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Baby Burr: Dual-sport ecstasy in Southern Ohio

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Dual-sport riding is fun!

One of the many highlights on the AMA Husqvarna National Dual Sport Series calendar, the Baby Burr is celebrating its 24th anniversary this Oct. 6-7 in McArthur, Ohio.

The event, produced and promoted by the Enduro Riders Association, channels the spirit of the historic Little Burr Enduro that in 1958 was the AMA’s first 250-mile National Enduro before the advent of the AMA Grand National Enduro Championship that was founded four years later.

All the history of that storied event, and much more, is alive and well today in the Baby Burr -- a traditional favorite among dual-sport riders and local enduro racers. (And not just because entrants get a chance to win a brand, spankin’ new Husqvarna TE dual-sport bike from series sponsor Husqvarna.)

I’ve personally ridden the Baby Burr several times, and have come to appreciate its flowing routes, challenging terrain, ample mileage and friendly atmosphere. It’s downright awesome to ride trail that isn’t beat up and to see what surprises the club has dug out of its bag of tricks for each year.

Even better, if atmosphere matters to you, most years the Baby Burr falls at the start of fall-color season. The leaves are just starting to change, creating surreal multi-hued backdrops, but the temperatures are still comfortable enough to ride without a jacket.

Steve Barber is the president of the Enduro Riders Association. Although Barber’s been at this too long to give up too many secrets about the ride, he does offer some additional details about the event.

“We have a fair amount of enduro loops on Saturday,” Barber says. “The enduro loops are just that. We used them as timed sections on the Little Burr (earlier this year).”

Steve adds, however, that the enduro sections aren’t designed to break you.

“They aren't extremely hard, but we might have some places that might be a problem for a small percentage of the riders,” he says. “We get a wide range of skill levels at these events and want everyone to have a good event.”

For riders who need a break, Barber says bypasses will be available for the tougher sections.

“Some riders may not want to enter a section if they are not sure of their skill level,” he says. “I tried to label the enduro loops with brief descriptions of the possible trouble spots. If it’s not labeled, then it's just several miles of good trail, but if someone is getting tired they may want to skip it.”

Not that you’d ever want to skip it! The other great thing about AMA-sanctioned dual-sport rides? You never ride alone. Sooner or later, and probably sooner, some 17-year-old kid will show up who can ride your bike up that root-infested hill.

See you in McArthur!

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