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Yosemite Adventure Tour Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Tuesday, 02 March 2010 06:27

Yosemite Adventure Tour, a BMW National Adventure Riding Series Event

This year's ride was indeed a different one, not quite what anyone would have expected. First held in 2008, it has become an annual affair in early May, organized and conducted by Family Off-Road Adventures based in Stockton, CA, an outfit run by Lawrence Borgens.

The start and end of each day's ride is a place called Buck Meadows, about 10 miles west of the Yosemite Park entrance on Hwy 120. The small town offers a hotel and a small country style resort with several cabins and single wide trailers as well as an RV park with full hook up.

There were 48 riders registered for the event, and 45 showed up Saturday morning. There were about 15 BMW motorcycles, eight of which were larger GS's the rest 650's, an older R100 and R80GS. Other brands present were Kawasaki KLR's, several KTM's, Suzuki DR's and a few Honda's and Yamaha's.

After a riders' meeting, Saturday's ride took off under cloudy skies and wet roads but no more rain. There were two route options: the harder loop was all dirt, the easier all pavement. We headed towards Yosemite National Park then a left turn onto Cherry Lake Road lead us down into the Stanislaus River Gorge, across Tuolumne River and through a place called Cherry Creek. At the split, riders not quite sure of their skill level could bail out on routes leading to pavement. Not knowing what to expect after all the rain, I was not sure what the day would bring, but I had a feeling that it could be quite tricky. One concern was a long stretch of freshly graded dirt road along steep, rugged terrain where I expected quite muddy conditions.

The fun started with the first stretch of dirt road of about five miles and lead to Jawbone Fire Prevention Station. Due to the wet conditions, Lawrence Borgens and I were the last riders to take off, intending to sweep the course and assist slower riders or anyone who may need help. A small bridge took us over a creek turned into a raging river over night, and just beyond the gravel road turned soft and muddy. This was a sign of what was expected ahead.

Section two started out on gravel as well, then forest, until we came to a split in the road. The way to the left was the easier option, through easy to navigate mud. To the right a harder more technical loop of about five miles, which ended up in the same place.

After pointing two riders in the easy direction I spun my rear wheel leaving a slide-mark at the entry to the left hand turn (a sign we often use to communicate direction). The trail was tight through thick Manzanita, reaching far into the trail, dripping wet from the rain. It was much more muddy and slippery compared to the road I was just on, and I noticed several tracks, two of them made by street rubber! Oh boy, this'll be interesting.

A few hundred yards up were two riders stuck on a very slippery up-hill with a nasty rut on one side. I passed by, parked up against the bushes and walked back. A 1200GS Adventure with "street rubber" and a KLR, belonging to his friend needed a boost. I helped to get things straightened out and gave a few mud riding tips and luckily things got moving again. Every one of these guys despite the challenging terrain was in great spirits and having fun.

Then a rider came towards us from the forward direction. He was on a 1200GS Adventure full of mud from head to toe. Once stopped, I noticed he seemed out of breath. Heavy steam coming off his ride, gear, and head as well once he took the helmet off. He told us that somehow he ended up alone and had gotten lost, riding through miles of very deep mud before realizing that he was off course. He had tipped over several times having to pick up the bike by himself on very slippery terrain.

The guy was tall, strongly built and seemed OK, but it was quite obvious that he over-worked himself. After several minutes of conversation I asked if he was planning on completing the ride to the lunch stop. He gave me a big set of eyes and said "no way. I'm taking the escape route and heading straight back to Buck Meadows!" I have to say the man knew his limits and at that moment I also realized a thing or two. One was the words "hot shower" were clearly written across his face! The other was an indication of just how bad conditions must be up ahead, because for him to skip a nice all you can eat buffet lunch said a lot.

I had seven riders behind me, five of which had little to no experience in conditions like this. Once they all caught up I gave some pointers on how to best approach this muddy mess and rode at the rear from this point on. About 35 bikes had come through before us. All together they had painted a 15 mile long, continuous picture of a labyrinth or what looked like lines shaped like winding snakes crossing one another thousands of times! Some tracks came close to the edge of very steep rugged terrain, then the fear factor saved the rider somehow who then managed to swerve over to the other side towards cliffs, trees, bushes, or whatever else was there. The rocks were there in abundance, buried and hiding in mud as deep as a foot or more.

