<b>The Pine Barrens 500</b>  Adventure Ride Recap

The Pine Barrens 500 Adventure Ride Recap

The Pine Barrens 500 is an off-road event notorious in the Northeast US for tricky terrain and unpredictable late autumn weather. It has sent more than a few big ADV bikes home packing… and not always in one piece.
12-03-2018
Adventure

Article

Amelia Kamrad
#REVITRIDER

Amelia contributes to ADVMoto magazine and participates in NASA Rally races. Amelia currently rides a Husaberg 390 and is based out of New Jersey.

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Amelia Kamrad
Pine Barrens 500

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HOW IT ALL WENT DOWN

We catch up with #revitrider and Women’s Adventure Team member, Amelia Kamrad, after she’s dusted the sand off her bike and her Horizon 2 Ladies outfit. Find out how it all went down and all about the color (and carnage) of the weekend.

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Pine Barrens gathering
Pine Barrens Dinner time
Motocross in deep sand
2 Motors through the woods

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First, tell us what motivates you to ride in events like the Pine Barrens 500 (PB500)?

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Events like the PB500 are the total package - I love showing up and knowing that there will be three days of fun trails already scouted for us. There's no worrying about finding a full day's worth of good routes, where to get gas or food along the way, or how to get home if you have an issue with your bike. It's all done for you.

I also love the social aspect, too - meeting and riding alongside people as enthusiastic as I am. It truly is a motivating experience, and this is where I’ve met some of my best friends and riding buddies.

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Motorcycle plowing through sand

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This is my third year attending the Pine Barrens 500 - it is one of the last events of the season and a ride I will not skip.

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Did you do anything special to prepare yourself or your bike?

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Outside of regular bike maintenance and appropriate tire selection (good knobbies are an absolute must in the sand), about a week before I start to prep my gear. This is one of those late fall rides where the weather can vary greatly.

Last year, I wore mesh gear, but this year the forecast was cold and rainy, so I spent time packing under layers like my REV’IT! Sky Ladies base layers and Core mid layer jacket. As for waterproof outer shells, the Horizon 2 Ladies suit performed super well - both on the sunny days and the freezing all-day rains!

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What are the people who show up to the PB500 like? What do they ride and how do they ride?

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This ride is big-bike friendly, so you get a number of larger displacement ADV motorcycles. The route is very approachable for most people, but those who’ve never ridden sand before are in for a surprise!

The good news is there are usually people around to help you pick up your bike - and who will help you laugh it all off. The folks who attend events like this are generally down for adventure; fun-loving and very excited to be there.

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3 Motorcycles on a sandpath

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What is the ADV riding community like in the Northeast US and how have you seen it change since you started?

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The community here is special - a good mix of ‘regulars’ that show up to every ride, and newbies who have never been to an ADV ride before. The new riders always spend the hours before the event trying to learn more about the route and finding an appropriate group. The regulars are the ones with the “play-it-by-ear” attitude. By the end of the ride, everyone has a smile on their face, and all riders are trading stories of their crashes and showing off broken parts.

I do notice more and more riders bringing smaller bikes that can tackle dual-sport-style events, as well as ADV events. And I definitely see more female riders now. When I started riding off-road, I was the only woman at these events, but lately I see more women tackling hard terrain every season. It’s inspiring.

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What is unique about riding the Pine Barrens 500 in comparison to other locations?

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The terrain at the PB500 is very different from other Northeast riding - instead of rocks and elevation changes, riders deal with sand... and the sand in the Pines is special. On a dry day, there are stretches of sand that are a foot and a half deep with waves through them, from riders attempting to ride a straight line - and very clear marks where bikes have been laid down.

On a wet day, this sand turns damp and thick, but with surprisingly little traction. It is also quite varied; there are hard-packed sections that are a dream to ride through, and flooded sections with puddles that will literally swallow your bike whole.

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Motocross through the woods
Amelia Kamrad
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Plowing through snow

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Why do you think more people should attend? What would you tell a first time PB500-er?

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This event is a perfect opportunity to test out your skills on a big bike - you can enter for one day or go whole hog and sign up for all three.

The organizers provide a safety net by riding sweep and offering bail outs, but really - go for the adventure. You never know the fun you can have, the people you'll meet and the trails you'll get to ride so close to home!

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