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Letters to the Editor

Our mature, thoughtful and collegial responses to select reader correspondence*.

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:     Po-Po

Turbo  For those of you who don't know Turbo recently ascended to the great alfalfa pasture in the sky. He will be missed. Fortunately he groomed a replacement - Napoleon Dynamite - known around the motorcycle, goat and llama orchard as "Baby Po-Po." Po-Po is now answering all of our email. It should be a seamless transition since Po-Po is another even-toed ungulate with the same snark, same number of cloven hooves and even the same type of poop. He's just bigger and even more pissed off.

For the time being he's using Turbo's email addy but he'll get his own as soon as we get him his Gmail certification. 

Via the Interwebs

Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah,wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, Hackworth Hunger Games, wah, wah wah, you gypped us, wah, wah...

Pissed off in Eastern Idaho

Dear PO'ed,

I triple dog dare you or anyone else to show your face around here again after you drink our PBR, look blankly at us while we try to explain what's required to finish a "Tour" and waste several hours of time that we invested in you (that cost you nothing) in a vain attempt to get you on the right path - and then whine all over the Interwebs when things don't go your way principally because you are a bunch of knuckleheads. 

I triple dog dare you or anyone else to hassle us about the time it takes me to examine the tracks that you send us, multiple times, that aren't tracks. Seven times over the course of a month, same thing everytime. Kind of like watching a hamster run on a treadmill thinking that it might eventually get somewhere if it just keeps going. 

Exactly who the hell do you think you are "demanding" anything from us? When you send us what we ask for the first, second or even third time we get to them fast (most teams have verification within an hour). After that you can wait. And if you can't produce what everyone else did who finished the Tour that's on you and not on us. 

You have a lot of moxie pissing moaning and complaining about anything after you wasted hours of our time because three knuckleheads could not produce one track between them. Not one. Not even close. That's not your gps unit's fault either. That's a clear case of pilot error. 

Ho, ho, ho


Via the Interwebs

I see that even though you play favorites your golden boys are having trouble and won't finish no matter how much you bend the rules for them.  You are the biggest asshole I've ever met.  FU!

Lonely in Colorado

Dear Lonely, 

Two items. First - for some reason the several hours you spent sitting in one of my chairs drinking my beers while I tried to go over the route with you did absolutely no good - possibly because you did none of the navigation planning on your own (instead relying on the partner you browbeat into abandoning the ride because he couldn't keep up). I warned you that the tracks you were using were dated and incorrect but as you said "my way is silly." Well, so is skipping 25 miles of single track because you are unable to interpret a trail sign.

You should have taken me up on my offer to give you a ride back to Colorado after you had an opportunity to explore the Tour for a few days on your own and figure out what it takes to navigate. That's really all that stood between you and potential success. All of that sounds to me like a "you" problem.

Second -  we do everything that we can to get folks through including cutting them some slack for things that don't matter - like taking a more difficult trail for a few miles by mistake. What we don't tolerate is using the private emergency number that we provided to you and others to leave curse-filled rants and insulting text messages because you came up short. Again, all of that sounds like a "you" problem.

Good luck catfishing for your next riding partner.

Best Regards,


Via phone conversation

I believe that I have earned every right to be a part of the planning process for next year's Tour of Idaho. I don't know how to put this but I think that I can do a better job than you. Your professorial attitude is a turn-off to most people and gets in the way. If you do not put me on the steering committee I might just have to make my own Tour. I have sponsors and I believe that I can make my Tour better than your Tour.

Snoop Dog

Dear Dog, 

Knock yourself out. I wish you success. Really! Because if you do succeed you get to discover what it's like to deal with people just like you. I can't think of a more perfect denuoment. 

Best Regards,


Via text message

Yeah, we're done - thanks to your bogus route description. We've made other arrangements for our shuttle so you can just turn around now wherever you are and go back. Your route sucks and you suck even more. In climbing world you'd be known as a thin-skinned sandbagging a$$hole and you can take your Tour of Idaho, your hillbilly website buddies and all of y'alls bull$hit rules and shove it up your a$$es. 

team binky

Dear Team Binky, 

I'm sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your time in Idaho during the summer of 2015. I know that it's a long way from centers of dirt bike excellence like coastal South Carolina and downtown Seattle (also locales known to be chock full 'o hipsters) and I regret that you were unable to complete the Tour of Idaho. I am also sorry that three months of correspondence failed to dissuade you from attempting the Tour in early July before the route was fully sawed and explored for the season. I'm sorry that we could not dissuade you from relying solely on the Gaia app on your iPads for navigation and I'm sorry that you disregarded nearly all of our advice on packing, planning and riding. I'm sorry that you chose to use your day off in Pocatello for lattes, mani-pedis and manscaping instead of more bike prep and map study. 

Yeah, I know, we should have tried harder to reach out to you. Perhaps even ridden sweep behind you to make sure that nothing bad or scary or uncomfortable happened since you came such a long way and tried so hard. My sincerest apologies. 

I ran into the FS trail workers who found you wandering around the wilds of D7 and prevented you from eating yourselves to survive a day or so after they guided you out of the woods. They thought your iPads were really awesome, btw, but wondered if you had an app on them that could make up for complete backwoods incompetence - and if so why you didn't use it. 

