2015 ADVrider.com Death Valley Noobs Rally – Getting There / Setting Up

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The ADVRider Death Valley Noobs Rally. One of the highlights of my year.

As a certifiable noob I enjoy this event a lot. It’s great to get out with like-minded people and not have to stress too much that my form isn’t perfect and my speed isn’t mind-numbing. As an added bonus it’s held at one of my favorite places to stay in the desert, Panamint Springs Resort. What’s not to look forward to? Here is my poorly written ride report. I also am not very good about remembering to take photos.

This is my third Noobs Rally, for the past two years I went on my KLR650. Unfortunately back in June I managed to destroy the engine, the KLR will live again but I wasn’t sure I could get all the repairs completed in time for the rally. When my friend told me he had a DR350 he’d sell me cheap I jumped on the opportunity, after all I’d been trying to come up with a way to get the wife to let me buy a light dual sport bike and this was the perfect excuse!

Of course, since I’m a glutton for punishment, once I got it I immediately tore it apart to fix a few annoyances. A state it kept until well into March thanks to a busy life of work, family trips, and Adopt-A-Trail volunteer work.

I corrected and oil leak here, rebuilt the shift drum actuators there, found more problems, ordered more parts, etc. This went on up through the Sunday before the event when I was welding a new kick stand tab to the bike. I came out there with 70 total miles, all on the street, on the “new” machine but I made it onto the trailer in time for the event! I don’t know if anybody had a pool going but I sure hope somebody made money on me getting there on the DR.

Unfortunately due to the build, work, and home life I wasn’t able to get quite as early a jump on the event as I wanted to. I got my Jeep and trailer packed up in the wee hours of Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, got some sleep, then hit the road about 11:15 am for PSR, about four hours later than I originally hoped to leave.

My route took me right by Ersin’s workplace. I gave him a wave it couldn’t see (don’t worry, I used all my fingers) then hit the high speed run North.

The drive went pretty smooth once I got out of L.A. traffic. The reports of construction on Trona Road were true, they were running it as single lane to do some utility work. I pulled up to the zone right behind Keith/airborndad and company. We had to wait about five minutes then they let our lane go.

I topped off my fuel tank in Trona then continued on. I arrived at PSR at 4:15, exactly when I expected to.

Henry/Heakle met me in camp, jumped in my Jeep, and we set out to place the repeater. After some intel provided by Pablo we placed it along the ridge line on the North West side of Hunter Mountain Road, about a mile from where I was originally thinking of placing it.

We went back to PSR where I had a beer, set up camp, and tested the repeater. It seemed to be working but sounded scratchy plus I was unable to hail Pablo so I was getting concerned. I decided I would see how it performed in the morning and go from there.


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