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Old 04-01-2014, 03:47 PM   #46
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Anaheim, CA
Oddometer: 3,164
Originally Posted by GSequoia View Post
Are those progressives? I need to do fork seals (my LH fork probably had no damping at all judging by the oil slick on the trailer) and might as well swap springs when I do.
No. I've never been a fan of progressive springs (the type, not the brand since I've never worked with the brand) because I like working with consistency. It's easier for me to ride a bike knowing things will be linear.
Duy. You know, like the decimal system.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #47
Hi, wanna ride?
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Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Surf City, USA
Oddometer: 1,594
Plans for Saturday changed up a bit when my buddies Arnie Fry and Todd Whiteside said they wanted to ride to the Salt Tram. One of our fellow Baja buds, Ben decided to come along as well.

We left PSR and took the canyon road to Darwin. Since I was on my 525 "little girls" bike and Arnie and Todd were on their 950 SE's, I felt like the rabbit being chased by the hounds all day.

Arnie screaming up the canyon ... those 950's make an awesome sound

Another one of the endless views, about to head down towards Darwin Falls and China Springs.

We got to the sandwash in the bottom of the canyon and ran into Isaac West and his buddy Mike. They were also headed to the Salt Tram and we made plans to meet up later.

First stop was China Springs, it's always amazing the random things that are out in the middle of nowhere.

Todd and Ben feeding the fish

Arnie doing a quick survey and telling us this spot would make a great bar.

Riding into Darwin we ran into a huge pack of guys that were all part of Issac's crew to the Salt Tram. They were all riding kind of different plans so we headed up and over the pass on the jeep track out of Darwin.




Up on the pass, we were just kind of standing around when we heard more bikes, Isaac and Mike came charging around the corner.

Isaac and Mike were heading for Olancha Dunes and we were heading for Cerro Gordo. Once we got back to 190 though, the guys all thought the dunes sounded fun. So off we went into what turned into a 20 minute ride of wind hell ... direct head wind with big gusts of sand.

But we made it. Ben and Arnie taking a sand blast cleaning

Arnie heading off to the unknown

We started to get the feeling that medium Todd could have stayed there all day bombing away on his 950

After riding to the dunes and charging in the deep sand, gas stop in Olancha was needed. Pulling out of the gas station we ran into Isaac and Mike again so we joined up and headed for the Salt Tram.

Ben, Mike and Isaac

the hounds

Turned out that Isaac and Mike planned to ride to the Salt Tram via Swansea Road. Ben, Arnie and Todd decided to ride up Cerro Gordo Rd instead and I joined Isaac and Mike.

Swansea Rd was pretty thrashed and I felt much better about the bigger bikes going the other way. Lots of rocks, boulders, ruts and a few step ups. Mike and Issac (on his new 690) with Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra's in the background.

First sign of snow along the trail ... further up the snow was across the trail

Isaac looking sharp with new bike and matching gear.

Riding the ridge line towards Salt Tram

At the Salt Tram we found a single bike parked outside the cabin. Inside we found Jimmy Lewis having a snack. He said he had seen the other half of our group at Cerro Gordo and didn't think they were coming up. The caretaker at Cerro Gordo was saying the road was impassable. According to Jimmy there was a spot of road with a lot of snow ... he told us to ride his track through and it wouldn't be a problem. Then he told us going down the east side Cerro Gordo was "blown out". I was thinking windy but it turned out that a big chunk of the mountain came down the river bed and the road was mostly gone.

Mike and Isaac rolling through Jimmy's tracks

Looking back into Owens Valley

We ended up getting back down to Saline Valley Road without incident but I didn't get any more pics. Still kicking myself for not getting a couple of shots of how bad that track was "blown out".

Before heading back to camp, we snapped a couple of shots at the Welcome to DV sign ... old school and older school, notice Isaac didn't let his new 690 get close.

One last awesome view before heading back to PSR and some BBQ.

Life is an adventure that requires the correct equipment

SPOT - bigtodd - where I at now?
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:42 PM   #48
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Joined: May 2013
Location: Northern Karlifornia
Oddometer: 156
Noob time

Two days of pure fun & lots of riding. Thanks to ride leaders & sweeps as well as rest of the riders. Great group of folks to spend time with.
Joel, thank you for the room was nice to sleep in a soft warm bed at the end of the day

Ride back home to bay area was nice except for strong winds on a stretch of 14 and on 58 all the way to Bakersfield.

