Deschutes Freedom Rip
The sun’s been out and the Northwest’s snow has melted which meant it was time for me to make my annual birthday trip to Bend, Oregon. Typically my roadrig is packed with a banjo, some cameras and my BMX bike but this year I opted out of the 20” for larger wheels and a big ol’ motor. The choice was suiting as I was planning to meet up with Dave Reuss who moved to Oregon some years ago and became an obsessed motor head, stockpiling his garage with dirbikes, snowmobiles, saws and whatever else lets out a screaming wale.
Some months prior I bought an xr600 and set it up with a 5 gal tank, 1 gal pannier and some racks for moto camping. In the previous months I urged Dave to equip his bike the same for this planned trip. But, of course when I showed up to his house his bike was still setup for nimble single track woods ripping. With his moding skill and efforts the dawn of the next morning revealed his bike setup with a rack, holding a 2 gal lawnmower tank, some dog saddle bags mounted under his seat and a backpack full of camp gear. A little sketchy but dialed non the less.
With each of our bikes strapped down with 35 lbs of gas and 25 lbs of food and gear we set out into the Deschutes wilderness. The weight was mostly on the back wheel and it felt like the bike was doing a constant wheelie with the front tire floating and the back tire fishtailing through the dried out dirt. Before even getting comfortable with the weight my bike started pissing out gas. After fully dissembling the carb and a rope pulled bumpstart we were back on the dirt road. We traveled through tight single track, fresh log roads and snow covered lava rock while fishing the lakes and exploring the back country. Once we figured out how to ride with the weight and with each other we were ripping through the woods, side by side, enjoying Oregon’s many amenities.