By Joel Strecker
The anticipation hit me at 11:54 on Sunday night. I tossed and turned in the camper the rest of the night as the acorns from the old Burr Oak Tree bounced off the roof. The preparation was done, but I kept checking things off the mental checklist over and over until I decided to have breakfast at 4:45 am. After a 5-year hiatus, the Tucker Powersports Dealer Appreciation Ride at Timber Ridge was ready to go.
Timber Ridge Ranch is a 5,000-acre private OHV park located in the Loess Hills near Castana, Iowa. There are miles of single-track and two-track UTV trails that run up, down, and around the geographical anomaly that stretches from southeastern South Dakota through northwest Missouri.
A chilly October morning greeted the 58 riders that congregated at the Lodge for a 9:30 am riders meeting on Monday October 14th. Dealers were represented from throughout the tri-state area, with one making the 8-hour trek all the way from Rapid City. Riders brought dirt bikes, pit bikes, ATVs, and UTVs from all different types of dealerships.
After the riders meeting, riders divided into guided groups led by riders and drivers familiar with the facility. The groups included: beginner, intermediate, intermediate to expert, race pace, and ATV/UTV. The guides were Dave Bak from Bak BMW/CF Moto, Justin Stenger from The Offroad Company, Martin Algya, Jungle Bob, Scott Velgersdyk, and me.
Monday turned out to be a perfect day for riding; clear skies, temps in the mid-60s, and hero dirt that was so good it was hard to imagine. Everyone had a smile on their faces as they made their way back from the morning loops.
After a couple of hours on the trails, lunch was served back at the lodge. A shout out goes to my mother and father-in-law, Jill and Jerry Paulsen, for hanging around an extra week to help with lunch, Lisa Velgersdyk for helping with sign-up and lunch, and fellow reps Keith Berry and Kevin Christensen for their help. Mark Davis and James Schuster from All Ball’s Racing Group spoke to the crowd during the lunch break as well. After lunch, a few riders were already worn out. The rest broke out into their groups again for the second loops of the day, with the final group back at the Lodge around 4:00 pm.
Tuesday, the weather wasn’t quite as cooperative. Temperatures in the mid-40s with wind gusts of 40 mph kept a few riders away but, we still had 28 riders enjoy a day of riding with us.
Without the following sponsors, the Dealer Appreciation Ride at Timber Ridge would have never happened. A big thanks goes out to: EVS Sports, Motion Pro, SCOTT Sports, Dunlop Tires, All Balls Racing, KFI Products, and Maxima Racing.