Motorcycle trip to Burningman

Posted by jswt | Posted in BRC - Burningman | Posted on 03-10-2012


With some unexpected open schedule, the offer of a free ticket, and a twitchy throttle hand, quick plans were laid to ride my motorbike from Vancouver to Gerlach Nevada for the Burningman festival.

How was it? Infinitely worthwhile.

If you don’t know about Burningman, then you probably don’t need to. If you haven’t been, I’m sure you’ve dealt with enough people going on and on about it already for me not to add much more. If you have been, you’ll know it doesn’t really fit in a camera, and is nearly impossible to explain.

This was my 10th time getting dusty in the desert (first time was in 1999), and proved a very nice milestone for reflection. To challenge my routines and push my boundaries, I purposely chose not to camp with people I know, and sought out a group of friendly unknowns which worked out very well. As an additional challenge I rode my motorcycle, which adds another level of logistics which I was happy to realize I could anticipate and manage with relative ease, compared to my early years in the desert where I’d have been a scrambled mess. Thanks to some help from old and new friends, the waves of wonder flowed in unbelievably wonderfully ways.

If you’d like to know more, feel free to ask about the experience over beers, there are some *very* great tales that came out of this year, but… well… it’s got more dimensions than text and photos can simply relay.

Notes: Some of you have been emailing asking for tips on taking your motorcycle to burningman… Here are a few things I might suggest:

  • Cover your gas tank: The dust will get into *everything* and you don’t want it in your gas tank. Take a plastic bag, and some electricians tape and just seal a square over your gas tank cap as soon as you get there. Electrician’s tape won’t cook an impossible to remove stick gunk to yer tank.
  • Get gas before/at event: I had a friend bring in a jerrycan of gas so I wouldn’t have to wait in the brutal gas line in Gerlach coming or leaving the event. It’ll save you some frustration and sun cooking.
  • Clean up right away: I brought chain lube to slick up my chain right after the event (it was crispy dry), and when I got home I took a spray bottle of vinegar to cut through the dusty residue on the bike. Even with about 5 rinse cycles of vinegar and water, I’ve resigned myself that there will always be a white dust layer on my bike – for the sake of memories, I’m quite ok with this, but you might not be.

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