Going for Broke: TAT 2011

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by simonpig, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    NYC
    BTW, Nice RR on your TAT ride. I just want to read the whole thing all comfy in my hotel room. Gonna pack and head out soon.

  2. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    Made it to McDermott.

    <a href="http://s1202.beta.photobucket.com/user/simonpig/media/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/462dc8cb.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb361/simonpig/2011%20Transamerica%20Trail/462dc8cb.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo P1010110.jpg"/></a>
  3. Callahan

    Callahan Long timer

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    Arrrrhhhhhh your pup looks peaceful sleeping at the foot of the bed. A little dusty (gratified) but none the less peaceful.
  4. jthomas82

    jthomas82 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    124
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    Norman,Oklahoma
    You are doing a great job on your RR. I have read about that mudhole in many other RR here. Some bikes have been so stuck that they had to be pulled out by ranchers in the area. Keep up the good work.:clap
  5. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
    NYC
    9/11/11 (Sunday)
    Daily mileage: 166
    Overall average: 21 mph

    Hard to believe 10 years have passed since 9/11. I was witnessing it on the roof of a building in Chelsea on 19th street. Respect to all the victims and those touched by that day.

    10 years later, NYC finally has a memorial and I am in battle mountain, nevada getting ready to start my days ride.

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    I was able to borrow a computer monitor from the manager of the super 8 motel, so spent much of the evening accessing my pictures and uploading a flurry of pictures from the last several days. Unless I find another monitor the pictures, you won't see glorious pictures for at least several days.

    Got a late this morning, and rode out feeling good. Today I felt renewed somehow and I didn't feel the need to push. I was content putting about and enjoying the scenery as I realize that I only have 1 and a half states to cross before the trail ended.

    The riding was zen today. I didn't take as many photos today. Just wanted to breath it all it.

    The ride out of battle mountain took me through some hills and the abandoned mineshaft seen in other reports. The ride down that hill was on a track that was illl defined but perceptible.

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    The trail after that was when it was straight up chaos if you were looking to ride a defined track. It's a section where the trail just turns off the main road and goes into the sandy fields of low lying desert vegetation you could ride over (for the most part) and taller sagebrushes you had to try and ride around -- these I hated.

    From a navigational standpoint it was absolute madness. There were single tracks all over the field giving evidence that TAT riders before were searching for this elusive trail. I would try and follow a single track already blazed only to see another and take that one and then another. It was maddening. Only until I decided to blaze my own trail was when everything settled down. Slowly but surely I navigated around the bushes wary of sinkholes or ditches and ravines and found the trail. There was maybe about a mile or so of flying blind. Without the gps I would have been royally screwed.

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    The next big obstacle is the big river crossing at around the 485 mile mark. Approaching it I could see the old main line which was steep, and deep from being dug out by so many crossings.

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    And then there was One Less Harleys line to the left, already nicely trimmed for me.

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    After surveying a good line across. I just went for it. The nose of the bike dropped in pretty dramatically, but popped back up and out of the water and the tail followed.

    Click below for video documentation

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    After crossing, I stopped and visited the lonely abandoned house. There was a brand new battery terminal sitting inside along with signs that other TAT rider had been through. A yuasa ytz7s was just inside the front entrance.

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    After taking pictures and signing the wall, I made my way. It was around 4:30.

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    At one point I went for the shifter and felt nothing. Looked down and saw my the shifter spring had broken so I stopped and did some minor surgery. Using an aaa battery, zipties and silicone rescue tapes I was back I business.

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    The rest of the ride was just amazing. During the earlier part of the day, I had alway seen these hills that looked pretty smooth and traversable since they weren't so steep. Well I had the opportunity as the trail took me up to the summit of ones of the highest hills which opened up the landscape a full 360 degrees in all directions. It was highlander-epic.

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    Atop the summit was a pile of rocks suitable for a Visigoth funeral pyre. Nevada is epic!

