A concern from a Ocotillo Wells bike rider!!!

sirhk100

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This is long and probably rambles on but please read it...

Just got back from another AWESOME weekend at Ocotillo Wells. Flawless trip once the wind died down Friday night. I do want to voice a concern that I have about the Prerunner crowd in Ocotillo Wells. I'm going to post this on the one other truck board I'm active on so if you see it copied and pasted don't bother reading it twice cause it's identicle! I'm not pointing fingers with this at anyone either so please don't get riled up and defensive, just read it and maybe have it in the back of your mind. It's just a view from a very active dedicated MX rider. I've been riding dirt bikes out there for 18 years (since I was 7 y/o) now and only in the past 3-4 years have the trucks presence really started. There is trail eticate (sp?) that is commonly practiced at Ocotillo Wells (don't know about Glamis, Barstow, or anywhere else) but the Prerunner crowd doesn't seem to know it or care about it!!!! I see MAYBE, and that's a big MAYBE 1 in every 15-20 trucks out there that do it. I just don't think the prerunner crowd knows about it. I've grown up riding bikes out there and over the last 2 years or so been on TONS of trips where I'm the only person on a bike in a group of 15-20 trucks. I hear them complaining about how the bikes don't move over and get outta their way. The roads in Ocotillo are wide enough for us all. If I'm fresh and a truck is coming at me, I've got no problem hopping over into the whoops section and letting you run the road. That's not always the case though. If I'm limping back to camp after a HARD CRASH (this weekend for example) or cruising back after a 50 mile ride or at the end of a 200 mile weekend, the last thing I want to do is beat myself up some more in the whoops. I don't want to sound whimp but the trail is as much mine as it is the trucks. Buggy's and the Jeepers move over and slow down, bikes and quads do also. But it's VERY rare to see a Prerunner slow down. Now when it's me alone, this doesn't really concern me cause I'm skilled enough to know I'm not going to crash 20 feet in front of this truck that's hauling ass at me but!!!! That's not true for all riders though. Not every rider out there is experienced. I was out about a month ago and one of my best friends was riding her new bike for the first time (first weekend on a dirt bike ever). I got the [daddy didnt love me] scared outta me when this prerunner flew by me and she was probably about a 1/4 mile behind me around a corner outta sight. I slowed down and waited and she never came around the corner. Heart basically stopped. Turned around and she was laid out on the ground, luckily crashed on her own and had nothing to do with the truck but I was scared that truck was involved. Another common time when this is bad is when you're in a single line group of like 10 bikes you can't see what's coming up ahead. Don't know if you've noticed but the bikes, quads and a lot of the buggies will hold up there hands in passing and flash a number of fingers trying to signal how many people are in their group behind them. Just a heads up to please slow down till you've passed at least that many more vehicles. For those of you familiar with Ocotillo, have you noticed the cross on the side of Wolf Well road about half way between San Felipe Wash and where it merges with Shell Reef Express Way out by Shell Reef? That's where a kid that was about 4th back in a line of about 10 bikes was hit head on by a truck that didn't slow down about 4-5 years ago now. If I remember right he was 8 years old riding a 80 with his family. Also, not that it's okay (cause I know I'm hypocritical about some issues myself) but it's one thing to not slow down for adult riders but WHEN YOU SEE A KID ON A MINI BIKE SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was out there this weekend wide open on my bike. Came across a guy on the side of the trail pickin up his bike. I slowed down gave him a thumbs up and he returned the thumbs up so I knew he was okay. Continued up the trail and there was a very small kid on a XR fiddy workin his way through a sandy section. I followed him for awhile and it dawned on me that the guy on the side of the trail was probably his dad riding behind him. His dad had crashed, and the little kid doesn't yet know to look back occasionally so he's just riding along not knowing his dad is laid out recovering on the side of the trail. So I follow this little kid (guessing maybe 5 y/o) that's work his way down the trail (real soft section just past devils slide on the way out to shell reef) and a white ranger with a SICK ASS looking front end is hauling ass at us!!! We're crusing along at maybe 15 mph and this kid is struggling and workin as hard as he can to stay up right in the soft and this Ranger blows by us in the opposite direction doing at least 60mph and from the sound of his flowmaster on the gas the whole way. THATS F'ED UP!!!!!!! That kid could've EASILY got the wobbles and wondered right into this truck on accident. I don't know if you guys realize but Ocotillo Wells isn't glamis (yet), it's still very family oriented and there's lots of little kids on the trails out there!!! You've gotta slow down near them. They don't always know to look over there shoulder, they just concentrate on going foward. I know I used to when I was learning to ride. When you come up behind the kids (and adult riders as well) that are slow, please have some patience. Don't blow by them till they realize you're there. You have no guarentee they're not going to switch lines or turn just as your passing them. When you're coming head on, slow down, you've got a lot of desert and a lot of weekends to run WFO, take the 30 seconds to slow down. Watch the hand signals of on coming riders, sometimes they're just a wazup, but most the time it's a signal to let you know how many others are cruising up behind them and to slow down till they've passed.

