Moab Adventures 2012
On night long ago, deep in the dark and flurried depths of winter an evil plot was hatched by the most cunning of riders. Drag loving motorcyclists away from their loving families and subject them to the burning sun and biting wind of the deserts… of MOAB!
So some time last year Rider23 (Ted) came up with a plan to take a bunch of guys to Moab for a week of riding in the sun. Calls were made, conversations had, plans and budgets laid out, and it the end 6 riders signed up to come along.
We spent lots of time planning and going through gear lists. We even had a few teleconferences to get everyone on the same page and talk out the details. Emails flowed back and forth with gps files for every conceivable route within a day’s drive of Moab. Money was collected and deposits were left for our accommodation. When the flurry of activity ended we had amassed 2 trucks, 2 trailers, 6 bikes (we thought about 7 but decided against it) and 6 riders who were spread across Ontario and Quebec.
Our plan was to leave Friday morning and spend 3 days on the road, so Thursday night I dropped my gear off at Shipwreck’s house and went home to get some well deserved rest. I had been working non stop on my bike upgrading parts and shaking it down in preparation for the trip and this was my last chance for a good nights reset before living like a zombie in a truck eating gas station food for 3 days.
Friday morning I woke up at 4:30 in the morning, pulled on my riding gear and rode my bike the 35km to Shipwreck’s place. There we loaded the bikes on the trailer and hooked the trailer to Rider23’s truck. The gear was piled in the back and strapped in the best we could and only 15 minutes after our scheduled departure time of 6:00am we hit the road
As we cruised down the highway towards Toronto we felt a vibration. Nothing huge, just a bit of vibration when we were going at highway speeds. We pulled into Tim Horton’s for a bite to eat an to take a look at the trailer. The bearings were tightened and we ended up swapping for the spare tire to try to fix the vibration issue. While it wasn’t a 100% success we continued on to our rendezvous with the other truck somewhere the far side of Toronto.
Here we hooked up with the second tuck carrying 4badboyz (Mark) and hewhohesit8s (Frank). Everyone moved gear between the two trucks to get as much as possible into the truck with the cab and even out the bikes between the two trailers.
From there we crossed the border in Sarnia stopping only long enough for 4badboyz to get the shakedown because of his UK passport and pay the $6 for a visa. Then we were on the open road ripping across the US.
From here it was just a matter of stopping every few hours for truck stop food, bathroom breaks, and fuel until around 1am where we pulled into a rest stop at the side of the highway. I pulled out my camp mat and a small blanked and passed out on the side of the road to get a few hours of sleep. It was warm and people tried sleeping all over the place but from the grumbling I head most people didn’t get much rest. Around 4am we hopped back in the truck to continue our drive.
Frank sleeping in the truck
We drove all Saturday through the night and into Sunday finally arriving in Moab around 10:00 Sunday morning. We didn’t get access to our condo until 3pm so everyone sort of scattered. I again rolled out my camp mat in the parking lot and caught an hour of sleep while some people rented a hotel room and others went for a tour of the countryside in their truck.
Me napping in the parking lot
Finally after my nap it was time to RIDE !!!!!!
4badboyz and I suited up and decided to check out some trails. We turned at the McDonalds to ride a trail he had heard about. We were heading towards hurrah pass but ended up turning one turn too early and rode on one of the hardest trails in Moab.
We hammered down some staircase like trails, across rock gardens, through deep sand, and up small cliffs. For our first ride this was pretty daunting but we were both smiling and having a great time. After all, we had just driven for 3 days to do this.
Crazy Trails !
Spot the rider.
Wanting to be back to check into the condo at 3 we turned around and headed back out. Finally coming to the big staircase we had ridden down on the way in. Mark looks at me and says “I saw a way around back here” so we hop onto this small side trail. Part way along there’s a bush like tree hanging across the trail and Mark ducks under it then BAM! He’s on his ass, completely clothesline off his bike. Turns out there was a 4” thick branch at head height that he didn’t see.
Now his bike is on it’s side, it’s flooded and won’t start. After a few tries the battery dies and he resorts to kicking it. I say don’t worry, I’ll go get help and since we are so close to the parking lot he can just roll his bike down the hill and I’ll come back with either a truck or some jumper cables.
Now while I race back to town, find everyone else, and get them to bring a truck on a rescue mission, Mark tries to kick his bike over re-injuring his weal calf muscle. Now his leg is swollen and his bike is dead, and it’s 40C out. Fun stuff!
In the end we pick him up in the parking lot and load his bike in the truck. Everyone meets back at the condo where we unpack, swap stories, and put Mark’s battery on the charger.
Luckily we had picked up booze in Nebraska at a Wal-Mart (how ‘merican of us) so we got down to business while Mark Iced his leg. It was a crazy 3 days getting there but tomorrow the REAL fun begins.
