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2013 Uncle's Around the Bend and Uncle's Desert Challenge - Mar 7-10, 2013

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Registration for the 2013 Around the Bend rally is open. Download the registration form here.

Mark your calendars: The 6th Annual Uncle's Around the Bend motorcycle rally and the first Uncle's Desert Challenge is Mar 7 - 10, 2013 in Terlingua, Texas.

This is the 6th year of Uncle's rally and, as always, this event is open to everyone. It doesn't matter if you are a street-only or a dual sport rider, there is plenty of great riding for all.

This is also the first year for Uncle's Desert Challenge - a one day dual sport challenge that will test man and machine.

What kind of rally is this? It's a motorcycle rally open to one and all. Street-only, adventure, and dual sport riders are all invited to attend. Come by yourself or bring some friends. Ride when you want and where you want. Have an adventure. Got a few extra days off? Then come on out early. Or stay a few days late. The main point is to have fun.

Street riders There are some awesome paved roads in the Big Bend area that really shouldn't be missed, especially if you are a Texas motorcyclist. In fact, Hwy 170, aka "River Road" is one of the top 5 motorcycling roads in Texas.

Dual Sport and Adventure Riders Lots of dual sport riders show up to ride the Big Bend boonies, so if you've always wanted to go play in the dirt at Big Bend but just haven't made it yet, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so. If you want something a little tougher then consider registering for Uncle's Desert Challenge.

Uncle's Desert Challenge For any dual sport riders wanting an extra dose of adventure, Uncle is pleased to announce the addition of Uncle's Desert Challenge to this year's rally. Uncle's challenge is a one day long-distance dirt ride designed to test your skill and stamina. On Friday challenge riders leave early to ride a specially designed timed loop course consisting of 95% class 1, 2, and 3 roads. The course is long and difficult and will take most or all of the day to complete. Those riders who complete the entire course in the allotted time will receive a finisher's award.

Registration Check-In Pick up your registration packet 6-7 pm, Thursday evening, March 7th, at the High Sierra Bar and Grill (at the start of the Friday night fajita dinner). Registration ends Wednesday, Feb 20th to provide enough time to order the commemorative glasses and challenge award. Registrations received after Feb 20th will be handled as late registrations.

Late Registration Got commitment issues? You can register late at the rider check-in table on Thursday evening, 6-7pm, at the High Sierra Bar and Grill. Late registration gets you rally attendance, two breakfast buffets and the Saturday night banquet and show.

Thursday Night Meet and Greet Fajita Dinner The High Sierra Grill is hosting us on Thursday night, 6-8 pm, with a Fajita Dinner on their upstairs deck. This dinner is included with your paid rally registration.

Breakfast Buffet and Rider Meeting: The Starlight Theater Restaurant is providing a breakfast buffet on Friday and Saturday morning from 6:00 - 8 am. The buffets on both days are included with your rally registration.

Friday Night Rider Rally Friday evening 6-8 p.m. the Starlight Theater will have a bar set up just for us on their back courtyard area.

Friday Night Dinner and Entertainment The Starlight Theater Restaurant is bringing in some special entertainment on Friday night.

Saturday Night Banquet and Show This year's banquet is at the Party Barn in Study Butte. Sandy, the Fire Twirler, who was the featured performer at the 2012 rally is performing an encore show for us this year that you don't want to miss. The banquet and show are included with your paid registration.

Commemorative Drinking Glass A commemorative engraved drinking glass is included with your paid registration. You get one glass with your registration, however extras are available for order with your registration. Only a very few extras will be available for purchase during the event. If you wait until the event to late register the odds are that you probably won't get one. If you wait until the event to try and buy an extra one you probably won't get it. Like I said, limited quantities.

Texas Adventure Rider t-shirts? A time or two each year I have a new batch of limited edition Texas Adventure Rider t-shirts printed up. This is one of those times. If you don't have one of the new ones, now is your opportunity. Order one with your registration.

Texas Adventure Riders stickers You can order stickers with your registration. Medium stickers are $2 each, Small stickers are $1 each.

Hanging Out at Uncle's Place: Uncle's got a nice place in Terlingua. Please feel free to stop by and say hello. The grid coordinates to Uncle's
place are 29°18'49.32"N 103°36'33.39"W.

Sleeping: Need a place to sleep? The El Dorado hotel in Terlingua is "hotel central". Their phone number is 432-371-2111. Call early, ask for Deena, and let her know you are with Uncle's group to get the group rate. They always get booked, so make your reservations now. For other motel options in the area, see the Big Bend ride guide or Google.