Ocotillo Wells hasn't had a desert race there in at least 12 years and probably never will again. Don't run it like it's a race weekend and that you're on the coarse with the right-a-way!!! I was to the point this weekend of loading my pockets with rocks and tossing them at the trucks that weren't even remotely moving over or slowing down coming at me, especially after that one that blew by that little kid and me. Trust me, you'll turn around to catch me and so far Dan Vance is the only one that may be able to catch me if I turn and run cross country to get away after I put a star on your windshield!!!!

Anyways, take this as you will. If you want to know what it's like, we can trade positions and I'll blow by you doing 80 in your truck with you on my bike. And last, and most importantly... If you see a guy on a white bike wearing shorts and red knee braces riding wheelies, don't hit me!!!! Say what's up or wave!!!!

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (AKA Dezert Limo cause it's loaded)
 

Timberwlf

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Awesome post....As a bike rider myself I fully understand what you are saying..whenever Im out in the truck im always watching for bikes and quads..

Later
Brandon



94 Ranger X-Cab 4x4 5.0 H.O. v-8 Pre-Runner/ Chase Truck
 

SDranger

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Great post Khris. Trail edicate was something i learned as a kid in the dez with my family, but not everyone out there follows it. Riding my bike out there i know exactly what your talking about. Just remember the sign says off road vehicle RECREATION area, not race area!

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Kritter

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Def. a great post...all of us that grew up riding know those rules...its the punk ass kids who have never been to the dez that care about nobody but themselves that need to read that and also need to realize that they are why the open dez is getting more and more scarce. You said you didnt want to point fingers....well I do! It pisses me off!

Kris
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.barneysprecision.com/fabproducts.htm> Fab Parts</A>
 

sweetdevil

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Ya, I'm a pretty green rider, so I do my best to staty out of everyones way. It's hard to pick a new line and turn quickly in the sand for me, that's why I don't ride at glamis, I can't get out of the way quick enough, and people aren't always as concerned with my safety as I am.
I punctured the sidewal of my tire out thre last trip, I was coming into main camp area, and some trophy toyota was flying at me, the only thing to my right was a big rock bed, and robby gordon wasn't slowing up, so I had to go into it. Thanks man! Changing tires in the sand is always fun...
Thanks for the post Khris

<font color=red>Heaven Doesn't want me, and hell is afraid I'll take over</font color=red>
 

fishd00d

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Khris I totally know what you are talking about. The same thing happens with the truck crowd against other trucks. The roads are wide enough for a truck and a bike but when its 2 trucks things get real tight!

Last time I was out there the road to shell reef from devils slide at night I was crusing along and I see a pair of lights coming at me so I know its a truck. I slow down and start to move over to the side. A Ranger Prerunner comes flying down the road at about 50+ and never even slowed down. I had to go off the trail at the last second and I ended up hitting a big bush and going up on 2 wheels. I was lucky I didnt go over. And it really pissed me off.