One thing I've learned from watching Martin raise his boys is that when they start whining there's something called a binky that he sticks in their mouths that seems to calm the little rascals right down. Martin says the best ones are made by Nuk, and you can get them right here. I think that you need to order up the large sampler pack and figure out which one works the best. Put on a plaid shirt and a man bun and I doubt that anyone will even think much of it - especially where you boys are from. And you'll fit in with a lot of people who can't do the Tour. 

I hope you feel better.

Best Regards,


PS - Thanks also for ruining Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, hipster scum.

Via Snowandmud.com, a critique of our feature, Getting What You Bargained For.

Don't believe everything you read. No reliable source from the writer or anything cited. Just a bunch of BS.The North Face does not support the closure of motorized recreation. If any of you ski or snowboard you would be familiar with a large scale film company called Teton Gravity Research (TGR). Of note is that the title sponsor is TNF. For the most part a good portion of their movie is heli and snowmobile skiing of which most of there athletes are on sleds, are known TNF athletes and are visible in the films wearing TNF and sled skiing the coast. They promote this film, they promote their athletes and they promote their lifestyles.You think if they were against motorized recreation that they would not partner with these athletes or this film company. Just because some guy started a blog and wrote some uncited **** on the internet does not mean it is true....


Yo, Sparky, 

Though I doubt that it will do the least bit of good, let me make it easy for you. Evidently you managed to overlook this http://www.conservationalliance.com/about and this http://www.conservationalliance.com/stories/show/81 in the piece - a piece, by the way, that was thoroughly cited. You can lead a goat to water, but you can't make him drink. Or, to avoid an aphorism which is likely to go right over your head: You can lead a chucklehead to the Internet, but you can't make him read.

Now - my turn to opine. Is "teamdirt" some sort of green cipher for "team-industry-shill-dirt...bag?" After all, this is you, correct? So, exactly how was "Scoring with your mum?" Duuuude, I'm a goat, and even I know that ain't right.

Best Regards,


Via ADVrider

Hello. Do you have any Tour of Idaho Challenge stickers available? I completed the Tour of Idaho Challenge last summer following BigDog's route all the way from Mexico to Canada. I heard that you give out stickers for this and I'd like a few for my toolboxes and panniers. It was a great ride with awesome scenery and it was the best dual sport ride I've ever done. Don't know what the fuss about dual sports is though. It was pretty casual most of the way. Thanks.

THX 1138

Dear THX 0X472,

I believe that you are confused. Since you seem a well-mannered and polite fellow, I'll let you down easy. There is no delicate, sensitive or diplomatic way to put this, so, straight up, you came about as close to completing the Tour of Idaho Challenge last summer, following BigDog's tracks, as I did to pooping alfalfa turds on the surface of the Moon. Honest and no lie. And that's not even the bottom of the well. H
ad you followed the Tour of Idaho Challenge waypoints for the first day, available on our website for free, you'd have encountered the Tour mailbox near the end of D1 chock full of stickers for your toolbox, panniers and the cover of the case containing the CD you purchased from BigDog that did not contain the right stuff.

Nothing against BigDog. He's a real good guy and we all like him. He's a tremendously dedicated rider too. But BigDog has never completed the Tour of Idaho. He's cobbled together bits and pieces of T1 into a ride that is fine in its own right, but avoids almost all of the significant technical challenges of the Tour of Idaho. BigDog's route is like our T3, but a little easier. That's what the "fuss" is all about.

A suggestion, if I may? Next time you do an Internet search on Tour of Idaho try clicking on the first link that you encounter instead of the second. That ought to set you straight. In the meantime you should probably contact BigDog for stickers.

Best Regards,


You %$$hole. I can't believe that you booted me from your pitiful forum just because I disagreed with you. I'll bet that you are one of those blowhard liberal college professors who is all alligator mouth backed up with a canary ass. Who needs you and your website anyway. I will look forward to the day when I catch you out in the woods alone somewhere and see the look of terror on your face when you discover who I am. I'll bet you will be all smiley when we are face to face, just before I kick your ass.


Dear B.C.,

I am not a college professor, liberal or otherwise, I am a goat. Your obsession with getting me "alone" out in the woods is illegal in every state except Wyoming - and there only with sheep. So unless you want my posse - every cattle prod toting,
high on ergot fungus and the Holy Spirit PETA fanatic in the west - after you, I'd suggest redirecting your naughty little fantasy to screening Brokeback Mountain. You also should also consider laying off Taurine, anabolic steroids, raw meat and any more issues of Goat Fancy magazine.

You were not deep-sixed from our forum capriciously. You were sent packing only after multiple off-topic posts that were neither funny, nor clever nor even factually correct - merely churlish. Our subtle hints (ignoring your posts) went right over your head. You also ignored direct suggestions to chill out - and even after all of that, though we removed your posts, we still didn't kick you out until you sent p.m.'s threatening to ding us. That's what earned you the iggy, genius. Screw with the goat, get the horns.

