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Hedley - What were you thinking?? - SDAR History

16 posts in this topic

    When This Site was started,,  Tell us what was happening in the sport and the Dualsport community.  Where did the inspiration come from?

And if you have an insight, How has the community changed and where do you see it going?   Now that you have the time, I think we all would like to hear your thoughts.

          Bags

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Dave, I presume you're talking to me....also, when you say how the community has changed, are you talking about the site/club or the sport in general ?

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Yes Sir, It is in your signature. Both really. Please, what inspired you to create such a thing as SDAR. Money, women or Fame? 

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OK, here's the history of SDAR....you asked for it....so here's the long version.

After sreet riding and doing many long road trips around the USA for a few years, then roadracing for a couple years, I realized I wanted more, and roadracing was costing me a lot of money.  I had wanted to trail ride all my life, but was never able to. After riding street only for 8 years, I got my first dualsport at the end of 1994, a Suzuki DR350. On my first ride that was with Team Dual Dogs in the Palm Springs area, I thought how hard could dualsport be, I roadrace....well, I was quickly enlightened about dirt riding. That ride was tough, and within the first hour I got stuck on a big sandhill and I lost the rest of the pack. So, I went back to the motel, and I met a guy named Alfred, who said "you're the new guy with no experience" ?  I said Yep.

He laughed, but didn't want me to waste my trip up to Palm Springs....so he got the Team Dual Dogs loaner bike from BMW out of the trailer, and offered to take me for a ride all day, even though he had a broken finger. He was on that 1100GS and told me if I can't keep up with him on my DR350, I should find another sport :o

Well, we went riding all day and I did OK....Alfred became one of my best friends to date, and we've done many rides together over the years.

Anyway, I immediately started doing tough rides, lots of singletrack, usually with Alfred's guidance....I quickly came to appreciate singletrack trail riding and organized dualsport rides.

After doing many, many organized dualsport rides in the mid to late 90's, I thought to myself I'd love to try to put on an organized ride. So about 15 years ago, via an email list in San Diego called "San Diego Motorcyclists" (that's where I met Zina, as well as some others), I decided to advertise a small free ride that started in Ramona and went out all day in the SD backcountry. About 20ish riders showed up. I had rollchart type directions for all to follow, printed on regular 8 1/2 x 11 paper....the riders needed a map pocket in order to read the directions.

The ride was a success, and I thought...WOW, I think I'd like to try more. On this ride, while in Julian for lunch, this guy and his wife walked up (they were riding a Ducati) to me and said, "What's up with all the dualsport bikes" ?  I said I just put on a small ride...he thought that was cool, and handed me his card and said, "If you ever want to start a website, I can do that for you". That person was Uncle Cameron, who has hosted and maintained our website for years now. So, that was the beginning of SDAR. Cameron and his wife are now best friends.

He built the site and things slowly took off, but for a few years the website was dead, with only a few people on it. Papa Alex was one of the original members, besides my friends Maddog Mike, Kevin McNutt, and a friend John who just helped out but wasn't on the site.

We tried our first organized dualsport ride out of Agua Caliente State Park....it was a one day ride thru Anza Borrego. 55 people showed, many from Orange County and LA (District 37 area). That ride was a success too.

The next year, we tried the first 2 day Anza Borrego Desert Dash....only 29 people showed. We had so much raffle stuff from local shops, even though it was early in our history, that everyone got at least 2 items in the raffle.

Carguy and Kawee were 2 early riders who showed up to one of our local rides (me, Mike and Kevin)....they saw we were serious about dirt riding and they helped spread the word.

We continued with the 2 day rides every February, advertised thru the D37 AMA Dualsport newsletter and the ride slowly grew and we got big turnouts.

The main reason I started SDAR was to try and promote rides so people could see new places, and nobody else was doing it anymore in the San Diego County area. Also, I thought it would be cool to have a place for SoCal / San Diego people to meet new riders....thus the forums. Also, I have always been into informing others about the challenges we face with land closures, the anti off-road groups, etc., and this was a good way of trying to keep people informed....even though it's still hard to get people involved in these issues (I used to belong to many off-road forums that talked about all these issues, I was fairly active in it, but nowhere near as much as many others were).

I never imagined it would grow to what we are today.

It was never about money or fame....I knew you cannot make a living at putting on rides.

So, that is how we got where we are today....with help from many people over the years, many here still active, and mainly due to all of YOU....the riders who support our club and site, and keep contributing rides and stories, etc.

As for the future....as many of you know, I am going on my Round the World Trip with Doc Holliday in the sidecar. Mike, ADV Bum is taking over....Mike has supported me and SDAR for many years, and we came to an agreement to be partners with the club and site. It was perfect timing.....this happened BEFORE I knew i was going on my RTW trip. I have confidence that Mike is going to continue on with the club and site, keep it active and make it better. We have plans for some changes, but it will never change a whole lot from what it has become over the years. All we want, is to provide a better experience for all our site and club members. Improvement of the experience for all is the goal. 

Many people have made lifelong friends here on SDAR, including myself, and that is just awesome.

As far as the sport, I think it will continue on for a long time. Please remember to support the groups that are fighting to keep our public lands and trsils open.....SDORC, CORVA, Stewards of the Sequoia, Stewards of the Sierra, etc. Also, remember we are all Stewards of our public lands and please  Tread Lightly !

I think that pretty much covers things.

Thanks for asking Dave....sorry for the long explanation, but I took the opportunity to explain the history since many people don't know.

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Dave, hope you don't mind I edited the Topic Title and added SDAR History to it.

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8 minutes ago, Bp619 said:

Cool story, now we need more group rides 

Well, it's up to members to organize informal rides for others also. We can't do everything.

Many thanks to those who have and those who continue to put on small, informal rides.

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  KTMrad,   Life is an evolution.   Thank You for your contribution to getting us all on the trails.  That is a Great Story.  Thank You for sharing. We needed to know before we Lost You to the Road.  

       Bags

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I thought this started as an online dating website. No?

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2 hours ago, Mikey777 said:

I thought this started as an online dating website. No?

Sort of.....manly dualsport riders looking for Bears 😲

Let's see if anyone gets that.

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Thanks for all your efforts and thanks for sharing the story! This site has been a great resource for finding great people to ride with, thanks everybody! Such a good group of people.

 

3 hours ago, Mikey777 said:

I thought this started as an online dating website. No?

Haha, all my coworkers started calling it duelsportsingles.com when they found out what I was up to.

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41 minutes ago, KTMrad said:

Sort of.....manly dualsport riders looking for Bears 😲

Let's see if anyone gets that.

I think that's dualsport-sf.com

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