Then, tracks interrupted by hundreds of foot prints, or better said "holes in the mud," with an imprint of a bike in the middle telling a story not once, but more then a dozen times. Each time I thought the poor rider undoubtedly struggled alone, trying to lift the heavy mud loaded beast, while slipping and sliding out of control, likely to be forced into the ugly wet mess, alongside his muddy ride. Imagine the boots; "soaking wet" for sure by then, without doubt forced off the peg two times or eight, quickly adding to them three times the weight. Each rider's gear wet from hard work rather than rain, losing strength by the mile, but going on with a smile!

It was hard, rough riding without doubt for any bike, if the rider wasn't in shape and skilled. Yet one with experience, always prepared for the worst and a bike set to tackle such a task, would prevail and go on with a smile. They will be quite proud of what they did after the fact for a long time to come.

The fact that the large adventure bikes made it through all that was amazing to everyone. Every GS made it through without burning a clutch whether it was dressed in street shoes or dirt. Only one clutch failed, most likely due to operator abuse. It was a new KTM450. Consider how lucky this guy was. It failed just 20 feet past the deep mud disaster. Had this happened miles earlier, the "only" way for him to get the bike out would have been me towing the guy.

From my perspective this was almost too much fun! The X-Challenge worked so well, I frequently rode ahead and turned around to make riders on larger GS bikes aware of which line was best. I laid out straight tracks for others to follow in, rather then having to fight crossing a labyrinth of tracks while getting caught inside one, forcing the bike to change direction each time. I did this with a smile on my face, throwing a rooster-tail of mud 30 feet up in the air and back. I turned around in donut style, not just for fun, but to take advantage of the momentum making it quicker and easier.

Finally once out of the "mud bath", the road turned into perfect gravel, again a delight for the X-Challenge, and an even bigger delight for everyone else, but perhaps from a different point of view! By then every rider was very happy to have made it thus far and even happier to see a nice gravel road. As we had no cell reception and needed to retrieve the stuck KTM 450, we decided to have the guy wait by his bike and send everyone else off to a now quite late lunch. Locating a signal for the cell was a challenge, but finally we got through, discovering the chase vehicle was a long way off. It was past 3pm by then so I rode from there with intention not to waste any time. The X-Challenge was flawless, reaching nearly 100 mph on wet dirt at times.

A bridge concluded the last dirt section. I am certain there is still a long black streak on the pavement from my back wheel leading up to the intersection's stop sign. A quick look insured all is clear and up the hill towards Tuolumne at warp speed. Just 3 turns later I passed by the support truck. Quickly I turned around and had a word with the guys. I found out that Lawrence was able to relay a message over radio to someone at dispatch before he got the cell message I left.

Lunch was great and so was the way back on the tight and narrow paved back roads. In fact this was just right after what everyone had been through and actually a true delight to conclude such an adventurous day. At first I strongly considered to take the dirt route back to Buck Meadows but everyone else had seen enough of that. It was past 5 p.m. and we needed to be back for the optional dinner and raffle/door prizes.

Day two was also quite interesting. It had rained some more over night, started again just as we took off and continued to do so throughout the day. The group was quite a bit smaller, maybe 20 riders, as some had chosen not to ride the second day or preferred the easier paved option and enjoyed the hospitality of Yosemite Valley instead. Pavement wasn't a bad idea, considering what day two had to offer: mud.

The mud was almost black at times, then gray. It was clay type soil, which explains why it was so slippery to ride on. Although everything we had seen all weekend was very hard work, this for the first time presented an actual challenge to me. The muscles in my arms, shoulders and back felt tense and sore just several hundred feet into it, but then one kind of gets used to it. Both Laurence and I learned some things along the way especially about varied surfaces and how any dirt bike does not handle well in these conditions.

Even though this ride was so unexpectedly tough for most, overall it was one of the best I've ever been on. The reason is that everyone who made it out there experienced a true adventure-type environment. They may have hated the mud and slightly cold weather but no one will ever cease to talk about this ride. Their grandkids will hear about this. In my mind exactly what we need to promote BMW bikes. Again, the big bikes proved that they could make it through what no one would have expected. The camaraderie was top shelf because everyone was in the same situation. Every rider rode with caution and a high level of safety, because if not likely someone would have gotten hurt. I rarely ever worried about an injury because the conditions kept the speed low, yet it was always exciting and extremely challenging. Feel like joining us next time around? We'd love to have you.

For more information about this and other rides by Family Off-Road Adventures please see:

Story by Helli Kornton, with Will Guyan

GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist Print E-mail

This article is chapter two of a multi-chapter article about using GPS in conjunction with Adventure & Dual Sport motorcycling.