Want to camp? Free camping is available at Gareth Park (across the street from the El Dorado Hotel). The land is private property but the owner allows us to use the land during this event. It's just raw land so no hook-ups or anything like that but it did have an outhouse the last time I was there. In the past, most campers end up at Gareth Park, which can be good and bad (good = lots of folks to hang out & visit with; bad = might be a little too close to snoring campers; the good probably outweighs the bad). There are also several pay camp sites where you can pitch a tent for a few dollars. See the Big Bend ride guide or Google for a list of all the motels & camping places.

Can we ride in Mexico? Absolutely. There is a really awesome canyon (Peguis Canyon) about 25 miles south of Ojinaga, Mexico that is well worth a visit. You don't need to do any paperwork to visit it either; just cross the border and head south, you can't miss it. Bring your passport or passcard though, because you will need it to get back into the United States.

Is it safe? Mexico sure is close. As of this writing all the border drug stuff you've been hearing about on the news hasn't been an issue in the Big Bend region.


About the $85 registration fee

Some of you may have noted that the cost of registration is quite a bit higher than my other rallies ($85 for this rally vs. about $45 for my other rallies). I realize $85 is a lot so please let me explain. At my other rallies your registration fee covers the commemorative item (t-shirt or mug), banquet meal costs, banquet hall rental costs, and money to pay those working at the rally. Well, at Uncle's Rally you get all that and more. Uncle's rally includes 3 additional meals (Thursday night dinner and 2 breakfast meals) plus paid entertainment at Saturday night's banquet. My past rallies have shown that most riders do indeed eat breakfast and supper, and considering the limited resources available in the area to serve large groups I thought it reasonable to include the additional items with your registration.

Your registration includes:
- rally attendance
- commemorative engraved event drinking glass
- Thursday night fajita buffet
- Friday morning breakfast buffet
- Saturday morning breakfast buffet
- Saturday evening banquet meal
- Saturday evening show

The parking lot of the Starlight Theater Restaurant is ideal for a rider's meeting, but the Starlight Theater Restaurant is not open for breakfast. I thought it made the most sense to have coffee and breakfast available at our rider's meeting location and have arranged for them to open exclusively for us. A buffet is more time efficient so that all riders will have an opportunity to eat in a reasonable amount of time.




Refunds Want to attend but not sure if your schedule will permit? If you early register and then aren't able to make the rally let me know and I will provide a 100% refund (minus any paypal fees if you paid by paypal) until Wednesday, Feb 20th, when early registration ends. After that your registration refund will be pro-rated based on when you cancel.


Hope to see you in Terlingua.

Download the registration form here.
 
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Uncle's Desert Challenge

We had so much fun at the inaugural Texas Adventure Challenge earlier this year that some riders suggested we have a similar type challenge in conjunction with Uncle's rally. In particular Scott Ray and and Izzy convinced me that a 1 day challenge event in the desert would be a lot of fun. Based on their enthusiasm, I put the wheels in motion, so to speak. I came up with a proposed route that included as much dirt as I could cram into a day. The route, which circumnavigates the national park, should be amazingly fun but very challenging to complete in a single day. Then I contacted the national park and formally requested permission for the event. Once all the paperwork and fees were paid the national park approved our event and the die was cast.

Here's the plan:

On Friday, all challenge riders will meet in the Starlight Theater Restaurant parking lot at 7:00 am for the riders meeting. Immediately following the meeting riders are free to depart and have 12 hours to complete the entire course. Riders will be riding in small groups of 2-6 riders per group, with groups self-selected by the riders themselves (i.e. go ahead and organize your riding group now). At the riders meeting I will facilitate organizing those who still need a group to ride with - so if you are coming to the rally by yourself we will help ensure you don't have to ride alone.

The Challenge is NOT a race. It is not timed, we are not keeping score, nor are we grading/rating riders on the order in which they finish the event. This is a fun ride only. The challenge part of the ride is the course itself; the mileage is long, it's almost all dirt, and will take all of the available daylight hours to complete. The great thing about the course is that it's a tour de force of some of the finest dirt roads in all of the Big Bend region.

The course is designed to take most of the day to complete - with skill, perseverance, and a bit of luck you will be able to finish. The limitations of the course are that it must be done in daylight hours. You must complete the entire course and check-in at the check-in table in the Starlight Theater parking lot by 7:00 pm Friday evening in order to officially be considered a finisher and get your finisher's award. You will need to start as soon as the rider meeting is over and keep moving all day in order to complete the course in the allotted time. There are several "bail-out" points in the event that mechanical or other problems prevent you from being able to complete the entire route in daylight.

