|in no specific order, save for the first Buzzard listed.........the founder of
TEAM RUPTURED BUZZARD
Jimmy "Crane-Nuts" Craner
Cousin Jim is the inspiration for this website, mentor to me through some formative years (credit and blame go hand-in-hand) and the originator of the name "Team Ruptured Buzzard." You would think that for all of that he would have been knighted, excused from all income tax responsibilities and given a free Sam's Club membership. Sadly, even though he remains a great guy, an avid motorcyclist, an inspiration to his family and friends, an adventurer and a bench racer of the highest order - none of the giant accolades that are due him have come to pass. As many a true gentleman, he walks a quiet path in the cacophony surrounding a hectic life with family, work and business responsibilities, seeking not an earthly reward. Jim just takes every challenge in every day as it comes, with an outlook toward future adventures in mayhem and folley. I have to admire the guy for living so close to the earth and keeping a family life on track while simultaneously keeping the dream alive with such a sense of forward conviction. In the Seventies, he was a righteous player in 125cc/250cc Expert Class in the AMA, racing motocross like a man's man; early vintage, high speed/low drag riding and racing. A childhood idol to me, a semi-pro motocrosser for God's sake - Jim bought the worlds' first available production monoshock race bike, the Yamaha 125, and raced it like he'd stolen it. Maybe he did steal it, now that I think about it...... He and I plan to ride the desert WEST of the USA, Baja, and have even talked about AK to TDF. There's a fair chance we'll nail most of this before one of us has to say words over the other. Jim has served in the US ARMY, has a keen business sense and is a very talented artist in various mediums. His sense of humor is unstoppable, unless of course, you stop it.
Eric "Steiner" Edelstein
Eric was more than a fair hand at twisting the throttle of a motocross race machine, and was the fastest and most successful racer of our early Team Ruptured Buzzard "crew" as it was emerging back in the early-mid 1970's. Eric and his younger brother had a substantial race effort in place with support from his Dad, and together they accomplished great things during the ground-breaking era of American motocross racing. Always striving for the biggest competitive edge, Eric strode ahead of most of the pack as a 125cc Expert class racer, and dragged home a butt-load of trophies and some win money. Eric was offered a farm team sponsorship to race for Honda one year, and raced in Florida in the Trans AMA Nationals. He later raced 250's just like Jim. A successful family man today, Eric lives in Europe and still rides bikes and skis in the Alps on exotic and experimental ski industry equipment. He was of course, right in the thick of most of the shenanigans along with everybody else. Eric is trained in Forestry, and no trees have been killed as a result of his off-road avocation as a dirt-biker.
Johnny "Team Swine" Craner
Cousin John remains today a serious dirt biker and is no slouch as an off-road competitor. Why does he like pigs? I have no idea........... John is a trained photographer, has a daughter and still competes in enduros.
I am "Stovey" but you can call me whatever you want. I go by Dave, "Janks" and "Janko" too, and of course I didn't pick any of these names - they have been bestowed upon me. When I was a young motorcycle enthusiast, I lacked proper funds to support the motocross racing habit I desperately wanted to form. My weekly pre-race rituals included repairs with whatever nuts, bolts, tape and wire I could find laying around, and many an empty hole where a part had fallen off my Suzuki was stuffed with either carriage or stovebolts. Mystery gone there on that. I won't let any of the other guys write my bio, it's not happening here.... Some of them know way too much for my own good. Suffice it to say, I am a grand fellow, a supreme adventure companion and the humblest one of the group. I am also married to the only female buzzard so far, (only "female" so far, not "married" so far,) Dorothy. She says I am handsome, but that's only because I am. I have this website. I love my dogs.
Years ago on a day in July back in Colorado, Wyman took a whipper off a rock pitch and landed at my feet after reaching terminal velocity when all of his protection failed. I remember looking down at him through the mushroom cloud created when he landed on his back in the dirt, his chalkbag having exploded along with both legs, an ankle and his back. He cracked his helmet too, went really big on that one, to be sure - impressive. It occurred to me then that the rest of our climb would be a total waste of time, so after giving him an official EMT primary and secondary survey of his injuries, and anchoring what was left of his mess to the side of the wall so I could leave and go get some high-angle SAR assistance, he looked up at me right then and said, "...I'll wait here." One of the best climbing partners I've ever had, and a true companion on many adventures along with Dorothy, Wyman remains one of my closest friends. A family man with a wife and two sons, he has given selflessly for decades in community service as a medic, SAR team member, trainer and coordinator, and for many years has also been highly regarded as a successful rescue canine handler. An avid hunter, skier and climber in remission, he has recently been visited by the Adventure Angel once again, and is the proud owner of a Kawaski KLR. It looks like the adventure continues, and the sky is still the limit.