In this chapter I'll share some of my thoughts regarding the versatility of GPS units and options for power supply.


"Transportability" is a word I use to describe the ease and options available for moving a GPS unit between vehicles or human powered transportation.

For example: One of my favorite GPS units is the Gamin Quest. This unit comes with a suction cup mount allowing it to be easily moved from one car to another. It also features a cigarette lighter plug with a speaker in it so that when the unit is plugged into power, it can give verbal directions. We often move the unit between my truck and my wife's or, when flying to a vacation destination, we install the unit in our rental car. This has saved us from buying cars with navigation built in or from purchasing the navigation system offered by rental car companies. There are also several options for mounting this GPS unit on a motorcycle. Some are inexpensive plastic mounts and others are machined metal with a power connection to recharge the unit while mounted on your motorcycle. The unit is also small & light enough and has the right features to make it suitable for short (weekend) backpacking trips. All of these factors together give this unit a high degree of "transportability".

Batteries / Power Supply:

Some GPS units come with a non-serviceable, permanent, internal battery and other have a compartment where you can load in batteries and insert a new set when the old set is depleted. There are pros and cons to both, here are some of them:

Internal Battery:

• Less cost associated with the purchase of new batteries.

• Continues to function under "high vibration" conditions.

• Longer run time. Some internal battery will last up to 20 hours of continual use on a single charge.

• When the battery is dead it is dead. You must then connect the unit to a power source for an extended period to re-charge.

• Rechargeable batteries have a "lifetime" and can only be recharged so many times before their performance diminishes. The unit must be shipped back to the manufacturer to be refurbished.

Replaceable Batteries:

• Batteries are plentiful, relatively inexpensive and available worldwide.

• As long as you have a supply of batteries, you can keep the GPS unit running indefinitely.

• Disposable batteries add to the cost of operation of the unit.

• Replaceable batteries sometimes suffer from diminished performance in a high vibration environment (like mounted to a motorcycle). High vibration can cause the batteries to lose contact with each other and the battery terminals making them arc, lose contact and drain prematurely.

In the past I had significant trouble with engine vibration causing the batteries to lose contact within the GPS unit, arc (yes arc, with little carbon deposits on the battery terminal ends) and deplete the batteries of the GPS very quickly. Now I use a unit with an internal rechargeable battery so this problem has been eliminated. There are also vibration dampening mounts available that can correct some vibration related problems.

I was a bit worried about using a unit that I could not just change the batteries when the unit died, I didn't want to get caught in the middle of nowhere with a dead GPS! However, since I use a motorcycle mount that charges the unit while the bike is running and I am diligent about keeping the unit charged I have not experienced any problems from a dead battery or been "stranded".

"Transportability" and Power Supply are some of the important factors to consider when selecting a GPS unit.

Happy Trails!

- Lawrence Borgens

Rubicon Rogues - September 25, 2009 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Friday, 25 September 2009 06:48

Mojave Desert

The following story was written by Neil MacDannald, who passed away on July 15th, 2008.  It speaks of his joy of riding and satisfaction of a days ride with friends.  The next time you see a shooting star know that it is Neil just "roosting" in Heaven...


"Rubicon Rogues"

True story by Neil R. MacDannald



To our trails we come back, though it's not for a lack, of other things to do; The adrenaline will pour, as your muscles grow sore, And your mind is born again new.

A days hard ride, with friends at your side, Makes one feel happy, tired, and free; When I get back, and finally hit the sack, I'm always happy I'm me.



Rubicon Trail:


This day we had picked, knowing our bikes would get nicked,

the legendary Rubicon Trail to ride;

Some fail to return, as we would soon learn, We started, friends side by side;


The air was quite cold, we rode hard we rode bold, Over the rocks,

boulders, and shale;

We rode down this path, and realized it's wrath, This is a very difficult trail;


As it started to rain, not one would complain,

There was too much fun to be had;

We should have turned-round, rain started to pound, I guess we're just crazy a tad;


From the sky came hail, as we rode that trail,

That horribly tough rocky trail;

But no one turned, though all were concerned, That to get back we might fail;


Colder it got, but we're a tough lot,

I thought as it started to snow;

Colder still colder, with snow on my shoulder, And the wind started to blow;


We stopped our troop, just to re-group,

We sheltered under a tree;

The storm raged, “an all nighter" I gauged, As it hammered my friends and me;


“Just another mile”, I said with a smile,

And fired RMX my venerable steed;

One said “Wait!! It is getting real late, And I've crashed and started to bleed”;


Then he cranked up his ride, and stood by its side...

