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Seattle, WA

Adventure seekers from Washington and California who are inspired by mother nature's playground. Our goal is get out from behind the desk and experience as much of it as possible. Camp, van, bike, board, dirt, snow, coast, - life. WAE is curated collection of our travels, ideas and experiences. 

Journal

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Into the valley

Michael Dorian Bach

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Literally saving up pennies for the trip. No real plans in mind except heading east towards the central mountain ranges.

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Southern California is a motorcyclist's playground. Endless mountain roads with optimal riding weather. We're taking advantage of the infamous Angeles Crest Highway which takes you through Los Angeles and out through the San Bernardino mountains. 

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Mr. Pham refuses to join modern society and insist on keeping it ol' school with no cell phone and no GPS. This is what happens when you're trying to use paper and a map in modern times. He's too proud to admit that we're lost. 

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Adventuring in the dead of winter was not the brightest of ideas. Lucky for us, we stumbled across this "Dinersaur" park which treated us to a warm chair and country style eating.  

Home life for the next 7 days. 

This was the maiden voyage for our newest addition to the garage - BMW F800 GS Adventure. We broke her in right with an on the dot 800 mile oil change in the parking lot of a Denny's. Yeah, we carried a complete oil changing kit including an oil pan and couple quarts of oil for 800 miles. 

The desert is a beautiful place. Such a stark contrast to what we usually see up here in the Pacific Northwest. Things just feel so much more vast and expansive. There is a clarity and simplicity in the landscape.  We walked and road across places that was below sea level. 

So much to see. So much to do. So little time. For a moment though, things stood still and we just soaked it all in. 

This is what adventuring is all about. Meeting awesome and friendly people. We ended up running into a guy named Dylan. Dylan was on a 5 month solo ride touring the states. He started in the dead of winter in Connecticut and was heading south west to warmer climates. In a desert camp site filled with RV's and us as the only riders, we stumbled across Dylan. A lone rider looking for a place to stay. We joined forces and shared a site. Dylan with no agenda decides to join us. One night became a week. Dylan eventually made it back to Los Angeles with us where we showed him life in the big city. He even made a solo trip back up the coast of California to Seattle. Dylan is a badass. We are making plans for something even bigger. 

This picnic table actually made a wonderful bed with a perfect view of the stars. Note - only Dylan and I were rad enough to sleep outside. An did not appreciate the comforts of the stars and regulated to his tent. You know who the badasses are in this group.

A story of a BMW and a Ducati who traveled together deep into the desert and met another lone BMW and the rest is history. 

The Ducati Multistrada did surprisingly well in desert sand conditions. Smooth throttle control and keeping your finger off the front brake was all that was needed. 

Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley was like Mars. Completely from another planet. A planet without water and devoid of life. It is massive. We ended up meeting a NASA research scientist who has spent a better part of her life studying this place and getting a personal science lesson on the creation and its relevance in the natural world. 

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Somewhere in the Sierra mountain ranges. Ice sludge is what we call it. Don't step in it as it's like glue. 

This was by far the scariest part of the trip. We were headed to San Francisco through the Sierras when we were caught in a massive snow storm. We rode up and down the east side of the Sierra's looking for road across to the west. Every single road looked like this. It was ice. We took our chances but eventually hit a point where not even DOT vehicles dare to go through. They told us we were crazy and that there's at least 70 miles of these conditions before hitting the west. So we turned around. Great thing we did because we ended up staying at a local motel where we became personal friends with the owner. We stayed up all night listening to him tell stories about the local folklore of the Sierra's in front of a massive fire. 

Change of scenery. Living it up in Reno California and taking advantage of the week night specials. Hot shower, room service, slot machines and breakfast buffets all for $79.99.

The great city of San Francisco. 

Along the coast. It's still one of the most beautiful roads on the west coast. 

Destination Los Angeles. 

Collection of panoramic photos taken with an iPhone 5.  

Small world after all

Michael Dorian Bach

All you need is the right mix of people, pressure and friendly competition
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What was suppose to be an impromptu Whistler trip between Dave and I became a trip for the books when we met a group of riders that really proved that the world is small.

