BDR is not only an inspirational organization that emboldens adventure motorcyclists to go out and ride remote areas of the United States, but it’s also a non-profit group that empowers and enables the riding community.
Through creativity and hard work, this charity provides free downloadable GPS tracks, in addition to a surplus of helpful resources for 10 amazing North American off-road routes, with an 11th on the way.
REV’IT! is a proud supporter of BDR, and in the spirit of partnership, we asked some of their key team members this question…
Which is the Most Important BDR to You?
“In 2019, I had my first go at Lippincott Pass, a rocky, steep, off-camber Jeep trail on the Southern California BDR. We traveled down this challenging pass, and I was definitely at the limits of my skills. In 2020, we opted to reverse the route, which was going to mean riding up Lippincott."
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BDR - KRIS FANT - BDR AMBASSADORBio: A BDR Ambassador, REV’IT! Women’s Adventure Team Member, and genuine off-road enthusiast, Kris shares her love of off-road riding with her partner, Nathan, and strives to inspire riders to keep improving by hosting skills days, creating content for social media, and attending motorcycle events. You can find her on Instagram at @freespiritpixie and on YouTube at For the Love of Knobs.
“While CABDR - South was absolutely awe inspiring and the expert section rides went off without a hitch, in the back of my mind, the challenge of Lippincott loomed over my head. It had been a hard descent just a year ago, and hillclimbs - in general - were an even bigger challenge for me. How would my riding buddies respond if I didn't make it? With a pit in my stomach, I tried to ignore thoughts of hurting my bike, or worse, myself. The base of Lippincott is unmarked, but every cell in my body, I knew when we had arrived. While it starts out gentle and unassuming, my instincts knew the challenge that was waiting."
Battling Boulders “I rolled right up the initial rocks, focused, with my confidence growing. The grade got steeper, the rocks got bigger, but I was still going. “I'll make it up!” I thought to myself, my confidence swelling. It was looking promising... until I hit a boulder, lost momentum, and fell over. My friends were there to help me in an instant. Back on my bike, they offered a steadying hand and a push so that I could attempt the most challenging part of this pass again. With grateful tears in my eyes, I joined them in a cheer at the top of Lippincott Mountain."
“It is not the easy parts of a BDR that stand out in our memories; instead they are the moments where we have to dig deep within ourselves to get through them. Equally important is knowing if I find myself getting in over my head, I know my riding partners will help me out.”
Finding a New Home
“Sometimes you find a home, and sometimes home finds you. Two years ago, my partner and I left Iowa, knowing that our new home was somewhere. An ADV excursion with a friend brought me to the Washington BDR. Over a period of days, we rode through expansive desert, snow-capped peaks, and secluded towns with a single stop sign."
“I was already enamored with having no commitment beyond filling my panniers and my gas tank. My soul craved long days where my only decision was choosing a direction and where to pitch my tent at night. This desire was heightened by immersion into the vast beauty of the world and sharing the experience with friends."
“But the Washington BDR showed me something I didn't expect to find. Washington tugged at my heartstrings and whispered in my ear, ‘This is your home.’ Two days after I completed the WABDR, I was invited to apply for a job with Backcountry Discovery Routes, the very organization that had created the route that led me home. My home had found me.”
Washington BDR - Derek Holman - BDR Project CoordinatorBio: Derek was born and raised in the Southern Appalachian region of Virginia. It had felt as if the stars aligned when he landed his job with Backcountry Discovery Routes, and now Derek is eager to inspire and share his passion for riding in the backcountry with others through his work with the organization.
Share Your Passion
“I awoke the morning of my 65th birthday, deep in a California forest, as questions shot from my forehead, ricocheted off the inside of the tent, and hit me square between the eyes: How did I get here? With me were three dedicated BDR ambassadors that we spent the previous day scouting the CABDR - North (when the Oregon route is completed, this will now allow ADV riders a continuous Mexico to Canada adventure on some of the most amazing dirt tracks available in the world). But... how did I get here?"
Northern California BDR - Ron West - BDR Board MemberBio: From a very young age, Ron accompanied his parents on excursions to explore the mountains and deserts of California; explorations that still continue to this day. Instilled with a rich appreciation for the history and vast backcountry opportunities of the state, and then seeing these opportunities threatened, led Ron to volunteer for the BDR to further its goals.
“I grew up in California with minimal interest in riding motorcycles. I’d even considered myself a mediocre rider. How did I end up here, assisting in the creation of another Backcountry Discovery Route, a track some of the best riders in the country would enjoy? It started when my riding buddy blew a knee, and I volunteered for a National Forest OHV Program in their place. Before I knew it, I was being mic’d up at a BDR fundraiser, to speak to a room full of seasoned riders to pitch a new California route. How did I get here, I keep asking myself."
“I suppose when an opportunity to share your passion presents itself, you just say go for it. And this is true of every passionate volunteer of the BDR organization. As a 501c3 non-profit, it relies on individuals who will all say a resounding YES. The reward is waking up in a tent at 65 years old with a full grin on your face, knowing full well you have contributed to that same early morning smile on countless like-minded riders who download free GPS tracks from www.ridebdr.com and just say yes.”
An Office with a View
“There is a magic to scouting a new BDR you feel in your bones. I feel a tingle that reverberates up and down my entire body when I find that perfect dirt road. This stunning view, or that remote, untouched double-track from heaven just HAS to make it into that route for thousands of riders to share in the same inspiration I felt when I found it. Explore with a passion. Find purpose in living in the moment. When every memory is so intense that every second bleeds into the next as the most intense experience you’ve ever felt."
“As the brisk autumn wind and the occasional frozen droplet pushed up my chinbar and hit my face, I shed a few tears of gratitude for being alive as myself and four other BDR scouts explored rugged, remote parts of the upcoming Oregon route. I was surrounded by so much vast, natural beauty that begs to be appreciated by those that share in the passion that comes from connecting with the kind of nature that can only be found in remote parts of the United States."
“Being a part of the BDR team is an extension of my mission to have fun every day at work. There really is no better office with a view than the one from behind the handlebars of my motorcycle, exploring and living in the moment.”
Oregon BDR - Nathan Fant - BDR Route Manager Bio: Born in Alaska and raised in Oregon and Southwest Washington, Nathan has always been a seeker of adventure, outdoors, and finding ways to share it all with his friends. He has been a dedicated BDR volunteer and ambassador for over 5 years, managing the BDR booth and presenting at motorcycle events and rallies. Now, as an official staff member of the BDR team, he manages the route updates, helps with scouting new routes, and inspires others to explore the backcountry on two wheels.
Follow the Adventure
A profound thank you for the BDR team for sharing their experiences and moments with us at REV’IT!.
To discover your own adventure in the American backcountry, including the upcoming new official Oregon route, visit ridebdr.com and follow @ridebdr on Instagram.