You see of unwritten code he did think;

“I can make this ride”, he said with great pride, Even though he was on the brink;


Half Way Point:


At shelter halfway, I was heard to say,

“Let's eat, and check our bikes”;

Our return would be slow, through wind driven snow, I wished our tires had spikes;


I was chilled to the bone, but I was not alone,

And the daylight quickly passed;

It need not be said, we all knew and we dread, This cold night could be our last;


One began to pout, as we started out,

But no one really could blame;

All knew it was far, back to the car, and a hot meal by the fire's flame;


The going was rough, even our best had it tough,

And wind drove the cold like a spike;

One of us crashed, when offered food stashed, He just cursed and restarted his bike;


Below the big hill, I sat with a chill,

It was miles back to our camp;

"Go on past, and I'll ride up last", I said as I sat there all damp;


Everyone helped push, as we climbed through the slush,

And cheered when we crested the hill!;

But the mood turned grim, as we gazed round the rim, We had many miles to ride still;


The cold wind and snow, made it difficult to go, Our group being torn apart;

Running motors hard, we fought for each yard,

Lighting hitting within sight;


Still with more hills, we had no more spills, I prayed for the safety of our troop;

We finally made camp, and pushed up the loading ramp, Our bikes in the back of the truck;

Wow what a feat, while beginning to eat, On our side we had plenty of luck;


Of riders with less will, we hear stories still,

They begin but they do not return;

We just ate our hot meal, and spoke of that hill, And watched the warm fires burn;


As we drove down, and headed toward town,

I reflected on our trip;

To come home I was lucky, riding gear all mucky, I offer this tip;


Be yourself and have fun, in the rain or the sun,

Enjoy beauty and just smile;

Support your friends, be true to all ends, And your life will be full and worthwhile;




To our trails we come back, though it's not for a lack, of other things to do; the adrenaline will pour, as your muscles grow sore, And your mind is born again new;

A days hard ride, with friends at your side, Makes one feel happy, tired, and free; When I get back, and finally hit the sack, I'm always happy I'm me.


True story.

Trail Tips - February 2009 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Sunday, 15 February 2009 06:17




Dear Lawrence,

Welcome to Trail Tips your resource for motorcycle adventure riding, Dual Sport and Off-Road events!    Trail Tips has responded to your input and expanded to include more of what's important to YOU!  This issue includes the first installment of "GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist", a series of articles about using GPS in conjunction with Adventure & Dual Sport motorcycling.  We also have information about upcoming FREE Rides as well as the dates of our annual events.   2008 was a banner year for Family Off-Road Adventures and I am expecting 2009 to be even better!  With the economy on a down-swing but fuel at a decent price many people are choosing this year to scale back their vacations and take time seeing the sights closer to home.  this is the time to get on your bike and see some new country, re-connect with old friends & make some new friends all from the saddle of your motorcycle on a back-country road.   Choose to have your family join our family for an adventure now!

GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist

GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist Because we promote dual sport and off-road events that utilize GPS for navigation, I often get asked "what is the best GPS?"  I don't know what the best GPS unit for you is, but over the years I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work when you combine a GPS and a motorcycle.  Instead of talking about the virtues of each manufacturer and model, each monthly article will focus on a different feature common to various GPS units.  My hope is that this series of articles will help you to better choose the right unit for your needs.

Although I have owned and worked with several different units I have not come close to trying every type of unit out there.  So don't get offended if I don't mention your favorite brand or your particular unit.  I'll be up front by saying that most of the units I have owned were manufactured by Garmin and currently I am using their "Quest" model.

Overall Unit Size & Display Size

Some units are designed for use in an auto, RV, boat or aircraft and are therefore designed with a larger case, buttons and display.  For use on a motorcycle it is usually better to use a smaller unit because it fits better on the handlebars.  One of the downsides to choosing a smaller GPS unit is that the display will be smaller, which can be a problem for riders that need to use reading glasses.  So when choosing a unit, make sure that it has a display large enough for you to see clearly and that the case is small enough to conveniently fit on your motorcycle.

