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Highlights from the 2015 IAMC Challenge 

by Craig O. Olsen, M.D. (Platinum level winner)
Originally Published in the IAMC Newsletter, January 2016

For the 2015 IAMC Challenge I tried to visit as many of both “a” and “b” op&ons for each county plus some “c” op&ons as well. I was able to visit all 44 “a” op&ons (county courthouses), 33 of all the “b” op&ons (off-road sites), and 5 optional “c” sites for a total of 82 sites. As for many of you, my 2015 IAMC Challenge began with the 2015 IAMC Challenge Kickoff BBQ held at Pro Moto Billet in Nampa on April 4. Dan Driscoll led a group of about 12-15 riders from Big Twin to Lynn Hodge’s Pro Moto Billet production site in Nampa. After touring Lynn’s production facilities, we had a BBQ lunch and Mike Hardy passed out the purple 2015 challenge bandanas (made by Chuck Scheer). Following this a group of us road over to Pickle BuPe Riding Area to pick up our first official 2015 Challenge Site. I was sporting my new ride – a 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 that I had purchased from Birds of Prey in March – shown in the foreground of the photo to the right with the purple challenge bandana covering the windscreen. 

Pickle BuAe Riding Area in Canyon County southwest of Nampa.
Wickahoney Stage Station Owyhee County

The next memorable ride was to Wickahoney Stage Station in south Owyhee County on April 10. Our group of eight riders were “buzzed” by two A-10 Warthogs while at the site. On the way back to Boise, some of our group stopped at Higby Cave located on the Idaho Army National Guard Training Area. It is now gated off near the entrance. [1] 

Airmail Beacon near Highway 81 in southern Cassia County.
Craig Olsen, Doug Patching & Steve Joyce at Pat Hollow Crash Site in southeast Franklin County.

Twelve riders participated in Sam Stone’s Promontory Point and Transcontinental Rail Road Ride on May 1-3. During this ride, we visited several challenge sites en-route to and from our des&na&on. One of the more unusual op&on “c” sites visited was this old Airmail Beacon marker located in southern Cassia County just east of old Highway 81 about one mile north of the Utah-Idaho border. Approximately 1,500 of these beacons were constructed by the Post Office and Department of Commerce between 1923 and 1933 to guide airmail pilots from city to city along specified air traffic corridors. Most are now gone, but remnants of several s&ll remain in Idaho and other western states. [2] 

A detailed write up of this epic ride is found in the September 2015 issue of the IAMC NewslePer. [3] On the return trip through southeastern Idaho we visited several challenge sites including Pat Hollow Crash Site in Franklin County It is the largest avia&on accident in Idaho history. A large snow bank blocked the last 40 yards to the monument. 

My Triumph Tiger performed well during these two rides, but the clutch suddenly and completely failed with only 2,900 miles on the odometer midway through Wyoming. With much adjus&ng I was able to nurse the clutch along through the remainder of the ride. By the &me we got to Mountain Home the clutch was nearly all gone and would begin slipping at 2,400 RPMs. We limped into the Stage Stop 16 miles southeast of Boise where Steve Joyce’s wife, Mickie, met us with his pick-up, and we hauled the bike to Birds of Prey….. where it sat for the next six weeks before their service department even looked at it. They then refused to cover the clutch under warranty and wanted $850.00 to replace it. I declined their offer, returned the bike home, and placed a heavy duty Barnett clutch in it for $250.00, all within 90 minutes After ordering the replacement parts on-line. I can accept the dealer not covering the clutch under warranty; I do not understand their six week delay in even looking at the bike! 

In the interim I visited some of the challenge sites closer to Boise on my Suzuki DRZ400. For those challenge sites farther away I visited them on my only other ride, an HD Road King (not the ideal dual-sport ride), including a few off-road sites. 

By mid August I had the Tiger up and running again, so I planned a 340 mile one-day loop to visit six challenge sites in three counties – Elmore, Blaine and Camas. Ten riders participated on this ride. In addition to the three county courthouses, we visited Trinity Lakes, Carrietown mining camp and Red Cloud Mine. We had fun getting into Trinity Lakes and Carrietown, but found the steep, rocky ATV trail into Red Cloud Mine to be more than we could handle on our larger dual-sport bikes. We got within a half mile of Red Cloud Mine before we turned back. 

In late August I posted a four-day, approximate 1,100 mile challenge ride to visit 28 challenge sites in 16 counties in eastern Idaho. Two other riders, Arden Hill.and Shane Nowell, participated in this ride. A few of the highlight sites from this ride include Black Ridge Crater, Teton Dam Site, Samuel A. Glass Gravesite and Sawtell Peak Radar Instillation. dealership waiting to be looked at or waiting for parts. While I thoroughly enjoy riding this bike, I am reluctant to recommend a Triumph Tiger to other dual-sport riders. I certainly am disappointed in the service at Birds of Prey. Unfortunately, they are the only Triumph dealer in Idaho. 

I had intended to do a several day ride to the challenge sites in the northern Idaho counties, and I par&cularly looked forward to visi&ng the off-road sites. With my long-distance dual-sport bike in the shop waiting for a new ECU board, my only op&on was to resort to the HD Road King and omit most of the off-road sites. In late September and early October I planned a six day ride to 13 of the northern 

The ride progressed well and my Tiger was running fine un&l the early Afternoon of day three when the ECU board in the instrument panel got wet going through a deep water crossing near Island Park. Some 80 miles later After visi&ng the Samuel A. Glass Gravesite in Clark County, the bike stopped running altogether, and I had to haul the bike back to Boise where the Birds of Prey dealership picked it up and brought it to their service department. Fortunately, they did warranty the ECU board, which cost $950.00 to replace. Much to my chagrin, it took six weeks for them to get a replacement ECU board! 

Carrietown Mining Camp in northern Camas County.
Sawmill Peak Radar Installation in Fremont County.

For the first six months I owned my new 2015 Triumph Tiger it has spent three of those months at the Idaho counties to visit 17 sites. Going on the HD Road King did allow me the opportunity to invite my significant other riding partner and wife, Lenna, who will ride with me two-up on the HD but not on either of my dual-sport bikes. We had a great ride covering about 1,650 miles in six days, and we did about 200 miles of dirt and gravel roads visi&ng some of the easier off-road sites. She was a liPle tense on those roads, but we got through without any mishaps. 

Lenna holding the bandana in front of the Benewah County Courthouse in St. Maries.

While I enjoyed the 2015 IAMC Challenge, I was disappointed that I could not visit more of the northern county off-road sites because I did not have a proper dual-sport bike available to reach them. I look forward to the 2016 IAMC Challenge and riding with other members of our club. 

References: 

  1. “Ride to Wickahoney,” by Craig O. Olsen, M.D., IAMC Ride Reports, April 12, 2015. http://motoidaho.org/node/2794
  2. 2. “Sam’s Ride to Promontory Point (Golden Spike Transcon&nental Rail Road Monument),” by Craig O. Olsen, M.D., IAMC Ride Reports, May 5, 2015. http://motoidaho.org/node/2853 

3. “Utah & Wyoming Pony Express Ride,” by Craig O. Olsen, M.D., IAMC Newsletter, Issue #3, September, 2015. 

http://motoidaho.org/sites/default/files/IAMC%20NewsleBer%20%289-2015%20Issue%203a%29_0.pdf

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