A Noob, a dirtbiker, and a G-Spot victim

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by T O Double D, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    930
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    This is my first real ride report on this site. I hope to have a few more by the end of summer.

    I have been riding solo for the past year and decided I wanted a bit of company on my next adventure, so I posted up on my local forum to see if I could get anybody to join me on an outing to the Bodie area of California and Nevada. This is the general area...

    http://maps.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTExNmIycG51BF9TAzI3MTYxNDkEc2VjA2ZwLWJ1dHRvbgRzbGsDbGluaw--#mvt=h&lat=38.234006&lon=-118.831118&zoom=12


    While there was a fair amount of interest I only got two others to join me.

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    That would be Curt on the left. He was new to dirt riding and was learning on that giant 800 GS. :eek1 He did pretty well, despite a few problems.

    The guy in the middle is Chris. He's a motard racer and dirtbiker, as well as ADVer. He and I have ridden dirtbikes in the desert and at local OHV parks before, but this would be our first ADV ride together. He hauls ass on the DR650 of his, even fully loaded.

    Then there's me on the end. I bought a 1200 for a planned Alaska trip this summer, but decided there's too much pavement involved and now I'm stuck with the beast. Great bike, but when you really like dirt it's not the best. I see an X-Challenge in my near future...

    We were coming from the SF Bay Area and headed over HWY 108 through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We decided to have lunch at Releif Reservoir, which is in an OHV area off 108. It's about 15 miles of dirt off the HWY. Normally it's pretty easy, but I had forgotten that it's still a bit early in the season and the rivers would be high...

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    Chris, having no problems, charged ahead before I could tell him maybe we shouldn't go all the way with Curt being new and on a fully loaded 800GS. Oh well, it's too late now as Curt is doing just fine handling the crossings as well...

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    Well maybe not just fine, but he pulled it. I was very impressed he hit a rock right before getting out that knocked him pretty good, but he stayed on the gas and pulled it through, although he damn near droped it when he got out...

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    I knew of a great place to camp just before the reservoir and being as it took us a awhile to get here we made camp. This was at one point a mining site, but now it's a hunters cabin.

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    The stream next to our camp site...

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    Curt was pretty tired so he kicked it while Chris and I went out riding. First stop Releif Reservoir...



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    Then we decided to head up into the hills a bit. We were already at about 7000 feet, but forgot there would be snow as we got higher...

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    Slippery muddy snow. The GSA loves this stuff. They seem to have an ability to just plop right down in it whenever they see it. :D This was a rocky stream crossing at the bottom, a moderate hill, and at the top were huge ruts from the 4x4s that you had to get over. Chris had zero trouble with this spot, damn light bikes, and I, with a lot of work, eventualy conquered it.

    Taken just before the ruts...

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    The road got more and more snowy as we went and soon after that the road was completly snowed in, so we found some roads that were easier to ride...


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    Still fun in spots though...


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    That night Chris, with the aid of about a gallon of gas, made a fire...

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    ...To dry our soaking boots out. I need to find some waterproof offroad boots. I like my feet and ankles they way they are so I want the protection of real offroad boots, but so far no one seems to make a truly wterproof boot. Sidi seems my best bet...


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    #1
  2. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    930
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Day 2


    There was a rather long hill to climb to get out of camp on the second day. We gave Curt some tips on how to ride up it and I lead to show him the right path to take, while Chris rode sweep to help out if need be. Curt was doing fine until he hit a patch of sand unexpectedly and looped his bike. The lock on his left pannier got bent out of shape preventing it from properly attaching to his frame.

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    We couldn't get it back straight, I'm bringing a hammer next time, so we just straped it back on and it held.

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    Curt and Chris switched bikes to make it a bit easier for Curt to get up the hill after the crash. Curt pulled it the rest of the way with no real problems. Getting to the top...

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    Red Rock Meadow.

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    Testing out my new Wunderlich "extreme" skid plate. It adds an inch to the ground clearence on the pig. I like it!

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    hmm... What's that sign say?

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    Oh @#$%!

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    I used to 4x4 and shoot in there. A few years ago there was a little national park sign saying that it was a Uranium mine, but nothing else. Now it's fenced off, not very well though you could eaily get in, with these signs all over the place. I asked a ranger about it and he said I was fine. They had been testing it for years and until recently there were no problems with radiation leakage. So after they found leakage they closed it down.

