A change in elevation means a change
in temperature. Here, in August, BIG DOG entrants were riding
in fresh snow in the morning, 100-degree heat in the desert that
Each year an entrant can expect to ride between 800-1,200 miles on the BIG DOG RIDE over some of the highest, toughest mountain passes in the Rocky Mountain range, sometimes reaching 14,000 feet above sea level. Rain, snow and sleet can be encountered in August, as well as 100-degree heat. The BIG DOG RIDE has been to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Riders often make numerous crossings of the Continental Divide, sometimes fording swollen streams, and riding over snow fields and shale cliffs. It is not unusual for a rider to be in a single-track path no wider than 24 inches, with a drop-off of 1,000 feet on one side and a sheer rock cliff on the other.
Crossing a deep stream can sometime
result in a stalled engine if the water is too deep, which means
putting down both feet in the ice cold water. One BIG DOG wisely
enters each year wearing tennis shoes. He claims this lets him
keep riding when wet instead of stopping to empty water filled
motocross boots as the tennis shoes dry out from the air moving
by as he races over the mountains.
The BIG DOG RIDE is not for the meek, mild or poseur adventure rider. It is dangerous, and fun. BIG DOG riders can be heard laughing from mountain tops at the start of the event to the finish, as well as from and to their homes, often as far away as Vermont, Florida, Canada and California.
Generally, participants ride their motorcycles to the event where they off-load luggage, saddle and tank bags, and unbolt windshields. Sometimes these are carried to the event motel base by truck or trailer supplied by the organizers, leaving the BIG DOGS free of the encumbering weight each day as they ride over treacherous mountain passes.
Each entrant is responsible for the maintenance and repair of their own motorcycles. As different routes are taken by various groups of riders, check-in by the riders at the end of each riding day is mandatory to insure all riders have completed each stage.
There is an entry fee for the event which often includes two nights of sponsored dinners, with the world famous "all you can eat" 2-inch thick BIG DOG T-bone steak dinner on Saturday night. One evening usually includes participant multi-media presentations by entrants who share some of their global adventures with those present.
A BIG DOG woofs down his 2 inch
thick steak at the annual BIG DOG Saturday night banquet.
The party is over - the Big Dog Ride is nevermore.
The BIG DOG RIDE can be contacted at:
Great American Motorcycle Adventures, Inc
P.O. Box 1598
Englewood, CO 80150-1598 USA
Please do not expect an immediate response when you contact us, as there
is a high probability that we will be riding our GS motorcycles when you
do, somewhere on the globe.