Additional things to consider with displays are color vs. gray-scale and the screen resolution.  Most new units come with a color screen which is useful for differentiating between various objects on the screen when navigating or glancing quickly at the unit while underway.  Resolution can also be an issue if you intend to load topographical maps or others maps that have fine detail icons on the screen.

The important thing to remember about screen size is that you will likely be trying to look at this unit while traveling on a motorcycle at a high rate of speed on an unimproved roadway under hazardous conditions.  With all of this in mind you want to get the unit that provides you the best advantage under these conditions.

Happy Trails!


Yosamite AdventureYosemite Adventure Tour BMW National Adventure Riding Series Event  Saturday & Sunday May 2nd & 3rd, 2009  

The Yosemite Adventure Tour is an AMA Sanctioned dual sport event held at the gateway to Yosemite National Park, Buck Meadows California. This two day, GPS based, self-guided tour includes scenic & historic destinations in and around Yosemite National Park using paved and unpaved roads with the option of hard and easy splits for approximately 100 miles of fun each day. It's time to get your bike out of the garage, hit the road and show up for some FUN!!! This event caters to ALL street legal dual sport & adventure bikes, whether it's a large adventure-touring machine or a small trail-bike.   For more information please click:


AMALegislative Action Alert Tell Congress Not to Close 2.1 Million Acres of Public Land!   Click the link below to write Your Representative to Vote "NO" on S. 22!   The House of Representatives will be considering the omnibus public lands bill, S. 22, as early as next week.  The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) opposes the bill, because it imposes blanket regulations, which may result in restricting the use of millions of acres of federally managed lands.
S.22, if enacted, would create 80 new federal Wilderness designations and increase the size of some already existing Wilderness areas. Specifically, the bill would designate 2.1 million acres as federal Wilderness land, which would result in shutting out all motorized vehicles for off-road recreation.    Continued responsible access to public lands is a vitally important right for current and future generations.  This measure deserves to be fully analyzed and thoughtfully debated in the 111th Congress prior to a final vote.
All AMA members and anyone else who enjoys outdoor recreation is urged to contact their Member of Congress and ask them to oppose S. 22, the Omnibus Public Lands bill.   Take Action NOW!


borgensLawrence Borgens Named as AMA District 36 Dual Sport Liaison

At the December AMA District 36 meeting Lawrence Borgens, founder of Family Off-Road Adventures, was appointed as the Dual Sport Liaison by District President, Kay Neely.   Of the nomination Lawrence  said "I look forward to working with AMA District 36 clubs and promoters to ensure a successful 2009 Dual Sport Season"   For more information please see the AMA District 36 web site at:


guidesGuides and Event Coordinators Wanted!

Family Off-Road Adventures is seeking GUIDES and EVENT COORDINATORS in the United States.  If you are skilled in the use of computers & GPS, have expertise in a specific scenic and historic destination, can create routes and have a desire to plan events and lead clients & employees on memorable and SAFE adventures then we want to hear from you.

The qualified applicant is well organized, a "people person", knows the meaning of "servant leadership" and loves to ride.  If this is you then please contact us for more information about employment opportunities with Family Off-Road Adventures.


Trail Tip! Use your GPS as a "Super-Accurate" clock.  Since your GPS unit downloads time data from multiple GPS satellites that contain multiple Cesium "atomic" clocks, an average GPS is by far the most accurate timepiece that the average person will ever own.

Trail Tips - October 2008 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Sunday, 12 October 2008 06:42



Dear Off-Road Enthusiast,

In this issue of "Trail Tips" we review a video article about some of the latest entry level dual sport motorcycles in a head to head shoot-out.

We offer up a video slide show of our latest event set to the music from "Dust to Glory".  The Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure was held on September 27th & 28th, 2008 was a blast-and-a-half!  SEE THE FUN!!!

In closing we present our 2009 event schedule including the annual Mojave Family Adventure in Ridgecrest California and dates for the 2009 Spring Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure.

In our previous issue of "Trail Tips" we took a look at some of the fun going on at the BMW Rider Training Course in Hechlingen Germany.  See below for our previous issues of "Trail Tips".

Family Off-Road Adventures is dedicated to supporting you in having a safe and memorable experience the next time you are out on two wheels!

Happy trails!

- Lawrence and Family


Honda CRF230L vs. Yamaha XT250:

"Lightweight Dual Sport Shoot-out"

Honda CRF230L


Learn the pros and cons of some of the newest entry level / beginner dual sport

Link to View Article



Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure

- See the FUN ! ! !

