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Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by klaviator, Apr 5, 2010.
A little background before I get into this ride report. I am Active both on this forum as well as KLR650.Net. There are a lot of active members on the KLR forum here in N. Georgia. Recently, tagalong, one of the local KLR and ADV guys sold one of his KLRs and replaced it with a Husky 610. It didn't take long for the "cheater" Comments to begin. I'm not sure exactly what a cheater is but I think that anything lighter, faster, or more modern than a KLR may qualify. Yeah I know, that means that just about any modern dual sport is a "cheater".
I've been Itching to go for a ride in the North Georgia mountains. It's been a long, cold (for Georgia) winter. I've done a couple of rides this year but this would be the first that didn't involve snow and Ice. The weather forecast for the weekend was great and a few riders from this and the KLR forums wanted to go for a ride so I was excited I woke up well before my alarm went off (no, I'm not excited), ate breakfast, filled a water bottle and put it in the fridge, and went out and loaded my bike and gear into my truck. It was really nice out and the moon was up so I decided to take a pic.
Still plenty of time before I needed to leave so I took my dog for a walk. She gets more exited about going for a walk than I do about going for a ride. I think she would love going for a ride too. Here she is watching me get ready to go.
Eventually it was time to go. There are signs of spring everywhere around here. I decided to take a couple more pics before I left.
I'm not taking the KLR today. I'm bringing one of my cheaters, although it is even older technology than the KLR so I'm not sure it qualifies as a "cheater". More on that later.
About 15 minutes down the road, I realize that I FORGOT that bottle of water in the fridge Oh well, I'll just have to buy some but hate paying the ridiculous price that bottled water goes for
So I continue on to Ellijay where I will leave my truck and meet the rest of the cast of characters. I pass a KTM 950 on the highway and figure it is probably one of our group.
Then I get to the Ellijay Wally World and go and buy a bottle of water. When I come out there's a guy unloading a DRZ400 from his truck. It's RichardU who will be riding in our group. So I unload my bike, put on my gear and ride over to Wendys to meet the rest of the group. There's Marbleminer (on the KLR Forum) on his KLR650 and AtlHondaBob on his KTM 950. It was him I passed on the way up. None of us had met or ridden together before except Marbleminer and myself who had ridden together once. These forums are a great way to meet people.
Marbleminer is not on this forum (yet!), but he is a true adventure rider, as you will soon find out..
Hello! I saw you guys yesterday in Suches. I was riding downhill toward the Ranger Station and you all were headed up hill toward 42. I figured the group for a bunch of ADVers, but was still hesitant to stop you all. I was riding alone on a KTM 450 EXC-R. I waved to all of you. Now I wish I had stopped! SuchesRider
I remember waving at you Weren't you at TWO a little later?
We left Ellijay and headed for Old Bucktown Rd via a bunch of mostly paved back roads. There is one road I particularly like. It is very twisty with some blind hill crests and tricky curves. It's only about 3 miles long but it is more challenging IMO to ride than the much more famous "Dragon" at Deals Gap. My XT350 loves roads like this so I blasted through at an "entertaining" pace. I stopped at the end and waited. Along came Bob on his 950 adventure. We Waited. and Waited.
Time to head back and see what happened. I went about a half a mile and along came the other two so I pulled a U turn and we all regrouped at the end of the road. Marbleminer's KLR had gotten tired from the challenging riding and decided to take a nap. I asked Marbleminer if he was OK and he said "I'm fine. Lets go ride" So we did.
We stopped on Old Bucktown Rd just before it turned to Gravel for a short break. Time to look over Jeff and his KLR.
KLRs crash pretty well, especially if you add the crash bars. Some scratches and a loose body panel that needed a Zip Tie. Riders also do much better when wearing some good riding gear. Jeff had a sore shoulder but was good to go.
About this time, I realized that I FORGOT to put on my knee pads So much for ATGATT. I guess I'll just do what all those riders that don't believe in protective gear do: I WILL JUST NOT PLAN ON CRASHING:eek1
Or if I do crash, I won't land on my knees.
looks like a cool place to ride, its an awesome plan not to come off hey :)
take it easy
post some more pics :)
We continue up Old Bucktown road which is a fun, rough, rutted and rocky ride.
It looks a lot different than a few weeks ago when I came through and took a pic at the same spot.
A week before I took this pic, marbleminer came up here and found this rut completely covered in snow and ice. He came up here alone, on his KLR, with stock tires, which worn out:eek1 He didn't turn back until after he crashed and broke off his chain guard. Now that's some true adventure spirit
Who is this good-looking guy who is obviously doing some maintenance on his bike? I guess without a face and license plate we'll never know.
I had my HD Hero taking pictures every two seconds until the battery ran out. I got about 4000 pictures. I'm still playing with the best way to use this, but here are some of the results.
