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Old 03-22-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
LexLeroy
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Pratfall

Went out today with some maps, my GPS and the ever-trusty XR650L Piggy Sue. My intent was to scout out some possible gravel roads south of the Kentucky River and west of KY 169. Heading west towards Silver Creek on Maple Grove Rd. I encountered a 20 yd swath of road slime (clay, algae, manure and lotsa' water) and, you guessed it, was on my ass and sliding next to the bike before I could even utter a monosyllabic curse.

It took me awhile to start the bike since I failed to notice that I had inadvertantly hit the kill switch on the way to the pavement, but the good news is a) an XR650L is a whole lot easier to pick up by yourself on a slimy road than a DL1000 VStrom and b) I get to order those Renthal handlebars that I've been wanting. And hey, what's an XRL without a few scuff marks.

Once I'm walking a little straighter I'll be scouting the roads in the Daniel Boone between McKee and London - any of you guys interested in a week or two?
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLeroy View Post
Went out today with some maps, my GPS and the ever-trusty XR650L Piggy Sue. My intent was to scout out some possible gravel roads south of the Kentucky River and west of KY 169. Heading west towards Silver Creek on Maple Grove Rd. I encountered a 20 yd swath of road slime (clay, algae, manure and lotsa' water) and, you guessed it, was on my ass and sliding next to the bike before I could even utter a monosyllabic curse.

It took me awhile to start the bike since I failed to notice that I had inadvertantly hit the kill switch on the way to the pavement, but the good news is a) an XR650L is a whole lot easier to pick up by yourself on a slimy road than a DL1000 VStrom and b) I get to order those Renthal handlebars that I've been wanting. And hey, what's an XRL without a few scuff marks.

Once I'm walking a little straighter I'll be scouting the roads in the Daniel Boone between McKee and London - any of you guys interested in a week or two?
First off, glad you seem to be ok.

Second, I'm interested, but unfortunately, unable. Parental responsibilities and all that.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLeroy View Post
I encountered a 20 yd swath of road slime (clay, algae, manure and lotsa' water) and, you guessed it, was on my ass and sliding next to the bike before I could even utter a monosyllabic curse.
Once I'm walking a little straighter I'll be scouting the roads in the Daniel Boone between McKee and London - any of you guys interested in a week or two?
Wow glad you're OK! Work is crazy right now and for the next month or I'd be all over the Dan'l Boone. Great area to explore.

John
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:31 AM   #19
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LL: Glad you bounced pretty good and that you both survived. Post up here and see if anybody is available to ride with you next time, if you want the company. I know that sometimes, when you go wandering, you just want to wander solo. That's cool too. All who wander are not lost...we're just adventurin'

Ride on my brotha!
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #20
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Lexington Motorsports is hosting Hot Winter Nights this next Saturday, March 31st. There will be live music starting around 1:00 pm as well as a prize vault valued @ $3,000. Food, music, test rides (weather permitting) and bikes! That sounds pretty cool to me. I just might have to ride up thar! Still a little distant on my calendar for a firm commitment, but it sounds good.

I've "liked" them on Facebook and then added a comment "RSVP for Hot Winter Nights" for an extra chance to win the prize vault money. Anybody else interested in a short road trip to Lexington NEXT Saturday, March 31st?
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #21
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Lexington Motorsports

If you're coming up this way be sure to stop at the Richmond, KY Honda shop - they've got a new XR650L on the floor. While in Lexington be sure to eat at Billy's Barbecue before you head home - some of the best pig parts south of the Mason-Dixon line.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:44 AM   #22
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Source of Maps

Prior to buying my GPS I was using Google Maps to search for interesting roads, both paved and gravel, but I often encountered sections that have been closed or that have reverted to private ownership and are now posted. Once I got my DeLorme GPS I started using DeLorme's mapping software, hoping for better accuracy... no dice. The Delorme software (Topo North America 9.0) is a little better at identifying unpaved sections but it isn't current on closed sections - you can still find yourself in the middle of nowhere trying to explain your way out of a trespass situation.

I kept looking for better (and hopefully free) maps of rural paved and unimproved roads when I stumbled upon a source for Kentucky county maps online. You'll need to enable pop-ups in your browser if you want to view the maps.

http://transportation.ky.gov/Plannin...stem-Maps.aspx

The link is provided by our own Kentucky Department of Transportation and the maps clearly differentiate paved from unpaved roads, at least at the county level. The ones that I checked don't show any sort of road where I've encountered road closures, which makes sense if you assume that the DOT is only going to show roads which are maintained by the state.