People need to learn to just slow down when you are around other people. Especially on the smaller trails. Go as fast as you want through San Felipe wash all day long and never slow down if you want. Thats the place to go fast!

Whenever I see little kids I slow way down and move out of their way because they are so unpredictable and the last thing I want is to hit a little kid out in the desert trying to have fun.

Go Big Or Go Home
 

sirhk100

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Oh man, I don't mean to harp on about this but another point was made on the other board I posted this on that needs to be raised too. For us on bikes, we can ride those single track trails that cut cross country. I feel it's our responsability to notice cross traffic on those trails cause you shouldn't have to watch for traffic on little cow trails crossing main roads out there. But on those major intersections you need to do that quick glance both ways before you blow through it. Stop signs and lights are obviously on the roads for a reason and they obviously arn't on the trails for a reason. That obviously doesn't mean the same conditions don't exist. I was flying in 5th this weekend and saw a guy coming on a quad up ahead on a cross trail. I don't think we woulda hit if I hadn't slowed down but still, I don't think the guy even knew I was on a potential collision coarse with him. Basically like it was said in the other forum by a guy that responded... Try to pay some attention to your surroundings out there when you're hauling ass. Especially on Holiday weekends!!! You don't want to ruin your weekend and another families weekend!!!!

Austin,

I totally agree, it's a issue with the truck on truck thing too!!! I know in my Exploder, I've had some close calls with head on hits. My room mate and his friends tought a guy who took off the mirror of his truck about 2 years ago the rules out there. My friend ran up on the side berm built up and slowed down. The other guy didn't let off at all and ended up knocking the mirror off. My friends turned around to go voice their opinion (fellow riders and deal with it on bikes all the time) and the 16 y/o kid with his paper driver's license gave them attitude. They pulled him outta his ranger, roughed him up little (didn't beat him up), forced him to sit in the back of his truck scared crapless and proceeded to unbolt his mirror cause it survived the impact to use as a replacment for the one the kid had broke. I thought it was just cause!!!!!

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (AKA Dezert Limo cause it's loaded)
 

StockerDanger

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the roads are pretty tight especially when you have the guys that spend lots of $$$ on their trucks and expect me to move out of the way when im stockin it. i cant just move over off the damn trail, its not the greatest thing when your front end hits the bottom of the whoops a couple times in a row. i feel like getting a sticker thats ilke CAUTION: STOCK or something.
 

martininsocal

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All good points. It is tothe point we don't go out on big weekends anymore because people are so careless. I like to go fast in the dez. I won't do that around tons of folks, it is irresponsible. Besides, I go out there to NOT WORK. It is funny, many folks like having me go because I can pick up the pieces when someone goes down. I don't want to do that, but I always do. I have missed half of race to get someone to a hospital before, and they crashed before the race started. I appreciate those who do practice proper ettiquete out there( for you sirk) as I have to kids who ride, 13 and 10 and I would probably kill the guy who runs them down. When you're 16, you are indestructible(in your eyes) and you think you can drive fast in anything. Even at the last MDR race at Barstow, there were plenty of folks usuing the access road out to Stoddard Wells Rd. who refused to slow down or move over when facing oncoming traffic. Just because you make it out to the desert doesn't mean you leave the common sense at home.

Martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

sirhk100

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LOL, I'm 25 and I'm still indestructable half the time on my dirtbike but I realize that others aren't so I try my best not to push my own stupidity on them!!!! I learned a hard lesson ($$$$) about drinkin and driving with my Exploder about 4 months ago (that's what the hypocritcal line in the original post was referenced to). Thank god I didn't and have never injured anyone out there while drinking!!!! I WILL NOT BE DOING THAT ANYMORE!!!!

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (AKA Dezert Limo cause it's loaded)
 

rdc

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Very good points. I am new to the desert, been offroading for about 3 years now. I was never taught trail etiquitte, parents weren't dezert people. BUT I have common sense, and respect for everyone else in the desert. I guess you can group me in the 'prerunner' crowd, but I'm not the typical punk kid who has no respect and tears up the desert.

