2 Days in the Desert

By Mike Hoppe

While the BMW debut of the new 650 models has been happening this week in Tucson, I was fortunate enough to be asked by Brian Blangsted, owner of Tucson Moto Tours (www.tucsonmototours.com ) to help out with one of his clients while he coordinated the 3 day ride demos for the motojournalists coming in from all over the country.  Gee, tough decision, do I really have to go play in the desert for two days? 

Jim Sherman had flown in from Kansas to ride, and then finish off the week with his kids at Briansí Dirt Bike School.  My job was to play tour guide for a couple of days and try not to kill either one of us.  The first day I recruited Steve Gabany to join us and on the second day Brian Sterrett, to have a team of 3 each day. 

Day 1 was a new approach to our standard mile wide run to 3 points.  Instead of starting at mile wide road we started on the north end of the route on Avra Valley road west of the Marana Airport.  We took the technical high route south and then reconnected to the powerline that meanders down to 3 points where we had lunch at Lou Louís.  The ride back took us thru some challenging sections including deep sand and rock climbs.  The total route was 90 miles. 

Day 2 we started off at Brianís at Diamond Bell ranch and took the A road down to the RV park and then up onto the high route for some technical challenges all the way into Arivaca.  We arrived at Gadsens about 10 minutes behind the Off Road BMW tour group being led by Brian Blangsted, Phil Curtis and Frank Zebrowski.  Pretty cool to hang out with folks like Clement Salvadori for lunch!   

We hooked back up with the dirt on the West side of Arivaca and headed up the low route for the next couple of hours to complete our 100 mile day.  Needless to say, we all had a blast!


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