1 scoutDad, 2 Eagles, and 3 KLX’s heading to Colorado

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by scoutDad, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    A two week father-son dual sport adventure planned for July 2014 to see the sights in some of the Old West mining areas of Colorado, while camping and trying some fly fishing spots along the way…



    Thinking about Colorado always brings me back to this pic I took of of the evening sky over Buena Vista during a sport touring m/c trip a few years ago...

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    #1
  2. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    I have been on ADV Rider for about 8 years and have been riding motorcycles for more than 5 times that long, but I have not posted here very often. Hopefully, that is about to change.I have been finalizing the plans for a trip to do some dual sport riding in Colorado with my sons. :clap

    I recently decided that I wanted to document not only the trip itself, but also the background and preparation leading up to our adventure. I thought it would be worthwhile to document it for my sons so that they would have it as sort of a souvenir to remember this summer. Maybe later on, they will have a chance to look back on our adventure with some perspective on what all went into making it happen.

    Posting the details to ADV seems like a good way to accomplish this, especially since we have gotten so much of the info that went into planning this trip from reading various ADV threads. A huge thanks right up front to the folks here on ADV, especially those that have contributed knowledge found in the Rockies regional threads, the various CO trip and TAT threads, the big KLX250 thread, and several others. Oh, and also to the folks that were involved in our bike/ gear sales and purchases in the ADV Flea Market, which has been a key part of outfitting and funding this adventure! :D

    DISCLAIMER/WARNING: As this is being written mostly to document my thoughts and our experiences surrounding this trip for my sons, it may be a little heavy on the word to photo ratio compared to some other ride reports, at least at the beginning. Hopefully we will have enough photos from the actual trip to balance things out later for those of you that prefer to follow photo heavy trip threads and are willing to stick with us until we get back home. :deal

    P.S. Pretty sure that this thread goes in big trips, but it could probably fit in trip planning, or in dads and sons, or in the giant KLX250 thread, or in motoflyfishing, or maybe a few other places. I am taking a shot and putting it in big trips.If it is in the wrong place, I am sure the mods or someone will let me know where to put it. Once I know it is in the right place, I plan to post a few links to this thread in some of the other relevant threads that have been so helpful in our planning.:ear
    #2
  3. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    INITIAL PLANNING
    <HR style="COLOR: #575757; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #575757" SIZE=1> <!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->As I type this it is late June of 2014, but we started forming the initial plans for our trip just over a year ago. This time last year, we were thinking about possibly doing the Colorado section of the TAT sometime during the summer of 2014.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose the idea for this trip goes back further than that. A couple of friends of mine and I rode some fun areas of Colorado back in 2005, but there is only so much dual sport exploring that you can do on a street bike.

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    Back then, I remember thinking that I wanted to come back when my sons were older and show them some of the great riding to be found in Colorado.
    Then in 2009, several of my local friends rode the CO part of the TAT, with Moab/White Rim added into the mix for some fun.I was in on the initial planning of that trip, but unfortunately was unable to work things out to go with them.

    Read about it here:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=498223

    After not being able to make that epic trip for a variety of reasons, I sorta put dual sport riding on the backburner for a while.I kept my well set up DRZ400S for a while longer, but my other commitments meant that the DRZ was spending too much time parked in the garage on the Battery Tender.
    I eventually wound up selling it to a friend.It was a reluctant sale, but he has made good use of it. Go to the link below and scroll down to the 10<SUP>th</SUP> and 11<SUP>th</SUP> photos to see a couple of cool shots of my friend and him riding the DRZ (with the green plastics).

    A Fist Full of Cambodia: Two Hammocks, Jungle Madness and Danger

    Then sometime last spring, about the time my youngest son was turning 14, both of my sons started talking about wanting to do some DS riding with me.Whoo-Hoo! My boys still want to ride motorcycles and hang out with their old man!

    However, current reflection on that initial emotion has tempered it to something more along the lines of
    …Hmmm, could it be that my sons just want to ride motorcycles and think they can leave their dad in the dust and go have their fun?Nah, who wants to think that? :rofl

    I used to be able to leave them behind at will when riding our road bicycles, but about three years ago they got strong enough with their track and cross country training to be able to drop me like a rock on the climbs.