Waiting to do it all over again next year

Taking a breather up at the crest.

You mean I have to ride my bike down there !

Rest of the gang including our rider leader

Yet another view from crest

KTM needing some love and attention

Our fearless ride leader posing

View from Augereberry

Group pose up at Augereberry

One more group photo at Augereberry

Nice view from atop Augereberry

Customary Ballarat jailhouse photo

Taking a break @ Ballarat
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #49
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Orange County, CA.
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Originally Posted by oneway View Post

Friday I went out on my own, and by coincidence meet up with George, Charlie, and Jeff. we split from a larger group at the furnace creek visitors center and rode artists drive, over to Rhyolite, Titus canyon, and back to PSR. Jeff got the Vstrom properly initiated in Titus.
Saturday I went out with George and Charlie. the 3 of us, first time to DV, we had a torn visitors center map, extra gas for the KTM, and Georges GPS to help us find south pass, hunter mtn, teakettle, racetrack and lippencot.

I ate a lot of Charlies dust from the KTM. I think it was his way of saying "thanks" for the 200 miles of asphalt the day before. George had his big boy pants on as he took the beautiful GSA down lippencot. He may have lost his starbucks card along the way.........the last thing I saw as we exited lippencot was Georges 1 finger salute to what he left behind.

Hey Gary, you motored that KLR pretty well with the tires you had on it. It's so ON when you add the Big Block! Good times riding with you. Thanks!

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Old 04-01-2014, 08:10 PM   #50
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Race track off in the distance

Content, NEVER!
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:14 PM   #51
ride'n 2 live
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You meet some of the most interesting people in the desert

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Old 04-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #52
ktm's "the tourist"
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Burbank CA
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thanks again guys for posting your rr. more people should be reporting on their experiences soon.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:45 PM   #53
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
Marissa and I arrived in Death Valley Tuesday around noon, this was the first time that she has been 2 up in the dirt and was very excited about trying it. Turned out to be a great weekend for both of us, thank you to all that made her feel comfortable. 99% of the pictures in this report were taken by Marissa.

We first setout to pre-ride the Aguereberry Point / Charcoal Kilns ride that we would be leading Thursday evening.

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Old 04-01-2014, 08:57 PM   #54
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
Wednesday morning we got up and rode a pre-ride of the Cerro Gordo / Salt Tram ride that I would be leading Saturday. We went out through the china Garden and through Darwin, and took some lightly traveled sandy two track out towards Keeler. We had our first small crash in the sand slowing down for some cross erosion, laughed it off and no big deal.

We then went up Cerro Gordo road to the town and headed towards the Salt Tram. Made it though the sketchy cliff section fine and started making the climes to the tram. On one of the last, I think the last hill climb we had our second and last crash of the weekend, it was a little more spectacular than the first one. Bike was off the road and we tumbled a couple of times down the hill. Again Ris took it in stride and I figured I better be the adult and call it off, so we went back to Cerro Gordo.

Now, my memory is okay for the most part but I completely forgot how bad the road is off the backside going down to Saline Valley. Once I committed there was no going back as I do not think it would be possible for me to climb back out with the two of us on the 990. So we plunges ever deeper into the crap. Road was very washed out and was a struggle for us.

We made it to the bottom and I was looking at the GPS in the middle of a big wash and looked like we had to continue in the wash and head back up. I did not think this was right and walked around and finally leaving Ris and taking the bike to scout out where we needed to go. Finally found the rock stack and the road leading out.

No pictures of any of this, I was told by many more experienced than I not to go up there, I should have took the advice.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:00 PM   #55
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
Thursday Morning we went to Beatty, the Ghost Town and Titus Canyon.

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Old 04-01-2014, 09:06 PM   #56
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
Thursday evening I lead a ride back to the Kilns and the Point.

Friday Morning we set out for the Hunter/Tea Kettle / Race Track/ Crater ride.

Lost Rider had her out hunting LOST stickers.

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Old 04-01-2014, 09:09 PM   #57
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
Rocks on the Race Track.

Pretty cool cactus.

Crater pick, wind was howling.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:19 PM   #58
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
Saturday we took a few people on a ride to the China Garden again and out and around Darwin. I let Stoke ride my 500 to see how much different a small bike makes, we are both tall so the bike fit him well and he had a great time.

We got back to camp early enough to watch Jimmy Lewis do his show. Marissa was mesmerized lol.

Found more LOST stickers...

