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Around the Bend - March 22-25, 2018

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The Around the Bend rally is an annual 4 day motorcycling rally in the Big Bend region of Texas. It occurs Thursday - Sunday, March 22-25, 2018. All riders are invited to attend on their street legal motorcycles (there is no legal, public off-road riding in the Big Bend area so all motorcycles have to be properly tagged and registered). The majority of attendees ride dual sport adventure bikes but there are always some street-only riders in attendance.

What kind of rally is this? It is 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 out early. Or stay a few days late. The main point is to have fun.

What is the riding like in the Big Bend region? There is both paved and non-paved riding all around the Big Bend area.

- 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 play in the dirt at Big Bend but just haven't made it yet, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so.

Where can we ride?
- Street riders: You can ride in Big Bend National Park (BBNP) and various other roads in the area. Some popular riding destinations for street-only riders are BBNP, Presidio, Fort Davis, Marfa, and Mexico (yes, Mexico).
- Dual sport riders: There are a number of primitive dirt roads in both BBNP and Big Bend Ranch State Park (The Ranch). BBNP is the most popular riding choice for most but The Ranch has some good stuff too but it tends to be better on smaller bikes - the larger adventure bikes often struggle a bit in The Ranch. It's a long way to-and-from The Ranch, so plan on it taking an entire day. There is some good stuff just across the border in Mexico too, for those who want a bit more adventure.

If you've never been to Big Bend and would like a guide, I sell a Big Bend ride guide with planned routes & GPS tracks. The guide includes pavement-only routes and dual sport/adventure routes.

Is someone leading a ride one or both days? This year's event is a rally, not a ride. Which means there is no planned route that everyone will be riding. Instead, riders will self-organize into groups each morning and select where they want to ride that day.

If this is your first time to attend the rally and you don't know anyone, come on out. We are a really friendly bunch of people and welcome new riders to join us. You will easily be able to find a group to ride with. Be friendly, ask around and you will find a suitable group to join. For those riders who aren't able to locate a group to ride with, we will organize riding groups during the morning riders meeting.

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 but you will need your vehicle registration to ride into Mexico. On the Mexico side of the international bridge Mexican officials will stop you and compare the VIN of your motorcycle with the VIN on your vehicle registration to ensure they match. Once they have done so, they will wave you through. From there head south through Ojinaga on the main road and about 25 paved miles later you will arrive at the canyon overlook.

Bring your passport or pass card because US Customs will need to see it before they let you back into the United States.

There is also some good dirt on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande for the dual sport adventure riders.

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.

The rally format consists of:

Thursday, March 22nd: 6 pm - 8 pm, rider meet & greet, dinner & drinks, High Sierra restaurant

Friday, March 23rd
7 am, breakfast at the Big Bend Motor Inn restaurant
8:30 am, riders meeting, Big Bend Motor Inn restaurant parking lot
8:45 - 5 pm, organize a group and ride wherever you want
5 pm - 9 pm, drinks at the porch, dinner at the Starlight Theater

Saturday, March 24th
7 am, breakfast at the Big Bend Motor Inn restaurant
8:30 am, riders meeting, Big Bend Motor Inn restaurant parking lot
8:45 - 5 pm, organize a group and ride wherever you want
6pm - 9 pm, catered dinner at the Big Bend Resort Party Barn

Sunday, March 25th End of rally

Ride HQ: Big Bend Resort is ride HQ for this year's rally and features two choices for lodging, just minutes from the west entrance of Big Bend National Park.

The Motor Inn has a total of 51 non-smoking rooms in a variety of seven buildings from a small house to motel unit options.

The Mission Lodge, located across the street from the Motor Inn has 35 non-smoking motel style rooms in two buildings and one small apartment.

Wi-Fi is available in the Conference Center, Café, and Lobby area. Guests staying in western facing rooms can enjoy*spectacular sunset views over Bee Mountain.

Make your reservations now - every motel in the Terlingua area will be completely booked during the rally. If you wait you won't find a room in the area and will have to make other arrangements.