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    I also used to be able to drop them at will when riding our mountain bikes in the woods, but in the last couple of years they can now out climb me far enough that even though I am still faster on the downhills, there is never enough downhill to make up for how far they drop me on the climbs. Fortunately, they are both really good guys and usually stop at the top to wait on their old man.

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    I think they initially thought they would be able to drop me on dirt bikes like they do on bicycles. But not unlike the Colt revolver being the great equalizer in the Old West, the internal combustion engine is the great equalizer on the trails in the woods.Since everyone has similar go power, it just comes down to who has the skills to use it most effectively.

    Still, even if their motivation is a little different than mine, having a couple of teenage sons that want to hang out with their old dad is pretty cool. :clap

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    #3
  4. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

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    Super cool!! :clap

    I miss my 06' KLX250S
    #4
  5. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    WHAT’S IT GONNA TAKE?
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    Within a few weeks (this was early summer of 2013) I started thinking seriously about what would be involved with getting some dual sport bikes for us to ride together. Besides buying and setting up three bikes for us, I would need two complete sets of riding gear for my sons (yep, we are ATGATT). :nod

    I would also need to plan some local rides to get our skills back up to speed. Then, if my guys were doing OK with refreshing their riding skills AND with their grades in school, maybe we could trailer the bikes out to CO and ride the best parts of the TAT for a couple of weeks in July of 2014.

    That would fit the trip in between the oldest son’s student government summer retreat and youngest son’s summer band camp on their schedules. Hopefully, the available time slot would also put us out there when the passes were open, but that would be hard to predict. Plus, even if their schedule would allow it, I don’t have the time to take off and ride the TAT all in one trip, so trailering the bikes west and riding certain parts would be all we could realistically plan to do.

    We will also be facing college expenses in the not too distant future, so the motorcycling budget is limited. Finding some inexpensive used bikes, snagging some closeout deals on last year’s gear, doing all our own work on the bikes, and lots of camping on our trips would be required to stay on budget. And finally, in order to have a chance of making this father-son dual sport thing happen, I would have to come to grips with putting my 07 ST1300 rally bike up for sale.

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    I would also need to have an online garage sale of a bunch of m/c stuff that was in storage. The upside would be some extra cash to fund our adventure and clearing out needed garage space for adding three dual sports. The downside would be missing my ST13, but hopefully there will be time for another long distance bike in the future. :thumb

    I mentioned hoping for time…well time certainly seems to be going by faster as I get older. The remaining window for my sons to have time to ride with their dad…and wanting to do that…is likely pretty small, not to mention the time for me to still be young enough keep up with them, so selling the ST 13 was really not a difficult decision to make.

    It took a while because of the soft economy, but the ST13 was finally sold to super nice guy and taken to its new home in Texas. The other stuff we needed to move was posted to the Flea Market and eBay and CL. With some funding in place, the search for some used dual sport bikes was started.

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    #5
  6. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    :lurk




    .
    #6
  7. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    MORE PLANNING AND SOME BACKGROUND
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    I enjoy mapping, routing, and rallying. I have finished pretty well in a couple of the 11 day, 11,000 mile Iron Butt Rallies, so the TAT route planning with roll charts (and now GPS tracks) is right up my alley. But as we talked about our options for planning the trip, I quickly realized that my sons are more into riding for fun, exploring new roads and trails, and fly fishing. The idea of reading roll charts? Nah, not so much. :huh

    Since my vision for this trip was focused on me spending quality time with my sons, not necessarily riding any certain route, those discussions led to our Colorado plans morphing into something a little different. We decided that we would all have more fun if we planned to see some of the cool places that I have visited while riding motorcycles in CO over the years, then added in a few places that we had read about but never seen, and also made time for wetting some flies.

    So I began working on a route that would not only be a scenic dual sport tour of old Colorado mining areas, but would also hit some good fly fishing streams. Although our route would cross the TAT a few times, riding the actual TAT route would have to wait for another time. Sorry Sam, but maybe we can ride the TAT later. Hopefully it will still be there (and unpaved) when we get a chance to do it.

    By the way, as we get down to the final weeks of prep, I am enjoying following some of the current TAT threads, which can be found here:

    5 Strangers do the TAT
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=986641

    2 Guys and a Girl Tackle the TAT:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=985351

    Walkers ride the TAT:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=979185

    Big Old Man Puttering Along the TAT on a Small Bike:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984424
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    AND this thread by a local girl and her dad exploring Peru (awesome Senior trip!):
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=987612

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    I mentioned camping to save money on lodging. We have been camping since my oldest son was 6 months old. Both of my sons are Boy Scouts. The oldest has earned his Eagle. The youngest is in the middle of working on his Eagle project, which he will complete when we return from our trip.

