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Old 07-19-2009, 10:23 AM   #1
CoydogSF OP
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
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KTM 990 and F800GS from SF to CO and back via the TAT

Heading out in a few minutes with Rubberneck on a KTM 990 and me on an F800GS east towards Lyons, CO for the RockyGrass Festival.

We'll try to keep this thread up to date on where we are but the most current info will be found at where we've got our SPOT map, short message posts and mobile uploads (yes, for our Moms). Oh yeah, and we're carrying enough tech gear to open a Best Buy so we'll post a full multimedia report when we get back.

From Track Dave and Dave

We've been in Tahoe for the past couple days but today will pick up the Pony Express Trail around Fallon and take it to connect with the TAT. We're thinking we'll follow it east (maps in the GPS) to around Salina where we'll catch 89 North (or your better suggestion) to 40 East to be in Lyons Thursday afternoon.

After the festival, my girlfriend hops on the back of the F800GS and we take a crack at the TAT passes heading West from Salida to Moab 2-up over the next week. The final week, Rubberneck and I will continue West on the TAT as far as we can go before bailing to the slab to get home in time for a friend's wedding. Yes, technically, we're both groomsmen, but I think goggle-tan is a good look.

Hope to see some of you FF's out on the road. We'll be looking for the ADV salute.

CoydogSF screwed with this post 11-17-2009 at 07:48 PM
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:43 AM   #2
CoydogSF OP
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Day 1: Pony Express (well, sort of) and 50 to Eureka

First time to a connection since leaving Tahoe on Sunday and wanted to update the report.

From Tahoe, we took 50 East to Silver Springs where we wanted to pick up some Pony Express Trail tracks we'd found online somewhere. Before we could even get the tires dirty, the F800GS started stalling as it's been doing in the heat ( Not to be shut down this early in our trip (and possibly in the running for the Darwin Awards), we found the track and pressed on.

From Track Dave and Dave

From Track Dave and Dave

Between my terrible sand technique and the big bike, I soon had my first about about 20 slow speed drops (though at least a few were caused by the bike stalling out on me). We found some shade beside a fence and cooled the bike off for a while and were able to limp to Fallon. Done with the sand and the fear of being vulture vittles after a breakdown, we hopped on 50 and beelined it through some dramatic thunder storms to Eureka to connect with the TAT heading east.

From Track Dave and Dave

From Track Dave and Dave

From Track Dave and Dave

Emerging from the darkness at 10 pm into a bar in Eureka clad in stormtrooper gear generates some interesting responses. At the Owl Club, it was "How ya doin', tough guy?" followed by the news that no place in town was still serving dinner. At the Jackson House Hotel Saloon/Cafe, however, it was "Hey you, I need to talk to you" coming from Frank of Two 950's the TAT and for cause. Well, we soon decided that dinner was gonna come in 12 oz bottles from Becky behind the bar and Frank proceeded to educate us on issues from riding in the sand ("GET YOUR &^*% @SS OF THE SEAT AND GET ON THE PEGS!") to the effects of the new administration on the small business owner to the do's and dont's of convincing suckers you're married to a 80's sitcom star. Frank's a very smart guy with no shortage of opinions (or Las Vegas-themed jokes) who's brilliantly put together a great TAT ride for charity. Despite forcing Becky to stay open until 3 and endlessly feed the jukebox (sorry Frank, I don't think I need to hear "Chicken Fry" again anytime soon), we had a great time and quite a good first night. Too bad we couldn't meet Elton. I think we owe him an apology...

From Track Dave and Dave

CoydogSF screwed with this post 08-04-2009 at 08:34 AM
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:53 PM   #3
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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on the actual TAT...

Picking up where the other Dave left off...

After getting back to the motel in a semi-drunken stupor at about 3:30am , we decided to an 8am alarm with a couple of snooze buttons would be respectible. We were on the move again by about 9am or so.

From Track Dave and Dave

Day 2 off-road was a lot more productive than Day 1. There's probably a reason there aren't too many reports on here about the Pony Express in western Nevada... After fighting our way through the sand, the dirt and gravel of the TAT in Nevada was a relative breeze. Our average speed probably went from the 10s to the 40s. We were cruising along vast open valleys of sage brush with nothing to stop us, except for the occasional cattle gate...

From Track Dave and Dave

...or breakdown of the f800gs. Almost like clockwork, after riding hard for about 2 hours in 90+ degree heat, the gs would stall. It'd allow itself to start up again a couple of times, but within 10 minutes it was game over unless it got a good 30 minute break in the shade. Shade in eastern Nevada isn't always available, so we had to start to anticipate the breakdowns, and seek good rest spots to avoid this sort of scenario...

From Track Dave and Dave

After a couple of "breaks/stalls" in the heat of the day, things started to cool off a bit towards the Humboldt Forest, which was some fun, fast, stall-free riding...

From Track Dave and Dave

...the skies were getting darker and darker until they fully opened up with downpour rarely seen in California. It was refreshing, yet painful on the neck. It helped keep the dust down a bit, but not enough...

From Track Dave and Dave

I was riding 2nd to make sure I was around in case of any more stalls, and to get some good video (forthcoming in a later episode).

Doing this portion of the TAT "salmon-style" meant that we were approaching Lund, and Sawmill Canyon. We gassed up, and hit a little joint called Whipple's (obligatory food porn shot for you FFs)...

From Track Dave and Dave

Good food. Nice people. And then headed up the long road toward Sawmill Canyon...

From Track Dave and Dave

Riding up through the canyon was awesome, and the terrain up top was even cooler. Mule deer (?)...

From Track Dave and Dave

...and a trail that was like riding on freshly mowed grass...

From Track Dave and Dave

...the weather was perfect up there, and the scenery even better. After a long day, with many a stall and break, it was nice to get in some consistent riding without any mechanical issues. Once we setup camp...

From Track Dave and Dave

...the other Dave realized we had left something behind. The SPOT wasn't on his top-case anymore. We thought we had seen it at Whipples, but went back to the video footage to determine when we really last saw it...

From Track Dave and Dave was somewhere along the road up to Sawmill Canyon. Unfortunately, without cell reception / Internet available, we didn't know exactly where it was but probably within a half-mile stretch. We decided to double back and track it down in the morning.
too tall to live, too weird to die

rubberneck screwed with this post 11-11-2009 at 12:49 PM
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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Location: Phreezer to the Phurnace...West Valley PHX
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Originally Posted by rubberneck
Riding up through the canyon was awesome, and the terrain up top was even cooler. Mule deer (?)...
Close...NOT! Cervus elaphus/Wapiti...Elk. The big white/light spot on the rear is the give away...and the size.

BTW great pics.

That’s the thing about traveling. If you’re looking for something, you can almost never find it. But if you are just open to what is there, it’s almost always awesome - Neduro

In spite of illness, In spite even of the archenemy sorrow, One can remain alive long past usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things and happy in small ways. - Edith Wharton

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
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Dats no mule deer

That's a cow elk!!!! Lucky you!
I'm back from my Baja trip and will be following you two! Have fun! My 990 ran flawlessly the whole time, I love that bike!

Safe travels
OH 7 990

Marin County To Cabo!
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