Diamond Lake Dual-Sport Adventure Ride

September 25, 2009
JC Hilderbrand
Melody DeKorte
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Melody rides anything with handlebars & a motor and always wants to beat the boys. Be it sand, dirt, track, or street she loves to ride day, night, rain, or shine. A true dedicated motorcycle and powersports enthusiast with a need for speed and corners, she loves the sound of a revving motor and the smell of race fuel. Life on two wheels, what a beautiful thing!

Murphy’s Law states that, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” I got a nice reminder of that last Friday when one of my colleagues asked me if I was interested in attending the Diamond Lake Dual Sport 200 ride this past weekend. This two-day event is part of the AMA KTM National Dual Sport Trail Riding Series, organized by Oregon Motorcycle Adventures KTM and the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA), and sponsored by Motorcycle Superstore along with various other local businesses and clubs. What started off with blissful thoughts of lush greenery, expansive views, and 200 miles of marked off-road trails quickly took a detour when it was discovered that my KTM dirt bike was standing in a pool of blue coolant and the parts store (OMA, go figure…) was closed.

Diamond Lake Dual Sport 2009
Hmmm….Decisions, decisions. Riders got to pick whichever prize they wanted, so coming in first had it’s advantages.

Desperate, I called in a favor with a friend, but he mentioned that his KTM had been sitting for five weeks and may be tough to start. “No problem,” was my quick retort and away we went. But after pushing it 4 blocks home, it appeared it was a problem. In the wee hours of the morning, after spending entirely too much time cussing and diagnosing, I pronounced TOD (time of death) at 2 a.m. By midday Saturday, after our local dealer opened, we bought the parts needed and loaded up, anxious to salvage some part of the weekend.

Unfortunately we had missed the start of Saturday’s 113 mile point race, which includes nine poker-run type stops where you complete a timed task. The final task included riding a child’s bmx bicycle in full gear through a course without hitting cones. When we finally arrived Saturday afternoon a few race participants were checking in at the final stop and we got to witness the heroic effort of trying to complete this task. It alone was worth all the previous headaches. Saturday evening offered a feast and awards which honored the fastest and slowest riders and winners received great motorcycle related prizes, such as helmets and off-road tires.

Bright and early Sunday, we awoke with renewed enthusiasm and stepped out into the crisp 36-degree mountain air.

Diamond Lake Dual sport 200 ride 2009
It doesn’t get much better than this. View after view, the Diamond Lake Dual-sport Adventure Ride delivers some of the best scenery.

Sunday’s event is 102 miles and billed as a “scenic ride” which it delivered. Standing at a fire lookout high atop a mountain overlooking Mt. Thielsen and Lemolo Lake, I was reminded of the beauty of Oregon and how fortunate we are to have public lands to ride on. Our lunch and fuel stop was at Crescent Lake Resort which is 50 miles from the start. Photos of 30-lb Mackinaw trout grace the walls, proof that some lucky anglers have wrestled in mammoths along these sandy beaches over the years. The fish tales amongst other riders around us quickly came to a halt as food was delivered.

From Crescent Lake, we trailed alongside Highway 58 for a few miles on a dirt road. Through the trees we could catch glimpses of vehicles as we passed them reminding us that we weren’t too far off the beaten path, but yet worlds apart. Of course I was eating a lot more dust and my blonde hair was now a dull brown, but I bet I was having a lot more fun than the pavement pounders. The second half of the ride turned southwest and we left the highway noise behind. We delved deeper into the wooded areas, and by then the trails had become quad size and more remote. I kept thinking about the hard-working people who marked this trail for the event in a pickup and how scratched that paint job

Diamond Lake Dual sport 200 ride 2009
Even flying down the trail, you can’t help but stop when you find scenerly like this.

must have been by trail’s end.

After lunch, we kicked it up a notch and barreled down the trails at breakneck speed. Flying low through the trees and praying not to bounce off anything big, we stopped to explore an old cabin that had succumbed to age and the site of a fire that had left behind naked, scarred trees that had a beauty all of their own. By 4 p.m., arriving back at Diamond Lake Resort and having come full circle, we were covered in dust and thirsty. It was a great reminder of what is available to any off-road enthusiast in our back yard and when our gracious hosts asked if we enjoyed ourselves, both of us quickly replied that we had and couldn’t wait for their next event.