    We have backpacked in the Smokey Mountains and along several sections of the AT. Then in 2012 we did an awesome multi-day Scout backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain NP. We covered a little over 50 miles with loaded packs, including climbing over the Continental Divide twice.

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    My guys and one of their buddies in our group also strapped their fishing gear to their packs and did a lot of fly fishing along the way.

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    These guys are pretty serious, they even tie their own flies.

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    Cooking fresh caught trout along the high altitude stream banks in the Rockies seemed to be about as good as backpacking could get.

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    They have been itching to return to the Colorado Rockies ever since we got back.
    #7
  8. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    RIDING SHOULD BE FUN…

    But, first things first. We needed to decide which bikes to get for dual sport riding. I have been riding dual sport bikes since 1973, back when they were called enduros, were mostly two-strokes, and had about 3.5 inches of rear suspension travel. I have lots of riding experience off road, riding track days, sport-touring, two-up touring, and doing Iron Butt rides and rallies.

    This is a phot a friend took of me and my wife two-up during a track day at Barber Motorsports Park on the R6 that I used to own:

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    My oldest son started riding motorcycles when he was 4 and my youngest son when he was 6.

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    They both have a shelf full of MX trophies from when they were riding their 50cc bikes. However, they sorta burned out on the competition thing about the same time they had outgrown the 50’s. When we were considering what bikes we should upgrade to from the 50’s, they asked if they could just do trail riding with me, instead of spending all their riding time practicing to race.

    Now my first reaction was to think, wow, you guys are doing really great and you might have a future in the racing thing. Racing is what I would have done at their age if I had the means and opportunity. But then I thought about where they were in their young lives and what was really important.

    I have set pretty high expectations for them with both their school work and scouting skills. Motorcycle riding time for my guys has always been predicated on maintaining good grades in school. Experience has also shown that certain odors (specifically, girl’s perfume and gasoline for the car) tend to divert the focus of a lot of scouts once they get past the age of 16. OK, so those things divert the attention of most of us guys, not just scouts…

    If scouts don’t get their Eagle rank completed by the time they are 16, many times the influence of those distracting odors will either have them scrambling at the last minute to finish their Eagle rank by the 18<SUP>th</SUP> birthday deadline or more likely, dropping out and not finishing at all. Only about 3% of scouts achieve the Eagle rank.

    We have often felt a little bit like a trout swimming upstream in today’s culture, but we have endeavored to raise our sons to be responsible and committed young men that finish what they start. When my guys started scouting I established a requirement that they would not get to drive my cars until they earned their Eagle rank. Some folks may think that is harsh, but that carrot seems to be working pretty well so far. No one said parenting was supposed to be easy. My oldest finished his Eagle rank when he was 16 years old and my youngest is on schedule to finish his this summer at 15 years old. The education provided by earning the merit badges, accountability while working with adult leaders, the individual leadership and group organizational skills, along with the cooking and camping skills they have learned over the years are priceless.

    But having said all that, I have always wanted our time spent riding motorcycles to be fun and adventurous. If it is not, you might be doing it wrong. Sure, a difficult muddy hill might not seem fun at the time or a crash might make for a bad day, but overall, it is all still fun.

    On reflection, I realized that I was not interested in pushing them to race if they were not enjoying it, even though they were doing really well and the competitor in me believed that they could be really good at it. So I made peace with the idea of keeping the parental pushing and high expectations focused on their school work and we veered off the racing path to just riding motorcycles for fun and adventure.
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    #8
  9. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    CLUTCHING SITUATION
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    When we started looking for trail bikes to replace their 50’s (this was just a few short years ago), we got a great deal on a couple of KLX110’s.

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    Lots of fun times were had in the woods on those bikes. By the time they had outgrown the 110’s, their commitments for school, band, and various sports were consuming most of their time. Not to mention their rate of growth and the difficulty of keeping them in gear that fit. As a result, when the 110’s were outgrown, they were sold and we limited our family off road riding to pedaling mountain bikes for a while.