The GPS track will be emailed to all riders who register early for the challenge. Paper maps of the route will be provided to all groups at the riders meeting on Friday morning.

There will be sweep riders on the course to assist with mechanical or other problems and/or call for additional assistance (tow truck or EMS).

Uncle is providing a truck/trailer combo to tow any bikes off the course that need to be towed. If needed, emergency medical service is via local and park EMS.

Riders that want to participate in Uncle's Challenge will need to add it to their rally registration. The cost is an additional $25 - a heck of a value.

Late registration is available on Thursday evening at rider check-in and Friday morning at the riders meeting. If you register late and you complete the challenge, you definitely get all the honor and prestige of completing the inaugural Uncle's Desert Challenge but you may or may not get a finisher's award, depending on availability. I order the awards 2 weeks before the event, ordering enough for everyone who has early registered plus 2-3 extras, so it is in your best interest to early register if you are planning on participating and would like a finisher's award.
 
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Training for Uncle's Desert Challenge

Before you commit to running Uncle's Desert Challenge there are some things I want you to consider.

Uncle's challenge is going to be about 195 miles in length, with about 175 miles of dirt. The roads consist of mostly class 2, with one section that is likely to just touch on class 3. The main terrain obstacles will be rocks, sand, and silt. Realistically any rider with average skill on an appropriate dual sport bike could ride any section of any of the roads without any real difficulties. So, it's not the roads that will be the primary challenge for most participants.

Instead, the major challenge will be conditioning. You will need to be in GOOD riding shape with high levels of endurance if you realistically want to complete Uncle's Challenge in the available time. This isn't a race, so you won't have to ride particularly fast and certainly not race speeds. In fact, the course is run on public roads - there are no off-road section - so you definitely don't want to run anywhere near race speed. The roads will be open to all other traffic, other vehicles will be using the roads, and law enforcement does enforce the speed limits and other rules of the road.

The challenge is more like a marathon - you'll need to set a moderate pace and then be able to maintain that moderate pace for 12 hours. For most who ride dual sport regularly, maintaining a moderate pace for 6-8 hours isn't a problem. It's those extra 4-6 hours that could be a problem.

If the challenge sounds fun to you, then here's some advice on how to help prepare yourself for the level of effort that will be required to complete it successfully.

Basically, the goal is to get in as good of riding condition as you can so that you show up with sufficient specific conditioning. The absolute best way to get in riding shape is by riding. Running, lifting weights, rowing, swimming and other exercises are great for improving your overall fitness but nothing even comes close to riding for getting in riding shape. The principle of specificity says your body specifically adapts to the stress placed on it. If you ride a lot, then you get in better shape for riding. Yes, you will get secondary fitness effects from other activities, such as cycling or running, but the secondary effects from those activities will not exceed the effects you will gain from riding a lot.

This isn't to say that you shouldn't run, cycle, swim, or perform other cross training activities. You should. Just don't let them be your sole method for getting in shape for Uncle's Challenge. Combining lots of riding with other cross training activities will enable you to maximize your fitness and performance.

Okay, now that we have established that you need to ride yourself into riding shape, here's my recommendations. I suggest that at least 2 months before the challenge that you start a specific ride-training program. Pick one day a week as your riding day and then systematically increase the amount of dirt riding you do on that day.

For sake of discussion let's say you pick Sunday as your ride-training day and you begin your challenge training on Sunday, Dec 30th. On that day you go to your local dirt riding area and spend a total of 2 non-stop hours riding dirt. Don't count the time it takes to ride pavement to get to the dirt, nor the pavement time it takes to get back home. Only count the total time you are riding dirt.

The next week add at least another hour to your dirt riding time, bringing your minimum dirt riding time to 3 hours.

The third week add a minimum of another hour, bringing the day's total to a minimum of 4 dirt riding hours.

Keep adding hours each week until you get to at least 10 hours of dirt riding in a day. Maintain that level and you will be ready for Uncle's challenge.

Note that the dirt riding doesn't have to be hard or fast. The important thing is the time spent riding dual sport roads - the goal is to increase your endurance, not your speed. The only way to improve your riding endurance is to stress your riding endurance. Add additional time each week and your body will adapt, it will get more fit, enabling you to increase your riding endurance, week after week. Your legs will get stronger from all the transitions between standing and sitting as your riding time increases. Your clutch hand will continually gain endurance and "the claw" will go away after a few weeks of training. Your throttle hand will stop cramping up after just a few hours of riding. Your core will adapt.

