Dirt Bikes have challenged me my entire life. They have helped me learn how to dig deep, finding untapped energy and grit, when I thought I reached my limit. It wasn’t until the 2021 Shady Burro trip that I started actively chasing these moments that test my character. This search for adventure, for another chance to test and push myself, is what propelled me to drive across the country to Colorado for the third time this year. I was on my way to meet up with Morgan again, this time for his annual DEATHMARCH☠️🥁 ride in Taylor Park.
What is the DEATHMARCH☠️🥁?
The DEATHMARCH☠️🥁 is a dirt bike ride that was brought to fruition by Morgan from Highland Cycles. From what I gather, it wasn’t created on purpose, but by accident when a ride in Taylor Park went awry. Since that first journey on rough single track 15 years ago, Morgan has been revisiting the roughest Taylor Park trails every year on his birthday weekend. They start at 7am, and finish when they finish. This year they rode 180 miles of Taylor Park single track, ending 13 hours after getting started.
If you haven’t ridden in Taylor Park, you may not understand what “the roughest single track” means. Though the years haven’t been kind to all of the trails in the Taylor Park Reservoir area, there are still some hidden gems. They are hidden gems because the vast majority of dirt bikers don’t want to bounce, crawl, and sometimes push their way through a ride. The riders with Morgan though, that’s what they live for. This was the crew that I needed to join, a group of riding buddies that don’t care about speed, they care about technical trail riding and high levels of stoke!
Driving 850 Miles to Ride for One Day
As you’ve seen from my other trips west this year, riding in Montrose and racing the 2022 Shady Burro Enduro, it’s not a quick jaunt to our neighboring state. It’s a draining drive across the vast State of Texas, a quick cut through New Mexico, and then a slow meander along Colorado scenic highways and mountain towns to get to Taylor Park Reservoir. It took me 15 hours to drive the 850 miles, a drive that wore on me more than I thought it would.
The video does a great job summing up the ride itself. I tried to touch on the mental side of how fried I was from the drive, but it was tough to capture. There is this unspoken thought that as humans we can always push through, that we shouldn’t give ourselves time to mentally reset. What I am learning as I undertake more misogi-type trips, is that I need to use these treks, including the travel time, to reset. That’s a hard thing to do when time is of the essence, but awareness to that intention is where it starts.
The intent is to not treat the drive as a means to an end anymore. The drive to Colorado, or wherever a future riding trip awaits, is part of the adventure. Travel time used to be treated as something to be completed as fast as possible. Bathroom breaks were for the weak, we have coffee cups to pee in. Coolers held drinks and snacks, we didn’t need to stop for lunch. Crap, we’re almost out of gas; pee while we’re filling up because we’re leaving in four minutes. I’m trying to adjust my thinking so the time it takes to get to our destination is still part of the adventure. It adds to the memories, and the enjoyment, of traveling across the country.
850 Miles Back Home
Since the Sherco didn’t make the entirety of the DEATHMARCH☠️🥁, my voyage home started earlier than expected. As soon as I had cell service, I made two separate calls. One was to my wife, and one was to my friend Geoffrey Fryer. A lot of negative self-talk surfaced for me during the 7-8 hours I was on the bike with Morgan and crew. I knew I didn’t want to stew on those thoughts for the entirety of the drive home. Those post-ride chats brought a lot out into the open for me to think about, and I’m very thankful for these friends and family in my life.
I don’t know what trip is next for me. Liam and I have been riding together more, enjoying Spider Mountain and Bentonville recently. Norah is still killing it on her Torrot, though she’s not as avid as Liam is about getting seat time. Due to a lack of vacation time, I can’t attend the Tecate Enduro like I had hoped I could. I think it’s time to settle in a bit for the end of the year. I’ll make some more Seat Time videos, work on the Sherco, keep getting the kids out riding, and just spend time being thankful for everything Seat Time has given me.
What is next for you?
In what ways can you push yourself just a little bit more than you typically do? How can you get out of your comfort zone? What riding trips do you have planned? Are you already looking forward to 2023? If this spawned any thoughts, feelings, or ideas for you, reach out and let us know. Enjoy #GettingSeattime!
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