Yosemite Dual Sport


Click to view the video slide show of our Fall 2008 event in Buck Meadows, California.  This AMA Sanctioned event is a part of the BMW National Adventure Riding Series.


During this two day GPS based, self-guided dual sport event participants covered approximately 100 miles each day with options for hard and easy splits.  Family Off-Road Adventures provided lunch each day and an opportunity to win donated prizes during our raffle during the Saturday night dinner.

Video Slide Show


Upcoming Events:

The Mojave Family Adventure!

Mojave Adventure









Join our Family for a New Years Adventure!!!

Saturday January 3rd, 2009


The Mojave Family Adventure is an AMA Sanctioned off-road event for the whole family to enjoy!  Bring the kids, grand-kids and rest of your family to the Mojave Desert near Ridgecrest, California for an adventure with our family!  This one day, GPS based, self-guided off-road event visits scenic & historic areas of the beautiful Spangler Hills OHV area and the amazing Trona Pinnacles, covering a route of approximately 30 miles on 2-track dirt roads.  Get your New Years off to a good start by taking the family out for some trail time.  This family friendly event caters to all ages, all skill levels and all vehicles.



Yosemite Dual Sport


- Join the FUN!!!

Saturday & Sunday

May 3rd & 4th, 2009


The Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure is an AMA Sanctioned dual sport event held at the gateway to Yosemite National Park, Buck Meadows California.  This two day, GPS based, self-guided event includes scenic & historic destinations in and around Yosemite National Park using paved and unpaved roads and the option of hard and easy splits for approximately 100 miles of fun each day.  It's time to get your bike out of the garage, hit the road and show up for some FUN!!!  This event caters to ALL street legal dual sport & adventure bikes, whether it's a large adventure-touring machine or a small trail-bike.

For more information about these events or to register on-line please see our web site at:


Guides & Event Coordinators Wanted

Helping Cliets

Family Off-Road Adventures is seeking GUIDES and EVENT COORDINATORS in the United States.  If you are skilled in the use of computers & GPS, have expertise in a specific scenic and historic destination, can create routes and have a desire to plan events and lead clients & employees on memorable and SAFE adventures then we want to hear from you.

The qualified applicant is well organized, a "people person", knows the meaning of "servant leadership" and loves to ride.  If this is you then please contact us for more information about employment opportunities with Family Off-Road Adventures.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Trail Tips - September 2008 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 06:55


Dear Motorcycle Enthusiast,

Thanks for taking the time to read "Trail Tips" where we offer valuable information to make your next ride safe and memorable.

Proper method for picking up a motorcycle...

Pick a Bike

How to pick up a motorcycle

This short video gives great advice for picking up your bike and innovative ideas of getting help if you are riding alone.  Family Off-Road Adventures wants you to be safe and ride smart wherever your adventures may take you...


Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure

Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure

Join the fun!!!  Family Off-Road Adventures presents the 2008 Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure, a part of the AMA 2008 BMW National Adventure Riding Series.

This is a paved and unpaved, scenic and historical adventure held at the gateway to Yosemite National Park in Buck Meadows California on the weekend of September 27th & 28th, 2008.

As the Dual-Sport season comes to a close, what better time then now to get your bike out of the garage, hit the road and show up for some FUN!?  For more information or to register on-line please see our website at:


Guides & Event Coordinators Wanted

Guides HelpingFamily Off-Road Adventures is seeking GUIDES and EVENT COORDINATORS in all areas of the United States that are knowledgeable in computer and GPS, can create routes, plan events and lead clients and employees on memorable & SAFE adventures.  If you are well organized, a people person, know the meaning of "servant leadership" and love to ride then please feel free to contact us for more information about opportunities with Family Off-Road Adventures.


Please contact us with any questions regarding "Trail Tips".  The staff of Family Off-Road Adventures wishes you a safe, fun filled and memorable adventure.

Happy Trails,

Lawrence Borgens
Family Off Road Adventures

Trail Tips - April 2008 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Thursday, 10 April 2008 06:55


April 2008 - Spring is here and we’re heading for the hills!!!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing and MAN IS THE TRACTION GOOD!  It’s time to get the dual sport bikes out of the garage, dust them off, kick the tires, gas ‘em up and hit the trails!  What better way to kick off your 2008 riding season than attending the Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure?  This is the first event of AMA’s 2008 BMW National Adventure Riding Series.