When I'm out in any desert I always turn my headlights, and sometimes my auxillary lights on, and my rear amber light, day or night. When ever I see another vehicle, I slow down and move to the side, even if it is a wide road. Out in Primm you have to watch out for the cattle on Cal's ranch. When ever I go over a crest I ALWAYS pull to the far right side in the rough stuff.

Thats a new one I just learned, when going by a group of bikes or anyone putting up a certain amount of fingers in relation to how many people are behind you.

I have noticed out in Barstow and Lucerne that alot of people do not obey the speed limits on access roads. I have been a spectator and chaser in these races and I ALWAYS obey the speed limit. I have been flipped off by flatbillers for going slow, but the speed limit is there for a reason. I have had numerous close calls with 'prerunners' on these access roads. Trail etiquitte is nothing hard IMO, it's just common sense, being aware of those around you, and being courteous.

LVprerunners.com
 

sirhk100

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Okay, another addition from info replied on the other board that I forgot... A reply is AWESOME when you through out a number for your group. If the person coming the other way knows whats up they'll flash their group number back to you or at least give you the ok hand symbol... It's always nice to know they understand and you can continue on freely...

The one that's a killer is when you got two guys behind you and you just through a peace sign up... I always wonder if they took that as "two behind me" or "peace"... Also the ones with 5 but then I just through up the hand with all the fingers spread wide and they either take it as a "gay wave" or that I've got five behind me. When it's more then five I just flash five, close fist, and then 3 if there's 8 back there, usually followed by a thumb motioning backwards. If I don't even know how many are back there I just flash a bunch a crap and hope they realize something is coming up!!! It's not in the rule book but most people are getting it and most people are using it now!!! At least around Ocotillo Wells...

Khris

'92 Ford Exploder (AKA Dezert Limo cause it's loaded)
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by sirhk100 on 04/21/03 12:05 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
 

ACID_RAIN28

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Glamis is the same way, but not with the prerunners, it is the LONG TRAVEL scene. It used to be and is still, but rare that you come over a dune and the leader throws the group number at you, for us it was always who ever was to throw the number first they had the right of way and the others in the group would be signaled to go the other direction. Most of the time I am the leader of the pack and I am constantly checking on the groupies, for one, I know they can't keep up, and I want to know how far ahead I am, and two, I want to know if they are all still togather. There are plenty of riders and drivers out there that will move or change course for the on coming traffic, but there are more and more $$$buggies$$$ that want to see how fast and how long they can stay in the gas. And for this reason we no longer take the main routes to the hills or to gecko, plus it is a better ride and you don't get wooped up on the way.
I haven't been to the main section of ocotillo during a big weekend in a couple of years but it was pretty bad then. You could be crusing in a group and it will be dust, dust, dust, !!TRUCK!!, dust, dust, !!QUADs!!, etc. So I can only imagine it now, plus I know plent of people that go out there with there "race trucks" and I know they don't have common sense, I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were the groups that we discuss all the time.

"Everything you do is triggered by an emotion of either desire or fear."
 

JOSH

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RE:
"My friends turned around to go voice their opinion (fellow riders and deal with it on bikes all the time) and the 16 y/o kid with his paper driver's license gave them attitude. They pulled him outta his ranger, roughed him up little (didn't beat him up), forced him to sit in the back of his truck scared crapless and proceeded to unbolt his mirror cause it survived the impact to use as a replacment for the one the kid had broke"

I think we need more of this, I have grown up in the desert and know how to act in the dunes or the desert. I'm sure this kid slowed down and will always remember what happed, I’m not saying go start fights but just bring it to their attention, can't hurt. If we all police each other it's better for everyone.
 

cleartoy

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You are right on Kris. I was at Ocotillo this weekend and noticed a few things.

