BDCW's Yearly Event
America is a big country with a lot of top-notch adventure riding to offer. In fact, there’s so much it’s easy to overlook some of the best spots. Buried deep in the mountains of Idaho are endless miles of dual-sport smiles, but not being a traditional vacation spot means that many folks often miss this beautiful state. And, nothing affirmed what a shame it is to bypass Idaho more than having the chance to spend a couple days exploring the backwoods at the Black Dog Cycle Works 2012 Selkirk Rally.
Originally from San Francisco, Kurt and Martha Forgét left the cold, hard world of finance and to fulfill their personal destinies by opening up shop only a few miles north of Sandpoint, Idaho. It’s a fun little town located right on one of America’s deepest lakes, and surrounded by some of the country’s most beautiful mountains. Driven into the hills by relentless armies of spreadsheets, their passion and love for riding led them to one of life’s most difficult challenges: making a living doing what they love. It’s a precious gift that not many of us ever realize, and its achievement requires plenty of sacrifice and determination. Although they run a tight ship, with help from friends and Dean Shillinger (aka “The Mean Green Dean Machine”), the folks of Black Dog Cycle Works know how to live it up, country style.
Early on Saturday morning everyone gathers around the deck to go over the map, while Kurt describes possible routes for the day, and fields questions about trail conditions. With so many interesting options, making up your mind to choose only one loop for the day is difficult. Like most riders, we were anxious to get moving, and it didn’t take long before everyone was grouped-up and getting on the road.
The tarmac didn’t last too long before we found ourselves on some gnarly single-track climbing through some of the most scenic vistas of the area. Bret Tkacs led much of the way, and showed his natural born talent as a trainer, offering advice and some muscle whenever needed. Reaching the top of Upper Pack Trail, the surface switched from rocky, rutty single-track to some sublime dual-track, with snow-peaked mountains often peeping through the background. When the trail levels out, it tends to widen and opened us up to the heavy sun of an unusually warm Idaho summer.
“Back at the ranch” around five o’clock, some of the folks who had taken shorter routes were already well into enjoying their riparian delights. They were accompanied by some of the nicest companions on four legs, and mascot—the infamous Black Dog! Shallow rocks proved to be a great place to throw out some plastic lawn chairs and cool our hot dogs after a full day of dust and sun. Neighbors, choosing the one-wheeled tube form of transportation, would drift down river, stop for a chat, then head along.
Back on dry land, and not too far away, attendees pitched tents along the riverbank beneath shady trees which helped keep them cool in the mornings and afternoon. If you’re swinging through the area on two wheels, Kurt and Martha open up the grounds for stopovers should you need a place to rest.
Although the river and tent sites were beautiful fun, nothing could stop the killer Saturday night party and feast. All attendees were welcomed to one of the most succulent pig roasts, yielding a huge piece of juicy tenderloin, which was sliced up and thrown into the mix of other goodies. And beer, of course, was on tap.
Given the usual cacophony of motorcycle space scum, good eats and booze, it’s only natural to expect good music and dancing. Martha, asked for some George Clinton, which I was eager to second, and before we knew it, thence came the funky dancing until it was time for the Door Prize Drawings. Oddly enough, Kurt insisted the Grand Prize Drawing should come first, whereas his better half insisted that it should come at the end. In my buzzed stupor, it reminded me of a line from the film Bruce Almighty, “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.”
From time-to-time, everyone needs to get out and attend a rally like this. Not so big it becomes impersonal, but not so small it lacks festivities and that warm buzz of motorcycle energy you only get when kindred spirits gather. Hands were shook, tall tales told, wrenches were spun, and everyone came away without any broken bones or bikes. All in all, you couldn’t ask for more.
As quickly as they came, they all left. Many continuing their travels, while others headed home, but all leaving with a new appreciation for the area and a great sense of thanks to the folks at Black Dog Cycle Works for successfully pulling off a great rally—sure only to get better with each passing year.