The United States Forest Service also has free road use maps for many of the national forests available online but I've only done limited exploration in the Daniel Boone to verify their accuracy or currency - maybe that's a project worth pursuing. At any rate, check out the link above. They're already yours as you've already paid for them.

LexLeroy screwed with this post 03-26-2012 at 09:45 AM
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:56 AM   #23
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Hey, southern OH guy here giving a holler to you central KY riders with a question....

I haven't ridden dirt for awhile (not since they got all pissy about riding the Livingston/909 area) and I just picked up a DRZ, so I'm back to looking for something to ride....hopefully someplace with a bit of technical single-/quad-track and within a 2 hour drive of the river. Based on the threads here and elsewhere, I assume that 909 is essentially closed except for the main county road, which I've heard they've bulldozed and flattened to the point of "why bother".

I haven't ridden Redbird Crest or S-Tree or Blue Royal in a long time either, but they're at least an hour further, so I'm still hoping to find alternatives. Anyone got any suggestions for riding areas? Is the Sheltowee open to moto west of London off of 80, either going north or south?

Thx for helping a boy out! Ciao--Bubba
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLeroy View Post
I kept looking for better (and hopefully free) maps of rural paved and unimproved roads when I stumbled upon a source for Kentucky county maps online. You'll need to enable pop-ups in your browser if you want to view the maps.

http://transportation.ky.gov/Plannin...stem-Maps.aspx
That is an absolutely AWESOME resource! Thanks for posting the link!
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLeroy View Post
Prior to buying my GPS I was using Google Maps to search for interesting roads, both paved and gravel, but I often encountered sections that have been closed or that have reverted to private ownership and are now posted. Once I got my DeLorme GPS I started using DeLorme's mapping software, hoping for better accuracy... no dice. The Delorme software (Topo North America 9.0) is a little better at identifying unpaved sections but it isn't current on closed sections - you can still find yourself in the middle of nowhere trying to explain your way out of a trespass situation.

I kept looking for better (and hopefully free) maps of rural paved and unimproved roads when I stumbled upon a source for Kentucky county maps online. You'll need to enable pop-ups in your browser if you want to view the maps.

http://transportation.ky.gov/Plannin...stem-Maps.aspx

The link is provided by our own Kentucky Department of Transportation and the maps clearly differentiate paved from unpaved roads, at least at the county level. The ones that I checked don't show any sort of road where I've encountered road closures, which makes sense if you assume that the DOT is only going to show roads which are maintained by the state.

The United States Forest Service also has free road use maps for many of the national forests available online but I've only done limited exploration in the Daniel Boone to verify their accuracy or currency - maybe that's a project worth pursuing. At any rate, check out the link above. They're already yours as you've already paid for them.
In 2004-2009 I mapped out just about everything S/SE of Lexington (including many roads that have been shut down in that time). When I say almost everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Every potential road or dirt path. I just rode around and explored everything, frequently getting into some hairy (well, usually very wet) situations.

Most notably, Carver's Ferry Rd was gated in ~2007, and is a huge loss because it was an awesome gravel connection. Also the whole road down Silver Creek is now gated/barricaded in various locations within the last two years. You could ride the entire length of Silver Creek in dirt/gravel.

I organized a few dual sport rides out of Lexington on the KYAdvriders yahoo group, and just smaller riders with one or two people, over the years.

Here is a link to everything I mapped out.
http://matson.home.insightbb.com/route_full.png

I actually see an unmarked section by Lock #8 that was all dirt, that I mapped out with Steve Irving and Postaldave back in 2008 (?) after thinking it was a dead end back in 2004. I should update that.

Be careful following anything on that map, because some of those areas are fairly/totally impassible, and some are now private property.

It is kind of primitive, since I had a super-old GPS. I would overlay the track on the map in photoshop, after combining several county maps.

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:08 PM   #26
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There is some gravel/dirt in Casey and maybe into Lincoln. I don't remember which county but I have a waypoint in my street gps where a road turns into gravel, then into a creek bed. It's pretty short but it makes a nice interuption in the pavement. If anyone is interested I'll dig out the waypoint. The GPS isn't here right now.


