Memorial Ride 2011 at Ballenger Canyon


My brother was down for the weekend so as a last minute idea we loaded out and went to Ballenger Canyon OHV. We had talked about Hungry Valley but decided against it due to the over crowded riding and risk of injury because of the over crowding.

We got there and it was cool and cloudy on Saturday morning. Our group included my brother and my wife. She was riding our 2006 Raptor 700 all stock. My brother was riding the CRF250X with mods. I was riding the 2002 KX250 all stock save for an FMF Q silencer.

We headed on the first short loop just to get warmed up. First it was raining then it was hailing. Talk about riding through a shower of needles. The terrain was pretty and the place was not overcrowded. We were soaked and cold when we got back to the truck so we hung out out waited for the hail to pass.

After it stopped raining and hailing we took off on some easy to intermediate trail rides. Very pretty area. Quickly we were drying out and starting to pick up speed. Rode for about an hour just exploring with no real plan for where we were going. The trails were perfect with very little dust and excellent traction. It was fun on the easy trails to just fly through the whoops and rip around the turns.

The only bad thing that happened was my wife crashed and got hurt. I was taking off and flying down the trail and just having a good ole time when I decided to wait for my brother and my wife. (I am generally quite a bit faster than my brother and my wife so it is just known that I stop at forks in the trail or when I just feel like I am too far ahead.) I waited for about 5 minutes and my brother came up behind me and he was having fun. I asked if he had seen my wife and he said that she was behind him and he was not going that fast so we waited. After another 5 minutes I fired my bike up and went back for her. I found her standing on the side of the trail with her quad in a ditch and she was holding her wrist. She was ok other than her wrist was very sore and probably broken.

I wrestled her bike out of the ditch and that is when I found out the tie rid was bent badly and the front wheels were pointing away from each other. She managed to get back on and rode it out 1 handed. My brother came back about this time.

After riding for a few miles she said it was really sore so my bro and I rode off ahead to go get the truck to pick her and the bike up. I really hate to admit it but when we left her there, we were really cooking down the trail and actually having a good time. Lots of whoops, small jumps and turns with burms. :smirk:

I asked some other people who were camping near where we parked to watch our bikes and trailer while we took the truck to go get my wife. They were very friendly and if they happen to read this I want to thank them again.

We drove the truck about 3/4 mile down the trail and she came riding up 1 handed with the bike that was hard to steer with the alignment of the front tires. She got tired of waiting there and decided to ride out. She got off the quad and got in the truck while my brother rode the quad back to the truck.

We loaded up and came back home, stopping by the Urgent Care in Taft. They x rayed her wrist and said it was broken. They splinted it and sent her home till we can get to an ortho.

We are home now and even with all the bad stuff the trip was still very fun.

One thing I have to say is that while we were there everyone who was riding in the area was very respectful.

I did want to say that there were plenty of quad riders there and none of them were doing doughnuts in the staging area, none were riding over there head, I didn't see anyone with out a helmet, and all the bikes and quads I saw had sensible exhaust pipes with spark arrestors. Nothing crazy especially for a holiday weekend. The only vehicles I saw driving fast through the staging area were some Razor side by sides. Minor complaints compared to a lot of places on memorial day weekend.

I cant wait for my wife to heal up so we can go back. :smirk:

Glad to hear your wife is ok! Keep in mind in the future that it could have been much worse, I would keep a closer eye on her she may not be so lucky to only get a broken wrist next time. 10 minutes of waiting is a long time for something to happen.

But anyway glad to hear you enjoyed one of my favorite spots to ride. Ballinger does seem to have smarter riders it seems than other local areas. The trails are really fun too! I was hailed on once there and it was a really cool experience, it was almost like a dusting of snow. The whole place turned white and it lasted about 20 minutes maybe longer. Way cool!

I know 10 minutes is a bit of a long time but a 5 minute wait is about normal for us to all get caught back up and another 5 minutes after that just to see if she made it on her own.

She is an experienced quad rider but has not ridden a whole bunch in the last few years. Growing up she rode a lot until maybe 6 or so years ago.

I am also very thankful she is more or less ok other than her wrist.

I do wish I had taken some pics or video of the ride but with the rain that we started in and my Go Pro not having the sealed back piece on it, I didnt want to risk damaging it with water. It stayed in the truck. Unfortunately right after I took it off the rain stopped and stayed fairly dry.

Sorry to hear about the injury. It is kinda tough sometimes riding with youngsters or others that are not the same speed as you. You really can't win, if you stay behind they may get tagged in a headon, too far ahead and they may get lost or hurt. Hope she recovers quickly:thumbsup:

She is ok and now has a nice cast. We discussed it and decided the riding ahead was a non issue. She did not wait long for me and she knew I would come back so no panic. Cant wait to go again.

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