Based out of Buck Meadows California, this event is a paved and unpaved, scenic, historical, street legal motorcycle event held at the gateway to Yosemite National Park, Buck Meadows California, in the Stanislaus National Forest. It’s time to get your bike out of the garage, hit the road and show up for some FUN!!!  This event caters to ALL dual sport & adventure bikes, whether it’s a large adventure-touring machine or a small trail-bike.

Please see our schedule page for more information and to sign up for the fun!

Happy Trails!

Trail Tips - December 2007 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Saturday, 08 December 2007 06:55

December 2007 – Getting Ready for the Desert!

Hello again!

Just a quick not to make sure that everyone knows about our up-coming desert ride and adventure on the week between Christmas and New Years.

For the past several years we have been camping at the “Wagon Wheel” staging area (also known as “Charlie’s Place”) and riding the Spangler Hills OHV area maintained by the BLM.  This year’s dates will be December Saturday December 29th 2007 through Friday January 4th, 2008.  If you are interesting in meeting up with our group for a ride or just to say “Hello!” then please drop me a line.

We are also revving up for our 2008 Adventure Season with the long-anticipated Yosemite Dual Sport Adventure!  On April 12th & 13th, 2008 we won’t be able to get the smiles off our face while we take a group of adventurous souls into the absolute best that California’s Yosemite Valley has to offer.  For details regarding this adventure please see our website.

Happy Trails!

Ride Report - October 2006 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Monday, 09 October 2006 06:55

10/09/06 - Ride Report, Baja GPS Event

Just a short note to let everyone know what a great trip that we had to Baja this past weekend.  My email blast For a "riding buddy" created not just a “riding buddy” but four other daring souls willing to take a quick trip down South and experience what Baja had to offer and new friendships that will last a lifetime.

We wasted no time getting on the road for the long drive South on Friday morning.  During the drive we visited, chatted and got to know each other better.  Lucien and I hit it off well and shared many common experiences.  Crossing the border at Tecate was the usual secondary inspection to see what’s in the big box trailer we were towing (5 dirt bikes!  What else?) and we arrived at Santa Veronica at about 7pm, just in time to pre-register and get some diner at the Hacienda’s bar / restaurant.  The food was exactly what I expected and I did not even need to look at the menu to know what I wanted.  YUM!  We checked into our rooms and got some rest for the next days ride.

The next morning we estimated that there were about 60 or so people entered in the event and we took care of breakfast, getting our GPS download with the routes, gearing up and unloading bikes in record time.  We were ready to RIDE!  There was a short class and a walking course to get people familiar with using a GPS to navigate a predetermined route and then we were off to the starting point under the big arch at the well maintained Hacienda’s gate.  Entrant’s got the choice of navigating a single track or a two track course and since the single track would take longer, due to slower expected speeds, riders taking the single track were allowed to leave first in numbered groups about 2 minutes apart.  This gave each group a chance to navigate themselves without just following someone else’s rear wheel and allowed the dust to settle before the next group came by.

After Lucien, Shannon and all the single track people had gone it was time for the 2-track riders to depart.  Although our course was about 65 miles our ride was expected to take only 3 – 4 hours due to higher speeds possible on the 2-track.  We were the 3rd group of 2-track riders to leave, Neil (KTM525), my mom Janet (CRF230) and I (XR-440).  The trail headed through the little dirt roads of the village of Santa Veronica passing the school and the bull-fighting ring on the way out of town.  Shortly after getting started Neil had a radio problem and headed back to the Hacienda then went on to ride around the area for the rest of the day while Janet & I continued on the 2-track route.

What can I say about the rest of the trail that day….?  I think Janet said it best, “It had a little of everything!” (said with a big smile on her face).  I’ve been to Santa Veronica and ridden the area several other times but Kacey Smith (Lizard Lady Publications: continues to serve up the best routes at her events.  Kacey’s dedication to opening new routes by her friendly and professional rapport with the local ranchers and property owners and her love for the people there is evident in every event she has done.  We all made it back safely that night and Neil, Lucien & Shannon had such a great time on the trail that, after returning, they went back out on the trail to get some more miles under their belt!