Is my camera on?
<table style="width: auto;"><tbody><tr><td>
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/sMBS8BzN4rmQ95yRHuU9Qw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_syhwGDaEZhQ/S7qkGcwJUmI/AAAAAAAAAgk/ct4t8dnSdjg/s1024/GOPR0032.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/RJUberto/100404Nimblewill?feat=embedwebsite">100404 Nimblewill</a></td></tr></table>
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/uRUbj2q0uCL2Mlf4cUIQbw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_syhwGDaEZhQ/S7qkH1VX4uI/AAAAAAAAAg4/cJ1pYFiYn6g/s1024/GOPR0289.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/RJUberto/100404Nimblewill?feat=embedwebsite">100404 Nimblewill</a></td></tr></table>
Leading the way.
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/8W_Joim53SNuGOdKrSqLBA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_syhwGDaEZhQ/S7qkF5JB7hI/AAAAAAAAAgc/mIP63hPxts8/s1024/GOPR0808.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/RJUberto/100404Nimblewill?feat=embedwebsite">100404 Nimblewill</a></td></tr></table>
</td></tr><tr><td style="font-family: arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; text-align: right;">From 100404 Nimblewill</td></tr></tbody></table>
Richard, I liked the camera setup you have. I have to stop and pull out the camera to get a pic so I miss a lot of opportunities. Thanks for adding your pics.
Back to the report. After my last pic, I chased everyone to Nimblewill Gap. Old Bucktown is a fun ride but also a good workout, so we took a break at the top. After that we were hungry so we headed for TWO for lunch. I didn't get any more pics until we got to Suches so i'm glad Richards camera was still working.
Here's a pic of us enjoying the view as we reached Suches. The plants aren't blooming up at this elevation yet but the weather sure was nice.
Then it was less than half a mile to Two Wheels Only. This has been one of my favorite riding destinations for the last twenty years. It wasn't as crowded as I expected, I'm guessing around 30 motorcycles (no cars allowed )
Many people were eating outside and enjoying the weather. There was a beautiful KTM690 Duke parked outside. I had the chance to ride one of these when KTM had demo rides here a couple of years ago.
I went in, ordered lunch and took a couple pics inside. TWO is full of all kinds of interesting stuff:
There are many stuffed animals here, all road kill. The glasses have been added because if these animals had better vision, they would have seen the car coming:eek1 , and not been run over
While I was waiting for lunch, I started thinking about the issue of cheaters. I wasn't on my KLR today but I decided that I was not riding a cheater today - everyone else in the group was. Let me explain. All of the other bikes had one of these:
My XT has this:
For those of you too young to understand the last picture, the XT350 has this thingy on the side of the engine that when you want to start the engine, you fold out the thingy and kick it. Normally one kick will start the engine. Sometimes however, you kick..............and kick.............and kick until you are out of breath. Then you feel really stupid when you realize you FORGOT to take the kill switch out of the stop position
Of course this has NEVER happened to me however I have heard stories of it happening to other people
After lunch we head over to Flatland Road. It's another fun, washed out, rocky road with the added bonus of several creek crossings. We cross the first three creeks and I decide to try going up Suches Creek lane up to the point where it's officially closed. We don't get far when some trees block the trail. I turn around, cross the creek and stop to take some pics of everyone coming through. I look at my camera bag mounted on the handlebars and it's empty:eek1 No Camera! I FORGOT my camera back at TWO . Good thing we've only come a few miles. I ride back to TWO and find my camera on the table were I left it. I return and ride up ahead so I can stop and get a few action shots:
Richard on his DRZ
Bob and his KTM from another angle
And Jeff on his "cheater"
We continue on through Flatland Rd and into the Cooper Creek area. We ride one of my favorite roads: FS33A. This is a dirt road with several miles of non-stop curves. They don't usuelly put any gravel on this road so its mostly hardpack dirt with some rocks and even a little sand on the inside of some of the curves I love riding curvy roads, paved or unpaved
Eventually we take a break at the end of a fun dead end dirt road. Jeff has aggravated his sore shoulder by hitting an unexpected rut which he didn't see due to a lot of dust. Here he is telling us all about it.
Jeff is obviously in pain at this point and finally accepts the offer of some ibuprofin. Time for some more riding so we head back. I go ahead to take some more pics.
the rider, whose name has been withheld to protect the guilty, successfully crosses the creek and then:eek1
I think that the DRZ was trying keep the KLR from being embarassed about being the only bike to take a nap on this ride. This must have been a sympathy nap
Yes, about an hour later I was at TWO eating lunch. I thought I recognized your group of bikes as the same I had just seen, but since I don't know what you all look like it was tough to do a meet and greet. SR