Thursday, December 14, 2017
WLF Enduro Stumble Bee 2017
Getting out and riding with your friends is half the fun of riding dirt bikes. Being able to rip the trails with a group of like-minded people, from all different backgrounds is what the WLF Enduro Stumble Bee is all about. The WLF Enduro Crew has been making this a tradition for the last 13 years and knew it like the back of their hands. As the trip unfolded, it became clear where the ride got its name. Blasting through 200+ miles of trails and rough terrain, it is almost guaranteed you will stumble - but with support from the pack, we all go #FurtherTogether.
(Denny’s rider meeting)
On Saturday morning, we all convened at the local Denny’s in Glen Helen to have a little breakfast for the long travels ahead. The BD Tundra and The Den (WLF's retired military trailer) were standing by, ready to be loaded up with any support and camping gear. After a quick rider's meeting it was time to gear up and brace for the storm of the Stumble Bee.
The 200+ mile ride begins in Glen Helen, kicking off with some gnarly trails at the base of the San Bernadino National Forest. With all the riders having varying experience, everyone fell into cliques and rode at their own pace. The trail leaving Glen Helen lead up into Silverwood, and the weather couldn’t have been better! With the amount of riders that we had on the trail, if you weren’t in front, you were chasing a dust storm. Most of the riders kept their lights on for a little daytime safety.
(Trail up to Silverwood)
The ride begins on a forest service road, where it was required you have a street legal vehicle. After going up the initial fire road through the San Bernardino mountain range, the riders were faced with a change in scenery and pace. They jumped on the highway and headed past Lake Arrowhead, towards Big Bear. All the while, the BD Tundra was paralleling the riders on the road just in case any difficulties were to arise.
Periodically, the ride would pause and everyone would swarm up like bees while waiting for any stragglers. It's important to keep the pack together. After some spills and stumbles, a faulty starter, a few flat tires, and miles of rigorous terrain, the group had landed in Big Bear to get some cold weather gear out of the chase vehicle and warm up with some pizza and beers. After dinner we were looking to get to the camp site as soon as we could. The temperature was around 40 degrees fahrenheit and the wind chill factor was not helping the situation. We had one more tube to change before facing the chilly night. Luckily, it turns out that shopping carts make a great bike stand.
While most riders were more than happy with our various Headlight Kits, some were running different light setups that catered to their style of riding. Above, Culver shows off our Universal Squadron Pro Kit with two S2 Sports added in for a bit of extra cornering light. Since his bike's charging system had some extra output, he opted to go with the extra lights for additional visibility on the trail, as well as the option to swivel them out for scene lighting when stopped.
A few more hours has passed, and finally the pack made its way into Johnson Valley. Home for the night was a decades old homestead owned by a couple core WLF pack members. The property had been in the family since the 1900s and was purchased from the US government for about $25 - the only stipulation being that they had to build a cabin on the land. In recent years, this land has served as a hub for the riders in the family. A perfect location to start a ride, end a ride, or take a break with a couple beers and stories around the fire. The BD Tundra and WLF Den were there waiting, scene light already in place, thanks to the Baja Designs Angled Squadron Flush Mounts.
After a one night stay at the Johnson Valley homestead, it is back up into the hills via Rattlesnake Canyon and then back to Glen Helen. The 100 mile return journey was not without its stumbles and surprises. However, at the end of the weekend, there were no serious injuries and only one bike had to get hauled out by the support vehicles. Two days, 200+ miles, a bunch of new friends, and memories to last a lifetime, this is was a trip for the books.
Huge thank you to all of the WLF members that coordinated the trip!
PHOTOGRAPHY WLF Enduro / Blog Post - Luke Reardon at Baja Designs