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Old 07-07-2014, 12:12 AM   #1
Racinace OP
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: La Center, Washington
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525 Miles... Oregon Desert in June = puddles???

Typically, a ride in the desert at the end of June in Central Oregon is guarantee for one thing.... DUST!
Imagine our surprise when we awoke to puddles in Prineville on the first day of our 3 day Wild West Tour. Everyone was excited to hit the trail.... but we're getting ahead of ourselves....

We had a total of 7 riders and 1 chase crew for this tour. 4 riders from the Seattle area, 1 from Portland and our lead and sweep riders from just north of Vancouver,WA. We all met at Dillon's for a bite to eat the night before. It's a great opportunity to get to know everyone and talk about the upcoming days of riding ahead. Didn't hurt to have a great meal either.

We had a very diverse group that varied in skill level. Riders varied in age from 16 to 50+ and in skill level from beginner to semi-pro. This provided some unique challenges.... but we managed to keep everyone entertained.
Lets meet the riders:
Chris (Front Left) and Rich (Front Right)


Frank Sr. and Jr.

Andy

Robby (Sweep)

Ace (Lead)

Keith (Front Left)


The ride out of town was a cool one and we were happy to hit the dirt trail just outside of Prineville. With the recent rains, the conditions were EPIC... we were roosting on chocolate desert.
Up next Day 1...
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Racinace screwed with this post 07-10-2014 at 01:01 AM Reason: Entered wrong month by mistake...
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:14 AM   #2
dakardad
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Location: Glide, Ore./Boulder, Ut.
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your pics aren't posting.
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Where am I going you ask.... I dunno really
just THATAWAY!!
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:03 AM   #3
Racinace OP
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Functional again

Thanks Dakar Dad. We were having some issues with pictures, but nothing serious and it appears that the planets are aligned again. Thanks!
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High Desert Adventures
Backcountry Motorcycle Tours
www.highdesertadventures.net
06 KTM 525exc (plated)
4 time Baja 1000 finisher (08-11) 2x, 305x, 313x, 202x
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:20 AM   #4
Racinace OP
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And were off!

And were off....

The ride for the day would take us out the powerline trail for about 20 miles. We would encounter our first hill climb about 5 miles in and this would tell us a lot about the riders ability. Although not a difficult hill, it is enough of a challenge to figure out what skill level everyone way. Of the 7 riders in the group, 4 cleared the hill on their first try. Of the 4 beginners, Chris was the only one to make it. Frank Jr. and Sr. were struggling as was Rich. Frank Jr. was the first to be really stuck off trail and in need of some assistance. I got him turned around and gave him some tips and he was on his way. He charged it a bit harder and with a bit more clutch work he was able to make it to the top.

Andy looking smooth

Chris getting it done on the first try

Frank Jr. looking more confident on the second pass

Frank Sr. was the next to give it a go. Without any instruction, I think frank tackled the hill on his DRZ 400 in 3rd gear fanning the clutch with his feet out the whole way. Impressive for a guy who had never ridden on dirt before!

Rich had tried the hill twice without much success... I tried giving him a few tips, but the DRZ 400 he was piloting was illequipped with what appeared to be a TKC 80. Not the best tool for the job at hand. After landing one more time on his side, I gave Rich the free pass to the top and rode the bike to the top for him. He was thrilled to say the least!
Back on the trail.... yee haw...
Keith was in the chase truck and had planned to meet up with us and check in to see how everyone was doing. He would be staged at Hwy 20. We crossed under Milican Hwy and were only a few miles from the chase truck. We stopped just past the under pass for a quick break... but Rich and Robby had yet to show after about 5 min. I doubled back to find Rich and Robby gingerly making their way down the trail. Rich had crashed. He said he was ok, but I could tell he was hurting. We made our way to the rest of the group. Rich was more banged up than I thought.

He had a puncture wound in his calf that needed immediate attention, his hand was hurting as were his ribs. Rich was done and needed more medical then I was capable of providing on the trail. Fortunately we were right next to the road and Keith was only minutes away in the chase truck.