People signaled me several times on bikes about the number of followers. That helped me.
When coming towards bikes, the kids, young teens and maybe 20-23 year olds dont move out of the way. The older ones on bikes do. I always move out of the way in my truck because i ride a dirt bike as well and know you dont stand a chance. Also the kids on 50s struggling to get through the sand and their parents ride in FRONT of them? That blew me away but i saw it.

I also run my amber light and headlights, plus a flag during the day so other people can see ME. AT night i add my Hellas.



94 Toyota stdcab 2x4
99 Yamaha YZ250

Got Sand??
 

motoxscott

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The attitude of "since I have a Fabtech kit or I have a bender and welder at home so I can drive around like I have a trophy truck" has got to come to an end.

This not only happens out at Ocotillo and Glamis but I see it every time I go to a MDR race. I cant even count how many times I have wanted to turn around and let them know what I think. It's not just flatbillers, it's also white trash that drink their cheap beer all day long who have no regard for anyone except themselves.

If I was out riding with my kid and someone came flying by us, their is no telling what I would and wouldnt do to that person. I dont have a kid so I dont have to worry about that yet.

And just think their are thousand more of these type of people on the road every day on our freeways on their cell phones, putting on makeup and reading the newspaper.
 

ryans

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Yeah, every body says common sense, but driving won't be common to all the senses until you get some experience under your belt. What do you do on a road with no paint on it to keep the cars separated? Answer seems common sense to most of us unless your not familiar with the road. If people are still dying with all the traffic controls on the streets it's gonna take a lot more intelligence to stay out of trouble off the streets. I'm still learning what areas I can flog it and what areas I can't and how my truck handles at speed. Nope common sense isn't very common these days. Everybody needs some reminding sometimes.

Ryan
TOOMUCHFUN
 

ntsqd

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I got head-on'd at last year's Barstow Poker Run in Patch, the wonder yota by a wannabe 5 car. The guy was clearly in over his head on a blind corner. I was all the way to the right expecting possible on-coming traffic. To have been any further over would have put me off the ledge. He locked up his brakes, which removed any chance he had of steering past me (like the guy he was chasing did), and slid into my front bumper. Caused a lot of unseen damage to Patch.
As it turned out I was on the route, BUT the Poker Run is not a race, it is not billed as a race, and the 'course' is not marked with 'wrong way' signs, and he DID NOT have any right to expect the exclusive right of way.

Most people are pointing to young kids as making this sort of mistake. This guy was at least 35, probably more like 45.

If the Baja driver is reading this, you owe me about $350 or a straight '84 Xcab 4x4 frame.

TS

I used to swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

ACID_RAIN28

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Almost forgot, perfect example of a glamis TARD. Some friends of mine worship this dude Isaac that supposidaly built this "race truck" and this last trip was it's first time out. I was under the impression that he built this F-150 up in Beumont, right where the 79 meets the 10 fwy, and the whole truck was heliarced and had some nice work to it, any way, so I expected some intersting items on this truck, well I get there to their camp Fri night, and it was a 78 chevy that was hacked and migged togather. To make a long story short, all the people in his camp wanted to be just like him and build a truck, so he took it out in the morning, and then came back sooner than expected, He didn't have a Whip, Green Sticker, Or paper work, the ranger told him that the next time they want to see it was on the trailer on the way home. Did they do this, nope they waited until that ranger was off duty in a few hours and out they went, with out a flag. These are the kind of people to avoid and make it a problem for the rest of us, and on top of that the cage and the chassis was made of 1.5" "junk steel" and wouldn't pass tech at any race, so much for that.

Just thought I would pass this example on, If a ranger says no it is probably for a good reason, but to kids like this that just means they get to try harder not to get caught instead of trying to fix the error.

"Everything you do is triggered by an emotion of either desire or fear."
 

Ryno

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Khris-

thanks for covering this topic in a great way. I'm with you on this 110%. How bad/ where did you crash? Whose blue f250 were you in? I saw you on Main St, the bike is hard to miss with the white graphics.

Ryno

Build it like a Rhino, and Leave it be.
 
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