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ADV RidesA Meeting of Minds at RawHyde Adventure Days

A Meeting of Minds at RawHyde Adventure Days

 Part ADV Rally, Expo and Trade Show, with a focus on education and training.

Published on 04.26.2017

It was a chilly 44°F riding through the gates of RawHyde Adventure Days 2017 early on Friday morning. The Sun was just beginning to thaw out the 120-acre property known as “RawHyde Ranch” in Castaic, California. Vibrant spring colors were on full display after a drought ending wet winter, and a herd of horses were too busy munching on the succulent grass to notice the motorcycles passing by.

Adventure Days is a bit different than your typical Adventure Bike Rally. It’s a three-day event that is part expo and part trade show, with a focus on education and training — a meeting place for like-minded adventurers and an opportunity to learn just about anything you ever wanted to know about motorcycle travel from some of the best. It’s also a chance to get out and explore the fantastic trails in the mountains just outside of Los Angeles.

RawHyde Adventure Days 2017


After a hearty breakfast and black coffee by the campfire, it was time to check out the day’s schedule. Adventure Riding Seminars were just about to start and the first hour offered a choice of Survival Training from a former Special Forces Marine, how to stay safe in high risk areas from a hostage rescue specialist, or Adventure Riding Flexibility and Fitness from a world-renowned rehab expert. Luckily classes repeated throughout the weekend, so there would be an opportunity to attend them all.

With more than 20 different classes (three to four per hour), there was a mind boggling amount of collective knowledge available to be absorbed. Experts presented on topics such as GPS navigation, tire repair, motorcycle diagnostics, staying connected in the field, riding gear technology, the science of crash protection, first aid basics, packing tips, suspension set up and more. The presentations were fascinating and the quality of the information was top notch.

RawHyde Adventure Days 2017 - Klim's Mark Kincart
Klim’s Mark Kincart showed us a magic trick of how Gore-Tex can dry a wet hand in a bucket of water.
RawHyde Adventure Days 2017 - Jim Hyde
RawHyde Owner Jim Hyde explains different options for getting mobile WiFi in the middle of nowhere South America.
RawHyde Adventure Days - survival training
You never know when survival skills like these might come in handy out on the trail.

But we also came here to play, so when RawHyde coaches offered to take us out on several miles of single track trails surrounding the property, we jumped on the opportunity. The route took us across acres of beautiful green fields lined with oak trees, and we passed by many of RawHyde’s unique off-road training areas like the infamous teeter-totter, the ribbons course, giant whoop-dee-doos and a number of launch pads for jumping big bikes. It was an adrenaline packed ride through the idyllic ranch that saw more than a few bikes laying on their side.

Rawhyde Adventure Days 2017 - Ride

Rawhyde Adventure Days 2017 - Ride

Rawhyde Adventure Days 2017 - Ride

After lunch, we got a chance to explore some of the local trails around the Lake Hughes area on a guided ride. The 100-mile route was 50% dirt and 50% street. The street portion was twisty pavement that was nearly as entertaining as the dirt. Once on dirt we followed a meandering scenic fire road that included a few challenging sections, yet it was still easy enough for new off-road riders to manage. We also found several split-offs from the main trail that gave advanced riders a test of skill.

Rawhyde Adventure Days 2017 - Ride

Rawhyde Adventure Days 2017 - Ride

Rawhyde Adventure Days 2017 - Ride

Back at the ranch, we got settled into a beautiful camp spot nestled in the trees. And it wasn’t long before the sound of clanking beer bottles and live music from the E&O Medicine Show signaled it was time for Happy Hour at the Dakar Bar. Saturday night we were entertained by a pre-screening of a new adventure riding documentary by Noren Films about the recent E65 expedition through South America, which looked to have the makings of a great film. Look for the completed documentary to be released at next month’s Overland Expo West!

RawHyde Adventure Days - camping
There was plenty of room for everyone to find their own perfect camp spot.

RawHyde Adventure Days - camping

Saturday was a repeat of more of the same great seminars, training and group rides, but we made a point to spend some time at the vendor booths to check out the latest and greatest adventure products on display. Top brands like Klim, Motorex, Aether Apparel, Sena, Held, Schuberth, Mosko, Jesse Luggage and Clearwater Lights all setup shop with some offering special discounts to attendees. The final night saw an even bigger party with the Mary White band playing and a huge gear giveaway. A lively crowd gathered by the campfire and stories of big adventure lasted long into the night.

Rawhyde adventure days - bmw r1200gs rally
One of the first BMW R1200GS Rallys to arrive in the US was on display. We couldn’t say no to an invitation to sit on it.
RawHyde ADV Days - Carducci Dual Sport
Jim Carducci was in attendance showing off the company’s SC3 Carducci Dual Sport, based on the Harley Sportster.
RawHyde Adventure Days - off-road training
For those looking to improve their off-road skills, RawHyde provided hours of hands-on training with their BMW-certified instructors as part of the weekend experience.

Sunday morning it was time to pack up camp and say good byes. If you didn’t arrive with friends, you probably left with more than a few. One thing we’ve noticed after attending several RawHyde events over the years, is a welcoming of newcomers and a sense of being part of a big family.

RawHyde Adventure Days 2017

RawHyde Adventure Days is definitely worth marking down on your calendar for next year (April 13, 2018). Great food, entertainment, riding and camaraderie, plus you just might pick up some good tips for your next adventure. It’s also an opportunity to experience some of RawHyde’s world-class off-road training for a lot less than the cost of their full adventure camp weekends. We’ll be back next year and hope to see you there!

Author: Rob Dabney

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2 thoughts on “A Meeting of Minds at RawHyde Adventure Days

  1. Looks like a great time and I’m always looking for any expert tips I can pick up. Marking this on my calendar for next year!