That first ride was quite an introduction to Moab :eek1 as it turned out, the trail we ended up on was Pritchett Canyon http://www.4x4now.com/33jspc.htm rated one of the most difficult in Moab. At least I got my crash of the week out of the way nice and early :lol3
I drove through Moab and Castle Valley last August on our circuitous way back from Colorado on the 990 and thought then it was worth a return trip, so when I stumbled across Rider23/Ted's post back in September in which he was looking for riders to accompany him to Moab, I responded.
The post said - "...This is for the serious rider only...". Well, I definitely consider myself a serious rider... not a very good rider, but a serious rider, I rarely crack jokes. In the interest of full disclosure, I did warn Ted that I was newish to offroad, but on the other hand, had been told on multiple occasions that I had more guts than brains. After some back and forth, we confirmed I was in.
When I told my wife I was going to Moab she asked, "With Whom?".
"Guys from the ADV forum"
"Internet friends? Have you ever met any of these guys?"
"And you're sure they're not ax murders?"
"Pretty sure, I just have to send them money and I'm in."
"Sounds like an offer from a Nigerian Prince"
Fast forward to that Thursday in May, I trailered the bike to 4badboyz/Mark's, place introduce myself, and drop off the bike and luggage. The next morning I got dropped off at Mark's place at 9:00.
He's loaded up the truck and trailer, and we wait for the call that tells us the Ottawa crew are within 100km.
Fast forward again to Sunday - we hit Moab at the crack of dawn, grab breakfast and the group disperses after we all hit the visitor center. I find a room at one of the hotels on the strip, hop in the shower to wash away two days of road grime, and crash, as in sleep, for four hours while others(Mark) are crashing literally. It's only when I wake up that it hits me, we're here and I'm about to start riding Moab. Cool.
:lurkI'm in and ready to watch your adventure. I have been there twice and will get back every chance I get, an Awesome place . Njoy
I've heard some of the stories, but keep 'em comin.. can hardly wait to hear more :thumb:lurk.:clap
nice intro to the area :lol3
When I first read you turned too early I thought you might have found Amasa Back
I was not able to go to bed early enough, and sleep to wake up at 3:00Am !
Decided to go to ShipWreck's place on Thursday night, ready to sleep in the driveway... but because of Ask-Him (sh*t, no pic!) it was not possible and I had to sleep in the sofa :D
3 days later, we arrived in the house...
In the afternoon, I was not able to wait more and went for a smooth pre-ride.
My first off road ride for one year, since my accident, the first with the LC8 !
I had to stop to adjust the chain (did few day ago, but not correctly... weird... anyway, adjustment done under the sun!
Hard to see on the picture, but a coyote (I saw him just before leaving) was watching me from the cliff edge!
I went back home with a very good feeling of the bike, and very happy to ride it
MOAB, My favorite ride reports.
I've never been there...yet.
I'm working all weekend AGAIN so I will post a report soon! :D:D:D
I keep watching my GoPro videos over and over :cry I wanna go back:lol3
we went we came back it is fun..
I started writing 5 times.. its not flowing.. I'll get to it.
two trucks two trailer six bikes and six guys...
A red eye drive down there 48hrs or so and a red eye drive back about 40hrs or so...
After agreeing to come along on this internet driven ride with a bunch of strangers to Moab.. I have ridden with Rider23/ 4badboyz/ and quantis at different times before but in no way do I know any of these guys very well.. This trip I believe I have made good friends..
A few get togethers and a couple of confrence calls between us all. We had a plan, a house and a common goal... Lets go ride Moab Utah..:freaky
The six AM meet to load,
Meet up with $badboys and hewhohesi8s..
Get over the border... and this would be the last one we see for a while...
A couple of long red eye evenings....
One morning it looked way different when the sun came up.... After all those miles of flat lands...
So just like little puppy dogs we were all glued to the windows in awe... this place looks so cool...
We are there... pretty tired pretty happy and hungry...
After breakfast, Some napped some got lost from the group, right Eric? some went for a ride... After we found Eric,Not wanting to leave our gear and stuff on the side of the road somewhere,,,,,, we went for, go figure, a road trip in the truck... You'd think we had enough of it already. This place was cool..
after our 2.5 hr road trip site seeing from the truck, the house was ready... we were home for a week..
There, got us down there done....:lol3
Monday - Hurrah Pass & Jackson's Hole
Monday - Hurrah Pass & Jackson's Hole
Finally, our first full day of riding! Coming off some serious sleep depravation we didn’t get the earliest start this fine day. Everyone slowly stumbled out of bed and HeWhoHesit8s (Frank) took off to grab some cooking supplies.
After a very delicious bacon and egg breakfast (Thank you Frank!!!) Everyone dug out their gear and started to suit up. GPS tracks were loaded and maps were examined and since we had had some electrical troubles the day before I packed the jumper cables.
This time we found the proper entrance to the trail and headed up, and up, and up over hurrah pass. I stopped several times to shoot video of the other riders. Everyone was just so in awe of the landscape, we were stopping to take pictures of every little rock formation we came across.
We met some nice cyclists on the way and some people in Side-by-Side ATVs. We stopped to chat and ask about the different trails in the area. Finally we crested Hurrah pass.
