Allegheny National Forest…Can’t say I didn’t try…

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by jojojones, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. jojojones

    jojojones Been here awhile

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    I have been wanting to learn to ride off-road and finally put Mitas E07+ Dakar tires on my 17 wee. I met up with a new friend running a very nice 17 Ducati multi enduro with tkc80s…he is a very good rider and I knew I could learn a lot.
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    We headed in to Allegheny National Park and stopped at a general store that covertly sells gas out of the back too. The owner was really nice and went over the maps and gpx tracks with us. He even told us we would have no problem running loaded with bags on 2 of the trails but not the “Bike Trail”…he also warned us about the "rock garden" and how to go around it.

    He had many premade sandwiches and noticing some crows feet on an egg salad sandwich I asked when they were made and he gave an official response that they are well within the PA State Health Inspection guidelines even at 3 days old now. They wrapped the lettuce and tomato in plastic inside the sandwich. I was a little concerned but too hungry not to try. My partner got spooked and threw his in the trash after 1 bite.

    We set off on the “Timberline trail” and I began to learn how to stand up and let the bike work under me…it’s all about torque not revs and I was trying low 2nd most of the time. We went down a steep hill with layers of loose rock and I was white knuckled then through a long section of loose gravel which was also challenging then in to the woods deeper. As I was heading up a not very steep hill with a big rut in the middle I attempted to cross over the rut and not just stay in it and BOOM…went down hard and my right leg was actually pinned under the bike with something sharp going in to it…it hurt bad and my friend got there pretty quick and got the bike off of me. It was part of the muffler heat shield and I expected blood in my boot. I walked a bit and determined the metal did not pierce the boot and toes worked so I did not want to take off the boot…just keep going. I have run a few trans state trips, MA, CT, VT alone and always carry an InReach on me…if not for my friend, I would have had to have used it. The picture of me by the gas rig is right after this…I was still in pain but thankful my boot saved me. Onward.
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    This trail went on and on and with the help of a Neotreks offline map we could see that it went much longer than the gpx file we found online….we had to bail out and get to our camp site before dark. We did 13.24 miles in 1hr 25 minutes with an average moving speed 13.3.

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    We set up and I asked about bears and was told there is one that works the dumpster but it was emptied in the morning so I was good for one night at least. We then inquired about food and was told of the only close place open on a monday night. Upon arriving it was closed for renovations and this kid came out and told us to “head down to Bullwinkle and hang a left.” I’m thinking in my head this kid is f_cking with us and tried not to smile. After all there is a town out there called “Jersey Shore”…so who knows?

    We set off to "Bullwinkle" and only a few miles down my friend noticed a bar/restaurant with harleys in front so we went in. There was 4 other people happily eating piles of something deep fried. We sat down and then waited and waited almost 10 minutes before this woman came out and then finally gave us menus. We’ll another 30 minutes passed and we had 2 steaming plates of the worst food attempting to be a nice turkey dinner. It was microwaved dry aged turkey with some sort of heart or organs on my plate too, no gravy, hard soft rolls, my butter container had a hole in the bottom from some sort of varmint and my side of cottage cheese looked like it had turned on one side. I ate my turkey and my friend couldn’t stand it…he said it was horrible to her and asked for a burger figuring she could not screw that up. She ended up comping him for everything and he left a big tip. She made right and I was wondering if I should bring a plastic bag in to my tent for the night.

    We made a fire and hung out for a bit then turned in to our tents that were strategically far apart for my snoring. I now noticed pain in my chest while trying to sleep and it seemed to get worse. I have read about this when researching safety equipment and it actually happened to me…when I went down my elbow hit my own ribs and I’m hoping just bruised them. Strangely I did not notice it until bed. They still hurt now 2 days later. I’ll wait a few more days and hopefully it will pass. I need to get better torso protection for off-road.

    In the morning we both accused each other of snoring the loudest and then made some coffee. We were learning that ANF is not a dining destination. The best meals will be at the Qwik Mart gas station so we did that.

    I aired down this time to 25/32 and we set out to do the 2nd “easier" trail and then the hard one last. This was an amazing ride through the forest will all sorts of logging and gas operations going on. The trails are well maintained and they even use special locking pavers for steep sections to prevent erosion. There was nobody on the trails but us. We did 11.4 miles in 1hr 48 minutes with moving average 11.2.