As for the rest. I lead a very public life. Everyone knows where I live and what I do. On the remote chance that you ever learn to read a map well enough to get through the first day of the Tour of Idaho, I live 100' from the flagpole. Follow the aroma of alfalfa (I have no doubt that you are familiar with the smell of hay). At that point there'll be nothing between you and me except air and opportunity.

Best Regards,





Dear Disgusted,

There is a lot here, and typing on a touch-screen with cloven hooves is a bigger chore than you think, so let's get right down to it.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that my favorite color was red, and I really wanted the sky to be my favorite color, red, instead of the color that it is, blue. Let's say that I talked myself into the sky being just as red as I wanted it to be - despite the significant evidence to the contrary. I could snort and rant all day long, head butt my watering tough, knock Martin right on his bohunkus when he brought my oats and hay and throw every kind of fit in the world without changing the fact that the sky is, in fact, blue (the same color you see when you look at yourself in the mirror, you hypoxic twit). The only thing I'd actually accomplish with all of this would be seriously diminishing my odds of success with all of the cloven-hooved honeys Martin keeps around for my amusement. Martin's got my back - he's the man!

But, I digress. Dood, you are seriously whacked. From the tone of your missive, I'm guessing that not only have you never had a date, but that you may not even be aware that an opposite sex exists. It's called "Darwinism", and it's in the Wikipedia index just a little before "dingbat," both of which you should look up. There is evidently a lot about the world, my friend, beyond truther websites and your mom's basement that you don't know much about. I sure hope that your hands are at least soft.

I'd snark you about being exhibit #1 for why a helmet is an important accoutrement for motorcycles, and why crashing without one tweaks the entire social fabric and whatnot, but you are obviously way too much of a dork to every have ridden a motorcycle (or even a cheap, lame-o scooter with daisy graphics and a $2000 aftermarket header/silencer). Turbo has way better things to do than deal with the likes of you, and thanks to IP logging, you are going iggy.

Best Regards,


PS - Did you have trouble breathing?

Hello There. I am writing to inquire about a couple of things, but first I want to tell you that I think that your website has a lot of good information about the incredible Tour of Idaho - something that I am really excited to do. I have read everything that you have written about the Tour of Idaho and the only thing that I don't get is why you seem to be so unnecessarily negative about dual sport motorcycles. The term "dual sport" encompasses a really wide variety of off-road motorcycles. I am a strong Class C rider and I am very confident in my ability to ride my plated dual sport most places. It's also got great range, which seems to be important for the Tour of Idaho. I really don't want to have to acquire another bike for this trip. So at the risk of ending up in the letters to the editor (which I think are really funny, by the way), I am just going to put it to you straight - exactly why can't you do the Tour of Idaho on a KLR650?  Please give me some specific reasons.

Also, what's up with your gps tracks? Why do you include so many waypoints? It seems a bit like overkill to me.

Thanks in advance,


At moments like this, I am want to burst into song. So, with apologies to John Prine...

Bewildered, Bewildered, you have no complaint. You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't.
So listen up buster and listen up good. Stop pounding your own head and knocking on wood.

Signed - Turbo

PS - Everyone thinks the Letters to the Editor page is groovy beyond words, until they are in it.

dear sir.i am sending you this report from the world of criminal forensics which is should be noted were likely non-believers prior to examining these examples of quality everso compelling tracks. i would draw your attention to the opinions expressed and the qualifications of the examiners. there are tracks,hairs,vocalizations and other forms of evidence that have been evaluated by researchers from relevent fields  and found to be very compelling and to diminish their work due to your disbeleif is unfair. i would liken it to discounting your knowledge in your fields of expertise because having a degree doesn't count for much and dark energy/matter/quantum everything makes me uncomfortable much like bigfoot there is sufficient compelling evidence like lots of physics to cause phd types to get on board.hopefully this report will help understand that there is a good reason to investigate further. we do have a few things in common, neither of us has seen the easter bunny,neutrinos but i have seen bigfoot, several times with a group of nearly twenty others in my local chapter of harley owners group on a poker run over a long weekend. it was reported to and investigated by john green. one member of our group was less than 10 ft from the animal when it ran into the high beam of his electra glide and nearly resulted in the calamity of he and the creature coming together and let me tell you he has no interest in talking about it to this day. i saw him minites after his tramatic encounter and you just can't fake the reactions i saw. pale,shaking,stammering,scared.there are thousands of signtings/track finds on the record including those by hunters,guides,wildlife officers and policemen. even david thompson and teddy roosevelt have encounters and recorded their experiences

thx neil

dear neil,

we do have at least one thing in common and that is that our caps keys and space bar are not functioning correctly for some reason.what are the odds of that.probably about as great as finding that bigfoot has been responsible for hiding the higgs boson.i have seen the symptons you described, pale,shaking,stammering,scared, in association with harley davidson motorcycles before and it usually has to do with a rider grabbing a big handful of front brake(like when the mother ship lands in the road right in front of them)and realizing for the first time exactly how worthless it is.it also makes you poop your pants btw.i think it's cool that you are involved in criminal forensics but on which side of the trade.the next time you see bigfoot in your headlights i say you should centerpunch the sumbitch with your throttle pinned and all 80 cubic inches dedicated to bringing a specimen of the creature albeit with tire tracks to the attention of science.you'll be a hero and famous when you get out of the hospital and flush enough with your national enquirer money to buy another bike with a front brake that works.it's called taking one for the team.get with the program.



Via ADVrider

I am inclined to try T1 "challenge style" probably solo, on a lighter bike than my TE630. But.. do I read the "challenge" description correctly - motels?

Call me naive, but doesn't "solo" mean without innkeeper? I am puzzled by how staying in motels and picking up mailed clothes is any different than doing the Tour with a chase vehicle and staying in campgrounds. Has anybody done this tour the genuine hard way... carrying everything but fuel and daily food/water? This whole motel thing strikes me as just a lot more comfortable than roughing it. The Tour of Idaho "Challenge" strikes me as being for beginners and "other" sorts.


Dear Hotness,

    Let me assure you that the term "naive" never crossed our minds. Honest and no lie - but more on that later. To your essential points.

The most obvious manner in which riding the Tour without the use of a chase vehicle is different from riding the Tour with the use of a chase vehicle (and whatever it can carry) is that you have to actually ride the entire Tour, as opposed to catching a ride whenever you get tired, encounter adverse weather, have a mechanical failure on or just can't handle the terrain. Of the hundred or so groups who've started out over the past few years none have completed T1 wagon train style. There is something about knowing that you have to make your daily nut with just your wits that encourages aspirants to plan ahead, show up with the right stuff and keep going when the going gets tough instead of sticking out a thumb and hoisting up a pant leg.

Camping gear? Hey - if you want to embark on a 1000+ mile dirt bike ride with extensive sections of deep sand, steep rocky trails and technical single track with fifty extra pounds on your bike that doesn't have anything to do with making it go forward knock yourself out. Just don't light up chat rooms after the fact about how you could have done it if not for all of the snags, washouts, steep rocky trails and flat tires.

While it is true that a Tour Alumnus did once mail a pair of skivvies and socks to Elk City I'm reasonably sure, without knowing a thing about you, that this individual could ride T1 all the way to Canada and back before you even got your bike out of the parking lot. As a general practice I'd be a little careful calling out "other sorts" you don't know from behind that monochrome monitor in your mom's basement lest you one day encounter them on the trail. One member of the T1 community, incidentally, did the bulk of T1 without camping gear, the USPS or motels because it only took him 32 hours to cover the first 1000 miles from Utah to Wallace. Sounds like a genuine hard way to us. 

As we took great pains to point out in the Tour of Idaho FAQ, it's no small feat to average around 250 miles a day on T1 type terrain for six days. You leave your bunk very early each morning and get in very late each night. If your vision of "inn keeping" is lounging around a pool at the end of each day with umbrellaed foo-foo drinks you are mistaken. It's generally a shower, ibuprofen, then straight to bed for a few hours of sleep before heading back out for another 16+ hour day. And if you fail to make it to the "inn" you'll be sleeping under your bike to stay warm in the middle of lots of wilderness inhabited mostly by large, hungry predators.

Naive isn't what comes to mind as we read your missive - it's something more along the lines of dip-poopie (we're PG rated here). We spent years mapping out one of the most adventurous dirt bike rides anywhere and provide maps, photos, video, detailed directions and lots of first hand advice about it for free. How you choose to use it all is your business. The only things we've ever asked are that "Tour of Idaho" be reserved for those who complete the route in the manner envisioned buy the Tour of Idaho community and that everyone be honest. We are learning to live with disappointment on both accounts.

Not like we are naive ourselves. Years of bitter experience have taught us that if you make a race course 30' wide there's always some dip-poopie who wants to make it 31' That's you, here. But we'd rather light a candle than curse your darkness. If you really want to ride a Tour of Idaho free of the challenges envisioned by it's progenitors, might we suggest this variant. I'm sure that everyone you encounter will be really impressed by your bikes, your camping gear, your 50 camp stoves and your trailer.

Best Regards,


I am a beginning rider who just attempted the Tour of Idaho and here are my impressions and some suggestions as to how you might improve your route description. Directions for the Tour should include a rating system like those on ski hills with bunny trail type riding such as dirt roads as green, blue for intermediate difficulty like ATV trails and black diamond sections for the most technical riding. The last thing I think that people want is to go out and get hurt by not being aware of the type of riding they are getting into and this would help because riders could detour around anything over their heads.

I think you need to change the Tour somewhat. I attempted the Tour as my first long ride and had a lot of trouble with it. The first day kicked my butt. My KTM 450 EXC has stock suspension that thrashed my arms. I have no steering damper and man I paid for it. The harshness of my suspension gave me an acute case of carpal tunnel syndrome that I am just now recovering from. My riding partners on an XR650R and a WR250 could not make the black diamond rocky parts of the trail the first day or any of the black diamond sand on the second (which was very hot!). Their bikes were too big and not setup properly for rocks and sand. Also, though I am from the Midwest and mostly unfamiliar with Idaho, I think that you should have routed the second day of the Tour straight across the Snake River desert instead of zig zagging across it. We were too out of gas to climb Big Southern Butte by the time we got there. We couldn't do the Massacre Mountain Loop either and think you should leave it off the Tour or mark it as black diamond. We made it to Challis after five days and decided to bag the rest of the trip and stay at a guest ranch. The guest ranch was the best part of the whole ordeal.

All in all the Tour is OK with mostly intermediate riding but the black diamond stuff should be better marked.

Master Noob

Dear Noob,

     This is another of those missives which show up occasionally that we are sure has been sent along by someone trying to yank our collective chain. But a little checking around revealed that your memo was actually a serious communique. We are struggling mightily to come up with an appropriate response. That's because if 20,000+ words on MoJazz, a Tour of Idaho Facebook group, a reader forum, a veritable cornucopia of photos and video, a complete and extensive collection of color coded (by difficulty) topographic maps, gigabytes and gigabytes concerning bikes, bike setup and preparation failed to provide any clue as to what you were getting into attempting the 1370-mile Tour then we are largely content to let nature take it's course. Darwinism is like the West itself - it's rough business, but it's fair. 

But since you took the time share your impressions with us we'd be plumb inhospitable if we did not attempt to return the favor. How about this? For your next trip to Idaho why don't you stop by MoJazz HQ first (inquire at the TID flagpole). You can leave that KTM 450 EXC with us (we'll take real good care of it) and in return we'll provide you with a pair of skis, a ride up to the local ski area and a trail map marked just the way you like. We'll even throw in an avalanche beacon! One thing though - out here green means easiest way down, not bunny run, so please make sure that you place your skis on your boots with both shovels pointed downhill.

Best Regards,


Hey what's the deal? A friend at Femmoto mentioned MotorcycleJazz to me but I am having a difficult time understanding why. There is almost no content anywhere on this site relevant to woymn motorcyclists. Most of your rag-zine, frankly, reeks of adolescent male huperson antics and fart jokes. Your sad attempts at machismo and masculine humor are unamusing to anyone besides balding, aging, male hupersons desperately attempting be something other than completely pathetic. As a strong woymn I refuse to be disempowered by the likes of your drivel. Your obvious insecurities vis a vis assertive woymn are reflected in sexist, aggressive and violent metaphors such as "big rear tire", "cane that baby for all it's worth", "runs hot" and "whack it open". It is obvious that your view from the saddle is one of phallic domination. The calls for subjugation of woymn that permeate your sick sense of humor are indicative of a violent spiral toward self-hatred, environmental degradation and ultimate destruction... (578 mind-numbing words later) ... and lastly I'll bet that you eat meat as well. Meat is murder.



     Where to begin? It's obvious that you could not have looked over our website very hard (oops, make that very thoroughly), or you would have noticed important contributions from our XX huperson staffers Ducati Hottie and Megan Broyles. Both are formidable and very assertive babes, er, woymn, with writing/editing/photography chops you can only dream about in this life. On top of that I'm betting that the Hottie could ride you and your posse of Angels even Hell doesn't want straight into submission (dangit, another unfortunate metaphor - sorry!).

But, I digress. My responses to your principal concerns with various bits of MoJazz content are summarized below.

  • Two-stroke and four-stroke are engine configurations, not moves. 
  • They are called "umbrella girls" because they hold up umbrellas to shade road racers waiting under the hot sun on the starting grid. The term is not a sneaky reference to condom dispensers.  
  • No, I did not, in fact, ever provide my son any gender neutral toys to play with. Depending on what age you are referring to he'd have either run then down with his 50, waged violent conflict on them with his collection of Decepticons and Autobots, or doused them with race gas and set them on fire - all of which seems like a waste of perfectly good Baby GoGo dolls to me. 
  • Geeze, I don't mean to be overly disrespectful, but are you at all aware of the modern invention known as a Google Search? The term "bhp" stands for "brake horse power", not "babes have poked". I do agree that 150+ is a big number either way you look at it though. 
  • I find your suggestion that we combine the terms "she", "he" and "it" into one gender neutral pronoun scatologically interesting and inadvertently very funny. We'll work it in as often as possible. 
I hope that this addresses at least some of your concerns. I'll look forward to any future correspondence but for now that's all she wrote (oops, that's all sheit wrote).

Best Regards,


I understand that a dirt specific bike (CRF450X or KTM530) is required for the Tour of Idaho. Is it possible to complete the Tour's toughest technical sections on a big rally bike? I live by the mantra that character and perseverance are more important than skill, but I also have skill. I won't try to impress you with my resume but I have been riding and racing off-road for more than 30 years now. Is it technically possible for a skilled rider (like me), with the will to finish, to complete any given section of the course on a KTM 950 Adventure? I read that no one on a big Beemer had ever finished but your website does not say why.

The Man

Yo Manny,

     Thanks for not trying to impress us with your resume. The short answer to your question's main course is not unless you can carry a KTM 950 Adventure on your back. As for the trimmings, please see the Tour of Idaho FAQ. 

Two months later...

Thanks for your response a few months ago. Just wanted to let you know that we just finished T1 in six days and my son rode the all of the technical parts such as Oxford Ridge and Trail, Massacre Mountain Loop, Chinese Wall, etc. on the KTM 950 Adventure. We did not get over 60 challenge points but that's because of fires we had to detour around. Just thought you'd like to know.  

The Man

Yo Manny,

     We stand corrected - and thanks for setting us straight. We beg your indulgence for just a few questions about your unprecedented feat. 

What am I to make of this photo taken on the Massacre Mountain Loop - an image I believe that you will recognize as featuring the only member of your group who did the Massacre Mountain Loop according the the photographer - a T1 alumnus. 

Did 150 lbs and 650 cc fall off on the trail somewhere? What about that pipe - you store extra fuel in the fat part or something? Where can I get me a totally svelte KTM 950 like that one? Do they take American Express?

I did see video from later in the same day of a KTM 950, with all of the regular stuff bolted on, going down like the Titanic in a moderately technical stream crossing. 

But enough of that. I get confused about what bike I'm riding all of the time. What the heck, eh? I actually recall seeing your group at the TID flagpole the first day of your trip (it's in my front yard). I was struck by how surprisingly clean your bikes looked after riding 125 miles of thunderstorm-drenched trails; quite the feat - as was not being slowed down by the two dead cows that blocked the only trail into Oxford Basin all that day. A MoJazz editor behind you (who showed up covered in mud) reported no evidence in the muddy terrain of any party ahead of them most of the way. What's the trick - antimudder?

All of the Tour in six days? Challenge points lacking only because of forest fires? You should know that another rider on the trail the same week accumulated 61 GPS verified challenge points while overcoming two flat tires, a dead electrical system and a well-thrashed bike riding mostly by himself. Though he had nothing but nice things to say about running across your group along the way he did mention that the last he saw of you was along the Lolo Motorway late one day looking for short cuts to Wallace. FYI - he forged ahead by himself on a shagged tire and nursing a wonky electrical system and made it by midnight. That's character and perseverance for you. 

So even though it's all kind of confusing, good on ya for whatever it was that you did out in the woods. I'm sure that it was a blast.

And thanks again for not impressing us with your resume.

Best Regards,


Saw your website about the Tour of Idaho. I can't get this ride out of my mind. I *really* want to do this thing.

I have a question: would it be possible to do the Tour of Idaho on one of the BMW AdventureSport bikes (R 1200 GS) with someone on back? My wife *really* wants to go as well and my thinking is that if this would be the only possibility of attempt this ride two up.

For what it's worth, I'm an upper intermediate to experienced dirt rider currently riding a DRZ400.


Dear Chris,

     When I first read your email on the old Blackberry in my pit at a local MXGP race I thought that you were one of our Tour of Idaho forum participants joshing me. The whole notion of writing to inquire about doing a 1400-mile dirt bike ride that contains extensive sections of technical single-track, rocky mountain trail, deep sand, numerous deep water crossings and enough obstacles to make an endurocross aficionado beam with pride, two-up on a 600 lb Beemer, is just the kind of thing many MoJazzers would think of as good, clean fun. But most of the folks likely to perpetrate such a hose job were within earshot and quickly denied any involvement. So I'm taking your email at face value and phrasing my response in terms that I think you'll comprehend even though you obviously didn't wrap your mind around much of the 20,000+ words we devoted to the Tour of Idaho on half a dozen MoJazz pages.

Are you a freaking loon?

Years of bitter experience have taught me that even the most lucid explanation of simple ideas will often fail to make as much as the smallest dent in the skulls of those whose talents do not include reading for comprehension, and rely on the "CliffsNotes" version of all material more complex to digest than a license plate number. I've even seen students trying to figure out what part of Newton's second law to highlight with a yellow Sharpie! So I'm going to bust out a yellow Sharpie myself and cull some information that, in condensed form, might just get across. 

From the Tour of Idaho Index Page:

The Tour of Idaho (T1) is a 1400-mile dirt bike ride that begins in the Malad Range of southern Idaho and ends in the Selkirk Mountains near the Canadian border. It is very likely the most difficult long dirt bike ride in the United States. It is NOT a dual sport ride - plated dirt bikers are required. 

Snippets from the Tour of Idaho Route Description Page:

Day one, though the shortest in terms of miles, yields long stretches of continuous technical riding.  Roughly half of the route consists of rugged jeep and atv trail. Most will find this to be a full day (8+ hours).  

... The next 30 miles of deep sandy trail is one of the technical highlights of the Tour. If you aren't good at deep sand or deep sandy whoops don't worry - you will be by the time you finish this section.

... Proceed west along Dry Creek Road approximately 6 miles to an intersection with a road at the bottom of a small hill on the north (right) that descends steeply into a gulch. This road leads to the way north. A major challenge of the Tour continues west (left) up Dry Creek 2 miles to Long Lost Creek. It's here that you'll find the Massacre Mountain Loop, a rugged 16.5 mile loop trail consisting of spectacular scenery and wild riding. The Massacre Mountain Loop is among the worst nightmares that bad dreams are capable of conjuring for those on large or heavily loaded bikes ...

Day four includes the second highest point of the Tour (Twin Peaks Lookout - 10,330'), and about 40 miles of technical single track. Most will find this to be a long day for such a relatively short distance (think D1). Some of the trails on D4 are rarely ridden by anyone besides members of the T1 community, so keep your saws and shovels handy. Blowdown and washouts are perennial issues. It is not uncommon to average a mile per hour along may sections of D4 trail if they haven't been sawed.

On the off chance that you are actually looking for cover to initiate a divorce (or separation by death) I can't think of a better outing to accomplish such a thing.

I hope that this clears everything up.

Best Regards,


Via ADVrider

I have a question for you on T2. In the fuel list availability list you show Jordan Valley as having a 24 hour pump. Since Oregon law says you can't pump your own gas, how is it possible to fuel up unless the station has people working there 24 hours a day? I really doubt that is the case in a small town like Jordan Valley. 

Thanks, Ed.

Dear Ed,

     My sincerest apologies for being so long in responding. I visit the ADVrider site only occasionally - the reason being that most every time I do I feel like I am having an appendicitis after perusing just a few posts. With all of the wonders available on the Internet I try my best to avoid sites that provide some sort of contact stupid buzz. ADVrider - a gem of a notion - is, alas, about 3/4 filled with inane drivel from moto-nerds who'd probably suffer a myocardial infarction in the unloading area of any actual adventure ride. OTOH - we've met a fair number of really good folks and talented riders through ADVrider. As the aphorism goes - brilliant minds think alike  - since they disdain the high level of ADV background noise as badly as we do. I'm sure that someone as obviously quick on the uptake as yourself is down with all of this.

     But - I digress. After reading your question a few times I'm a bit curious as to why, having evidently never been to Jordan Valley (just a hop, skip and a jump from your indicated 10-20), you seem sure that whatever you've conjured up about rural
Oregon behind that monochrome monitor trumps our actual experience - as reflected in the T2 description that we made available in plain, easy-to-read fonts on MoJazz (or, for that matter, how you missed the telephone number we included which picks up 24/7). The gas station is, in fact, staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has been for several decades (as is the case in many small Oregon towns on major US highways hundreds of miles from anywhere). We are pretty sure of this because we've bought gas there (and registered for the motel next door) at all hours of the day and night after many transits of T2. That or we were confused each time and were actually in Wyoming, Utah or some parallel Universe. If it's not it is a very recent occurrence that could easily be sorted out by dialing the phone number we provided.

     Anyway, I hope this clears thing up. Best of luck on your T2 adventure. When you sign the register at the TID flagpole please be sure to wander out to the nearby shop and say hello. Make sure that you tell us who you are so that we can complete the circle of life between hard-headed ADVrider posts, gas stations, cosmology, tire irons and your noggin. 

Best Regards,



While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we've decided to disable your account.

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visiting https://www.google.com/adnonsense/support/bin/you are a bad person.


The Google AdSense Team

Dear Google Adnonsense Team,

     When I first encountered your email a few hours ago I was certain that it was spam - though the link sure looked authentic enough when I clicked through on my Blackberry. Since I had no reason, to my knowledge anyway, to worry about anything untoward I forgot about it until I got home. Then, to my amazement, I discovered that Google ads were no longer being displayed on any MoJazz pages. Since I reserved a prominent location near the top of each page on which the ads were supposed to be displayed the result was a forlorn 728 x 90 empty space where the ad bar used to appear. 

     Since your email was somewhat less than revelatory my first follow up step was to again follow the link to see if I could discern exactly what was going on. Considering the permutations I've been through in the last eight months to get relevant ads to display correctly, including a fairly laborious coding effort, I was really wound up to get to the bottom of the latest infarction. The information in the link basically says that the reader has been a bad person - and that though you aren't going to tell why or how you know, they are. A brief Internet search revealed useful information elsewhere. Evidently you have concluded that I or someone else here at MoJazz spends all day clicking on the ads displayed on MoJazz pages myself to drive up revenue. This I found to be a genuine howler even after dragging myself home at 2 a.m. in the early stages of a stupendous bourbon hangover.

     I have just a couple of brief items by way of a response. First - I am absolutely guilty of occasionally clicking on ads displayed on MoJazz - I'd estimate half a dozen times in eight months - about 0.02% of the total. Mostly this was because I was curious about things like how an ad for tourism in Knott County KY was relevant to a page containing maps of a dual sport ride the Mojave Desert. On one occasion though, I actually clicked through an ad to purchase something from a vendor right off of their website - even gathered the entire family unit around the dinner table to give them a circle of life kind of lesson in e-commerce. I thought that selling was the ideal behind advertising but perhaps I'm confused? Oh well, never mind. The only other thing is that given MoJazz's site volume and traffic rank a hundred bucks for eight months of advertising isn't exactly a get rich quick scheme. Please don't let the screen door smack you in the fanny on the way out.

     Anyhoo - I've stripped your code from MoJazz and I am not interested in any appeal. The local ads we display work far better for us than the curious gamut of nominally uninteresting and often hilariously inappropriate advertisements served up by your deus ex machina anyway, When we observed, for instance, ads for real estate in Kalamazoo at the top of a page on replacing motorcycle clutches, ads for hypnosis therapy in a story about endurance motorcycle riding, or ads for military spec Nomex accouterments on a page containing a review of a motorcycle jacket, we were encouraged to stay the course only to see if an ad for Vaseline would pop up in one of our glove reviews. That'd have been worth seeing.