"Mrs. Stovebolt" is a native of Delaware, and though I kid her about it, I've never really had occasion to hold it against her. She is trained in Journalism, but has held positions in the graphic arts, art and communication direction as well as a smattering of things here and there. Among her talents are creating wire sculptures, a propensity for which she must have gleaned from her father who still teaches classes in it at a university. Dorothy wrote satellite telemetry data analysis computer programs for NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center, has studied Spanish and performed community service in Panama, ran the General Motors Division for binding arbitration at the Better Business Bureau in Los Angeles and even helped manage a condominium complex at a ski resort. She used to be involved in Standardbred harness racing and liked horses, until she met me and I straightened her out on how dangerous those animals are, and would have no part in such tomfoolery. We met at a wilderness camp in Amish country where we came together as staffers for a youth remediation program. While living in teepees and counseling youth at risk (does murder, arson, rape and gang-banging sound "risky?) she decided I must be a person worth tying in with, and we hit it off. She has climbed big walls on rock in British Columbia with me, and she has been an accomplished alpine mountaineer, with several technically difficult peaks passing under her cramponed boots over the years. She skis nordic and alpine well, loves cats and dogs, shot top gun in a self defense class held by a police department and cooks some pretty mean brownies. Dorothy managed to be the first to look up at me from the dirty, rocky ground below, herself having achieved a righteous terminal velocity while falling off a cliff in Connecticut. A year to the week in fact, prior to Wyman's giant crater-creating impact. Her leg and an ankle were in ruins at that moment, and although we were only just dating at that time, I nonetheless felt compelled to package her up, carry her out, and get her to the nearest emergency room. She asked me to marry her in the ER, I said "Yeah" in the elevator on the way up to the operating room of Sharon General Hospital, and we were married in an older gentleman's backyard, under a tree on the top of a hill, 11 days later. Our adventure continues.
What can I say about Berg? (Seriously - what can I manage to get away with here........hmmmm) Berg is an adventurer of the highest order, and a true inspiration to many friends. And he has many friends, which is a great barometer of what kind of a character a person has. So, he has born the brunt of a few jabs over the years, jabs about how when you "go out" with Berg, you may not come back, or might come back in a body bag - so extreme the nature of some highlights of any given journey may be. And this is based in truth, because Berg's taste for adventure runs along the seriously varsity/professional lines. When you go out with Berg, you're "going out big" - no sitting home and watching TV, no mamby-pamby sitting in a corner and drooling while other people discover the far off challenges in distant reaches of obscure backcountry. Nope - Berg thinks big, lives big, helps big, and inspires big. Big Heart. Big Abilities. Big Berg. Big Friend. Really Big. Berg is the "go-to" guy for many adventure riders, in person and from coast to coast as a matter of fact, as he owns his own specialty motorcycle parts fabrication business and he is called upon daily (and nightly) to solve problems, give advice and help with routine (for him) matters of complex motorcycle repair and maintenance. Like Joe, he doesn't know how to quit when the going gets tough. Berg inspires the Team Motto to NEVER GIVE UP. If you get a chance to tie in with Berg, you are in for a special experience. So what if it might be your last - you wanna live forever?
Joe is another fine character it has been my privilege to come to know and ride bikes with over the years, and I'm hard pressed to think of a finer adventure companion. When you ride off into the winds with Joe on the posse, you know somebody with the utmost ability and the purest form of tenacity has got your back. No matter what challenges you will face, and you will face them because by definition you are on an "adventure" and they don't come without challenges - Joe has enough left over from taking care of himself to watch out for the other guys. Always. He gives until it hurts, and in fact he is one of the few people I have ever known with the rare ability to simply override his own pain threshold and simply soldier on in the face of adversity. Be it a dislocated shoulder, a concussion or some other severe form of physical discomfort or mental stress, Joe stands up and shines on - taking others with him. He's the guy you want on your side of the sandbags when the Art'y calls it in "Danger Close", because he just doesn't give a damn if things get tough. He's a native Wyoming boy, forged tough. Tough with a heart as big as the Red Desert of Wyoming is empty. If you asked, I'm sure he'd lend you his last pair of Brown Pants, that's the kind of guy Joe is. Like Berg, JWats inspires the "Never Give Up" attitude in every aspect of his life, not just adventure riding, hunting, fishing, Boy Scout Leadership, rearing a family and running his own business. Words to end this on a funny note fail me, I just can't gig this guy; my friend Joe. (I'll think of something later though.......)
