BlackRapid Photo-Moto Ride 2023 – Part 1

Once a year, some photographer friends of mine get together for a multi-state motorcycle ride. For the last few years, it’s been branded and put on by Ron Henry, the founder of BLACKRAPID. I do a lot of commercial work for BLACKRAPID and have long loved the brand. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, they make the best camera straps in the industry and are the most comfortable and versatile strap I’ve used.

Ron has a place in California, so this year we did a ride down to his place and toured around California. It started with Mike Ridinger and his son Cade, driving from Lewiston Idaho down to my place in Utah. Then we took a couple days to ride out to California. Being photographers, we stop along the way to photograph anything that catches our eye.

From my place to Ron’s, then touring California and back, was over 2100 miles.

The rule of riding is to avoid freeways and straight roads. We prefer the curvy, less used highways that take a bit longer and cut through small, older towns. These places are passed over by all the travelers on faster roads, in a hurry to “make good time” and get somewhere fast. We may ride fast, but our emphasis is on “good,” not “time.” We stop to take pictures, backtrack to hit a curvier, prettier road, or search out the highly-recommended small town burger stop.

Heading south through the backroads of Utah, we were constantly avoiding rain clouds. At one point we were in the clear area between three different rain storms surrounding us.

This way of traveling meant we rarely saw anyone on these pretty Utah backroads. The wide-open country was just ours.

By nightfall we had hit St. George, Utah, and needed to reluctantly use the freeway to get to Mesquite, Nevada to stay for the night.

The next morning we gassed up in Vegas, and then headed south-west through the desert heat on more backroads.

My attention is always caught by abandoned signs. These old roads used to be the main roads before freeways, so they’re littered with the remnants of old signs from motels and gas stations. When I look back on my photographs from the trip, I have tons of images of old abandoned signs. This one was particularly pretty.

When we arrived in Palm Desert, California, we met up with Ron and our friend Angel who rode in from Arizona. Then we all went to eat in the swanky town.

Coming up, I’ll share images from our ride through California (parts 2 and 3), then our ride home through Death Valley and the Utah Salt Flats (part 4).

In the meantime, the summer heat here in Utah is dropping. It’s the perfect time for family portraits outdoors in my studio gardens or even inside in the studio.

Give me a call at 801-728-3317 and let’s set something up.

And until next time, America.

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