Dave and I were on our fifth lap of the day when Dave noticed a familiar face. “I totally know that guy. He looks just like the guy I met last year on a kayaking trip. We totally clicked and I remember he told me he rides downhill and lives in Seattle. No way, that can’t be him.” And that was that.

We were in the back of the line on the lift and he was just about to get on with a couple of riders. Dave and I decided to drop into Dirt Merchant. Of all the trails in the park to ride, that very moment we decide on that trail. Dave was following me. Half way down we noticed a guy stopped on the side of the trail watching his buddies hit the big step-up. Dave catches on and slams on his brakes and gets off the trail. They exchange some words. “Remember me”? “Oh **** hey!” “Small world!” “It’s Vern!” and the rest is history. We met Vern, Joshua, Jake and Chris.

And with that, the course of our trip totally changed. In the short 3 days, we made a new group of friends that pushed our riding forward – further than we thought possible. Sometimes all you need is the right mix of people, pressure and friendly competition. “You got this. It’s at your level” and “Just follow me, keep the same speed and you’ll be fine” became common phrases. We were reminded of why we all love this so called sport – the people and the passion, and we learned that age aint’ nothing but a number. Things don’t have to go downhill except your bike. It was a trip for the books and we can’t wait to write some more with our new friends.

And guys, you’re welcome for introducing you to “The Furniture Warehouse” – The best 5 dollar meal you’ll ever have.

Dave and Jake showing us how it’s done on the big double at the end of Dirt Merchant. Make no mistake, this thing is huge.

The famous A-Line rock drop

 

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Jake is my (Michael) new jumping coach. Sending it on the “little” bike.

Fade to Black. Conquered.

“Dwayne Johnson – The Rock”. It’s hard to capture this drop with photos. The size and scope. It’s a fully pinned, hands off the brake type of drop. Jake again showing us how it’s done with 160mm

 

An annual affair

Michael Dorian Bach

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What is now an annual affair, we once again headed north to Whistler, British Columbia. Justin and Derek made their pilgramage up from Southern California. We met in Seattle, loaded up the gear and bikes and 4 hours later we’re in the mecca of mountain culture.

As always, to maximize our riding time and save a nights stay, we were out the door by 4 in the morning. More importantly, we learned a gem of a life secret from Derek – Jack-In-Box egg rolls in the morning gives you wings. And they taste good too.

“Today we’re feeling like gold, five hundred thousand sold Slick Rick Gold, rope on, hella cold” Something about gold on suspension parts makes a boy happy. Justin and I had new equipment to try out. First runs. This place chews up bikes and spits them out. Luckily we’re covered in gold. Results – That 2013 Marzocchi 888 is hella gold and hella plush.

Right as you pull up to the day parking lots, you’re treated with this. One glance and you know you’re somewhere special. Even before making it to the official bike park, you have access to a free to use public play area full of dirt jumps. As Justin gets out to stretch, the smile on his face foretells the entire trip.

This is what happens when your music selection is limited by what’s downloaded on Spotify due to the lack of mobile internet when you’re in international territories. JT bumping all day everyday. He is one smooth motherf*cker. Now only if we can ride as smooth as JT swags.

Justin flying high in his spaceship coupe on the rock wall on Blue Velvet.

Pop shot off of the rock sender on Blue Velvet. Rider: Michael Photo: Justin

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“I gotta testify, come up in the spot looking extra fly. For the day I die, I’mma touch the sky.” Rider: Michael Photo: Justin

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Derek had a pretty hard crash at the beginning of the day on our last day in Whistler. He landed flat off of the big drop on Blue Velvet and essentially exploded. When we got to him, we found the bike about 20 feet away in a grass ditch on the side of the mountain. At first glance he looked and felt fine. The body armor did its job. But the impact was so hard that he bruised his entire arm under the elbow guards. Check out that hematoma. It’s bigger in real life. It sucked because that morning Derek was riding better than ever.

Short review of the Trek Session 9.9. Love. Long one coming soon.

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Beautiful British Columbia is written on every license plate we saw. And without exaggeration, they’re not lying. This place is one of the most scenic places on earth. From the green glacier lakes and rivers to the majestic snow capped mountains, we can’t get enough. We’re now back firmly in reality and counting the days until next summer until we can do it all over again.