Yes, all that riding is actually work. Yes, all that riding will require more bike maintenance. Yes, you will wear out your tires and spend a bit of money on gas. But if you don't put in the work, your chances of success drop dramatically. Think about it this way - you might be able to go walk 3 miles right now without an issue. But could you run a half-marathon right now without any training? The average person can not successfully run a half-marathon without proper training. The distance is just too long - without sufficient, specific training it's very tough to successfully complete a half-marathon. Well, Uncle's challenge is not any different - if you aren't in good riding shape your chances of success are much less than will be if you show up adequately trained. The training isn't complicated. It just has to be done.

Hope this helps. See you in the desert.
 
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I am IN! --- Long drive for me, but I really enjoy the area. Timing is good, as it is the week AFTER Daytona bike week. Higher rally price seems to be a good value as I have payed $100.00 to go to Dual Sport Rallys in Fla and Ga - all that was included was camping and one dinner. My only real problem is should I bring one or 2 bikes?? My WR250r for sure---but I bought a Super Tenere in June, already have 8000 miles on it. It would be a lot of fun on the paved roads.
 

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I guess Im in also. I'll have to force myself to go and ride all those roads to help the economy....
 

cdc

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As long as there are no tornadoes... I plan to be there, if I have a bike...
 
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Dan (forget his last name) has done bike rentals the last couple of years. KLX250s, KLRs and Teneres (amongst others I think). I'm sure somone here has his information....
 
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how do we pay you? I forgot how it worked last year...

BTW I need a bike too.

Hi, Philip.

You can pay with a check or money via mail or you can pay with PayPal. Registration is now open and the link to the registration form is in the 1st post in this thread. All the pay options are discussed in the form.
 
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Dan (forget his last name) has done bike rentals the last couple of years. KLX250s, KLRs and Teneres (amongst others I think). I'm sure somone here has his information....

I'm expecting LT Dan to be back in Big Bend again this winter with his motorcycle rental business open for business.
 
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I'm officially paid up for everything and you will find my bones somewhere on the challenge ride route in March.
 
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800-371-3588

Don't procrastinate. This is the number to the El Dorado Hotel. I called this morning and reserved my room.

$79/night for March 7/8/9th. Checking out on Sunday 10th.

This is the "Rally Hotel" and where the High Sierra Bar & Grill is.

This hotel will book out completely solid and you will be lucky to grab someone's cancellation if you wait until the last minute. When you call, just mention Richard's Ride or Uncle's Around the Bend and she'll grab the registration card for the event and get you taken care of.
 
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Hello Richard and to all you TWT adventure riders. Yes, we will be back again this spring with bike rentals set up at the same place, Big Bend Resort and Adventures.
I just might have to go play with ya'll on Friday, that challenge sounds awesome.
If anyone needs a bike for the ride just contact us at the # or website below.

Thanks,
Dan
 

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Uncle's Desert Challenge
In particular Scott Ray and and Izzy convinced me that a 1 day challenge event in the desert would be a lot of fun. Based on their enthusiasm, I put the wheels in motion, so to speak.
:clap:

Sooo glad that conversation sparked an idea YOU FOLLOWED UP ON!! You are a man of action Richard.

Can't miss this one :sun: I,m In
 
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Thanks, Chuck. And, I'm glad you are attending. It's going to be a blast.
 
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For once the dates kind of work in my favor. I won’t be able to make it until late Friday…and by late I mean midnight, at the earliest. The week after is spring break, so I am going to try to be there Friday night, ride Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday, and then travel home on Tuesday. Is anyone else planning to extend their stay?
 
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If I survive Uncle's Challenge, I might could be talked into it.

Richard keeps telling me nothing can be as hard as The Unknown Ride at Galeana, but I'm not so sure.....
 
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... you will find my bones somewhere on the challenge ride route in March.

Great, I am one of the sweep riders for the Challenge, so I will keep some room in the side bag for the bones. I plan on pre-running the route a few times leading up to the real deal so I will have an idea where to watch for flats, out of gas bikes, and knobby track going straight where the road turns sharp.
 
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Thanks Ed. I'll be running this with Richard and making the Uncle's Challenge video for him, via a GoPro3 on my bike and two others mounted on separate bikes.

I can't decide whether I hope you're in the video or not in the video, given your job.
 
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Not in the video works well. It means everything goes smooooth.
 
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