OK Amigos, time for a short journey south to Nevada to train with the legendary Jimmy Lewis in Pahrump. For those who don’t follow off-road motorcycling, Mr Lewis has won the Baja 1000, and raced to podium finishes at the world renown Dakar Rally. There are a lot of racers, but Jimmy (and wife Heather) are also great at transferring that hard-won knowledge to the slower and less talented. That would be me!
Pahrump is in between Death Valley and Las Vegas; site of some of the finest off-road moto terrain in the world. I will be rolling into town on the 14th of April and will spend the weekend learning some magic from the master himself.
Most of you know me as an ole boy who has seen better days. True DAT! The type of riding I am attempting here is an athletic pursuit. Balance, physical strength, and endurance all come into play in a true ballet of rider and machine. I don’t expect to assume Jimmy’s crown as Baja Champ, but I do want to improve my skills in the dirt. Seat-of-the-pants riding is fun, but if I want to push the envelope, these technical skills I will acquire at JLR will give me the insight to know when I am merely pushing the envelope, and when I have gone beyond my skills and abilities and have delivered myself to Lady Luck , to dispose of as she sees fit. As Clint would say, “a man has got to know his limitations.”
I will spend the next two months getting my body and my machine ready for this challenge. Valve check, new air intake, new knobby tires, are some of the mechanical aspects I will address. Pushups, situps, balance exercises. and walking will be necessary to make sure I can keep up with the class.
On completion of this training I will ride the Mojave over to San Diego for a visit with my son before traveling up the glorious Pacific Coast back to Portland. When I return home it will be time to put in the garden and get ready for the Horizons Unlimited Mountain Madness which is held near Nakusp, BC July, 27-28. I have most of the kinks worked out with my GO PRO so I hope to be able to share some great photos and video from here on out.
Vaya con Dios, Muchachos!