By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orcas – 6/30/17

Photo by Brad Horn @Orangecicle

Last weekend marked the first event that has produced, The Dirt Orcas Summer Classic.  I think it was a great success.

With the generous support of our sponsors we were able to pull off a fun event that brought a lot of riders from Iowa and other Midwest states together.

We had riders come in from as far as Mankato, MN, River Platte, NE, and several cities in Illinois.

The event began at 1pm at BMW Motorcycles of Iowa City. The entire team there were fantastic. They were kind enough to be one of our partners in this event. As excellent hosts to the beginning of the day, they made many new model bikes available for test rides, provided Dunkin Donuts and coffee for everyone, and were also were very helpful when talking to everyone about the new gear and expected changes to existing models. I checked everybody in while over 30 riders got a chance to talk bikes, upcoming rides, and just mingle with other cool adventure riders.

Around 3PM we packed up and headed out on the ride towards Fairfield. Over the past few months, I have been working with another one of our event sponsors, Kevin Riley of Riley Designs to design a dual sport route from Iowa City down to Fairfield that kept riders mostly off-road. We targeted as many “B-Roads” and gravel roads as possible and laid out a fun route that took about 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete over the 86 mile route.

We hit some deeply rutted B-Roads, a few water-crossings,, some heavily forested two track, and a lot of gravel. Every once and a while jumping on the pavement to connect the next off-road section. I think the riding was just right for the event. When having to make a route for people on Kawasaki 250KLR’s all the way to BMW R1200GSA’s with camping gear, you hope that it’s not too easy or too hard. Plus, you only have so much to work with here in Iowa, but I think we found a great mix of terrain that kept riders engaged and challenged on all the bikes.

At the end of the route we ended up at the beautiful Jefferson County Ciderworks. A blossoming cidery in SE Iowa. They were another one of the event sponsors, hosting many of the event participants for a night of great food, drinks, and camping. We are so grateful for their establishment and their support of Dirt Orca’s.

As people were settling into the New American Ciders made on-site and eating dinner, I was conducting our event raffle. Thanks to our generous event sponsors, specifically the people at Backcountry Discovery Routes and, we had some great items to hand out. Everything from BDR branded chap-stick to Gerbin’s heated jacket liners. The hand and foot warmers were a huge hit as well.

Most of the conversation revolved around trips people had taken and upcoming events they were hoping to attend. Backcountry Discovery Routes and GS Giants were the most often heard items.

After dinner and the raffle, our attention shifted to the showing of the new Backcountry Discovery Route Movie. The films is about the construction and completion of the Nevada BDR. We set up and outdoor movie screen on the North side of the building and event participants pulled out there camp chairs and crowded around the to watch the film just after the sun set about 9:30PM. The Nevada BDR movie is a fun watch. The BDR team starts off the ride in Southern Nevada in 109* heat and finish the ride sloughing through 10 inches of snow in the Northern part of the state.

After the movie ended we retired to our tents just West of Ciderworks for the night.

Many thanks to all our generous sponsors and to all the event participants. The weather was the star of the show but all the people really made it a special event.

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