Riding a dirt bike, even just once, probably makes the bucket list for many people looking to shake up the doldrums of life.
The avid dirt bike rider, however, crossed off that bucket list item years, perhaps decades, ago and probably started a sublist to that original entry: Bucket List Dirt Bike Rides. Someday, we say, but someday never arrives until a concerted effort to connect the necessary dots to go from wish I could, to let's do it!
Riding your local Motocross track or public lands that allow dirt bikes always offers enough fun to keep the hobby strong. But, riding parts of the country or across the border you always hear about or that a friend successfully rode, who routinely reminds you of the greatness of the trip, tends to bring back the wonderment of your passion and a desire to do more with your dirt bike.
We searched far and wide, and in our own backyard, for a list of places that implore you to arrive ready to ride and roll the throttle for a few hours, if not a couple of days.
Dirt Bike Bucket List Rides
1. Sand Dunes
Quite possibly the number one place all dirt bikers want to ride. Whether you roll up to Glamis, hit southern Oregon or any other spot in the country ocean waters seemingly left behind, sand dune riding offers a totally different experience than the track or trails and those brave enough hit jumps they never dreamed possible. Know before you go though, read How To Prep Your Dirt Bike For The Sand Dunes to make the most of your time.
2. National Level Motocross Tracks
Unlike major league ball fields, you too can ride the very same National MX tracks your favorite pro rider races on every summer. Pick any of the current or past tracks that hosted a round of Pro Motocross and have a blast but some of the iconic ones worth the trip include Washougal, RedBud, Spring Creek and Glen Helen. If you run Dunlop, click the link to know the recommended Dunlop Tire Setup at the Top Motocross Tracks.
3. Hare Scrambles
Perhaps the fastest growing segment of dirt bike riding, hare scrambles or offroad dirt bike races similar to the Grand National Cross Country series offer competition classes for all ages, bike sizes and skill levels. Most participants probably don't give two bits about winning but that doesn't mean riders don't go all out. Hare scrambles allow you to open the throttle and venture into wooded areas you'd never go into otherwise. Most regions around the country hold hare scrambles so you don't have to head to the East coast for a GNCC round, unless entering one makes up an entry on your bucket list.
4. Training Camp
You might think only pros or would-be pros spend time at training camps but places like ClubMX cater to amateurs, weekend warriors and anyone wishing to improve their riding skills. Find daily, weekly and month-long training camps to fit your schedule. Cross this off your dirt bike bucket list and you might find motivation to finish the rest.
5. Baja, California
The thought of going to Mexico might elicit a "Heck NO!" response and for good reason, but many Americans cross the southern border without issue for a chance to ride Baja, California. Entering the Baja 1000 isn't exactly encouraged but with planning and a handful or more of riding buddies you can enjoy wide open desert land while passing through small towns for fuel, food and lodging. Read Riding in Mexico? What You Need to Know as part of the planning process.
6. Barstow to Vegas
The United States offers plenty of wide-open desert riding without the fear of banditos or kidnapping, but the famous Barstow to Vegas run features 450 miles of off-road desert riding over two days. Unfortunately, you need a street legal ride so this disqualifies many dirt bike owners but those with dual sport, adventure of street legal dirt bikes hit this annual run regularly.
7. Moab, Utah
Few ride Moab and the associated national parks hell bent on racing. The scenery demands a slow pace and riding a dirt bike gets you further into the parks to witness all God's creation has to offer that those on foot can only dream about. Plan several days in Moab and maybe a contingency plan to add a few more before heading home.
A tough one to cross off, but you can find places to rent dirt bikes in Hawaii unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket and pay to ship your own. Plenty of places to ride Hawaii including MX tracks exist, so do your research and plan accordingly.
Possibly the toughest dirt bike race on the planet. The Erzbergrodeo, an ironman version of a hare scramble takes place in Austria and puts those who qualify through a style of torture only enthusiasts can appreciate. Hit a gravel racetrack before testing limits of both rider and machine as enduro style competition ensues with near vertical hill climbs and boulders willing to make mincemeat of you and your ride.
10. Ride with a Pro
A bucket list dirt bike ride doesn't necessarily mean a destination. Fans of Motocross who ride will do just about anything to test their skills against their favorite pro or childhood hero. Reigning pros usually practice at private tracks but every now and then take a spin on a public track, mostly those in Southern California. Crossing this off your bucket list requires a bit of luck and patience on your part. Find a better chance riding alongside a retired pro, many who settle for normal citizenry status like the rest of us once their factory ride comes to an end.
Creating a bucket list of dirt bike rides adds excitement and energy into your hobby, so no matter how long you have thrown a leg over, start thinking about where you might want to ride. If this list seems out of touch then think smaller. Perhaps you spend all your time on trails and never experienced a gatedrop then enter a local Motocross race or conversely you've mastered gatedrops but never opened the throttle on a nearby trail system. As the common saying goes, variety is the spice of dirt bike riding.