a ramp. The smaller Suzuki DRZ 400 bikes made it look easy, rolling over with no assistance but the rest of us with the bigger bikes would need the help of our fellow riders (except for Joel and his KTM 1290, rolling right over like the DRZs!). After getting the front tire over, a couple guys would grab crash bars to help the bikes across as the rider worked the clutch. One by one we moved everyone from one side to the other in a great display of teamwork, strangers becoming friends by way of motorbike challenges.
The first of several “No Maintenance” county dirt roads also laid on the other side of our downed lumber and we were finally in an appropriate position. The group, feeling a sense of accomplishment, burst through nature and tackled the mud and ruts to the next paved twisty and onto the next gravel road. This was to be the pattern of the day… unmaintained dirt roads, gravel forest roads, stretches of pavement, and expert challenge areas all connected and spread out over a 100 mile loop.
The first official challenge spot helped my fellow rally riders comprehend the aforementioned pattern and the signature style of Appalachian ADV rides: ADV Dual Sporting. In short, ADV bikes tackling ADV territory while also testing their mettle on Dual Sport terrain. This particular spot was a double hill climb, aptly named Double Pleasure. The first climb, a short steep incline disappearing into the brush, followed by a beautiful valley view and then a long rocky climb into the forest with a couple curves thrown in to keep you on your toes.
The next unscheduled excitement occurred on another one of those wonderful “No Maintenance” forest roads. A very rocky climb out of Brush Creek Wilderness Area left a drastic gash in the Shinko 805 of my V-Strom. There was no mistaking the “PPPFFFSSSHHHHUUUU” of a torn tire. Although it definitely felt squishy the Shinko carried me to the top where the pavement begins.
As we assessed the damage, a gracious resident offered his back patio and air compressor to help us patch up the Strom. Mass chaos ensued as our host started a show-and-tell session with firearms, his two dogs attempted to help us with the tire, and a few of us poked four plugs and a ton of glue into the Shinko. The plug held up through a couple more unmaintained roads but popped at the next expert challenge spot, named Creek Time Trails. Luckily my brother and his girlfriend were meeting us at different points along the route to take photos and provide general support along with stashing my Husqvarna TE310 in the back of the truck as an emergency bike. Now I know an ADV bike can fit in the back of my Chevy Colorado.
In total, there were 10 challenge spots, eight “No Maintenance” dirt roads, a ton of gravel, and just enough pavement to connect everything together. The longest challenge spot was over two and a half miles worth of trail, including one hellacious rock garden, and the shortest just under a quarter mile of bushwhacking goodness. The Brush Creek Daytripper tackled beautiful terrain in Northeast Ohio with amazing views of The Ohio River along with a couple of its tributaries, local farmlands, hilly forests, and forgotten small towns.
The Fools Ride on April Fools Ride ADV Rally is an extension of the Brush Creek Daytripper Rally and will be running April 9-11, 2021. The Brush Creek Daytripper Rally was a two day event with a 50 mile group ride on Friday as well as the ADV Dual Sporting loop on Saturday. The Fools Ride will use updated versions of the Brush Creek Daytripper routes as well as add a third riding day. There are five available routes, three are straight ADV routes that can be downloaded to a GPS for self-paced/self-guided tours. The Saturday Brush Creek Daytripper route will be a group ride and is rated moderate with 12 optional expert challenge areas. Sunday’s group ride is dubbed The Hardcore Encore, which will be an expert only 50 mile loop. Any participants not wanting to do the Brush Creek or Hardcore Encore group rides can utilize one of the three self-guided routes.
Join Appalachian ADV and the rest of The Fools at this year’s event or try to catch us at one of our other events!
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