    I had done this section unloaded the day before, so I decided to try it loaded. It didn't go so well for me. I hit a rock in the stream and started bouncing a bit, then right as I got it under control my rear tire decided to dig in the loose rocks.

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    This is at a resort off 108 called The Dardenell's. I'd think you could go all over the place with that thing. They use it for snow though.

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    After lunch Curt told us he was gonna go home, as he had hurt his ankle in the tip over earlier, so it would be just Chris and I going out to Bodie.

    Sonora Pass...

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    We got to Bridgeport and refueled before starting our real dirt excursion. About three miles out of town we took Masonic Rd. which is dirt and leads to some amazing wide open country. First stop was Chemung mine off Masonic Rd.

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    Someone had broken into the sealed mine. Would you go in there?

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    After exploring the mine we found a camp site and took the Back way into Bodie, which is a Ghost town that is now maintained as a state park. Being on a GSA there was no way I was gonna keep up with Chris on his 650. Pisses me off cause when we ride our KTM 525s were pretty close. Oh well at least I'll be comfortable. :D

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    Sorry, no pics of Bodie, as it started to hail pretty bad; yes it got a lot worse. You'll just have to make do with these...

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    I was pretty stoked to come up on this. That makes us even for the day, although I had several the day before...

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    Some of the roads aren't used much anymore...

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    Climbed up this mountain. It's Masonic Peak, I beleive the elevation was 9,200 feet. You can see the road to Bodie in the valley below.

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    #2
  3. Pir8te

    Pir8te over forty victim of fate

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,449
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    East of Malibu
    seal socks work

    #3
  4. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    930
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Day 3


    We rode back to Bridgeport for some breakfast and on the way past the little airstrip I saw an old Skyraider. I had seen this plane at an airshow last year. It's very cool. I was wondering what the heck it was doing out here tough as a plane like this wouldn't survive long in this harsh climate.


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    Turns out the engine blew and was forced to land for repairs. You can see the oil all down the side here...

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    After Breakfast we found a better rode back out into the dirt then Masonic, which is a well maintained road I'd take a passenger car on.

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    After I took this pic the orad got pretty rough, with several step ups, very loose soil and a constant hill climb right back up Masonic Mt. Sorry no pics, I was too bust riding.

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    Descending from Masonic Mt.

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    A herd of Pronghorn.

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    Blasting through the desert...

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    We decided to take an ATV trail to find out where it went. It ended, for me anyway, here.

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    I say it ended for me because Chris went through that "opening" in the brush behind my bike.

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    He tried to get me to go through by saying, "It opens up after about 30-40 feet, but it'll scratch your #$%^ up, then it's a swampy bog... Oh come on don't be a wimp." For some reason I choose not to go through.

    Here he is coming back out. He stalled it three times getting out. I think I made the right choice.

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    After that it was up to Aurora another ghost town, although this one isn't maintained at all. There is almost nothing left of it in fact. Pretty much the only thing left is the graveyard.

    The road up to Aurora was pretty difficult for me on the GSA. Of course I couldn't get pics of the really rough sections because I was far to busy riding, but here is an easy section.

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    The road turned to mud as we began the last mile and a half moderate climb up to Aurora. If you've never ridden a GSA in the mud you really owe it to yourself to try it at least once.

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    Hah! Chris crashed before me in the mud! In fact I made the whole climb without dropping it once, I did stall it though. He started to lose it about 15 feet behind where I took the pic from.

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    After getting to the top.

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    The nice thing about bald TKCs is that you don't have to worry about mud getting packed between the knobs :evil ...

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    About all that's left of Aurora...

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    On the way back down I noticed I was extremely tense and told myself, "relax...rela..." Bam! And my bike droped out from under me. Guess I relaxed too much. :D

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    Finaly back on dry land.

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    I tried really hard to find a Starbucks out there so I could show off my muddy GSA, but alas there was none to be found.

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    Well that's that. We headed home by slab so I won't bore you anymore with the details of that.


