The 12th Annual, 2003 Black Dog AMA/Suzuki National Dualsport Ride!

By Tom Niemela

“Are you here for the dualsport ride?” I asked, as this guy came walking up to my truck.  I noticed his dualsport bike on the back of his RV and assumed he was at the Mt. Hood Village campground early for the ride.  You see, me and my compadres always stay there the week prior to set the event up, so I figured this guy was on vacation and just here early too.  He looked at me with a somewhat blank stare.

            “What dualsport ride?” he said with a confused look.  “I saw the dualsport bike in the back of your truck and just thought I’d ask if there’s anywhere around here to ride”. 

            “Man, have I got a surprise for you!” I exclaimed and commenced to tell him all about the Black Dog Ride and what we were doing.  His eyes got bigger along with his grin.  I had met a new friend in Herb Howe from Massachusetts and he wanted to go ride with us - a big score for both of us.

            So all week Dan, Randy, Milo and I showed Herb the ropes on dualsporting on Mt. Hood.  Throughout the week we worked on trails, had to tow Rocket Rick’s bike out due to a sheared woodruff key on his WR450 and the usual exploring and getting lost.

            On Friday night was the usual night ride up to Multipor Ski Bowl and then everyone met at the lounge.  What a great time with like minds!  The weather was perfect and the mosquitoes were hungry as usual at the top while Tyler Maddox did his awesome photo stops.  Even Bobby Lanphere Jr. and famous flat-tracker Micky Fay showed up. 

            Steve Claus from showed up with Milo to help out and he spent most of the weekend working on his supermoto’d Yamaha.  He also assisted me on a late-night excursion to Portland for a 24-hour Kinko’s, as the one in Gresham was no longer open all night.  By the time we got back it was 3:30am Saturday morning – ugh. 

            Saturday’s signup had Laura Claypoole doing her usual supreme organization to get the riders through quickly and onto the first checkpoint test.  This day’s route went over to High Rock, through Abbott Road to Promontory Point for lunch at the store.  This was a great stop next to the water with scrumptious chow.  On the way back, Vernon Wade lost the clutch in his Triumph sidecar rig and had to be towed out – bummer!  (Many thanks to Vernon and Amy Holmes for the use of their huge trailer!)  Vern plans on being back in ’04 with a vengeance!  Mike Lake was the first rider in (no surprise) as the rest of the riders trickled in also.  Joe and Julie Barrell fired up a yummy spaghetti feed for the night’s dinner.  That night everyone sat around the campfires and visited, played guitars and chilled.  It even rained a small amount to settle the dust. 

            Sunday’s ride started out with just a skiff of rain, which was actually a treat.  The course went over the old Barlow Road a bit, then made its way to Mt. Hood Store for lunch.  Many folks worked up quite an appetite getting up Bald Butte.  After lunch everyone came back Lolo Pass, suffered through the rocky powerline downhill and culminated with a huge creek crossing before finishing the ride.  Poor Lorni Jarmie took in some water and went for quite the swim.  Maddox Photography was on hand for the crossing and got his usual Kodak Moments. 

            At the finish, the Sunday-only awards were handed out, then the two-day awards.  Lorni received a custom “Ground Hugger Award” photo of her submerged XR250 through the creek.  Plenty of prizes were handed out thanks to the sponsors, specifically Beaverton Honda-Yamaha (Thanks Bobby!), plus Affordable Trophies, Clarke Plastics, Moose Off-Road, and  The $300 cash prize was handed out to an elated Mike Arnold. 

            Once the awards were all done, 11 pizzas were ordered and we all sat around the campfire and watched Doug Bragg’s helmet-cam videos.  Great stuff, Doug!  Hope to see you all again on July 10~11, 2004!  Be sure to check us out on the internet at: