MAGPUL X FIELDCRAFT SURVIVAL
MAGPUL X FIELDCRAFT SURVIVAL
Give us an unlimited supply of guns and ammo and we can do some strong work. If you put us on dirt bikes, it’s a different story. That is why we teamed up with Fieldcraft Mobility, the training division from Fieldcraft Survival that specializes in overland mobility.
Last fall, a few of our Magpul riders met up with Fieldcraft in Ouray, Colorado to learn how to better utilize dirt bikes as mobility platforms and do a shakeout for their upcoming bug-out course where they would operate different platforms to navigate across the Pacific Northwest.
View of the San Juan mountains
As we approached Ouray with our YZF 450s in tow, you couldn’t help but be inspired by the San Juan range that surrounds the town. Arriving mid-afternoon afforded us an opportunity to make a “warm-up” ride in preparation for the next day. The Fieldcraft Mobility folks apparently have a different definition of warmup because it went from zero to varsity pretty fast. Jumping on our bikes, we started an easy climb on a dirt road that turned into an unimproved road and then a single track with boulder fields, creek crossings, and several other obstacles. Pretty challenging, but a good shakeout that allowed us to make some adjustments, swap some riding tips and get a little on-site education on everything that goes into running bikes at elevation.
The next day we hit the same trail but climbed the well-known Imogene Pass. This traverse took us across paved roads, loose, gravel, and more boulder fields. Although a much harder climb than the previous day, the lessons learned along the way were starting to flatten the learning curve and things started to come together. With a successful summit under our belt, we were excited to see what kind of terrain the next several days would bring us.
During the four-day ride, plenty of learning opportunities and equipment failures conveniently– and inconveniently—presented themselves. From exchanging pack out tips and discussing the ever-surprising utility of the fanny-pack, to working through mid-ride flat tire fixes, the group gained a well-rounded experience of what might be encountered riding through this sort of terrain and what skills and knowledge are needed to successfully navigate in and out of the trail. Notably, on day two of the trip, Jared’s brake lever snapped off the bike, which would normally signal the end to the ride. However, Jake was able to get smart with some steel epoxy and temporarily patch the lever back into one piece – allowing the bike to make it through the rest of the trip.
Following the trip, our team has made dirt biking one of our primary hobbies, often spending weekends on practice rides, running the National Hare and Hound series, or hanging with the family at the track. One thing is for sure, it doesn’t quite matter how many wheels you have, but if you can get them spinning on top of some mountain dirt, it’s sure to be a good time.