There's a little gravel somewhere off of the Southern end of Carpenter's creek rd. that's off of the Forkland area. I was lead through there but couldn't take you back. The paved roads are skinny back in there and they make a good ride.

In Mercer / Washington, you can leave Harrodsburg out Cornishville rd (state hwy 1989), pass through Cornishville, go about another 1-2 miles and turn left down Three Lick Rd. That's gravel for about 1.5 miles or so. When you hit pavement, turn right and then take the first left onto Glens Creek which is gravel. Ride that for about a mile to a 4 way intersection. Keep right for another mile or so of gravel. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=harrod...tucky&t=m&z=14

Toward London, find the intersection of Hwy 25 and Hwy 909 near I-75, South of Livingston. From there to Sand Gap there's a bunch of gravel and some 2 track dirt sections. Good riding but when the creeks are running deep you may have a problem.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:49 PM   #27
LexLeroy
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Puke Did you say creeks?

I can see that I'll need to get used to falling on my ass in either Kentucky Road Snot or Kentucky Creekbed Snot....

Probably ought to lose the street tires while I'm at it, which raises the question about tires. I don't want to start a big tire thread, but which tires do you guys prefer for the mix of terrain that we've got in central and eastern Kentucky? The challenge as I see it is that some of us need to ride for an hour or more on pavement in order to get in some gravel with reasonably passable creek crossings. Aggressive DOT knobbies like Pirelli MT21's get burned up pretty quickly even at 55mph, while on the other hand road-biased "dual sport" tires last a little longer but are plain terrible, particularly at street inflation pressures, in a creek littered with slippery dinner-plate sized pieces of limestone.

Are you guys just swallowing hard and shelling out for new tires every 1000 miles or so? Maybe that's just the price that we pay for even having the opportunities that we've got.

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Old 03-29-2012, 08:45 AM   #28
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I have just past 7k miles on my stock DL650 trailwings and have been searching for an answer to this question for a a few months. I was about to order some Shinkos but have freaking out about the delam issues that have been reported so I've been forced to reconsider, without success, so I'm back to square one. I would be looking for a 75/25 tire that might lead me to more off road if it performs well. Still can't find anything and I won't pay for 1k - 3k miles on a dual sport tire. I just don't have that kind of money. I hate the idea of the trailwings so I continue to look around.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:35 AM   #29
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V-Strom Tires

I'm running Bridgestone Battle Wings on my DL1000, but then that stays on pavement. I just wasn't comfortable off-pavement on my DL so that's why I picked up the XRL. Fortunately we've got plenty of paved back roads that are entertaining but still in decent condition, and unlike my previous home in Northern Indiana one can wear out the whole tire in Kentucky, not just the middle, so the DL sees its share of use. Had it out just yesterday in fact.

I'm thinking that Michelin T63's might do it for the XRL - inexpensive enough that I don't get sick to my stomach every time I need to buy a set of them, plus I can change and balance them myself. Have you thought about picking up some tire-changing stuff to bring the cost of tire changes down over time? Here's what I'm using for both bikes - seems to work OK so far, although breaking the bead on the DL is a challenge.



But to get back to "Where to Ride" I'm thinking of following MARKDVK's suggestion of heading down to Livingston and working my way back north to Sand Gap. I've been down KY 89 on both the V-Strom and the XRL but I haven't done any of the gravel in that area. The XRL is currently wearing IRC GP-110's which seem to work OK on hard-packed dirt and gravel, but they suck hugely in slimey water crossings or anything loose so I hesitate to explore too aggressively until I've got at least one other rider along.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
Lexington Motorsports is hosting Hot Winter Nights this next Saturday, March 31st. There will be live music starting around 1:00 pm as well as a prize vault valued @ $3,000. Food, music, test rides (weather permitting) and bikes! That sounds pretty cool to me. I just might have to ride up thar! Still a little distant on my calendar for a firm commitment, but it sounds good.

I've "liked" them on Facebook and then added a comment "RSVP for Hot Winter Nights" for an extra chance to win the prize vault money. Anybody else interested in a short road trip to Lexington NEXT Saturday, March 31st?
The weather looks good for a run to Lexington tomorrow. I'll prolly have to cut grass first, so I won't be going until afternoon, if my plan holds. Anybody else interested? I'll be running straight up KY HWY 27 to Lex...
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