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Warrior Built at the 2018 Vegas to Reno Event

Warrior Built - Vegas to Reno

Aug 222018

At 0556 on 17 August 2018, The Warrior Built Foundation lined up at the start line of the longest off-road race in America, Vegas 2 Reno. The team had 5 riders set up to ride the 2006 Honda 450x across the desert. They were doing this race for fallen Marine Chris Carlisle, who lost his life last year during the V2R race with Warrior Built.

First on the bike Nicholas Lake, an Army combat engineer who wanted to present himself with the challenge of leading the fight from the front. The nerves ran over him as he kicked the bike on and positioned himself 3 feet from the air inflated official start line. The light board went from red to green as he screamed down the dirt road going wide open with the throttle. The boys gathered themselves and hastily moved towards the convoy of vehicles. It would only be an hour and a half before we found ourselves in front of Nick again at RM60.

With a quick change, Allan, the next rider jumped on the bike and ripped out of the rider exchange area skirting rocks across the track and motivating the rest of crew en-route to RM 100. The bike was running smooth, the best it ever has thanks to all the awesome custom pieces on board. Allan came buzzing in at record speeds. The first words out of his mouth were mud, lots of it. The bike was drenched as we could tell the pop up lake sprayed some of its best eco friendly dirt across the field at the riders.


It was now Giovanni’s turn, a dirt bike veteran, who 2 years ago raced this single handily in the iron man class. He knew the mindset that would have to come and the next 60 miles of bare unknown was his. The spectators cheered as he headed off into the distance. He turned his head around and we knew that he was gonna try to set a land speed record on the way there. He sent it through thick and thin during his section.


After arriving at RM 158, Mike Ferra, a first time rider in the BITD series, took over for his high speed section and sprinted through with ease. He hauled and came across to us waiting at RM 185 where the bike was struggling to keep on. The bike would not turn over, so in response the lead mechanic Allan took his knowledge and adjusted the valves over the period of an hour. We watched the lead trophy trucks fly by and after slamming the pieces in place, we had a running bike. The morale lit the guys up and we were back in the fight. Mike put his gear on at record speed and he was off.


Nick Hamm, the founder of Warrior Built, was next up to take his section at RM180. He was going to ride 100 miles and rough it through the course with all the vehicles as they had caught up and are spraying dirt in every direction. He had to maintain his mental scope and push past the obstacles that are now present. It wasn't easy and he mentioned that he saw more drivers stuck on the race course then ever before. He passed off the bike to Allan again, a central part to the success of the mission.


Allan kicked the bike on and then easied onto the throttle past the checkpoint. He was heading into the hills, a spot we could only track on LeadNav, not see for ourselves. We hoped for the best and voila, he came flowing down the hill with the bike constantly changing RPM’s. This wasn't good as the next rider needed to make it through the known silt sections. After a failure of electric start, it was a kicking mania. Nothing was coming from it and the team was starting to wonder if they were going to give up. No, we went back to the drawing board. We fixed the idle, then the bike turned on. It was just a matter of keeping RPM’s high enough for the bike to move. It would be a mission of its own, but Nick Lake knew what he had to do.


Shooting dirt as he launched from our location, Nick wanted to maintain speed through the next gnarly sections. We left and watched from the road as he conquered his dirt challenges. Unfortunately, only a few miles later we would receive the devastating phone call…..the motor blew. The end of #Vegas2Reno had come to a finish. We fought hard for Chris Carlisle.


You win some, you lose some. Every race and mission with the Warrior Built Foundation is different, but everyone coming together through the brotherhood is the same. This one was for Chris! Until next time…