Without a doubt my favorite ride of 2013 was the OMA Diamond Lake Dual-Sport Adventure Challenge. It was a beautiful location with a wide variety of off-road terrain a few hours’ drive from my front door and the organizing staff created a fun, easy-going event which helped set this new rider more at ease. The other riders on the trail proved to be just as helpful and easy-going as well and I was able to link up with two complete strangers for the bulk of the day. I tackled some obstacles I’d never have faced alone with their help, improved my off-road skill and had the best time on two wheels to-date. The Honda CRF250L proved an able and reliable mount throughout, despite my repeated offs during some of the more difficult portions of the trail. Rain soaked, muddy and blissful by the end, it’s a day I’ll never forget.
Favorite Assignment – Daytona Bike Week
I got to take part in some really fun assignments in 2013, from the One Show up in Portland, Oregon to covering the AIMExpo in Orlando. The one that stands out as my favorite (perhaps because I’m a glutton for punishment) is the 10 days I spent in Daytona for the madness of Bike Week. I was there with MCUSA Cruiser Editor Bryan Harley and photographer Joseph Agustin and we split up duties in order to cover as much of the event as possible. I spent most of my days at Daytona International Speedway covering AMA Pro, Monster Energy Supercross, and AMA Flat Track. I also got to meet Arlen and Cory Ness and interview Ricky Carmichael. There was a moment while sitting on the embankment of the oval, watching SX qualifying that I had to pinch myself…is this really my job?! Sure the days were long and I made myself sick from lack of sleep, but where else in the world can you start out with a Cracker Barrel breakfast, move on to the Cabbage Patch for coleslaw wrestling, stop in for an afternoon of professional racing on one of the most storied circuits in the country and then finish off the night listening to a spot-on live rendition of Free Bird after a burnout contest?