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    Now we came to the start of the “Bike Trail” and this is a 31.5 mile trail that we were told we could do…WELL HOLY SH_T!!! it was hard. In the first few minutes the steep single track uphill with roots and water and mud should have knocked some sense in to me to try to turn around and go back down..but no we trudged on. My partner is getting through it all but even he is working hard on the big 1200 multi…then boom I went down again…not bad…proceeded….boom down again…not to bad but getting winded from picking up the bike…..then got maybe 10 minutes of peace then down again this time in a huge mud rut and that same piece of metal was piercing in to my right boot in the exact same spot and this time it hurt even more…I was yelling for my friend to hurry back to me…once we got my foot free I was laughing trying to deal with the exact same pain and the fact that I was lying in a mud ditch.

    Next up I came upon my first bit of solid rock shelf and somehow thought I could ride straight up it and nope…layed it down and this one took both of us a long time to free the bike and roll it back down to a flat spot then he rode it right up no problem…it’s all in maintaining the torque.

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    Another 5 minutes or so I went flying off the bike again this time cleanly in to a wonderfully soft field of grass for a nice landing…laughing all the way…no pain but my confidence was eroded back to nothing and I found it harder to stand up and really try to manage this type of extreme riding properly. I was getting tired fast.
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    At less than a third of the way through, we decided we needed to bail out of this asap…he could have gone on but I was done. He eventually went down only 100 yards from our escape road and picking up that big bike was very hard…he can hold 8 gallons of fuel. I was proud I made it up that last section without another mishap.

    We survived 6.63 miles in 2hrs 5 min average moving speed 7.9. My shifter is now in a new position for size 15 shoes and my brake pedal is bent in but the bike held up well.

    We knocked out a few hours back out of the forest towards home and knew after seeing so many deer carcasses on Rt 80 that it is not wise to ride at night there. We got rooms and went to the local Bonanza Steak House and I must say that greasy buffet was zagat rated compared to what we had in ANF. Fun trip. I didn't yak...and I’m very sore and only have some minor fixing to do on the bike. Kudos to Suzuki to make a bike that can take that punishment and go where a 250 is meant to go then zoom home at 80 in the rain.

    ps…875 miles and the Mitas E07s were excellent in all conditions except the mud.
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    #1
  2. 4tracker

    4tracker Adventurer

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    Very Nice
    #2
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  3. animalmx305

    animalmx305 Adventurer

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    Mike said he had a great time and you kicked ass
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  4. jojojones

    jojojones Been here awhile

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    thanks...btw...I do want to clarify the bike was hard to manage as any big bike is on that type of trail but could have made it fine with an experienced rider like Mike...as he proved going right up the same solid rock slab with the correct torque and maybe more importantly the better choice of line.
    #4
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  5. animalmx305

    animalmx305 Adventurer

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    ....riding technique... confidence is main thing
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  6. black 8

    black 8 Long timer

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    great ride report and kudos to you for stepping out of your comfort zone... reminds me of my first off-road venture with a group of BMW riders... needless to say I fell, and fell, and fell several times but I learned a few things... I was on a KLR and it received some battle scars that day... your RR brought back some memories and wanted to say thanks for sharing....

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  7. DaveG99

    DaveG99 n00b

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    Definitely brave taking a new bike on hard terrain like that. I enjoyed this report and the pictures. COOL!

    I have the same bike by the way. Just starting on getting some farkles. So far just crash bars installed. Once I get the hand guards and a skid plate Ill venture off the pavement.
    #7
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  8. MacNoob

    MacNoob piney fresh

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    Geez. Big heavy bike like that loaded to the hilt with a full tank of gas on that kind of trail. Ouch. Surprised you're not still out there. I'd think twice about those trails on my KLR with no baggage and 2 gallons of gas carried.

    Hardcore.
    #8
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  9. FMFDOC

    FMFDOC IBA #63181

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    :clap
    "Allegheny National Forest…Can’t say I didn’t try…"
    Now you have to go and try it again. Good on you for the yeoman's effort.
    #9
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  10. tellicotom

    tellicotom Been here awhile

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    I'd take my light dual sport or dirt bike for the bike trail!!! ImI too cheap and lazy to take an expensive heavy bike like yours on stuff like that!!!!
    #10
  11. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Rational resistance to an unwise urge

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    That looked like fun!
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  12. Cindog

    Cindog n00b

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    Oh im hooked.
    #12
  13. Cindog

    Cindog n00b

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    Great conditions at Allegheny that weekend, no mud and no dust..couldnt ask for better
    #13