Greg Powell bought his first dirt bike when he was 14 and really ticked off his dad. After two weeks, Greg finally broke the elder Powell down and the two, along with Greg's brother, went riding.
A few weeks later they all had their own dirt bikes and a new family sport.
It's been nearly 40 years and Powell, 53, still rides, one of 16 bikes no less, and next month he'll make a seven hour trek from California to Nevada to participate in the Ride Reno 200 on September 13-15. It's the third year for him and one of his favorite organized rides.
"Truthfully, you can't ask for a better ride," Powell said. "There are several laps to choose from to suit every type of rider. But what makes it all so great is the people that put it on. You just don't find such fun people who work so hard to make a great event."
The Ride Reno 200 is the Dust Devils Motorcycle Club main event of the year. It started in 1996 with less than a dozen riders. Today, nearly 250 riders saddle up for a two-day run that starts from the valley floor of Reno at 5000 feet above sea level through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This year's event is the first time the Ride Reno 200 is AMA Dual Sport and AMA Adventure sanctioned.
"In the past we started from the Nugget seventh floor parking structure and not very long after you're in the mountains weaving from fire road to single track," Powell said.
Ride Reno 200 is a self-guided tour and is not a race or competition. Saturday is the longest stretch at 140 miles and riders have three loop options - easy, hard and new this year, an Adventure loop. All loops have bailout points for breaks or simply to take a moment and absorb the scenery. Sunday's loop is 80 miles and guides riders under the Reno Championship Air Races. Both days offer full catered lunches and Saturday evening features a banquet with raffles and special guests.
"The Dust Devils pride themselves on this ride and work all year just to make it fresh and new," said Aaron Moore, club president. "We do whatever it takes to make our participants happy and keep them coming back year after year."Moore said the Ride Reno 200 is not for all bikes. Though a number have tried and failed, mostly dual sport and mild adventure bikes get riders through the terrain. One year a Honda PT 110 almost made it but ran out of gas. More than 40 sponsors have signed on and Moore assures nobody leaves empty handed.
"On Friday and Saturday night we'll have the P.I.T.S. Demo Trials guys giving a demonstration, we will also have an actual pits area on the west end of BoomTown with sponsors," Moore said. "It is going to be an event this year."
Powell said the ride mixes two passions - riding and airplanes. The views of the Reno Air races are spectacular and a camera is a must.
"You will not be disappointed on the Reno 200," Powell said. "I hear this year they have really gone over the top."
Ride Reno 200 is limited to 250 dual sport riders and 75 adventure riders. Participants who register by September 1 are eligible for a t-shirt. Register online.The Ride Reno 200 is headquartered at BoomTown Resort and Casino in Reno, NV.
Rides Scheduled this Weekend
Ride for the Red August 31: Proceeds from this ride through the Finger Lakes of New York benefit American Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces. Registration is from 9 to 11 a.m. and kickstands up at 11:30 at Corning Harley-Davidson, 300 Town Center Road in Pained Post, NY.
Rolling for Freedom August 31: A poker run that benefits the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Walsenburg, CO. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and kickstands are up at 10:30 a.m. the Acorn Travel Plaza, 455 US Highway 85 97 in Walsenburg, CO.
Amy Dorn Memorial Poker Run August 31: The 5th annual Amy Dorn Run begins at 11 a.m. at the Warren County Fairgrounds Cattle Barn, 665 N. Broadway St. in Lebanon, OH. Register at 9:30 a.m. or online.
Chicago Cruisin' for St. Jude August 31: Registration for this 4th annual ride that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is from 9 to 11 a.m. at Guy’s Cycle, 15431 S. Crawford Ave. in Markham, IL.
Hogs on the Mountain September 1: The Iron County Salvation Army benefits from this ride that starts at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Iron County Courthouse, 250 S. Main St. #220 in Ironton, MO.
Written By: AndrewT