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Old 04-01-2014, 09:35 PM   #61
jeepinbanditrider
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So when does Marissa get her own KTM?

Thanks for leading the Friday ride. I had a great time......even if I was one of the slowest out there haha.

Edit-BIGTODD......the next time I ride with you I'm going to bring a NERF Battleax that you can carry around strapped to your back. Cause everytime I saw you I imagined a Viking warrior haha
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:13 PM   #62
isaac004
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NOTE: All of my photos are viewable on Flickr…just click the photo to be taken to the full size page.

This year’s rally had an extra amount of excitement for me. Not only was I psyched to just get out to DV to see familiar faces and enjoy the company of other inmates doing what we love most, I was in the process of buying my first ever brand new bike. Many many used bikes and I put down a deposit on a 2014 KTM 690 Enduro R back in early February, just hoping I would have it in time for the rally.

In the weeks leading up to the rally, my living room was getting very crowded!


Finally with just over a week to spare, Del Amo Motorsports in Long Beach handed me the keys to this shiny new beast!


Fast forward a few days for a good engine break-in ride and some wrenching, and it’s ready to go!


In the days leading up to the rally, I could barely sleep at night. It was like waiting for Christmas as a kid all over again. The morning I was leaving (Thursday), I woke up at 3am and again at 430am, thinking it was time to get to work and then on the road to DV!!!

I picked up my buddy Mike (michael.brat) shortly after lunch and we loaded all of his gear up.


We arrived at Panamint Valley and proceeded to unload and set the bikes up. Some introductions to fellow riders and those joining my ride the next day, along with replacing the soles on my Crossfire 2 boots, provided for a full evening. The first sole replacement is the hardest, after that they are pretty quick! LOL

Friday morning the riders I was leading all gathered around 8am for my Racetrack Loop. We had a few extras that wanted to join in, and Rich (twowheelsgood) was willing to lead half of the group, so we decided to split into 2 smaller groups. This would prove to make the ride MUCH more manageable as we went from 13 riders total, to 6 in his group and 7 in mine.

I led the group out on 190 towards the Saline Valley Road turnoff. My friend Mike and I were both trying out the latest
Sena SMH10 Bluetooth Headsets
, which are supposed to work up to 900 meters apart. We installed them into our Arai XD3 and XD4 helmets just prior to the ride. We quickly discovered they work best with line of sight. Crest a mountain and they cut out, but line of sight and they are surprisingly clear.

We turned off onto Saline Valley Road. For the first time that I have ever seen (my first time here was 2010), the Road Closed sign was not up, due to the recent road grading. Here we have SuzukiPhil, avejoe, michael.brat, adventuredave, and BenTravelin.


We headed up Saline Valley Road. Here is avejoe in the distance.


Another regroup at the top of South Pass, looking down into Panamint Valley.


The full group again on South Pass. Joe, Ben, Phil, Mike, Dave.


Hunter Pass was in great shape. A small amount of snow on the side of the road in spots, a few rutted spots that were muddy messes just weeks ago but firm now. Always a great time blasting through here, good flow and lots of fun. The Sena’s were working great…Mike would ride ahead but since he was not familiar with the route we would be talking continuously about the view, the fun, which direction to take at various forks, road hazards, etc. Sound quality is better then a phone call, but you talk just like you would on a phone.

For this photo I was able to tell Mike over the Sena to stop while I got the camera out. According to Google Maps we were about 300m apart, clear line of sight, and the conversation was crystal clear. I was able to tell him when to go so I could grab the shot.


The rest of the crew rolled by. Here is Ben.


Ben, from a distance aways.


AdventureDave…he rode that KLR like a champ!


SuzukiPhil, who was our fearless sweep for the morning.


Dave, Phil, and Joe, round the corner.


A shot of your truly while cruising through Hidden Valley.


I arrived to Tea Kettle Junction, and was greeted by a nice older gentleman (Korean?) in a pickup who was having lunch. He volunteered to take my photo (along with many more to come).


The rest of the crew showed up, including the second half of the group that Rich (twowheelsgood) was leading. Here is everyone, thanks to the older man who was eating his lunch.
Standing:Bruceo, michael.brat, avejoe, isaac004, easyriderjay, adventuredave82, twowheelsgood.
Sitting: damado, suzukiphil, bentravelin. (Whew! Hope I got that all right!!!)


Next stop was the Grandstand for lunch. It looks so small in this shot.


I suppose I should comment on the 690 here. This thing is AMAZING. The bike is FAST FAST FAST….and light for a 690cc at 306lbs dry. You gas it out and then realize you are going way to fast. So you BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE and notice the ABS pulsing. Unlike my F800GS, where the ABS would have had me dead 3 times by this point, the 690 ABS is amazingly effective. There was never a point in time where I wish I had turned it off. With the ABS pulsating, I could squeeze the brakes lightly or harder and the ABS would continue to work as I modulated my desired braking strength. ABS technology has come a long way. I doubt I will ever turn the ABS off. It is making me a lazy rider, as you never need to worry about threshold braking anymore. On the really loose and cambered stuff, it can actually inspire confidence.