    I say all that to give some introductory background and to also make the point that while my guys are good riders, they never had to learn to use a clutch when riding the small bikes. If I had it to do over again, I would have put a manual clutch kit in the 110’s so they could have learned good clutch technique while riding a bike that was already familiar to them.

    I considered the possibility of installing Rekluse clutches in dual sports for them. The guy that I bought my DRZ from had one installed in it. I used it for a while before removing it and going back to the stock clutch. But the cost of buying a couple of Rekluse clutches to fit whatever dual sport bikes we found was not in my budget. :eek1

    Decent bikes and good riding gear were priorities, so that additional expense was not going to happen. No, they would have to learn to use a clutch and get used to riding a tall bike all at the same time. Not the ideal situation, but I figured that they could handle it.:D
    #9
  10. fateddy

    fateddy tight like that

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    Very cool trip in the works. I would have had a hard time finishing my Eagle if my dad had let me play with motorbikes at that age. It's awesome to see this happening.
    #10
  11. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    Hey, I'm in for this one. I have two sons also. They are adults now and have careers. Both of them raced pro for awhile. My youngest son's favorite track was Barber. His best track was NJMP. Oldest's fave was Daytona and VIR. He went well there. Both do some hobby dirt racing now. Some desert, enduro's and such. I don't regret the racing, but it was a huge commitment. Plus the economics of it have become terrible since about the 2005 season. They learned a lot about themselves, though. You can't bullshit a lap time. There are no excuses. You are as good as your last lap says you are. I think the biggest benefit to their racing experience is that it taught them how to compete, and the work it takes to have success. That talent alone doesn't get you very far. Plus overcoming adversity. I think it is directly transferable to the commercial world. Of course lots of sports can teach that, but none quite so raw and pure as motorcycle racing. The stakes are so much bigger.

    The oldest was a scout too. He did it purely for the backpack trips. His last as a scout was 2 weeks backpacking atop the Pacific Crest Trail above Lake Tahoe. They lost a lot of weight on that trip! :lol3

    I am interested in your routes. I keep a dual sport out west to visit and ride out there.

    Have fun together and ride safe

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    #11
  12. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Hey Pantah,

    Thanks for following along. I agree with what you posted 100%. You have obviously done well as a dad to have two sons successfully making it on their own and living life to the fullest. I agree with your youngest son, Barber is a great track, very technical, which I like.

    My plan is to create GPS tracks of where we ride and post them to this thread after we get back home.

    BTW, I saw your post in the Big Man's TAT thread explaining your screen name. :deal I remember those Ducs! Cool bikes.

    Thanks again for following our adventure!
    #12
  13. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Hey fateddy,

    Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I was wrapped up in riding, so never did scouts as a kid. Been sorta reliving my childhood as I went through scouts as a Den Leader in Cubs to Assistant Scoutmaster with my Eagles.

    I have several guys in our troop that have been with me since they were Cubs and are working on their Eagles this year. It is great to see their growth and character development over the years.

    Thanks for following along!
    #13
  14. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Hey emerson.buguns,
    You may need a lot of popcorn, I expect this to be a lengthy thread...:deal
    Welcome aboard!
    #14
  15. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Hey Dubl-A,

    I am really liking the little KLX's.
    Thanks for following our adventure!
    #15
  16. AGrant

    AGrant Been here awhile

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    My sons are still young. One is 11 and the other is 6. I have a Kawasaki KLX250s and my oldest son has a razor electric bike but a dirt bike is in his near future...probably Christmas if we can swing it.

    Anyway....looks like an awesome trip you are putting together. I look forward to the day when my boys are old enough to do the same type ride with me. My oldest and I mountain bike together as well...although Dad still has the upper hand on speed and skills. :evil But he's learning fast and getting strong!
    #16
  17. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    AGrant,

    I see that you are in MS, we should plan to get together and ride sometime.

    You are at a great time with your sons, time goes by so fast!

    Thanks for following along...
    #17
  18. bluestar

    bluestar misfit

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    Subscribed. Sounds like an outstanding trip for the three of you.
    #18
  19. OldGypsy

    OldGypsy FoolForDirt

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    You could have lots of riding time left with your sons. My sons didn't start riding until their teenage years and thankfully they've never stopped. When my youngest was about 40, we spent a week riding our KLR's in Baja, one of my two best vacations ever. We just had more damn fun down there.
    #19
  20. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    John, I am looking forward to reading your reports. Colorado is a dirt bike wonderland. Subscribed!

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    #20