The Desert 100 is well known in the Pacific Northwest for being the largest gathering of dirt bikes every year. The event has a long history and is unique for still using a “mass start” that involves nearly 1,000 riders thundering across the desert toward the first turn after the start is sounded by a cannon blast. Thousands of participants will ride poker runs on Saturday and compete in the desert race on Sunday but there is another aspect of this event that is lesser known.
The Dual Sport Poker Run is often overlooked by the hardcore dirt bike crowd but the wise dual-sport riders know that this route is the diamond in the Eastern Washington rough. The route is laid out over 110 miles of back-roads, farm tracks, and private trails. Many of the local land owners are motorcycle enthusiast and they open up their private trails once a year for this event only. The riding is a mix of sand and high desert sage brush with chances to rest on the gravel roads. With the cool temperatures in early April, conditions are often perfect on the weekend of the event.
The Dual Sport run is split up into 3 different stages that are open to all Dual Sport Riders:
- The “A” Loop. This most challenging portion of the dual sport route and is optional for all riders. The loop extends to the west of the Desert 100 site and covers 58 miles. The riding is aimed at street legal dirt bikes and there are 5 trail sections to ride before the route returns to the Desert 100 site. After completing this loop, riders should continue on to the “B” loop.
- The “B” Loop. This loop covers 56 miles and includes more unpaved road sections than the A loop. The loop extends north and east of the Desert 100 site into an off-road section in BLM land north of Odessa. After completing the BLM trails the route runs south into Odessa for lunch at the Rocky Coulee Brewery. After lunch the route continues south of Odessa for two more trail sections before returning to the Desert 100 site on the highway.
- The “ADV” Loop. This loop is set up for beginner riders on dual sport bikes of all sizes. This route will be distributed as GPS tracks only. The route is identical to the “B” loop but it bypasses the trail sections south of Odessa and returns to the Desert 100 site on the highway.
In addition to these 3 stages, the dual sport riders also have the opportunity to ride one lap of either the Iron Man or Family poker run course! These loops are not recommended for adventure bikes. If you plan to ride on the Iron Man or Family course be sure to start your day early because this course closes at 1:30 pm.
Finding your way along these routes will be easier than ever this year thanks to GPS tracks! When you sign up for the event, you will be issued a 2” wide roll chart with enduro style directions, or you can load your GPS with tracks at the event site. Rally racing enthusiasts with 6” format roadbook holders who bring their bike by the Touratech-USA booth can also pick up a rally style roadbook for the event! The roadbooks were created with Rally Navigator and offer riders the chance to live their Dakar dream.
Click HERE to view the Desert 100 flyer or register for the event.