After getting our gear off and cleaning up we went to the restaurant for a great buffet diner.  Kacey was soon sitting on the bar in the front of the room thanking her awesome staff that helped put the event on and handing out TONS of goodies from her sponsors including GPS’s, mapping software, Fox riding boots, gift certificates, tubes, jersey’s, t-shirts, hats…  The list goes on.  Kacey made sure that EVERYONE left the event with something!  Afterwards we hung out, chatting, telling stories (bench racing) and meeting lots of old friends for the very first time.  Later I commented that some of the coolest people on the planet ride motorcycles…

The next day we slept in a little later but still got up early enough to enjoy the buffet breakfast laid out for us and get in an hour or so’s riding before loading up and heading home.  Getting across the border coming home was the same experience as always, long lines waiting to go through inspection then the usual secondary inspection to see what’s in the trailer…  The drive home was full of talking about our experiences, calling friends and family and telling them what they missed out on and in silent appreciation of the awesome experience that we were able to be a part of.

If you would like to enjoy an experience with family and friends (or with people that just seem like family) similar to the one that you have just read about then please contact me to learn more about joining us on one of our upcoming tours in California or Baja.  We are currently seeking people interested in accompanying us during a 10-day tour of Northern Baja during the SCORE Baja 1000 Off-Road Race from November 10th – 19th 2006.

Trail Tips - February 2005 in Baja Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Tuesday, 01 February 2005 06:55

02/01/05 - "Getting Ready for Baja!"

Hello friends.  Were getting ready to ride Baja!  The staff of Family Off-Road Adventures have been riding, traveling and exploring Baja for many years now but at the end of February we'll be taking our first annual adventure tour South of the border in conjunction with the 2005 SCORE San Felipe 250 Off-Road Race.

This adventure will consist of two separate but consecutive three day adventures.  Baja is a land of contrasts and these adventures will be no different as we'll ride from sea level to an altitude of over 10,000 feet into the pine forests and "High Sierra" of Baja then back to the crystal clear and pristine beaches and bays of the Gulf side of Baja.

Both adventures start and end in San Felipe, the first adventure will start on Saturday February 18th .  We'll ride through the Laguna Diablo to lunch in San Matias then on up to world famous Mike's Sky Ranch and meet our support truck for diner, a shower and a bed.  The next day we'll ride out to Melling Ranch for lunch then on up to the National Observatory perched on the pinnacle of the San Pedro Martir National Park.  After visiting the observatory we'll return to Mike's "the back way" for some more of Blanca's great cooking!  The next day we'll backtrack our way to San Felipe touching on some of the racecourse for the upcoming SCORE San Felipe 250.

Once we return to San Felipe that adventure has ended but there is still plenty of fun ahead for those who chose to GO BIG and stay for the second adventure and those just joining us.

Tuesday morning the next adventure will leave heading south from San Felipe.  Again we will touch on some of the race course on our way to a lunch and fuel stop with our support truck in Puertecitos.  After a hearty meal of hotdog's and soda at the famous "cow patty" we'll continue South along the Gulf side coast.  The rugged beauty of this coast is amazing.  After a full days ride we'll arrive in Gonzaga Bay for a seafood diner and a clean, comfortable room.  The next day we'll explore the Gonzaga Bay area and visit many local points of interests such as Coco 's Corner, the Oasis, Punta Final and Calamajue Mine then return back to Alfonsina's for diner.  The next day we ride back up the coast to our base hotel in San Felipe.

Now you would think the fun is really over.  But wait!  There's more!  Today is Thursday and all the fun and excitement of the race starts on Friday!  If you bought the full six day adventure or joined us for the second three day adventure then your hotel room for the race is included!  The price of these adventures is practically worth the hotel rooms alone!

If you've never been to one of these races you'll want to make a point of doing so soon!  The smell of high-octane exhaust along with the sound of race engines revving and mariachi bands playing in the setting of a marketplace festival fronting the beautiful Gulf of California in a foreign land is awesome to behold.  And this is just the tech inspection and contingency row!

The next day the bikes get an early start off the line for a short afternoon ride in the desert.  A little while later the 4-wheeled vehicles, lead by the trophy trucks, get off the line and launch into the desert.  The race is a 250 mile loop in the desert around San Felipe so it's all over within a few hours.  We will have the unique opportunity to watch the race from just about anywhere since we'll have our bikes, radios and support vehicle with us the whole time.  You have got to try this sometime, the only better way to watch a race is from a helicopter!

After the race is over we'll join in all the after race festivities then head back to our hotel room for our last night in Baja.  The next day will be Sunday and we're heading home.

If you can't join us this year then please consider joining us next year or perhaps on one of our upcoming California adventures.  The Dual Sport to Yosemite adventure will be at the end of April and will be a mix of adventure, history and scenic beauty that few have ever experienced.

Happy Trails!




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