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Author: Neale Bayly

Neale Bayly Rides: Danger In Namibia

As the torrential rain relentlessly pounded the slippery dirt road beneath my boots, I watched in horror as the BMW F800GS in front of me dived into some deep water, churned and ground its way forward, then spat a submerged rock from under the front wheel causing it to lurch sideways. Desperately trying to use forward momentum to right the bike, the rider found himself stalling out in thigh-deep water, left leg submerged and sinking into the sand with his right leg stuck over the bike as it attempted to push him down under the fast-flowing water. With the two of us alone, now long separated from our group, I had to act quickly as I had no idea how long he could last in such a precarious position.

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Neale Bayly Rides: My Most Prized Possession

I can’t remember how many racetrack schools, off-road, and dirt-focused classes I’ve attended throughout my career. And I can’t remember how many inexperienced newbies have shown up at race track weekends on super-expensive motorcycles with $2,500+ aftermarket exhaust systems and thousands more on accessories and such, before going out and crashing on the first lap.

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Neale Bayly Rides: Getting Up

In the movies, when you think the chief protagonist has taken his last beating and can’t go on, he somehow summons the strength to defeat the bad guy, save the world, and get the girl. I’m assuming he stays in the next night to eat pizza; how do you follow up on a day like that? It doesn’t seem to work like that in real life though, and after the biggest beating of my life, it just seemed like no matter how often I got up, something kept knocking me down. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it got worse, and then got worse again: It got so bad at one point that if I had a dog, it probably would have run away.

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Biker Fitness: Mountain Bike Makeover

Now, while this might seem odd to most of you, I’ve noticed something very strange lately. Every year I seem to be getting older and those track days, adventure rides or dirt bike sessions seem to be getting a little more challenging. Without much chance of adding to my limited skill set, I made a conscious decision to stay as motorcycle fit as I can and to that end find myself doing a fair amount of bicycling these days. Nearly all top level motorcycle racers use cycling as part of their training. With it being the perfect activity to complement our motorcycling habits, I found myself in Georgia recently riding with my good buddy Scott Russell. Those of your old enough to remember rotary phones will remember he won the World Superbike Championship in 1993, as well as numerous American championships and a few Daytona 200s. Well, packing up to leave his place recently he grabbed his Mountain bike and shoved it in my car saying, “Pay me later.”

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Neale Bayly Rides: Falling, Rising, & Perfect Moments in Ecuador

In the saddle of my BMW F700GS riding with my mad buddy Christian Scranton and our Ecuadorian friend Erik, I can’t keep my eyes off of her today any more than I could 21 years ago. Rising up out of the lush, green farmland, capped in brilliant white snow, and against a piercing blue sky, Cotopaxi stands majestic as she overlooks the city of Quito. This incredible 19,300-foot volcanic mountain, then as now, symbolizes a time in my life when riding the wild places of the world would mend my broken soul.

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Neale Bayly Rides: In This Moment

An hour or so out of Sedona, Arizona, the red rock ridgelines provide a natural border to the sharpest and clearest blue sky I can remember. Purple wildflowers announce spring in the high desert, and the cool morning air delivers their sweet fragrance, stimulating dormant parts of my technology-anesthetized senses. My physical body is doing what it was designed to do, embracing the low temperature by pumping extra blood (adrenaline, perhaps?), and the high is clean and the dialogue honest. Out here you can’t escape yourself, even though the landscape stretches to a horizon that is further than a man can walk in one day.

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Motorcycle Gear: REV’IT! DIRT Series Apparel

With my 2016 Husqvarna FE350 having gone through a complete make over recently, including being finished off with my own custom graphics, it was time to get rid of my old, very worn out riding gear. Having been fully equipped by REV’IT! last year with their adventure gear for my ride in Ukraine, I put a call in to see if they could help me not only look better, but make sure I was as protected as I need to be in the trails.
Well, REV’IT! didn’t disappoint.

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Neale Bayly Rides: Orbits

In my mirror, a fellow sojourner was also enjoying the alpine-fresh air and soul warming sunshine as we unhurriedly made our ascent. A chance coffee stop in the mining town of Leadville earlier in the morning had introduced us, and the result of our conversation was some company for my ride to Aspen. Showing the telltale sunglass lines and wind burned cheeks of the road, my new friend Dave had been heading in the opposite direction when we met. His journey was nearing its end but he had no desire to stop riding, so it was a natural decision for him to change direction and join me.

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Neale Bayly Rides: What Once Was Lost

I will never forget that frigid winter afternoon the 1924 JD Harley-Davidson was unceremoniously dragged from the back of a semi-truck. Dull, lifeless, rusty, and forgotten, somewhere around five decades had slipped by since the bike was last ridden. Heading for the workshop behind the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, museum owner Dale Walksler had been entrusted with the task of breathing life into this then 80-year-old motorcycle. I was there to document the story, and didn’t know I was about to be taken on an adventure: an adventure that would journey deep into my soul, as Dale and I traveled back through ours.

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