This year marked the 28th straight year that Scot Harden and Casey Folks have organized an invite-only trail ride in Caliente, Nevada, and if you are into riding a fun mix of single-track trails, mountains, sand washes and rocks while viewing some amazing scenery with fellow off-road motorcycle enthusiasts, then you should start working on getting an invite for the 2013 event. Right now.
Harden, the legendary off-road racer, grew up in Las Vegas and became friends with Folks, another accomplished racer who went on to create the Best in the Desert Racing Association. When Harden moved away from Nevada to go to work for Husqvarna, he missed riding in the mountains around the rail road and mining town of Caliente so he called his old friend Folks and the pair organized the first ride with a few good friends in 1985. At that point they agreed to make it an annual event in the spring. So what began as a small group of friend is now a major ride with 150-200 riders covering roughly 200 miles of marked trail over three days.
While the ride is not free and requires an invite from Harden or Folks, it is a bargain at just $500 with the money going toward the cost of two nights of accommodation, BLM land-use fees, several meals, gas stops and some of the best trails and scenery you will find in the west. The trails are challenging and you will rarely find yourself “wide open” for any length of time due to the tight routes through the trees, canyons, washes and limited use of mining roads. In fact, you will find yourself in second and third gear most of the day. There is a “C” route each day that still covers a lot of miles, but avoids the more technical trails for those looking for an easier way to explore some great country.
Riding with fellow off-road enthusiasts, including a few famous racers and industry icons, adds to the fun factor of the Nevada 200 and sponsors such as Motion Pro, KLIM, Motorex, Smith Goggles, Red Bull and Vp Racing fuels provide a few perks as well. If this sounds like a good getaway and you are a strong rider, keep your eyes open for the Nevada 200 Trailride Facebook page that should be up in May. The Nevada 200 is always run in the first week of April. IN 2013 a lottery will be held to allow 25 new riders to join the group or you can nicely ask for an invite via Best in the Desert (www.bitd.com) or Harden Offroad (www.harden-offroad.com)
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