Ben zooms towards lunch.


We all walked out to the Grandstand to rest and eat our lunches. It is quite a nice view, and a great place to relax, as Ben shows here.


We then trekked a few more miles down the road to the south end of the Racetrack Playa, to check out the rock trails. Here is Ben.


Dave going in for a closer look, and Ben not wanting to associate with someone laying on the ground.


Mike snaps his own rock photos.


The thought is that in the right conditions, the Playa is wet and slick, the winds blow hard, and the rocks can glide along the surface as it is very slippery.

Group panoramic.


We then geared back up and rode to the start of Lippencott Road. We all had a moment to think about Joel, and realized just how happy he would be if we got everyone in another group photo! Joe, Mike, Ben, Phil, Dave, and myself.


Mike and I proceeded to pose for the camera.


We crested over the top, and Mike was wowed by the view of Saline Valley below us.


Ben enjoys the view as well.


I took a few shots part way down, but inadvertently changed some camera settings to get this Edvard Munch style capture of Dave and Phil riding by.


The view of Lippencott winding its way down to Saline Valley.


Dave, Phil, and Joe.


Condition of Lippencott. Loose but no washouts. About the same as last year, at least for the top half. The bottom half was graded, probably at the same time they graded Saline Valley Road last month.


At the intersection of Lippencott and Saline Valley Rd, we regrouped and realized how early it was, and no one was to excited on getting back to camp that early. So we took an inventory of how much gas everyone in the group had, and decided that the only two in the group who would run out of gas (Mike and I) would be able to transfer some over from a few others in the group. That was it, we all decided it would be a great idea to ride out to the hot springs! What could possibly go wrong??? After all, when democracy votes yes, it must be correct.

We tore across the valley and reached the turn off from Saline Valley Rd to the springs. I had heard this turnoff changed, but it looked exactly the same as I had seen it for the last 5 years.


We were immediately greater by Pablo, though with no extra gas for sale this time….


After a half hour rest, we decided it was best to get moving again.

Not too soon after, we realized just how little gas Mike and I had left. We decided to keep ourselves in front, and those with the extra gas behind us. We also needed to dial our speed and throttle down a bit. Mike had already hit reserve by the time we turned back onto Saline Valley Road.

Mike, in economy cruise control mode.


We stopped again at the Lippencott intersection to regroup and reassess the gas situation. I had one extra MSR bottle with 1L of gas, which I had poured into my gas tank at the hot springs. I used that bottle at this time to borrow another 1L of gas from Ben’s 5.3 gallon DR650 tank. Right after I finished pouring that in, we were about to move another 1L over to Mike’s, when 2 pickup trucks rolled up. They had come from 190 and were headed towards the springs. We spotted a few large 4 gallon Rotopax’s on their roofs…..hmm!!!!

I propositioned them to sell us 1-2 gallons of gas at a “desert price”. Mike and I each ended up taking around 0.75 gallons and paid him $10, which was actually a great deal given our location and situation. This was much easier then moving many liters of gas from Ben’s bike, and also more prudent.

Zooming through the Joshua Trees on Saline Valley Road.


Mike goofing off with the slower speeds.


We all rolled back into the gas station at PSR with not much to spare. My gas light had been on for 10 miles. Mike was far below reserve and had to tilt the bike a few times…he had used up all but a few oz in his tank. Ben had just hit reserve. But we made it back!!!

That night we filled up some extra containers, as a precaution depending on what rides we did the next few days. Of course, we didn’t bring any of this stuff on todays ride as we hadn’t planned on doing the extra loop. When in doubt!!!


All in all, it was a great day of riding. Everyone in our group was fun to ride with and we had zero issues, other then gas. Dave rode his KLR quite well off road and kept a good pace up. Joe rode in sand for the first time and adapted quickly. Phil warmed right up, from sweep to getting out in front. The Sena’s proved to be a lot of fun for Mike and I, and they lasted all day with great success.

For those GPS nerds, here is the info for that day.

GPS tracks, in blue.


Elevation profile.

isaac004 screwed with this post 04-02-2014 at 09:34 AM
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:18 PM   #63
headstaller
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Location: Norco, CA
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Rr: The genuine noob group ride

Joel suggested that I give it a try leading a Noob ride this year to some familiar ground that him and John had graciously accorded me a private tour during 2013 Noob Rally. He also named the ride


Shortly after I posted the ride, Bill (conteacher) offered to sweep, how can I refuse

I sucks at taking pictures, RR and remembering names …. so please chime in….

Plenty of group meetup at gas station.. I had no idea who are in my group (beside their handler). I had a ‘full’ ride but eventually sort itself out to be 4 and we are off to Ballarat via Indian Ranch Road.


