9 Days, 3000 Miles, Searching for Dirt and Mountains in New Mexico and Texas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by EnderTheX, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    When I arrived in Carlsbad I made a turn into the gas station and the front felt really squishy. Crap I have a flat tire. I think I got it on the road into town possibly on a bad cattle guard. I fill up with gas and air up the tire, it is holding some air so I limp to a nearby location that might have a jack. The F800GS takes over 150 pounds to lift the front tire off the ground with the center stand :huh and I did not have someone with me, jack is the best option lol.

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    Mission accomplished, some guys let me use their jack and I was in the shade, this should be a piece of cake! If this had happened far from town I would have layed the bike over to get the front off, by this point I know I can pick it back up lol.
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    Partially unpacked tube, this is one of the ultra heavy duty tubes I brought with me. :clap

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    Time to take off the front!
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    This is where I am on my knees with arms extended to the sky cursing Champion Motorsports of Roswell :dizave. My brake caliper nuts are rounded off, I had checked them before I had left when I was doing my nut and bolt check. This looks typical of a shop that did not have the torx socket and used a hex socket. I could not get one of the calipers off but luckily you can get the tire off with only one side caliper off.

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    While I was taking the caliper off one of the brake pads slipped out of place… This normally is not a big deal but I could not figure out how it went back in…
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    The damn pad would not go back into it’s place!!! Lol, I truly felt like I was either missing something or really stupid. Funniest thing happened, I will never forget it. I was completely frustrated and ready to throw something and some old couple pulls up in their RV. They are looking for a power drill and start talking with the mechanics. The man comes over and talks to me about what I am doing and I explain the situation with the brake pad. I am still messing with the pad and looking at him while I am talking and all of a sudden WOOP the pad goes in and sits in it’s place. I am shocked and I thank the man profusely for helping me get it in even though all he did was distract me lol. :lol3

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    With a trusty rock and my bead breaker tool the tire bead comes off quickly.
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    The tube I take out of the rim is thin, definitely not an ultra heavy duty tube. Before I left Champion Motorsports in Roswell the service guy assured me they had found ultra heavy duty tubes to install. This is the last time I let a shop supply my tubes. I take the tube over to the water reservoir in the shop and look for the leak… It is a pinch flat. I am really pissed off but there is little I can do besides install the true ultra heavy duty tube and move on. :moon

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    Hooray I got the stem into the hole woot!!!
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    Finally the tube goes in and I assemble the bike.
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    #21
  2. child

    child poop is fun

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    Ft Worth, TX
    Well?!?!

    Tell us more!!!

    I know the story goes on!
    #22
  3. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    Ok guys, I am going to try to finish this report while I still remember everything. Editing pictures and writing is more tiring than I thought especially when the weather in Texas is absolutely gorgeous and all you want to do is ride!

    Here goes...
    #23
  4. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    The next day I woke up in Carlsbad NM ready for another day of riding in perfect weather. :freaky I started to head down to the caves.
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    On the way into the national park…
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    There was a cool scenic one way road on the map I wanted to ride but it was closed. The sign at the gate stated the times it was open (and it should have been open) but I did not feel like going to the ranger station to argue, I had riding to do! :lol3

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    On my way to the Guadalupe National Park there were several roads on the maps (and Google Maps) I really wanted to take. They were pretty long and super twisty dirt. Only problem was two of them did not exist (one of them had a small sign on an impassable barbed wire fence (no gate even) that stated “No Project Access”) and the other was gated. :huh
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    I was fast approaching the Texas border and was getting that fuzzy feeling of returning home even though I was more than 500 miles away and getting further away every mile. I love my state! :raabia

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    The area around Guadalupe National Park is amazing! If I am forced to ride on super slab this is where I want to be!
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    #24
  5. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    Soon I was on this hypnotizing and desolate road… There was no one around and I stopped to take a picture for the “Lonely Road” thread. And no… the spec in the distance is not a car lol. :lol3 (A few more dirt roads I wanted to take were gated here)
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    Here is a pic I took for the “Old Structures” thread. My angle to the building made it difficult to get the water tower and the building to appear strait but I chose the pic with the water tower seeming strait to accentuate the old building feel.
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    Ms. Peach I will miss your thread!! When I left for this trip her thread was still active and I was set on getting a few shots… This is me in the Davis Mountains (beautiful area with good twisties).
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    Not as easy as it looks haha!