Can I camp? Yes, you can. Camping is available at the Big Bend resort and other pay-to-camp places in the area (a google search will help you locate them). In the past there has been a free camping area, called Gareth Park - I'm checking if it will be available to us this year and will post the info when I confirm it.


Registration: $60 per participant
Your registration includes rally attendance, Thursday evening fajita dinner, and Saturday evening banquet

If you register before 6 pm, March 2nd you will receive two custom event decal stickers (one perforated for windscreens and one non-perforated for placement elsewhere on your bike).

I'm placing the order for the stickers at 7 pm, March 2nd - if you register after the cutoff you will miss out on the stickers.

An example of the perforated sticker from the 2017 rally.
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How to register:
You can register via paypal by sending payment to me at rgibbens@austin.rr.com.

You can register via mail by sending your payment to:
Richard Gibbens
12609 Red Bud Trail
Buda, TX 78610

Cancelation: If you need to cancel your registration prior to March 2nd, contact me and I will refund 100% of your registration fee. If you cancel at some point after March 2nd, you will receive a partial refund (for example, if I've already paid for the Thursday fajita meal and can't get that money refunded from the restaurant then your refund will be minus the cost of the meal).
 
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Here are some pictures from previous year's Around the Bend rally to whet your appetite. :)

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This photo courtesy of Andrew Tatton
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For all you fence sitters get your reservations in early.. It`s spring break and everything books up early..If you don`t go you can always cancel...
 
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Appetite whetted. What kind of fuel range are we looking at for something like this. I'm thinking about plating my KDX200 and think that might be the perfect bike for this. Otherwise its the F650 Dakar.
 
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I would be comfortable with no less than 125 mile range, generally most rides are around 90-100 miles between gas stops.
There are only 3 stations there, Study Butte, Panther Junction, and Rio Grand Village.. That is in BB..
With the KDX be sure to carry extra oil..
 
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JT

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I would be comfortable with no less than 125 mile range, generally most rides are around 90-100 miles between gas stops.
There are only 3 stations there, Study Butte, Panther Junction, and Rio Grand Village.. That is in BB..
With the KDX be sure to carry extra oil..
True, but there are many places to park a truck and trailer. Haul the bike to the North end of Glen Springs rd and ride down to Black Gap east on River Road and back up Glen Springs, 45 mile loop. :-)
 

Jeff S

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With fuel at both Panther Junction and Rio Grande village, you can still do JT's 45 mile loop, plus 10 or so to get to one of those spots. More mileage will be easier, but you could get away with probably a 60 to 70 mile range, if needed.

There's nothing in the park a F650 Dakar can't do, though the KDX would be more fun on Black Gap. If you bring the KDX, pack a gallon of gas for peace of mind.
 
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Riding motorcycles at BBNP, hanging out, eating and drinking? Doesn't sound like much fun but I guess I'll go anyway...:mrgreen: I'm sitting here watching Perry Mason reruns and paying bills so I might as well drop a check in the mail.

I'll probably need some new riding gear and camping equipment for the trip too. That means more shopping and more money...

:rider:
 
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ThomasM

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Registered and paid. May go early or stay late for some Mexico time.
 
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That's the weekend after SXSW, which means I'll be long overdue for a trip out of town. Too many variables to commit, though. Hopefully I can make it.
 
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Anyone staying at the El Dorado? I got a bit trigger happy this year and already made reservations. Biggest concern is my little bike out front. Not trying to be paranoid but.....
 
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Don't worry you won't be alone.
How many folks usually show up? Only concern is someone picking my bike up and putting it into the back of their pick-up. She's brand new now, maybe I won't be so obsessed when March rolls around. ?
 

Jeff S

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There will be oodles of bikes all over El Dorado and all other places. Probably in the neighborhood of 100? If you really, really want, lock it to something at night.
 
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Last year's event was my first time riding a motorcycle in BB and i will most certainly attend this one. Looking forward to it!
 
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