Vegas to Reno Off-Road - One Rider, Many Passengers Best in the Desert Racer Helping

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Desert Racer to Solo the Las Vegas to Reno, Best in the Desert off road race to help

In the sport of off-road racing, and especially in the Iron Man expert division of the Best in the Desert Silver State series, it’s each man for himself. But Les Walker of Fallbrook, CA won’t be alone when he competes in the 10th annual “Vegas to Reno” race on August 25th.

To help raise money for the RiderDown Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping off-road motorcyclists who have been injured while riding, Les Walker is offering small sticker space on his bike and helmet for a $25 donation to Donations will be used to provide assistance to the riders and their families when faced with medical expenses and related issues.

Each sticker will carry the donor’s name, allowing them to accompany Les in spirit as he rides in the United States’ longest off-road race. On race day, donors will also be able to track Les’s progress along the 600-plus mile course through an advanced real-time satellite tracking system from Iritrack and International Racing Consultants on the Best in the Desert web site at

Walker is a professional photographer who competes in the Best in the Desert series in the Iron Man expert division, in which he is currently ranked third in the nation. He got the idea for this fundraiser while nursing a foot injury he incurred during the Terrible Town 250 race in southwest Nevada this past April. “My foot got me thinking about other riders who seriously injure themselves and how they survive the hardships of missing work and paying those hospital and doctor bills. I know most of us run a tight ship financially and a week away from work can bring the ride to a grinding halt,” says Walker. “I saw that the people at RiderDown had their hearts, minds, and wallets in the right place, which convinced me that I had to help out."    

RiderDown relies entirely on volunteers in carrying out its mission, which is to provide injured riders with financial assistance and emotional support. “We are continually amazed at the generosity of the off-road community,” says RiderDown President Bruce Vermeulen. “Without people like Les and everyone who is joining him as a backseat rider for the Vegas to Reno race, we wouldn’t be able to provide much help to riders. The more members we get registered at, the more respect, recognition, and hopefully funding we can get from individuals and companies.”    

Walker has posted his fundraising idea on a few motorcycle online message boards and is seeing a great response, already raising more than $1,000 from sympathetic riders and off-road enthusiasts across the nation.     “The cool thing is that I won’t be riding in the longest off-road race in North America alone but will have all of these people on board with me. What a great feeling that will be when I stop my race motorcycle at the finish line after traversing over 600 miles of tough terrain, battling all day and part of the night not only with other competitors but with some of the most unforgiving desert in the world,” says Walker.

“I have taken my race motorcycle to the high elevations of the mountains and then back down to the dusty desert floor, I have crossed dry lakebeds at 100 miles per hour and raced in some of the most awesome tight, twisty sand washes in the world. Soon I will be in Reno, Nevada, ‘The Biggest Little City In The World,’ at the finish line of ‘The Longest Off-Road Race In The United States,’ the world-famous Vegas to Reno, knowing that together we’ve helped out some of our less fortunate members of our brotherhood.”

Race information:

Best in the Desert Vegas to Reno,
Race date: Friday, August 25, 2006

Rider: Les Walker #012 Iron Man Expert Division

(Participants competing in this division must complete the entire ride alone; no team participation is allowed)


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