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    Success! :clap
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    Continuing on to the local observatory. I visited this area when I was a kid with my parents and still remember it. My dreams of becoming an astronomer faded as I got older and desired to be a social being but who knows… too much time in the city might see that desire return. :norton

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    Back in small town civilization I find a great pizzeria and get some dinner. Highly recommend this place if you are ever near Fort Davis (it is on the south side of town where 17 and 118 meet) :yum

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    I decide to head further down to Alpine to find lodging. I had originally planned on camping at the Davis Mountains State Park and I had picked out a good campsite, paid at the self pay station (after hours) and ridden to the campsite. When I took off my helmet and earplugs I heard not one but two neighbors playing annoying music from their cars while preparing dinner. I should have expected this and I should have removed my helmet while selecting a site. If there is something I can’t stand it is music while camping (also why I don’t care for non-primitive sites). :pissed Not wanting to confront the other groups and knowing if they turned it down it would only annoy me more I angrily sped out of the park and out of town, alone again.
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    (P.S. I love music (mainly hardcore and metal) but not while camping geez!!!!)
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    I was going rather fast and happy to be alone and absorbed in my ride on this flat and strait road, I decided to try some camera tricks!
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    As I rolled into town I was so struck by this building in the setting sun I had to take a picture. I wonder if the soil the bricks were made of is really that red or if they were stained…
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    #25
  6. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    I make my way south in a very roundabout way to Big Bend.
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    Texas is vast, Texas is rugged, Texas is beautiful. I continue to be amazed by my state even after traveling through it for many years.
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    This train was spectacularly long and amazingly vibrant in the morning sunlight. I did my best to capture part of it.
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    Now the fun really begins. This road must be one of my favorites of the trip (Ranch Road 2810 from Marfa to the border). It starts as a fast sweeping slab in the middle of nowhere and transitions to dirt (dirt like don’t take your family car down here) and ends at the Rio Grande River. The lady at the pizzeria I ate at last night said this road and the next dirt road I was going to take today were in poor shape years ago. They have obviously done some work because it was well marked and awesome fun! :clap

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    The beginning, I felt very alone out here (I like it).
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    Another one for Ms. Peach!!! This is probably the safest place ever for the full gear, double solid yellow, bike in the road, cross-legged, self-timer pose lol. :eek1 By the way, looking at this picture reminds me how absolutely awesome the weather was, couldn’t ask for anything more!
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    More of the road, I approach the mountainous region where it will soon turn to dirt.
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    Ahh…. A wonder sight indeed!!:freaky
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    Gratuitous cactus shot! :wink:

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    This is my favorite section of the whole trip, the dirt section of this road near the border. It is quite doable solo with a big bike and you can make it interesting on a small bike because you might run out of fuel and the loose soil seems ideal for kicking the rear end out. I met a couple local guys part of the way who were enjoying a morning brew. They were worried about my fuel range and warned me not to go north when I hit the border since there are no services at the border or north of the intersection. I had taken precautions to fuel up to the brim before leaving Marfa so I should be OK.
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    Stopped to take a pic of the terrain, the road is nice and wide. “It’s looser and steeper than it looks blah blah blah…” lol. :rofl

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    This is very close to the border, the road turns into a perfectly graded gravel road that is SUPER fast. At some points I was in 4<sup>th</sup> gear doing 60+ mph seeming to float over the terrain. I have never felt anything like this before and the road was so smooth (for gravel) it let me explore my skill and limits as a solo rider.
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    Holy crap!!! It is a water crossing!!!! This is one of the biggest of the trip… Hey it is the summer in the desert, what are you going to do? :1drink Lol
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    #26
  7. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Oddometer:
    25,531
    Location:
    NM
    Great ride report. I recognized lots of the places but you found some stuff that I have never seen! :thumb Now I have to get out more!
    The bar at Tia Juanas in Roswell is really cool, and you rode the Gila. The road to the cliff dwellings is worth the ride from Dallas.:lol3 If you get out here again, hit Mule Creek (just west of Glenwood) and ride 191 south to north and loop out at Alpine, AZ. Definately one of the best for pavement.

    Thanks for the pics and the report!
    #27
  8. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    I got to the border road and started south. This road (Hwy 170) is really interesting and has many many “dips” for the water that drains into the Rio Grande. Several of these dips I was able to get airborne at only slightly extra legal speeds, it was tons of fun.
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    I started north on Hwy 169 and found the same ultra fast gravel as I had at the end of the previous road. Time to kick up some dust!!!! :ricky

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    Purple cactus… Saw several of these and had to stop to capture one! :D

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    The only thing you have to worry about out here is yourself. During this trip and especially this day I have become introspective and relaxed. Worries from work, family, and friends fade away and I find no load on my heart or body as I contemplate the seemingly endless and remote road in front of me. :nod

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    Windmill in the middle of nowhere, I ran over a small but nasty cactus parking for this shot and was really hoping I would not get a flat!
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    #28
  9. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX

    Thanks for the comment Gordy! I have a new found respect for NM and the quality tracks out there. I will be out there again soon!
    #29
  10. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Oddometer:
    25,531
    Location:
    NM
    You found stuff in areas that most of us avoid! :lol3 I think that Northern NM is the greatest, but forget about all that good riding in the south. Thanks for the reminder!
    #30
  11. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 9"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 9"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/OLIVER%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msoclip1/01/clip_filelist.xml"><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:DoNotOptimizeForBrowser/> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style> Same road, very cool railroad crossing. What is it about places in the middle of nowhere that gets my (our) hearts beating? :raabia

