Plus Three Riders Selected To Defend U.S. Title in 2010 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy
Riders from all over the United States competed to win in two off-road riding contests held at the RawHyde Adventures facility in Castaic, CA: the Adventure Rider Challenge (ARC) on Friday, April 30, and the GS Challenge on Saturday, May 1. The top three riders in the GS Challenge go on to South Africa to defend the U.S. title in the 2010 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy this November.
Touratech-USA President Tom Myers earned first place in the BMW Motorrad USA 2010 Adventure Rider Challenge (ARC) Friday, April 30th, negotiating his BMW HP2 Enduro with near perfect precision through treacherous terrain and obstacle courses. Although Myers’ first place win earned him a spot to compete in the next day’s event – the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Challenge – his performance on Saturday resulted in being chosen as one of the alternates for Team USA. The three riders qualifying to represent Team USA in the upcoming International GS Trophy in South Africa include first-place finisher Iain Glynn, of Seattle, Washington; second-place finisher Bill Dragoo, of Norman, Oklahoma; and third-place winner Shannon Markle, of Laramie, Wyoming.
This year’s ARC — an annual competition produced by RawHyde Adventures in Castaic, California – drew 65 competitors and 110 other riders from 13 states. The competition consisted of two segments. The first was the “Renegade Run,” which sent three-man teams down a treacherous ravine after which they were required to hit targets with an air rifles, pistols, knives and a bow and arrow. The second segment was a longer course filled with jumps, logs, mud holes, a curved narrow ledge, bridges, sand pits, and other obstacles to test the skills of the most seasoned off-road riders. Judges scored the riders’ performances and deducted points for hitting cones, leaving the course, falling, and dabbing a foot on the ground.
“The course designers created a test track that almost every entrant could at least finish, but how you rode these sections was scored to find out who could do it the cleanest. I’ve been spending a lot of time on trails bikes lately, and I always try what I can on the big BMW, and in this case, it worked out well,” commented Myers.
Meanwhile, Glynn, Dragoo and Markle will prepare to defend the U.S. Team championship in the 2010 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, a world-famous biennial off-road competition held November 13-21 in South Africa. Teams of three riders from 10 countries will compete in six stages aboard BMW F800GS and R1200GS motorcycles.
“I have a long and sordid history with this event,” commented Glynn, who rode his 2005 BMW R1200GS to a first-place finish. “My goal was not to flip the bike upside down and ruin my weekend. The only reason I won is because I’m short. I could either ride with my feet on the pegs or jump off the motorcycle and disqualify myself.”
For Dragoo, 54, earning a spot on Team USA was a dream come true after two previous attempts at the Challenge. The accomplished rider and journalist/author placed second in the first round and second in the second round of the GS Trophy Challenge on his R1200GS, earning him the second position on the team.
“I came into this competition totally relaxed with no real expectation of winning,” admitted Dragoo. “In fact, I was coming out of the outhouse when they called my name! I was completely surprised!”
Markle, 37, confessed he is the greenhorn in the group and had entered this – his first – ARC competition on the spur of the moment.
“I’ve only owned my R1200GS Adventure since last May,” said Markle, “but I bought it, coincidentally, from a guy who got it from Brad Hendry’s [a previous Team USA member] shop. I had an opportunity to talk to Brad about his experience at the GS Trophy in Tunisia, never realizing that I would later qualify to follow in his footsteps.”
“The competition finalists heading to South Africa will not only need strength and endurance, superior riding skills and guts, but they must also be able to navigate their route ahead, pace themselves and collaborate with teammates,” commented Laurence Kuykendahl, Community and Communications Manager for BMW Motorrad USA. “Of course, they’ll also need a sense of humor under adversity and extreme conditions. They’re going to battle sun, sand and scorpions in addition to some of the world’s best off-road riders.”
In 2008, the high-stakes competition between riders representing five countries took place in the burning sands of Tunisia and was won by Team USA members Brad Hendry (Thornton, CO), Jim Stoddard (Middlegrove, NY), and Jason Adams (Rosendale, NY) along with journalists Jimmy Lewis (Dirt Rider), Ryan Dudek (Cycle World), and writer/photographer Jonathan Beck. The GS owners and journalists represented the United States in the 1,900-kilometer desert rally, involving 30 participants from five nations, seeking to demonstrate their skills over challenging terrain on identically prepared BMW F800GS motorcycles.