Joe ("Other" Joe)
I had a few roommates in college, and Joe was one of the best. In fact, I've stayed in no better touch with anybody else from school than Joe, and we have never lost touch in over 25 years.
What can I say about "J.R.?" Not much, I don't even know him. I don't know his background, save for his love for riding a motorcycle and his ability to do the same. And for his passion and spirit and downright tenacity. I don't know what he does for a living, if he's still married, whether or not he has kids. I don't remember if he told me anything about his family or if he mentioned any of his friends on the one ride we did together, and I couldn't say whether he was a liberal, a conservative or an alien from some other planet. Nope, I don't think I even have his phone number, but I do have an e-mail address, though we haven't kept in touch beyond a couple of e-mails years ago. Not much concrete to go on, this lack of basic facts, but I do know something about his cast-iron will, and a character like nobody I've ever met in my life. My tribute to his absolute drive, his sense of humor and his ability to "man-up" is my dedication of an entire chapter of my book to "J.R." I don't know all these things about this guy, who remains almost a total stranger to me to this day, but I know all I need to know about this man who NEVER GAVE UP. Salute.
I've hike and skied and climbed a fair bit across North America, and even done a few hard trips. Climbing Mt. Sopris in Colorado by myself, round trip in a day door to door was a good one. Front-pointing my way through the ice on a glacier in the Fisher Chimneys route of Mt. Shuksan in the Washington Cascades was cool; like other climbs on Mt. Baker and tours through North Cascades back country, big walls in Squamish, British Columbia and Yosemite. I could make it across the Tetons in a couple of days too, if I wanted to, on foot - and I have. Brents' idea of an afternoon "Hike" though, makes nearly all other human efforts seem like daycare for a preschool retard. He does mountain runs with little more than a few bottles of water and some really tough "sneakers" and will cut from one side of the Teton Range, 20 miles or so, in an afternoon, and get home to the dinner table then spend time with his family in Jackson. I've ridden with Brents off and on over the years in the Big Holes and in Moab, and he's also an animal on a bike. He's a varsity level fun hog as well, and an excellent adventurer, world traveler, risk taker, heart breaker and a well known spy for the CIA. I ride with guys like him, just so I can say, "I ride with guys like him...."
Brian knows the desert like a local, because he is a local. He's a competitive WORCS racer, and a success when it comes to stealing podium trophies away from the other top racers in the sport. I like to follow him through the desert because he knows where to go, he's wicked fast and a sporting fellow in this regard. I can imagine no finer tour guide to the technical riding in and around Moab. I just wish that, when he sees I am about to stop and park my motorcycle in quicksand, that he would say something. Say something maybe before I stop in it. Or maybe just mention something before I shut off the engine and swing a leg down off my bike. Maybe even tune me up a little better before I actually start to sink into oblivion. Anyway, Brian rides so damned good, I have to set my "wish list" aside, just to have another shot at following him at Mach2 across that desert floor. I just won't stop anymore, maybe just idle around the group in circles until it's time to get going again. I carry extra gas for just such occasions. So he gets a pass; after all, the guiding was "free" and as far as that goes, I got my money's worth!