Me and Bill gave the group a choice of taking the short ride back to pavement from Ballarat.. in true adventure spirit, they all wanted to ride back on the route we came in


Couple hundred yards from Panamint Spring road.. “I had a rear flat but I will ride it out to the pavement” came through SENA intercom. Big shout out to SENA letting us field test the SMH10, it was a great tool to have for group ride

‘how many guys it took to fix a flat’ 2 wounds 3 plugs..




along the way.. I am not good at remembering names.. please chime in


At the vista before the final climb to Arguereberry Point...






Enjoying the view atop Arguereberry Point


Then onto Charcoal Kilns....


Not sure what kind of dance..


Bill and I are delighted to ride and share with the group this uniquely beautiful place and hope they enjoyed the ride as well.

I hope Bill will share his thought and pictures with us soon
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:46 PM   #64
jeepinbanditrider
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Strom guys (Stoke and myself) taking a breather after the washboard to and from Racetrack from Teakettle junction.........what's this "suspension travel" you speak of?



I currently have new front springs on their way in from AMAZON and will have a new rear spring by payday. I'm pretty sure my factory shock is blown too. Onward to ebay to find another. Of course it could be from the blown countershaft seal that I just replaced today haha.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:10 AM   #65
FYYFF
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This event is getting better and better every year. It is an other pleasure to see new faces and noobs every year. I am bummed to miss it this year.
Please keep posting reports and pictures. It's the only way to easy my pain...

Isaac, you camera takes the best pictures, again. I think it's inevitable, I need one of those.

Anyone used the HAM radios? I know Geoffrey placed the repeater on Hunter but didn't hear any comments about it yet.

Also I keep saying this every year and I have to say it again; those gold fishes in the pond. Is it real or is it just a mirage??? I still didn't see any trees and fishies in DV yet.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:31 AM   #66
1224R
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The ham actually helped in the rescue of a fatigued rider..... Good thing.




Quote:
Originally Posted by FYYFF View Post
This event is getting better and better every year. It is an other pleasure to see new faces and noobs every year. I am bummed to miss it this year.
Please keep posting reports and pictures. It's the only way to easy my pain...

Isaac, you camera takes the best pictures, again. I think it's inevitable, I need one of those.

Anyone used the HAM radios? I know Geoffrey placed the repeater on Hunter but didn't hear any comments about it yet.

Also I keep saying this every year and I have to say it again; those gold fishes in the pond. Is it real or is it just a mirage??? I still didn't see any trees and fishies in DV yet.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:38 AM   #67
airborndad
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Location: Montclair Ca.
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I just spent an hour on Thursday's RR and lost it all
getting on a plane now
might try tonight but probably Sunday or Monday or Tuesday

HAM was awesome, Geoff and Pablo reached HAM and SAR hero status
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #68
airborndad
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gotta at least post 1 for now though



looks like a Lost Rider style noob trail to me
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:45 AM   #69
GSequoia
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Next year there will be some changes for the radio.


1: Put it higher up. We could hit it clean from main camp but not from Camp Pablo. He could at least hit it from Saline Valley Road and the turnoff to the springs down in the wash.

2: Slight change to the build of the repeater, mostly to free up the radio inside it but it will also give it an extra 15 watts of transmitting power.

3: Set up a spare mobile radio in camp somewhere with a big speaker. This way we can have the radio on and loud without having to rely on our HTs.

4: Wire in my new Sena headset.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:28 AM   #70
DSM8
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Bluhduh

Fine ya whinning ninny...
Here is a solution.
YOU find a weekend when you are free to get away to death valley.

I will make it a point to get the time off and meet up with you to take you to China Gardens, throw you in the pond and hold you head under so you can get a good look at the fish.



So no more excuses, make the date and it will happen.

Shit or get off the pot...just sayin...



Quote:
Originally Posted by FYYFF View Post
Also I keep saying this every year and I have to say it again; those gold fishes in the pond. Is it real or is it just a mirage??? I still didn't see any trees and fishies in DV yet.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:50 AM   #71
FYYFF
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Are you suggesting me to shit in the pond??? I dont think it is a good idea.

But I like the offer (meeting to see China Gardens). One of these days before it gets 100+ there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM8 View Post
Fine ya whinning ninny...
Here is a solution.
YOU find a weekend when you are free to get away to death valley.

I will make it a point to get the time off and meet up with you to take you to China Gardens, throw you in the pond and hold you head under so you can get a good look at the fish.



So no more excuses, make the date and it will happen.

Shit or get off the pot...just sayin...


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Old 04-02-2014, 11:28 AM   #72
jeepinbanditrider
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I didn't use the Repeater but I did listen in via my HT. Still no license so to transmitting for me just listening.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:30 AM   #73
GSequoia
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Quote:
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I didn't use the Repeater but I did listen in via my HT. Still no license so to transmitting for me just listening.
FYI if you're having trouble (or spot somebody having trouble) don't be shy about keying up even before you have hte license.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:33 AM   #74
jeepinbanditrider
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Oh I would have. I know that the license requirement is waived for emergencies. Lucky for me I had no issues :)
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:07 PM   #75
Fishyhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FYYFF View Post
I still didn't see any trees and fishies in DV yet.
They really do have fishies in DV.

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