    Cheers!
    #4
  5. killurtv

    killurtv free range moron

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    640
    Location:
    central oregon
    AWESOME!!!! Man you guys have some beautiful riding areas down there. Great report and pictures, got me through another boring day at the office, thanks.
    #5
  6. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Nice pics!

    I'm looking forward to exploring that area later this summer.
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto
    Fantastic adventure.. and you've covered it all.. and did pretty well, noob or not :clap thanks for the report and excellent pics.
    #7
  8. scibeer

    scibeer Lost

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    Central Kali
    Nice report Todd. Great pix and looks like you got a lot of good riding in.

    Riding that pig in the mud sux. Might as well kick yourself in the nuts and call it a day...:D
    #8
  9. ian408

    ian408 Oh? Administrator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Great report and the pictures are really nice. The CoolPix really does a nice job!
    #9
  10. bykpimp

    bykpimp Live and let ride

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    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    Sum bitch Todd, what a great report with some kick ass pics!!!!!
    I wish I could've gone with you however, you know how I feel about that area.:lol3 :lol3
    #10
  11. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Nice report and pics.:clap

    I wonder if Curt was bummed he hurt himself and missed out on the rest of the ride.:D
    #11
  12. wedged

    wedged Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    looking fun. Its too darn hot here.
    #12
  13. M N B

    M N B would rather be riding

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Actually, the ankle wasn't that bad. But I was exhausted. I also have a bad knee and when you camp, you tend to kneel a lot and standing up on the bike was getting to be a problem. I need to get some rubber gardener's knee pads. They should really help.

    I knew most of the rest of the ride would be easier stuff I could probably handle. Although Mud Hill to Aurora is definitely something I would have taken a pass on. I'm all for stretching my limits, but within reason. I'm a n00b, I know it, I've got nothing to prove. I've been riding street for 30 years, I know it takes time to develop solid skills. I've got a good foundation for starters, I just need to put in some time.

    I definitely made the right decision to head out early. But that's ok. There will be other rides and while I've been to Bodie before, I haven't explored the area much, so I look forward to doing that in the future.

    It was awesome riding with you and Chris. Good people, good riders. A nice thing for a n00b like me to have to fall back on (pun unintentional). All in all I'm proud of how well I did. This was only my second off road adventure on non-trivial roads (well groomed and graded roads don't really count, even though I enjoy riding those, too), so I can't complain. Well, those two and one loop around Hollister Hills on green and blue roads.

    Anytime you're willing to kick it back a notch and hang with a newb I'd be happy to ride with you when my schedule permits. I'm thinking of a 2-3 day trip up to the Lost Coast soon, doing Usal Rd all the way to the beach and camping just down the way from the Lost Coast at Mattole Beach.
    #13
  14. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    930
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    What about your riding areas? I'm planning a trip up near your area this summer, Owyhee. Never been out there, but it looks like a lot of fun!
    #14
  15. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    So am I! It's always fun watching someone get better and I think you did with this trip, especialy pulling through that water crossing when you hit the rock. Beleive me, learning on an 800 is not easy! I'd be happy to cruise Usal with you, so just post up a ride and I'll try and make it.

    Cheers!
    #15
  16. bpeterson

    bpeterson I just tweeted it

    Joined:
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    NJ
    sweet RR guys. Now that's a well used GSA! Let me know if you ever want to trade it for a 04 GSA :deal

    Pictures are great as well.

    :clap
    #16
  17. luckett

    luckett Been here awhile

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    Location:
    SF
    I love the Lost Coast. I'm actually planning a route up there that goes thru the mendo forest right now. How does that 1200 all loaded up handle the single track? I hear the 1200GSAs are real dirt bikes. I'm thinking July 9th or 10th thru the 12th. Usal road might still be a bit muddy right now...
    #17
  18. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
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    It doesn't. That's why I have a dirtbike also.
    #18
  19. Moraflex

    Moraflex Banned

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    Location:
    San Dimas California
    Nice RR. The best time to ride this area is Early September. The streams are low, snow packs are gone and the thunder storms are few between so the mud is minimal to non existent.
    #19
  20. Just Paul

    Just Paul Pro Cat Herder

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    Todd,

    Great report, great pics also..

    Bald TKC's are still better than tourances any day in the mud.. :evil
    #20