The guys I ride bikes with have taken to calling each other "Mike" for some reason - everybody is "Mike." 'Hey Mike, can you hand me that tire pump......' and 'hey Mike, did you know you are a douche?'; or 'Cripes Mike - you just ran'd over a Thresher shark.' Stuff like that. I don't know where it came from or remember when and where the idiosyncrasy began, but it's just been going on for a few years, and everybody just refers to each other as "Mike." Even if there are five or six guys together doing something, we all seem to know who is talking to who..... it's uncanny. But there exists in real life to my adventure list of top players in the world of people whom I have explored serious mayhem and folley with, a guy named "Mike." We went to High School together and we climbed some Eastern peaks and wandered some trails and participated in teenage mishchief as comrades in misguided time management. Mike is a candidate for a tome dedicated entirely to his particular exploits, and I can hardly believe the stuff he has actually accomplished. But I do. I don't expect anyone else to, but here's an example off the top my head: one day he decides he's had enough of just flying over God's country on one his routine business trips from the Lower 48 to Alaska, and starts building a kayak. He straps a 12-gauge across the bow and paddles solo through the Inside Passage, and gets blow-hole close to killer whales and argues with brown bears over space to lay his head down on shore. An engineer in the nuclear industry, Mike has chucked the suburban rat race for a patch of dirt in the Rockies, bought land and built a cabin. When he has the time, he scares hell back out of the local mountain lion population with camo and a bow. Word among the grizzlies in his yard is that if you're going to poach from the elk carcass hanging from Mike's larder - well, don't. Grizzlies flat piss their pants when they find out why. Mike has an off-road motorcycle too, but we have yet to saddle up together in our adult lives, our past misadventures having been limited to the sporting concerns of foot-powered back country exploration and survival. One time, he pulled me out from under the ice formed over a frozen river in the Adirondaks while I was wearing a full pack and snowshoes. As the seriousness of the mistake I had made that had caused me to begin to see a white light at the end of a long tunnel started to set in, and I flailed if for nothing else than to go down swingin', there was Mike's giant paw from above reaching through the humongous shards and rushing icebergs to yard me out. A save by him and a near miss by me. And there was the time he stiff-armed some GUY in a bar in Syracuse who was trying to get my phone number, and I had my hands full with 6 pitchers of beer, and laughing so hard I didn't take his drunken advances seriously. But Mike recognized the situation for what it was, sized it up, laid the miscreant low, and got the path cleared for me to deliver the brew. Thanks Mike, for at least both of those saves...... I still owe you.
10 days and 1621 miles on the
footpegs of a KTM 640 Adventure. A dislocated shoulder on Day 4, with some
bruised ribs for good measure. Nothing really quite like hammering into a
military checkpoint on the border of Baja California Sur and dropping the whole
show on the pavement and skidding to a grinding halt at the feet of an
18-year-old kid wearing a dusty set of BDU’s and sporting a clapped out Heckler
and Koch G3. Not to gloss over the Russian prostitute in San Ignacio or running
over a Thresher Shark (mouth with teeth, tail, fins – you know – a real shark)
in Laguna Manuela. I’ll never forget meeting Coco for the first time or hitting
a concrete culvert across the road at 80+ miles per hour just after crossing
checkpoint charlie Northbound out of Gonzaga Bay. In Baja, as far as adventure
goes, you get your money’s worth, pretty much.
Guidelines for How to roll through a military checkpoint (click here)
Book Tease - Buy My Book!
best dual-sport and off-road motorcycle adventure riding reports from
Team Ruptured Buzzard include the chronicles of Stovebolt and his
friends as they rally across dusty tracks in the desert and mountains,
caught up in the slipstreams of adventure from Baja, Nevada, Idaho and
Montana. Gritty and down to earth, the pages unfold one after another,
inviting readers to pause in reflection around a campfire under starry
skies and then hang on for dear life while racing across a desert floor
on the outskirts of Area 51 as fighter jets patrol overhead. While not a
guidebook, it will entertain and perhaps inspire readers to get out
there and track down dreams of their own; sucking marrow from the bones
along the way. And, to Never Give Up!
Purchase directly from the publisher by clicking HERE
If you can't go big, PLAN BIG. Then, just go big. And always
come home. And never, ever give up!
Team Ruptured Buzzard
Dislocated shoulders (innumerable occurrences)
Crushed ribs (multiple instances)
Torn medial meniscus, knees (multiples)
Blown appendix and septicaemia
Blind faith (misplaced)
Scorpion sting in spine
Lack of money
Lack of interest
Lack of vision
Lack of daylight
“Squirting through the eye of a needle”
Dead cell phone and low-pow GPS
Where Buzzards Dare to Tread - Where they live, and where they ride
Idaho Arizona Idaho City Continental Divide Bone
Wyoming Nevada Some Swamp Goblin Valley Behind The Rocks
British Columbia New Mexico Hatfield McCoy The Sawtooth's Munger
New York Baja Oregon Trail Florida Algodones
France The Tetons The Flattops Cajamajue Wash Crater Lake
Virginia MacGruder Corridor Yellowstone Country Bonneville Salt Flats The Wasatch
Washington The Big Holes Salt River Range The Shenandoah's The Bitterroot
Montana Centennial Range Big Sandy Oregon Buttes Emmigrant Trail
Belgium The Gravelly's The Caribous Car Door Corner Appalachia
Utah Red Desert Five Miles of Hell Shackham Caliente
Colorado Moab Paradise Valley Lake Chapala Slickrock
What Do Buzzards Eat?
