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Old 07-18-2012, 08:57 AM   #46
C-Dub
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Right on buddy! Looking forward to your ride report!

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Old 07-29-2012, 09:43 PM   #47
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Time to get off my butt and start writing a report
Too easy to let other things (work ) get in the way.
Mods... Feel free to move this thread to Ride Reports

-M
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:43 PM   #48
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Introduction:

A couple years ago Ken (kkug) and I went on a great ride through the western states, including (among other things) a southern portion of the CDR and the western half of the TAT. Ever since then, i've been itching to get back out and see the rest of the CDR and more of northern Nevada. I envisioned a clockwise loop up through Nevada, eastern Oregon, parts of Washington and Idaho, then over to Montana and follow the CDR down to where we had left it in Colorado, then turn west across Utah and head for home.

Complete CDR tracks are easy to find (several versions, actually), but I had to piece together the northward route. Searching GPSxchange (thanks JC) and "Layin' Down Tracks" here on ADV gave me a few good bits and pieces. Had to fill in the blanks with much studying of Delorme and Google maps. I tried to compose a route with as much non-pavement as possible, but still one that makes steady progress. Didn't want to get bogged down in lengthy technical off-roading, nor just have an all-day drone down a smooth gravel highway. Probly the hardest part was connecting known available fuel stops within a typical safe range (~200 miles or so).

This is what it eventually looked like...


Didn't try hard enough to make the trip happen in 2011, so resolved not to let 2012 slip by, even if I ended up going solo (okay, but sometimes lonely). On a trip like this, two matched riders works well, three might be okay, and four might be too many. Much as I would've liked to have a whole mess of friends along, only a very few were invited. Naturally, Ken was first to be informed. Initially noncommital, claiming other plans, he soon realized this was not to be missed. The only other one to join the short IN list was my long-time riding buddy Bob (rfmorris). Unfortunately, Bob could only join in on the first four days before he would need to turn back towards home. Lucky for him, those first few days turned out to be some of the best riding of the whole trip.

Had originally hoped to go in late june, but work and life pushed the trip back until early july. In the end, that turned out to be a good thing since apparently it was raining in the northern states (ID, MT) right up until we arrived. Overall, the weather was darned near perfect for almost the entire trip. Never too hot or too cold. I wore only a t-shirt, armor, and jersey for the first six days. Vents on the Klim pants were almost always open. Hardly ever wore my jacket except for a few cool mornings and evenings. If not for the heavy showers on the last morning, I could've left the rain suit at home (thus guaranteeing bad weather throughout the trip).

Anyhow, let the story begin...

-M
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:45 PM   #49
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DAY #1: Home to Lone Pine, CA (~200 miles)

Plan was to start on a thursday afternoon instead of waiting for the typical friday traffic jams as everyone tries to leave the LA area. No need to coordinate meeting at a particular place and time, we would each just leave after work
(or earlier if possible) and Head for Tuttle Creek campground near Lone Pine. The wonders of technology would let us know the other's progress.

I was ready to leave work at noon (in my mind, I was already gone), but quitting time wasn't until 3:30. Hustle home by 4pm and on the road before 5pm. This would be an all pavement run, mostly on Hwy395. Every SoCal inmate who has
been to WMRS or a PSR nOOb Rally are familiar with this stretch. Not much or anything exciting to say about it. Just zone out and go.


Somewhere north of Adelanto. Urbania is all behind me now, feeling like the trip has finally started


One for the Long Lonely Highways thread (... which will be a major theme of this report )


Sun setting over the southern Sierra, just south of Olancha.


Rolled into Lone Pine just after 8pm. Time for and

CellPic

Bob rolled in about 30 minutes later


Turned out that Ken had some trouble escaping the Sandy Eggo area and was running about 2 hours behind. No worries. After dinner we headed over to the campground and I texted back the site number. Right on time (~10pm) we see a
headlight hunting towards us. Hey, hey, the gangs all here

Was a beautiful calm night with surprisingly (for this area) no wind. Skip the rainfly and fall asleep under the stars. Tomorrow is looking good

-M
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:17 PM   #50
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:38 PM   #51
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Tuned in.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:31 AM   #52
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IN Thanks Matt for doing this.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #53
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DAY #2: Lone Pine, CA to Fallon, NV (~300 miles)

Good morning and welcome to day #2, the first real day of the ride.


I woke early and wandered 'round a bit as the sunrise was creeping down the east slope of the Sierras.


As expected, it was looking to be a beautiful day

OK guys... Time to pack up and roll!


Still all clean and shiny. We'll hafta do something about that


First leg of the day would take us up to Bishop, CA.


Familiar territory for everyone, but no need to do all pavement. We would start off with a fun detour around the back side of the Alabama Hills on Movie Flat Road. Just the thing to scrub in a new set of knobbies.

A a a c c c sh sh sh un!


I think a little race developed between the two 800's... They were gone!


Great way to start the day.


Bob re-enacting a scene from one of the many westerns filmed in this area... "Stick 'em up!"


Back on Hwy395 for a few miles, heading north.


Self portrait


Just north of Independence we peeled off on Old Hwy395 (Tinemaha Rd). This is old crumbling asphalt for awhile, before turning to dirt at Aberdeen. Perfect for big adventure bikes.

Bob speeds by, Ken following in the distance.


