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Training Ride for the 2013 Mexican 1000

March 28-30, 2013

In preparation for the 2013 Mexican 1000 later in May, I went to the 2013 Death Valley March Madness Rally, which was organized by Joel Paez and attended by about 200+ dual-sport riders.

I arrived at Panamint Springs, Death Valley, on March 28; and that afternoon Joel and I took some relatively new riders out for a ride and a few riding lessons.

But my main purpose for attending was to put in a long, 300+ mile training ride on Saturday, March 29 as preparation for the 2013 Mexican 1000 to be held in May 2013; and which would be my first competitive motorcycle race in about 30 years.

A few others had expressed interest in taking this long ride with me, but when Friday, March 29 rolled around, it ended up to be just me. My plan was to ride from Panamint Springs north to the Hot Springs, then ride over Steel Pass to Eureka Dunes, then west and south on Death Valley Road to Furnace Creek. From Furnace Creek, it would be south on West Side Road to Warm Springs Road, then west towards the Geologist Cabin, over Mengal Pass, down Goler Wash, north to Ballarat and finally back to Panamint Springs. It would be a little over 300 miles; and I was planning to basically ride with no stops other than fuel.

I left Panamint Springs at about 7:30am, and rode straight through to the Hot Springs (about 70 miles). A fellow rider, Pablo, was camping at the Hot Springs; and I was able to fuel up there. The next gas would be about 120 miles in Furnace Creek. After topping off my fuel, I headed north over Steel Pass, which is a rough and rocky climb. Once over Steel Pass, it's a short but very sand stretch to Eureka Dunes; and then it's basically graded (fast) roads all the way to Furnace Creek.

I ended up running out of gas just about a mile short of Furnace Creek. Luckily I had two 1-liter bottles of gasoline loaded in my saddle bags and I so I was able to empty them into my fuel tank and rode into Furnace Creek to fill up the bike at the gas station. After filling up with fuel, I stopped briefly to eat a powerbar and drink some water. Then I headed off again, south on Warm Springs Road. It's another graded and very fast road. Then I headed west on Warm Springs Road, which starts out OK but soon turns very rocky. When I reached Mengal Pass, there were some other riders trying to negotiate their way down (towards me). So I waited for them to clear the trail before heading up. It's a relatively short stretch, but has some big boulders to negotiate and can be a bit tricky. Once over Mengal Pass, the trails turns into a long wash (Goler); which at times is sandy while other portions are gravelly. Clearing Goler Wash, it's another set of fast graded roads into Ballarat where I finally stopped for an extended time and enjoyed a brief rest and an ice cold Coke before the final stretch back to Panamint Springs.

I took a picture of my GPS at the end of the ride...

I ended up riding 312 miles, with a moving average of 42+ miles per hour, and a top speed of 89 miles per hour. It was a good long ride - just what I wanted as preparation for the Mexican 1000 race.

Saturday, I again rode solo to get some practice in some of the rocky trails south of Panamint Springs. It ended up being a good weekend of training.

Some pics from the weekend...