Clif Bars. Octopus parfaits (for real – I watched it.)
Fish tacos. A tortilla wrapped around just about anything. Burgers and beer.
Snickers and Doritos. Bottled water. Camelbak water. Creek water. Dirt. Bugs.
Blood – yours and somebody else’s. The east end of a westbound skunk. Pizza.
Do Grizzly Bears Bark?
Yes, apparently they do............
Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Submarine Stories, Moab, Quicksand and Radioactivity
Do you really need
a mask and a snorkel to ride a dirt bike across the Utah desert? Probably not,
but there was a ride when that stuff would have come in mighty handy. Oh and as
an aside, quicksand is not a myth – the crap actually exists. Mask and snorkel
would only have prolonged the agony of a demise in this miasma, but luckily for
one intrepid adventurer (apparently blind to it prior to entering the mire,)
the solution was as handy as the problem. Also, for what it might be worth,
“yellowcake” is not a Twinkie that just fell out of some guy’s pack who was
riding ahead of you, so don’t pick it up. Radioactivity will only foul up the
ignition map on your CDI, and probably not improve digestion of the
mega-burrito you’ve been toting around for the past 18 miles, looking for a
place to snap that steamer.........
If you do 4 laps on it, does that make it a
Tire Irons and Why "J.R." is one Cast-Iron Son-of-a-Gun
Yes, you can change a ratty old Dunlop D606 into a brand
new D606 with some irons, and they come in awfully handy when you get into an
ultimate fighting kickbox against a steel belted Motosteel Terraflex. But did
you know that a set of spoons also makes for a handy makeshift set of field
expedient surgical instruments? Neither did I..............
When faced with choking to death
or finding a way to clear an airway obstruction, and the only tools at hand are
a rock, a cactus spline and a tire iron, the mind races to fill the void. Since
nature abhors a vacuum, and J.R. wanted to get that nagging feeling in the back
of his throat taken care of, one man stepped up (while the other genuflected as
only a true desperado in that situation might do) and tried to get the job
.........the “Doctor” will see
St. Peter in a dump truck, can
this be for real?
Buzzards Ride Unadilla
That’s correct – the REAL Unadilla.........
Captain came to me one
day in 2003, and he got his name from the way he rode a motorcycle.
Five of us were riding dirt bikes across the Northern prow of the
Bighole Mountains in the Targhee National Forest when I came to a stop
at an intersection on a dirt road. I was waiting for the rest of the
posse to catch up with me and then make our turn toward the Hot Springs
where we were all headed for burgers. As I shut my engine off and sat
there, this little puppy came running
across the dirt road toward me. He was pretty small, but took many
strides, as big and as fast as he could, coming out of a steep and deep
canyon, heading straight at me. There I sat in the saddle, wearing
my full battle rattle, and this little dog ran up to me on my bike and
jumped right onto my seat, and fell, or rather bounced back off. He
tried again, and this time I leaned down and caught his attempt as he
clambered and crawled into my arms and sprawled himself across my tank,
his furry little butt in my lap. As the rest of the posse rode up,
there we were on the side of the road, together. He had a flea collar
on so tight he could hardly breath, and he was wagging his tail
something fierce, and just licking me and wagging and smiling a little
puppy dog "smile." He put his paws up onto the crossbar and hunkered
down on that tank and looked up at me. We tried putting him inside
Andy's backpack which he had emptied out and swung around Biafran style
across his chest, in the hope he might stay inside it while we rode
down to the Hot Springs, where we hoped to drop him off and
find his owner, if he might have one there who was missing a cute
little pup. Once he got inside the pack, he just jumped back out and
tumbled down onto the road, and ran back across to me and jumped back
up into my arms and placed his paws onto my cross bar, waiting -
and wagging. And smiling and looking up at me through my goggles and a
black full face Bell Moto6. He couldn't even see my face! With his
paws on the bars like maybe the way a ship's captain might lean upon the wheel of his
ship as he steered across a distant ocean toward foreign shores, the
little pup stayed put while I held onto him with one arm, and I got the
bike re-lit. I couldn't work both the dog and the clutch, so Travis
stood alongside me and ran the clutch and got me into gear and shoved
us off, and I rode off one-handed down the road; dog on the tank, paws
on the bars, little furry ears flapping in the 50-mph wind! I'll make
a longer story short by ending here with; we've been together ever
since. My little Captain.