Everyone was moving fast with long dust trails, so I didn't get any more pics from that section. Back onto Hwy395, we rolled through Bishop (ugh, traffic lights ) and stopped at the north end of town for fuel. Already getting pretty warm, so we also topped off water and ice in the camelbacks.

(continued...)

-M
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkug View Post
Thanks Matt for doing this.
Trying

We'll see if I can write a bit every lunch break or better

-M
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:44 PM   #55
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The Triumph ripping up the dirt is cool.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:07 PM   #56
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So how did the triumph like the dirt? How much more dirt worthy is a ktm over a trimph. I think they are both beautiful bikes.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:46 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rider View Post
So how did the triumph like the dirt? How much more dirt worthy is a ktm over a trimph. I think they are both beautiful bikes.
Bob will hafta answer that one...

Honestly, I was surprised and impressed by the li'l Tiger

Then again, Bob is a skilled and experienced off-road rider and could probly ride almost anything quickly in the dirt

Bottom line (and I think Bob will agree), the KTM is still better at being ridden like a dirt bike.

-M
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:54 PM   #58
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Oh yeah...

One of the coolest things about the Tiger is the sound

Very strange to be on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere and hear something that is definitely NOT a thumper or a twin approaching

-M
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:48 PM   #59
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DAY #2: Lone Pine, CA to Fallon, NV (continued...)

Next leg of the day would take us from Bishop, CA to Mina, NV.


Interesting... would be ~1500 miles shorter to go to the East Coast than the route we plan to take.


Ahhh... a good sign!


Starting up Fish Slough road, I paused for a moment to let the 800's dust clear...


Then made some dust of my own

(Over the shoulder shot)

A short stretch of old asphalt on black Rock Mine road.


Heading north on Yellow Jacket road.


Broke out to Hwy120 at Benton Hot Springs.


We hopped on Hwy6 for a few miles and crossed the border into Nevada. I was looking for one of a few routes suggested by 'countdown' that might get us up to Truman Meadows area. The first couple did not pan out, nearly overgrown or just not suitable for loaded big-bikes. Finally found one worth trying just before Montgomery Pass. We left the pavement and immediately started climbing, 1000 feet in about 2 miles.

Ascending, Bob or Ken traversing the slope up above.


A little farther up looking down, Hwy6 in the valley below.


Caught up with the guys contemplating an obstacle...


The road ahead of Bob curved down out of view into a gully and straight up the other side. Daunting, but looked to be well traveled. I asked "who wants to go first?" All fingers were pointing at me, so I rolled over the edge and immediately thought "uh oh"

Very steep descent to a V bottom, then an equally steep, but also off-camber and curving ascent. This was no place to hesitate. Quickly assess the situation, choose a line, and focus on a smooth transition at the bottom. Failure would mean an uncontrolled backwards slide

Commitment!

Made it through the worst.

As always, much steeper than it looks on both sides.

I stopped at the first safe opportunity and took a look back. Bob had followed me down, but knew he wasn't prepped to climb the other side. While Ken wisely waited at the top, Bob made a 20-point turn and climbed back out. No easy task.

Thinking back, I'd say this was the single most challenging moment in the whole ride. Starting down, it was clear there was no way to get a run at the other side, no way to carry any momentum. This would be throttle control and maintaining drive. Any sudden wheelspin would send the rear end off the camber, pitching the bike sideways, probly halting progress. Once stopped, I seriously doubt that both wheels locked would hold a big-bike in place. More likely, bike and rider would end up sliding back down on their sides.

My carbed 950 pulls clean and smooth from 0-100% and the rear D908 'finds' traction. I am fairly sure that I could not have done this on any of the few FI 990's that i've ridden. Also sure that I could not have done it on a 50/50 rear tire (like a Heidenau K60, BTDT). Well... maybe without all the camping gear

What to do now?

From my vantage point, it looked like there was a slightly less used track continuing up the ridge above where Ken had stopped. I waved in that direction and waited awhile as the guys headed off.

Bob scouting the ridgeline.


Here's a closer look.


Seemed like they were making good progress and heading in the right direction, so I continued up my route and looked for the most likely place where our paths would intersect.

Success! I'll leave it up to Ken or Bob to describe the bypass.


We were now in an area of sage meadows surrounded by sparse juniper forest. Very dry and dusty.


I recall a long section of volcanic rocks embedded in red dirt. Nasty! Luckily we were going downhill, so at the right speed the bike sorta skips over the tops. No pics because it was awkward to stop and no-way was I gonna shoot on the fly in this stuff. Would've really sucked going the other way.

Finally broke out to some nice two-track and speeds picked up for a bit.


The Kug on the move. Not sure, but I think that is ~13k' Montgomery / Boundary Peak behind him.


Went through another section of bad roads. These looked like they had not been travelled in years. Over grown and washed out, loose and rocky. Hard to follow wthout a GPS track. Eventually reached German Spring where we were nearly accosted by inquisitive leporids.

No kidding... this guy was easily 2' tall.


Skirting around the east side of Teels Marsh.


Couple of sandy spots kept it interesting and called for a short break at the main road.


Bob spots a wild burro.


Everyone was getting hungry, so we hustled over the pass and out to the pavement.
A few miles on Hwy360 and a few more on Hwy95 brought us to Mina, NV.

Not a whole lot here, but we did find Socorro's Burger Hut.


Yes, it really was good food and ice cream

(continued...)

-M
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:16 PM   #60
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as always, your Ride Report RULES!!!
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