     You've a great browser and I remain a fan of that, but your ad setup really sucks and the robotic customer interface occupies whatever level of usefulness is next below godawful. No hard feelings tho. Good luck with that whole China business.

Hasta la Vista,


Dear MoJazz,

     I am the founder of a group called ________ ________ Society based in Cincinnati, Oh. I came across your website as I was searching for some equipment for my team. We are paranormal investigators that focus mainly on historical sites in an effort to re-energize the interest of our nation's history. We have worked extensively with historical societies located here in Ohio and have assisted them in raising funds to renovate and continue operating their historic locations. 

     We have found that being paranormal investigators passionate about history makes for a great combination that gets noticed. Half of our proceeds go to these organizations to help preserve our history. We are currently doing public ghost hunting tours at many locations and are looking to collaborate with merchants that sell items useful to paranormal investigators. We have already teamed up with a supplier of paranormal equipment and have posted their link on our website. They kindly have provided us with tools to use and demonstrate to our guests that come to these tours. It has been a great success for them as well as for us. I saw that you sell a Flight Vest that we have been in need of and searching for as well as other equipment that will be useful to us. What I am asking for is if you could just send us 1 of these so that we can showcase and use it during our tours to hold our equipment, and in turn, we will advertise for you at every event we host and on our website. This product will be in high demand in the paranormal community after we show its uses and we will have your company's name to give out to our guests and associates. We will be sure to have signs and/or business cards for our guests with your company's information if you provide us with that. Our tours are becoming increasingly popular and we are booked out already into the summer so there is a great opportunity for advertisement for your company.

     We are a professional non-profit organization and very highly regarded in the community. We know that your company's name is well-known already in the sports world, and what a great new area this would be to make your name known!  If you have any doubts, please contact me. You can see some of the wonderful things my group has done by going to our website
.  I am also a film maker and each one of our investigations is made into a documentary available for everyone, and I make sure that I acknowledge and thank any company that has helped us out in making this possible. I would like for your company to be one of those. Please email me with any questions or concerns, and I hope to work out a very beneficial arrangement for you. We look forward to receiving this vest for our next tour date on 2/10/2009. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Dear D.W.,

     I am sorry that I have been delayed somewhat in responding to your query. We are, unfortunately, always very busy here at the MoJazz Institute for Advanced Physics and I occasionally fall behind in responding to email. My sincerest apologies.

     I have had an opportunity to visit your website and I must say that it made a big impression. I lived in Cincinnati for several years and recognize many of the locations depicted in your photographs. The untapped potential of your work is, without a doubt, immense. It is fortunate that you are able to maintain obvious passion for your work in the face of a skeptical world. Qua angelus veror calco. Salude!

     Unfortunately we are not retailers for the vest which was the subject of your inquiry. We do, however, modify these devices to make them more useful for tasks as varied as riding the Baja 1000 and hunting for Bigfoot. We tapped the expertise of a wide range of users in designing our patent pending Govnovium 111.5 impregnation process, including such luminaries in your field as Jon-Erik Beckjord, and our preliminary field trials are yielding promising results. If you have a moment, and are willing to bear with me through a mildly technical explanation, I will explain how this works.

     Govnovium 111.5 is a rare element that is created as a byproduct of collisions between energetic particles. Until last year Govnovium was extremely difficult to obtain and prohibitively expensive for everyday use. The recent ramping up of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has enabled us to obtain large quantities of Govnovium at relatively low cost. Because Govnovium violates baryon number conservation it can exist only as antimatter in this universe - hence it's immense utility. Govnovium has an exceptionally high cross-section for any sort of trans-dimensional or metaphysical energy. This means that when ethereal energy interacts with objects in our own space-time continuum, the high Govnovium cross-section ensures that the ethereal energy interacts with Govnovium at a greater rate (orders of magnitude) than ordinary matter. The Govnovium absorbs this energy and it is converted into matter at a rate of E = mc^2. Then, in accordance with Newton, a force is produced which may be detected as a faint impulse to wearers of Govnovium impregnated garments. Researchers investigating the existence of Bigfoot as a trans-dimensional being (Beckjord, et. al.) report that Govnovium is the best "early warning system" yet of a pending encounter due to the vibrations they feel in their Govno-beanies. As you are undoubtedly aware from your own work, the existence of large number of such entities makes the likelihood of encounters quite high. This means that a person traveling at high speeds wearing Govnovium encounters near continuous inertial stabilization - so that in the event of a sudden change of trajectory, such as that encountered in a crash, Govnovium acts like a personal and portable air bag - hence our interest in its use in motorcycle vests.

     Unfortunately, though Govnovium prices are coming down it's still not what any rational person would consider inexpensive - so I am not able to offer you one of our vests free of charge. I would be willing, however, to consider a low-cost rental, say $1000 for 10 days, provided that you are able to ante up a cash bond and pay insurance for shipping (both ways). If this offer is of interest to you please feel to respond and we'll set things in motion.

Thanks for your interest in our work at MOJZIAP. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,


*Any resemblance to actual correspondence received by the editors at MoJazz is purely intentional. For letters related to a topic that attracts crazy like black holes attract mass, Motorcycle Physics, click here
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