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Discussion Starter #1
My dad and I set out at 7 am to meet my father in-law near Vantage, WA to ride Fringe Motorcycle Club's Dirty Poker Run.



The course layout was good this year. Usually, they reverse it each year, but this year it seemed totally rearranged. Yes, we did ride a lot of the same areas as years past, but they put the hardest parts first. The nasty sand was ridden down hill instead of up. The last half was easier than the first, which was nice because we were tired.



The course was around 20 miles and my father in-law and I rode it in under two hours. We moved right along, not fast, but we didn't stop very much. My dad recently had shoulder surgery so he didn't ride...maybe thats why we went so fast!



Lots of people this year, probably four times as many as last year. The parking area was just about full when we arrived Saturday morning. The course wasn't crowded, but some of the check points became bottle necks.



I dumped the bike once. I let a rider pass on my left, and my front tire caught a rut and down I went. No video of it unfortunately. I got right back up and continued on.



I had trouble on the biggest hill on the course. It was a nasty rocky/sandy hill and it was long. I missed my shift into first, but I did eventually make it. Lots of guys had trouble with this hill.



Met Irppcer and his riding buddy. Nice guys. We didn't ride together, but we talked afterwards. I think we talked Irppcer into riding in Odessa in a few weeks.



Getting ready to ride:





Irppcer's riding buddy, Irppcer, and Rainman after the race:





Rainman's dad was there to provide support. He got into the spirit by putting on his motorcycle jersey:

He had rotator cuff surgery. He didn't hurt it, it just has worn out. He should have made up a cool motorcycle crash story to tell people at the poker run.





After the ride. I was tired and sore:





[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txgaLu07uRM[/media]
 

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It's steeper than it looks


It always is! For some reason photos and video just never do the topography justice!



Looks like you and the TW did each other proud in front of all those race bikes, nice post.
 

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As always, a great post by Rainman. It was his post on the forum from last year that got me and my buddy over there for this poker run. It was such a pleasure to meet him and his dad. I can't wait to ride with them in the future. I also rode my TW in the Dirty. I admit that I bit it trying to get up that hill...and I am so upset about it! My inexperience got the better of me. Being a bigger guy, I was worried about carrying the RPMs all the way up without stalling out. Well, I kept up the Rs, and I was doing pretty good. I made it about 3/4ths the way up...and it got steeper! Then, I hit a rock causing me to get some air under the front tire. I came back down, hit another rock with the front which shot the whole front end to the left...and down I went. My first time on the TW. I didn't feel too bad though as lots of bikes went down on that hill. That was the only time though! That sand took my buddy on the IT down 3 times, as well as many others throughout the day. I had just installed the Shinko 241 trials tire on the front, and I think it did great! Sand, rocks, dirt...this course had it all. BTW, I ran 12 psi front & rear. I admit that almost everyone else was going faster than me, but as I told my buddy, "Hey, I'm on a TW...I'll get there. I'm just not going to get there fast." There were a lot of people! We did meet some good ones over the weekend. I took this shot below of my buddy and our set up. I have an insert with a bed in my pickup, and he tented it with an air mattress. The Columbia River is in the background, as well as the bridge out of Vantage, WA. His bike is a 1983 Yamaha IT250. He's the second owner, and he got it a couple of years ago. He replaced the plastics and the fork boots this year to pretty her up. He is the "bike guy" friend of mine, and he's been wanting me to get some kind of bike for years. I finally found the TW last summer, so we'll be doing a lot of riding this year. We'll see you in Odessa!



 

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A "BIG" congrats to you two............. You guys looked like you handled it better than I could............. I have trouble in sand.... I have a question about the sand out there. It looks firmer than Michigan sugar sand........... I'm not sure if you ever rode here in mich. but the sand is "KILLER" deep and verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry soft. OMM.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From what I gathered the sand out here is more coarse than your sugar sand. I'm sure our sand is "easier" to ride on. Its actually fun if the sand is wet or frozen, but tough when its dry.
 

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Great report guys! I so appreciate the video, Rainman. It does look like a blast. It is hard to see how steep the hill is, but you can get a sense of how steep it is by how hard the engine is pulling. It's easy to miss that shift to first, but you did a good job of saving it, and you did a great job in the sand. I'll bet there are some folks on the ride that have an new respect for the TW. Nice narrative and shot of the Columbia, irrpcer. Thanks guys, that was very enjoyable.
 

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So, is this more a race or poker run? I've always thought of a poker run as a leisurely ride. In the video it looks like some folks are riding really fast. . . and mean it! ha ha

Is this area open to riding year round or just during the poker run. If open, maybe I could come up there and ride around without it being an organized event. That way I could see what I'd be getting myself into, without the crowds.

Your rides always inspire me to get off my duff and get out and ride, even if its just to the mailbox and back. Thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Technically it is a leisurely paced poker ride. Problem is, if a rider starts at 9 am and can complete the run before 11 am, then that rider can do the course a second time.



Another issue is that this is pretty much the first organized ride of the year for a lot of people. I'm sure many of the riders are from the Puget Sound area so when they get out into the open desert they want to go fast, which is cool, but don't run me over.



This poker run is a few weeks before the Desert 100 race and poker run in Odessa, WA. So riders use the Dirty Poker Run as practice for the Desert 100 race. The Dirty organizers did say that if you wanted to treat the poker run as a race then you better be the first one in line at 9 AM.



There are slow pokes and fast people on the course. There are kids out there. You can go as slow as you want to. Just be courteous and pull over if you are holding people up. The good riders will find a way around you.



I've never had an issue with going slow. I've never gotten yelled at or teased. I pull over for people when its good for me. Just remember, you paid your money too. Also, most people will thank you and/or wave when you pull over for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, is this more a race or poker run? I've always thought of a poker run as a leisurely ride. In the video it looks like some folks are riding really fast. . . and mean it! ha ha

Is this area open to riding year round or just during the poker run. If open, maybe I could come up there and ride around without it being an organized event. That way I could see what I'd be getting myself into, without the crowds.

Your rides always inspire me to get off my duff and get out and ride, even if its just to the mailbox and back. Thanks for sharing


Its only open for the poker run as it is private land. There is an area down the road that is open. Its near the city of Mattawa. I've ridden there. Very similar terrain, but Mattawa has less sand.
 

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Great Job Rain! Wish I could have come over and ridden it too . . . oh well. Maybe next year. Thanks for taking us all along with you!



Bag
 

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Great video, looks like alot of fun....thanks for the post. after commuting all winter and watching it snow again today it got me firde up again for the spring woods...
 

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That does look like fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The photographer was a little late. I jumped that hill. My front tire was at least three feet in the air!



Thanks for posting those.
 
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