Mark staying WAY back from the edge.
Down the other side everyone was hugging the wall, the cliffs and heights we were experiencing took a little while to get used to. Finally down the bottom we found the SAND. Ack! The rutted out soft sand was a real challenge. Rhino (Eric) dropped his bike a few times and finally the 950 decided it didn’t want to run anymore. Apart came the bike in the middle of the desert while everyone else cowered in the shade under an outcrop.
After the 950 roared to life and took off everyone else hopped on their bikes only to discover that Rider23 had a front flat!
15 minutes later we had it swapped out and were back on the trail. We came around the corner to find the 950 had fallen over again in the sand and was dead on the side of the trail.
Again, Eric tore into his bike re-routing hoses and checking the fuel and air entering the carbs. Finally we figure that the drain hose for the carbs had been rerouted so they wouldn’t suck up water but that this was stopping the bike from draining the carbs properly when they flooded. While all this was happening the constant attempts to start the bike had killed the battery.
Enter the jumper cables!
We hooked up the KLR, fired it up while Eric worked away on his bike. The KLR had no problem with the heat of the early afternoon sun and idled away charging the KLR for half an hour. What a champ!
Finally all back together, and after being stopped for around 4 hours during the hottest part of the day, we were running out of water and just wanted to get out of there. We hit the trail with a vengeance and booted it around the Jackson’s Hole loop and up and out of Hurrah pass.
While we were working our way out Frank took a tumble and killed his battery trying to restart his flooded KTM 530. Ack 1 day of riding and 3 out of 4 KTMs had killed their batteries. This is going to be interesting.
Up and out we rode, heading as fast as we could to the beer fridge, the hot tub, and the couch.
Except for Eric, who like a champ did a T-mod to his carb drain hose so it would drain properly when he dropped the bike. He also did a full clean out of all the jets and grabbed a bottle of sea-foam to run through as well. All of this and he didn’t get to bed until almost midnight.
Day 1 - the abridged ride
Monday morning I wake up bright and early, well rested having drawn a medium straw - Long straws get a queen or king, short straws gets a cot, I got one of the twin beds. We had confirmed on Sunday evening that we would start with easy rides today.
Just like the New York Times crossword puzzle is easy on Mondays and gets progressively harder all week, we were planning on working our way up. Today was to be Kane Springs Road to Hurrah pass, Hang a right at the fork and onto Jackson Hole road, back out and on to Chicken's Corner, and then, depending on how we felt, maybe Lockhart Basin Road. As we suit up, someone says the words that were to become our catch phrase for the rest of the week; "We'll be back by noon".
We filled the hydration pack - 3l should be plenty I figured, loaded up the GPSs, suited up, filled up the bikes, and headed into town. A left at the McDonalds leads to Kane's Spring Rd and from there it's a straight shoot - as in follows the road - to Hurrah pass.
The vistas are amazing and we stop frequently to take pics, hydrate, and generally smell the metaphorical roses.
Here's Ted on the tractor
Steven following close behind
Mark and Ted at a rest stop just before Hurrah Pass
Steven offers up a salute at the top of Hurrah pass with the evaporation ponds in the background
We take a left onto Jackson Hole road. I quickly encounter that fine sand that will be the bane of my riding until I get more comfortable with it... sometime on Friday.
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After one of our rest stops Ted realizes that his front tire is flat. No problem. 20 min later, it's fixed and the group is off again. |I rode ahead during the repair to inform Eric of the delay. When I reach him, the 950 had gone for a nap and was refusing to start.
The sand was fine and deep at this point
We push it to the side and Eric starts what would turn out to be a 4 hour road side repair. In the process, I offer to give the 950 a boost using cables Steven has brought along. A noble sentiment, but after 3 min my battery is dead. Fortunately Ted rescues both my and Eric's rides using the KLR that would thereafter be affectionately refer to as "the tractor".
After the bike gets going, I head out while the rest of the group is donning boots, and riding gear. I ride ahead as I don't want to be last and I don't want to slow down the group. At the point where the loop around Jackson Butte rejoins the main trail, I stop and rest in the shade. A few minutes later the group catches up and only pauses before continuing on. Ted waits for me to don my helmet and watches as I hit the start button and nothing happens. Dead. Shit. Trying to kick start a overheating 530 is an exercise in futility. Ted suggests we push the bike up the rock hill and bump start it. It works after the third try - after I ask Ted to do the honors. Pushing that bike up the hill in 40+ heat was hard work. I'm tired and at a simple hill climb (at about 9:20 in the video above I pass the location on the way in) I drive the bike off the road. Ted again helps me get out of trouble, bump starts the bike, and rides it up the hill for me.
The rest of the ride out is uneventful, but by now it's pushing 6:00, we're running low on water, so we all head back to the condo.
Day one is over. I fell oncel, and we had a bit of an adventure. Fortunately, tomorrow, they tell me is an easy day. White Rim Road, they tell me, is rated easy.
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