Yankee Beemers' Pemi River "GS Ride" 2021 - Issue #17


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Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
Yankee Beemers' Pemi River "GS Ride" 2021 - Issue #17
By Adam Chandler • Issue #17 • View online
Five years ago, I attended my first motorcycle rally and it was the YBer’s Pemi River Rally in June of 2016. Amazing to think that in June of 2021, not only am I still attending the rally but I’m leading a ride! Five years isn’t that long ago. I feel pretty lucky.

Duncan is the Yankee Beemers President and he approached me a month ago asking if I would design an off road ride for GS bikes. I of course said yes and I started thinking of a few roads in that area worth riding. I put together an initial ride based on some day trips in the Rumney New Hampshire area and built the route in Garmin Basecamp which always runs hilariously slow on my Core i9 iMac with 16 cores and 96 gigabytes of RAM. I went out a week later with friends during the peak of mud-season and ran a few of the roads as a group. It was a blast…a very wet and sloppy blast.
The day before the rally and Duncan emailed me and asked, “is 20 people too many?” I told him we’d need at least another rider on sweep to stay behind if there was a health or mechanical issue that had to be attended with. He found another person for me and I started thinking of parts of the route we could cut if needed.
Luckily, Saturday rolls around and I get into position and there were only 10 bikes. then two went off to breakfast and said they’d catch us later and 2 more decided to run a different route (the Northeast BDR section nearest to the camp site) so we were down to just 6 riders, myself included. PERFECT.
This did mean we were ahead of schedule the entire day and I had to add a couple of extra roads (bad idea) and we took a bit longer at the touristy spots. In my opinion, the ride was a blast and, because I like to learn and improve my skills and my place in this community, I learned a valuable lesson…one that I knew but never skirted so far to reality that it ever bit me in the butt.
This was my ride. I designed it, pre-rode it twice and was leading it. A member on a CRF250L was a great guy and excitable like me and he saw we were ahead of schedule and offered to take us on a few extra roads. These are roads I had never been on before. Anytime a 250CC single cylinder thumper wants to take you on a ride, you check yourself, your bike and your tires and make sure you’re up for the task. I was up for the task but Vlad, one of our riders who I only just met Saturday was not. I did throw out the disclaimer…“we’re going to end up here and you can meet us there OR you can follow us” 4 of the 6 followed us down a snow mobile trail that was not on the map, nor was it named and it was a mud-pit. We’re VERY lucky that the trail didn’t dead end. Seriously, had it dead-ended we would have been on that mountain face all day spinning our wheels and likely would have needed a 4x4 recovery service to get out. We were going down hill and no way to get back up if it it was a dead end. Vlad dropped his bike twice and while he didn’t call me any names, he was very unhappy. It was the first time he had dropped his GS, he had 80/20 tires like me and was unhappy and annoyed. I feel VERY bad about it. I spoke to him later and he was cold and dismissive and I knew he had a bad time and didn’t deserve to be put through that.
The lesson I learned was to always ride your route and always ride roads appropriate to your group. I’m sure the 250CC rider was bored but this was marketed as a 50/50 on and off road ride for GS bikes and no knobbies required and I diverted from that. We never should have taken that extra part of the ride and it’s my fault.
Overall, it was a sense of pride for me to be leading a ride at the same rally that I first attended 5 years ago. A few people thanked me for volunteering for the national board for the BMW MOA and I got to see some people I haven’t chatted with in a while. Oh and I got to see a Harley Davidson Pan America in person for the first time. Pretty bike, VERY GS like in the lines & proportions and I’m sure it’ll sell very well to the 99% on-road crowd. It’s not clear how the bike will survive when treated like a dual sport.
Here’s a video of our day including the treacherous snowmobile trails:
Ride Vlog: A "GS Ride" at the Yankee Beemers' Pemi River Rally 2021
Ride Vlog: A "GS Ride" at the Yankee Beemers' Pemi River Rally 2021
This is my day of riding thanks to Rever’s RLink service I subscribe to:
…and a few more photos:
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Adam Chandler

These are my ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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