With Rich packaged up and on his way to the hospital the rest of the group... now 6 were back on trail.
Our plan was to be at East Lake by 11:30 for a quick snack with lunch scheduled at Hole in the Ground only an hour later.
About 15 miles out from East Lake I heard an aweful noise coming from my rear wheel. Upon inspection, I had lost my rear wheel bearing. It was going to be a bit of a limp in to East Lake. We arrived at East Lake at 2pm. I had wheel bearings and a spare wheel but both were in the chase truck. Without cell service, I was relying on Keith's intuition at that point to follow the spot tracker and make his was to the lodge at East Lake.
We were cold and hungry so we ordered lunch. Keith showed up shortly after. He replaced my broken wheel, fueled all the bikes, cleaned goggles and had us ready to get underway. With another 70+ miles to log until Christmas Valley we hit the trail.
At this point, I knew we had to make up some time and the only way to do that was to ask Frank Sr. to sit out the second half of the day and ride the chase truck to Christmas Valley. Although he was making great progress, he just wasn't comfortable at speed on dirt... and he knew it. He was a trooper and piled in to the chase truck for the ride to CV.

Frank Sr. was having fun... check out this video on a small hill climb before we made it to East Lake.

More?
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High Desert Adventures
Backcountry Motorcycle Tours
www.highdesertadventures.net
06 KTM 525exc (plated)
4 time Baja 1000 finisher (08-11) 2x, 305x, 313x, 202x

Racinace screwed with this post 07-11-2014 at 11:31 PM
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:43 AM   #5
Racinace OP
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Continued

Back on the trail, I was really impressed with the pace that Chris and Frank Jr. were able to ride.
Chris:







We made our way to Hole in the Ground and took in the sights... maybe a little too much taking in the sights. The normal trail down to the bottom was posted closed by the USFS. In an effort to be compliant, we were riding along two track around the rim when Frank Jr. was promptly ejected over the bars. He wasn't going more than 20 - 25mph but it was a significant get off. He had encountered a rock that was hidden in some grass. Somehow he avoided it with his front wheel but it caught the skid plate and that was that. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I probably wouldn't have believed it.
The Rock:


Frank Jr. holding the absolutely destroyed skid plate. It literally ripped the bolts out of the brackets that held it to the frame. The bars have seen better days too!


Still a beautiful view of this massive crater in the middle of Central Oregon:


Amazingly enough there were no injuries as a result of this over the bar excursion.... although Jr. did say his butt was a little sore.

Andy and Robby patched up the headlight and zip tied the skid plate to the rear rack and we were off making tracks again.

We rolled on fumes at about 7:30pm to Christmas Valley. Keith actually had to meet us about 10 miles from town as we had two bikes that were on fumes so the chase truck was a welcome sight once again!
The hotel we had booked had written us in on the wrong date, so there were no rooms at our planned location. Luckily they had an alternative spot for us. As it turned out it was a super nice house that they rent out for larger groups and was perfect for us.


Had a nice deck and a view of the local golf course:


Keith went to work and started assessing the damage to the Honda. The bars were trashed and needed to be replaced. One of the few things that I didn't have in the chase truck! Dang it! I thought the Honda was done... but Keith made a call to a buddy back in Washington. "I think one of my friends Dad's retired out here... he'll have a set of bars if he's home" No way!
As it turned out, his buddy's Dad lived about 3 blocks from the house we were staying in and he had a few sets of bars to choose from.
Keith found some take and bake pizza's at the local store so we popped those in the oven for dinner. Soooo good!
A short time later, Keith was back and had a set of bars that he would swap over in the morning! Can you say best chase truck driver ever! I was!
A short time later, Rich showed up in a rental car that he had acquired in Bend. He was on crutches, had a soft cast on his left hand but was in pretty good spirits considering the day he had.
Day 1 was in the books and it was a hell of an adventure.
Day 2 would surely be better... right?
Stay tuned....
__________________
High Desert Adventures
Backcountry Motorcycle Tours
www.highdesertadventures.net
06 KTM 525exc (plated)
4 time Baja 1000 finisher (08-11) 2x, 305x, 313x, 202x

Racinace screwed with this post 07-13-2014 at 12:07 AM
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