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Old 06-19-2015, 03:24 AM   #1
Rut Runner OP
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Dualsport Utah Camp/Ride

This is a write up of my dirtbike trip in Utah I did last September. I had 10 days to ride off-road from Green River to Mesquite and back. The plan was to ride trails all day and sleep under the stars each night.

This trip marked quite a change for me. After 25 years of day tripping on dirtbikes I wanted to try something different. I would be foregoing the bed, shower, regular restaurant meals and other in-town amenities for a rather spartan camping setup. I was hoping the benefits would outweigh the negatives-more riding, more stargazing, more freedom. Was it worth it? Did I make it? Read on!

Here is some preview pics:




















To be continued...
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:45 AM   #2
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RR cont'd

Below is a picture of my bike and gear, prior to departure. The E-12 saddlebags hold my sleeping bag, 2Ē inflatable pad, inflatable pillow, tarp and long underwear. The tail bag carries enough food for 1-2 meals, and some miscellaneous items, including a trail stand and folding pruning saw. The camelback takes all my water, camera, SPOT and various overflow items.



A small Dakar box attached to the skidplate holds most of my tools. Front and rear tubes, a pump and repair kit stay in the bag under the headlight. Tire irons are mounted on the skidplate. First aid kit and medications are in a welding rod tube mounted behind the headlight.

Absent from my setup were cooking equipment, extra footwear and a tent. I figured my tarp could double as a tent in a pinch. My Alpinestar tech 3 boots are surprisingly comfortable, and with the top buckles undone allowing the ankle to flex, I could walk long distances,(if I had too) . I wanted to keep meals quick and easy, so no cookware. On the trail meals were either leftovers or tinned food. Not as bad as it sounds as I would be hitting a gas station or small town everyday.

How much trouble could I get into using the above setup, and riding solo for 10 days through sparsely populated deserts?


These would be some of the highlights:

1. Engage in an open itinerary, solo backcountry bike trip with no prior bike camping experience, using new gear and a completely untested setup,

2. Waking up in a thunderstorm, realizing all my electronics are lying about, run over to cover them up, then turn around to see my air mattress go sailing away into the darkness

3. Looking up at a mountain peak enveloped in dark storm clouds, then proceeding to ride through it anyways.


4. prep for the trip by mounting a free 100/100-18 rear tire, which is a 250 size tire, on my 650, then having to detour 50 miles because I couldnít climb a sand hill on the Great Western Trail.


5. having a gust of wind topple my tripod mounted camera, damaging the lens, then two days later having the exact same thing happen with my backup camera.


6. attempting my first trailside flat repair ever, then having more flats than Iíve had in the last 25 years of dirtbiking.


To be cont'd...
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
kevinmerlo
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I'm onboard and looking forward to the ride report! Good for you for going for it.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:13 PM   #4
Idahohigh
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This could be a great adventure or a hilarious comedy

Idahohigh screwed with this post 06-21-2015 at 06:24 PM
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:00 AM   #5
Moto Vaquero
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I'll be doing the exact same shit in the near future, that is, minimalist camping off a relatively small bike. So I'm looking forward to an honest straight up and in depth report on what you would and wouldn't do again.

Sorry it sounds like a homework assignment now

I have a feeling that little "free" rear tire may give you some grief before this is over...
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:53 AM   #6
markplace
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I ride the same way (and same bike) and have wanted to do a trip in Utah. this will be a great preview.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
refokus
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Well I am in for the RR. Looking forward to it.
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Old 06-21-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
jackanory
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sounds great!

I'm in
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:13 PM   #9
Rut Runner OP
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RR cont'd

Even starting this trip was a challenge. Work asked me to shift my vacation back by a week, which I did. The extra prep time didnít help much. I was still overwhelmed at work, there was a rush of last minute things to do and I ended up getting 5 hours sleep each night for the 4 nights leading up to the start- and the same thing happens every year!. This year was even worse-two days before departure my wife demanded a front brake job on her car, so there went one evening. What was worst was waiting for news of her rather serious medical test results, due on the day I was leaving. If the results were bad, I would not be going. At 10:30am I got the call-all was clear, nothing to worry about. Relief all around.

Since I was hauling in from the east Colorado was in the way. Reluctantly I unloaded the bike and did abit of a bike shakedown, three days worth actually.

Day 1 in Taylor Park:




















Day 2 was the Alpine Loop:









































Day 3 was out of Ouray:








There is a black jeep straight ahead to the right on the shelf road:




























Bike shakedown was a success, now on to the main event!

To be cont'd
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:15 PM   #10
VARider67
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I'm along for the ride. Looking forward to it.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:31 PM   #11
Moto Vaquero
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Great photos!
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:37 PM   #12
uintamts
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Sounds like a fun adventure!

Nice report. I'm in.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:07 PM   #13
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RR cont'd

Next up was the main event, Utah. The start point would be the town of Green River. I chose this because itís on I70 in a somewhat central location. Initially I had considered Grand Junction, but thought that was a bit too ambitious. I loaded up the bike with all my gear for a trial test run. Everything seemed to hold together so it was back to the motel for the final preparations. I spent the whole evening prepping the bike and my gear. Itís surprising how many little things you have to pack for a ride/camp trip! I was feeling a tingling of anticipation and excitement-after years of thinking about it I was finally going to do it!

The morning came and I left Green River heading south. For the first 30 minutes I found myself thinking about my packing list and what I might have forgotten. After awhile I shrugged and thought-if a forgot anything Iíll pick it up in Moab.




Picking up some singletract a few miles south of Green River:
The BLM maps have all the designated singletrack, except they're hard to use! This track started out as doubletrack then faded to this.




Following the paint marks on the White Wash slickrock, much mroe entertaining than the slickrock bike trail above Moab.




After the slickrock I had trouble picking up the next section of singletrack. After awhile and I gave up and followed some very sandy doubletrack to another section of slickrock where I had lunch.

Gratuitous pic using the self timer:




Heading south again:






































This was just before Moab. After having rode all day in temps of 90+ this was nirvana! It completely put me into a new frame of mind.




f







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Old 07-01-2015, 06:12 PM   #14
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RR cont'd

The sun set as I ate in Moab. My plan was to ride a few miles south and crash for the night. I couldn't see much with my headlight but I did manage to get off the main trail a fair bit. Before unloading I played around with the camera:




I setup camp nearby and contemplated the stars.

to be cont'd...
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:05 PM   #15
Marc LaDue
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Congrats!

Your shakedown choices look to be more challenging than some of your desert riding. Of course there's always the temperature to consider; Colorado is much more conducive to temperate climes. Be careful out there and thanx for taking us along,

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