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    I made it through 169 and down 67. 67 is awesome too for pavement if you go that route. Here I am back on 170 on the border. Rio Grande is in the middle, Texas on the left and Mexico on the right of course. Looks like you could jump across without getting wet in some areas but since I forgot (didn’t plan on) to bring my passport I stayed State side! :brow

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    Finally, one of the big destinations of the trip. I’ve been here many times by car and discover new things each time. :clap

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    I make it to the ranger station just before they close and convince the girl at the desk my bike can make it to the primitive camp site… I think they have had a few mishaps with minivans and Harleys so there are some disclaimers they need to elaborate on.
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    I take a shot on the start of the trail to my campsite, only a few miles from the main road. This quickly turns into heavy gavel and keeps me on guard. :wink:

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    I arrive at my remote camp site and the huge parking area is reserved for only my bike. This is a single permit camp site and the nearest site is ½ a mile away. No annoying music, a beautiful view, this is what I call camping! FYI I will set up my tent in a small clearing to the left of the parking area (the clearing is so small my tent almost does not fit).
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    #31
  12. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    That night I enjoy on the best solo camping experiences of my life. The desert is amazing, the weather is great, my new camera snaps a few pictures. Even the MRE I am eating for dinner tastes good! :dg

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    My bike with the permit attached, no rangers knocking on my tent at night! The night was amazing! I spend a good half hour on top of the bear box watching the stars and meteoroids. During the night I was awoken several times to what seemed to me as earthquakes. Living in Texas most of my life and this being the first night I ran out of sleeping pills I was not sure I really experienced an earthquake. Big Bend being a mountainous area I will give it the benefit of the doubt and use it as a good party story. :eek1

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    My view in the morning from inside my tent. I had slept exceptionally well and felt refreshed.
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    All of a sudden I hear thunder outside the tent on the opposite side of the sunlight. “Oh shit!” I look outside the tent and find something I was not ready for.
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    I snap a couple quick pics and then franticly attempt to tear down the tent and pack up for the ride out of here before the roads get flooded!!! :doh

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    This is about 15 mins before I am ready to head out, at this point I knew I would not make it. The rain was heading in faster than I could ride and I had no even put on my boots and rain gear…
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    Lol I thought this picture was tragically hilarious, my bike less than 5 minutes ready to go and completely soaked (I am soaked too). After finishing packing I made it through the roads without being flooded in and tested my raid gear!
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    #32
  13. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    The ride on this (last) day started with a tour to the interior mountain basin of Big Bend. <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--><o:p></o:p>
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    The fog dissipates towards the entrance of the basin of Big Bend. Exiting the amazing basin I re-enter the cloud and celebrate the amazing sight.
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    Exiting Big Bend to the north the fog persists. I am riding through many layers of fog, rain, and general dampness for the entirety of today…
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    There are few more pictures of this day. I ride further down the border and find some random kid with an I-phone to give me a weather update on areas of Texas I would like to ride. All the reports throughout Texas indicate rain for the next week. I decide to iron-butt it back home… Most of the trip is just chilly and wet, the last 120 miles are at night in the rain with me struggling for visibility. I am so relieved to be home I stop a couple miles out on a remote road to take a glamour shot. :freaky

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    My ride, companion, and beast for the past 3000 mile journey. No Problems!
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    This last day I broke my personal record for consecutive riding. Over 600 miles in one day on the F800GS, I was happy!
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    My tires were completely shot but had served their purpose well, both of which I had replaced new in Roswell during the trip.
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    Rear,
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    Front.
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    #33
  14. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,815
    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    Thanks all for reading!! I really enjoy any comments on my ride report, let me know if you would like more information on any of the pictures or a copy of my tracks.

    Regards
    -EnderTheX
    -Oliver
    #34
  15. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,400
    Location:
    N.California
    :lol3

    AWESOME!!

    Great pics and report too!!!
    #35
  16. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,206
    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    Great stuff:clap
    #36
  17. Tucos

    Tucos Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    310
    Location:
    Center, Colorado
    Great RR. I just got back yesterday from riding some of the same stuff.
    #37
  18. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,276
    Location:
    Ten Sleep, WY
    Very nice :thumb

    Man some of those roads have me drooling...

    I see that "max speed" :nono :evil
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    #38
  19. gus1911

    gus1911 Team F5

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    Virtual Bivouac
    #39
  20. child

    child poop is fun

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    247
    Location:
    Ft Worth, TX
    Ha! With this guy, there's no way thats all he did. I'm SURE that has been photoshoped to keep our eyes from bleeding :p

    I remember the first little trip he and I took when he first got his 800- we're on our way out of this town, still on city streets, I'm doing the speed limit which is 45 or something reasonable. Then this guy gets some sorta wild hair and takes off, he blasts past me like I'm standing still. He keeps going and going at what I can only assume is WFO for quite a while... fast enough that he didn't see a stop sign in time to stop so he just keeps going running the stop sign and missing our turn... this guy's a nutter :p


    Great ride report man, awesome pictures. You have NO idea how much I would have rather been with you out there than at home doing drywall.
    #40