THE BUZZ (STOKE) CONTINUES…
For most of the modern world the last few months of the year get you into the “holiday cheer” and thinking “where did the year go?” Halloween brings in November, then you have Thanksgiving to run right up on Christmas and bam it’s time to ring in the New Years. How did this happen? Another year gone by; we are all a little older, a little chubbier, a little wiser and a little more pulled away from the things that keep us young and living for today. Or so the story should go. W.E. see October and start to froth. Knowing that the winds of change and the temps dropping here mean only one thing, riding season is upon us and the Stumble Bee rip is the first thing on the list! Its the rip that lets us feel beat up, tired, wired and smiling from ear to ear with the joy of simply being on the bike, alive and with our pack.
Re-wind a bit back in time, the Stumble Bee rip started as a “Beat the Heat” ride we did in summer around 2009. It was just a few of us originally and the premise was to start at destination A get to destination B, camp and get back to A again all on bikes, with only ourselves as resources to complete the goal. Way back when we’d starting off around 4PM, we would ride off into the sunset in hopes to reach our destination 100 miles out by 10:00 PM. This never happened. We have stumbled in at 1AM, 2AM, and one time 4AM and still had to have the energy to turn it around and go back the next day, which was a tall order, hence the new name STUMBLE BEE. This was before WLF as W.E. know it today but, the building blocks were set in stone as this defined FUTHER TOGETHER.
Fast-forward to this year, its 2019. over a decade has passed since the first rip and about 3 years ago we started to document the madness and changed the name up to the Stumble Bee for obvious reasons. More folks have joined in on the fun and W.E. created a larger purpose for this one. Its really become a “Thank You” ride to all the people and brands that have helped WLF along the way. These humans are why W.E. do what W.E. do and at the end of the day what keep this thing fun for all of us WLFounders.
THIS YEAR A FEW THINGS CHANGED.
First off the starting time, headed out a little earlier as to not end up in the desert at 4AM and keep folks sane. Also moved around the route a bit to be fun yet challenging @RideTrailTech keeping us on track and in true WLFasion added a “TWIST” with a night cap that won’t soon be forgotten. The PACK stacked up with 36 solid riders, 1 @BajaDesignsOffficial chase vehicle filled with all the camping supplies and gas. With everyone prep’d and a few last sprays of @ReverendMotors chain lube for good measure we all moved out of Miller Canyon and on to Big Bear eventually making it to the High Desert destination with cold @805beer waiting for us at the camp fire around 5pm.
ALONG THE RIDE IT NEVER FAILS…
…you always experience some sort of issue, or flat, or exhausted rider in need of a snack and a break. This year was no exception, fortunately a good amount of folks had their @AnswerOffRoad #WLFvest handy with all the necessary tools to fix what ails ya.
This years damaged included… 1 crushed leaking radiator fixed with JB Weld Stick, 1 completely destroyed right side radiator that could not be fixed, we plugged the hosed with sticks we whittled to fit and made it to the lunch. 1 cracked water pump cover patched with JB WELD Stick, 1 broken shift lever which was replaced, 1 snapped chain new master link was installed, 1 rear sprocket started to fall off and 4 sprocket bolts were replaced, 1 rear fender was destroyed on a wheelie gone wrong several zip ties took care of it. Add in more than a few bumps and bruises and we all made it out in one piece.
ON THE RIDE BACK ALL WAS WELL UNTIL IT WASN’T…
…we had a loose sprocket and a broken Shifter in the boulder section. Luckily someone had one stored away in their @GiantLoopMoto Saddle Bags and a quick tool roll later was fixed and back on trail. A quick side note, last year on this same ride we had 7 flats. With most all riders running @nuetech.NitroMousse.tubliss it wasn’t a miracle that we had a Flat Free Weekend. Just in case you were wondering if they work…they do.
Some of us constantly joke “safety 3rd” which couldn’t be further from the truth, no reckless riding, when in need a helping hand would be there from all over the trail. With the exception of some sore muscles on Monday morning that some @rangeessential couldn’t cure, we all made it back without injury.
RUMBLE AT THE STUMBLE
Wait, W.E. mentioned a “TWIST”… W.E. wanted to create something special for the attendees that would leave them grinning from ear to ear and just a little more sore than when they landed at camp. So after pizza delivery and a few shared stories by the fire, W.E. rallied the troops to embark on an evening outing that would soon become that of WLFolklore (insert theme song here). The participants had no idea what they were getting into but, each of them willingly mounted up on their bikes and got into the chase truck to travel a few miles up the dark road and into our abyss of WLFun.
A small canyon just outside of camp for years coined boulder ally would become the stage for what W.E. are calling RUMBLE AT THE STUMBLE. A 4 team 6 man one heat relay rally of epic proportion and utter pandemonium, a race to end all races and a night that would live in infamy, lets get ready to STUMBLE!!! (as you can see we got our inspo from WWF circa 1987-91). At the base of the canyon we set up “camp”, a propane fire pit and make shift starting line. Throw in some road flares up the rocks for good measure to help guide the way and night light powered by @BajaDesignsofficial . As well as, spectators lining the rocks sections ready to catch a glimpse of a riders jersey color in hopes it was their teammate running a good time. All of this tossed in a pot and you have yourself a recipe for radness. If you ride at night you know what you need to have to make this happen and its always a challenge no matter who you are or your level of skill. The teams were randomly picked as per the Jersey colors passed out earlier in the trip. Team Yellow, White, Grey and Red with 4 teams of 6 humans were ready to RUMBLE…and W.E. did! It was pitch black in that canyon, three Riders at the top of the canyon and three riders at the bottom. W.E. had a @GoPromounted to the @dango_design as our makeshift “baton”, When a rider reaches the top or bottom they pass the baton and so on and so forth.
Of course it was a timed event we wanted people to send it! haha…After all the dust settled into the shallow crevices of the boulders in the canyon TEAM YELLOW won! Like any great race, amongst the victory and celebration there was some murmurs of collusion and some agony of defeat. All in all, RUMBLE AT THE STUMBLE was created for everyone to have a great time and level up the vibe on an already incredible journey. W.E. believe this was accomplished by the stories that ensued at the campfire after the event was over.
The next day, we packed up and began the 100 mile + journey home on bikes. The Buzz (stoke) continued all the way to the staging area. When we landed back at the trucks we laughed and talked about the ride and as all great rides go we hoped that this will be one for the books, judging from the miles and the smiles, would say the ink was almost dry. W.E. clocked almost 207 miles in the 2 days but, who’s counting really? It could have been 50 miles or 500, it really didnt matter. What mattered most were the people involved, this will be one W.E. will remember WLForever.
2020 STUMBLE BEE LS : STRIPES EARNED
WLF is about community, support, passion, fun, enjoyment of an activity. Its not about ego or being faster than someone else, its about going FUTHER TOGETHER and this crew embodied that from before the first mile was even clocked. Ya’ll are WLFamiy and W.E. thank you for your continued support!
A special thanks also goes out to everyone that was on the 2019 STUMBLE, brand partners, first timers, returning crew, friends, the hand selected that assisted to get everyone home safe and sound! Thanks to the brands @AnswerOffroad @BajaDesignsofficial @GiantLoopmoto @IMSproducts @RuggedRadios @ReverendMotors @805beer @FMF73 @FASSTcompany @Dango_Design @EagleRider @RideTrailTech