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Old 04-01-2014, 09:23 PM   #59
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Camarillo, Ca.
Oddometer: 600
My what are you doing look..

We left for home Saturday evening.

That is about it. We had a great time, thanks for all the put this together.

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Old 04-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #60
Joined: Dec 2012
Oddometer: 55
The Goose flew 1.500 miles!

First of all thanks to Joel for organizing this. It was a great weekend.

Wednesday, Leo and I left the San Francisco Bay Area for Beatty NV on our fully loaded adventure bikes. Weighed the bike before leaving ... 700 lbs ... ;) Thought this was the real way to experience the Noob Rally.

Was surprised to see how few people actually rode in. Felt more like an OHV park with RVs and generators and small dirt bikes, than a rally of travelers ... That said, still a lot of fun!!

We left at 7am and arrived in Beatty around 8pm. Just in time for award-winning Chilli and PBR in frozen mugs. After that we went to the bar next door for a little enjoyment. Went to bed pretty late.

Next day we arrived at the camp ground and pitched our tents in anticipation of the next day. Our Golar Wash/Mengel Pass ride. Was planning to do Titus Canyon fully loaded but ran out of time. In hind sight probably not a bad thing, left us fresh for Friday.

Friday morning we went out on the Golar Wash/Mengel Pass group ride. The ride to Ballarat was nice and provided more practice in riding in the loose stuff. Golar Wash was interesting and quite challenging. Needed a little push to get all the way up. But she made it. The ride from there to lunch at Barker ranch was fun and the big girl did fine.

At lunch we discussed the further plan and decided all that it would be quicker to ride through rather than return where we came from. Not sure what that was based on ... :( The ride out included Mengel pass, a lot of dirt road and 100 miles of black top ...

At Mengel pass, 4 from our group and the next merged. They helped us and we helped them. It was great to see a well functioning group stick together helping each other. Had to bump start one of the KLRs a couple of times. However, that is what makes a ride an adventure; when the unexpected happens. :)

After Mengel we rode on a gravel road on what seemed forever ... Was getting a little tired. Right when the GPS track ended our ride leader showed up frantically looking for the KLR owner with battery problems and his son. (Later in camp we shared dinner with them and heard that the son had towed his dad on the KLR with his DRZ350 for 100 miles on road at speeds as low as 10mph on the steepest ascends. Think someone owes his son college tuition.) We then learned that we had another 13 miles of dirt and night fall was rapidly approaching. We made it out in time and rode the 100 road miles back to camp. Arrived at 9pm and ate the left overs tired after a long and exciting day.

Needed help a few places, but made it through in one piece. This was a challenging ride for the big goose and her rider. But we had great fun.

After all the Friday excitement and exertion, we decided to take it easy on the Friday. Had tweaked my thumbs a little the one time I dropped the Goose. So we took a road ride to the Kilns. It was a nice little trip. Also, found out that my Goose needs new suspension. The rear shock packs up on wash boards ...

The raffle Saturday night was good. All those nice light kits made me wish I had bought more raffle tickets. :)

Sunday morning we packed up the bikes and checked out. We then decided to ride fully loaded to the Saline Valley warm springs. That was a great ride. Especially the last 6 or so miles on sand with a 700 lbs bike was quite challenging. However remembering Jimmy Lewis' advice about riding in balance, steering with the feet, and giving a little whiff of gas if the bike started to be unstable, provided the edge. Still the way in was challenging.

Set up camp and enjoyed soaking in the hot tubs. Got my first shower in three days. Very cool!

Also enjoyed meeting the regulars and hearing their stories. This is indeed a magical oasis in the jungle.

Monday we packed up camp and left at 9am on a long journey home. We decided to take the northern route out. It was a beautiful ride. The sand out from the oasis was much easier. Guess the Goose and I were learning ...

After a couple of hours we hit the asphalt and had lunch in Big Pine. We had decided to ride home over Tahoe. But due to a snow storm we had to change plans and endure 100 miles of strong side wind as we rode south next to the Sierra Nevada. That was really fatiguing. So when we had the change, we decided to cross the Sierras at Lake Isabella. That was a perfect decision; will never cross at Tehachapi again. Finally arrived back at the Bay Area at 2am in the morning completely exhausted.

This was a great trip. The Goose flew 1,500 miles. Completed a very challenging dirt ride, visited an oasis, made new friends. Had loads of fun. First in a long while with no internet and no email for almost a week.

PS Now if someone could tell me how to make my public drop box pictures show ...

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