Taken from the October 2009 Newsletter


Although not an official TBSA outing, five TBSA members were in attendance along with 20+ other riders. The five of us, Robin, Ron Cottrell, John Cox, Chas and Nevin (ride organizer), enjoyed 3-4 days of some super fine riding. Middlegate Station is located basically out in the middle of nowhere - 50 miles east of Fallon on Hwy 50. There is a quaint bar/restaurant that serves excellent food ... breakfast, lunch and dinner - Prime rib special for all of us Saturday evening. Over half of the group stayed in tidy rental cabins (heated and with showers) for a reasonable $28 per day. The weather was just about perfect ... mid 60's-70's during the day although wind-breakers were called for at the higher 10,000+ feet elevations. Since there were so many people, we broke up into smaller riding groups of 4-8 riders each. Chas was very fortunate in that he was able to hook up with Dave, our ride leader who was not only an excellent rider but also knows the area as well as or better than anyone else. On Thursday's 60-mile warm-up ride, Dave (KTM 450) and Howard Hill (KTM 570) led Robin, John Cox and Chas over a variety of terrain immediately southwest of Middlegate. The 122-mile ride on Friday was much more far-reaching and demanding, and included a lot of area. Dave led three of us, Robin, Jeff Brown (KTM 380) and Chas, over hill and dale ... single-track, sand washes, cross country, a dry lake, goat trails, and ridge riding. Highlights, other than the superb riding, included cross-country travel to the 'Yamaha Monument', locating the wreckage of a large twin engine WW II air plane, viewing Pronghorn 'Antelope', sage hens, and wild mustangs. The 103-mile ride on Saturday likewise covered a lot of Nevada territory but using different routes than on Friday. Chas again hooked up with Dave, along with Robin, Jeff and Nevin. This ride was a little more technical including some nasty side-hills, down-hills and some very steep climbs. Ron Cottrell rode with Mike Fraley and Rich VanDerMeeden on lengthy exploratory rides on Friday and Saturday.


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MIDDLE GATE REPORT: by Nevin Nyswonger

(Having no outing since the last newsletter, five of our members attended Nevin’s semi-annual ride.)

Thursday night was cold, Friday and Saturday was a little warmer; it was fairly cool Sunday morning.

While we were camped at Middlegate (Nevada, on Highway 50), we met this guy that said he is a "vagabond". He uses a Featherlite utility trailer converted to a camp trailer in a "stealth mode". He opened up the back doors and showed a very compact trailer with all the necessities including a satellite dish and interface for his computer. Randy Vining maintains a blog about his travels and has pictures of his trailer on that blog. (http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/ - scroll down to the second half of the October 4 entry to see two of our guys). 

With this trailer he can camp just about anywhere including city streets and be "inconspicious". Interesting to talk to, he travels around and learns what all the other older folks are doing. He was surprised and impressed with the age of all us riders and how long we have been riding together. He asked questions about desert riding, type of dirt bikes (KTM was new to him), and all the protective gear we wore. Because of our ages, general health and upbeat attitudes, he is thinking there must be something to long hard desert riding. We all know there is something to the riding we do and if we try to explain it, you would never understand.

Friday’s ride was with five of us including John Cox, Ron Cottrell, Mike Fraley, Rich Vandermeeden, and I. We rode north on the west side of Dixie Valley looking for the trail that goes over the Humbolt range into Carson sink area. We found a lot of dead-end trails, but great riding in the hills. John Cox later was able to plot the ride from his GPS to a computer-generated map. It looks like we just missed the trail we were looking for. We did see the major earthquake fault-line that runs from Fairview Peak north along the west side of Dixie /valley. It is a 25-foot vertical slip line that happened around 1954 and still very visible. Chas and Robin rode with a different group and made a good long loop.

Saturday’s ride was split up into a few groups of riders to make them manageable. Robin, Baumgart, Chas Moser, Jeff Brown, David Smith and I rode a good 100-mile ride with dry washes, single- and twp- track trails. (David has ridden this area and knows it very well). We climbed some high mountains on small horse trails along the side of a fairly steep hill that leads up to a saddle that appears to end at a fence gate. The washes had a lot of plant life that made missing large rocks a challenge. I heard at least three of us experienced some endo's with the rocks in front and behind the bushes in the dry washes.

Sunday’s ride was a quick warm-up just west of camp. It has fun roller coaster trails and hills with some good hill climbs with damp trails from the light rain and snow that hit Saturday night.

MIDDLE GATE PHOTO: by Randy Vining, the Mobile Kodger (http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/)

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