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    From atop I could see rain clouds in the north. It was overcast where I was so Nevada felt more like an English countryside. never been there but that's what I imagine it to feel like.

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    It was getting later and I start to wind and climb mountainsides. The view from those peaks were fantastic, but as light was falling, I just kept plugging along. The trail just kept going and going and going. I go up and down and up and around. At around 7:15 I reach the plateau of another peak and looking around me, I could hills and mountains all around. I was definitely still in the sticks. Albeit beautiful.

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    I kept my headlight off for as long as possible during dusk so my visible contrast was low and I try my best to avoid the occasional big rock in my path. For the most part it was faith that there was no obstruction.

    At 8pm, night fell and I flick my hid lights on. They are superbright and slowly and methodically I push on through several water crossings and a navigation error. Luckily the narrow double track had turned into an open dirt road.

    At 8:40 I sputter into a texaco in Mcdermitt, Nevada and fill up. I had gone 166 miles a single tank -- approximately 55 mpg.

    Check into the Double A motel and then grab some dinner at the say when casino. Spoke the cashier afterwards and she mentioned a group of 16 older gentlemen passing by going to Denio. Probably trailriders since they had their bikes trailered.

    Crash hard after my steak dinner.

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  6. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,341
    Location:
    On a set of 50,000 mile tires.

    Finally...somebody else gets it!!! :thumb
  7. Johnny55

    Johnny55 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Right Here, Right Now

    Or just hope and pray some little old lady will take pitty on you and put you up in her grandson's place!:lol3



    Loving the RR. If I was not right in the middle of the TAT, I would ride it this year too. Altho, I am headed into Utah and Nevada so maybe I will ride some sections of the TAT this year.
  8. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    Stuck in denio. Need a tube. Front tubliss busted again. Must be something that abrading the bladder. Shoulda checked more carefully. What to do. Go back to winnemuca by highway going 35 mph? Would take me 3 hours. Had to ride 35 miles through rocky trails on rimlocks.
  9. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,011
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    Check the spokes inside the rim. Rim strip is supposed to protect it. The dealer is on the main drag in Winnemaca which is a good size town. They won't have tubliss, get the thickest tube you can!!! Yeah can't count of the tubliss. That's what I was preaching in another thread. You've got to carry extra bladders and tubes!!! Not sure if you can patch the bladder.

    Is it leaking at the stem???? If so check the alignment of the stem to the hole in the rim. It needs to be at 90 degrees to the rim.
  10. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    822
    Location:
    Oregon
    Motorcycle-superstore.com is located in Medford OR. When I order tires/tubes online most of the time the free shipping shows up in Portland next day. Not tubeless but the 120/90-18 Dunlop 606's are in stock. Just another idea but implies waiting at Denio. Many more rocks between you and Lakeview. Denio is an interesting sub-culture.
  11. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
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    Don't count on that store having a good choice of tires in stock, much less tubliss, you'll need to call ahead and have things sent to them. Very poor supply of goods, but they can get stuff quickly I suppose. Still far from his current location,
  12. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
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    9/12/11
    Overall mileage: 173
    Overall average: 19 mph

    Nevada giveth, and Nevada taketh.

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    Got up this morning feeling good and the weather was better. Hit the trail at about 10:30 and set out the day not sure where I would end up really. I hadn't check the maps but it didn't matter to me. I was enjoying Nevada and wasn't in the hurry to leave it.

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    Some of the land was sold I guess, but there were reroutes available.

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    The trail was similar to yesterday as it wound through hills and hilltops. 34 miles into my ride I hear a weird squishing sound as I roll to a halt for my beef jerky rest stop. Looked down and saw that my front tire was flat. Got out my gauge and compressor and confirmed the tubliss took a dump. There's something I must've missed when installing the bladder that is abrading the inside. The tubliss rim tape was still intact so it wasnt the spoke nipples. I think it was caused by the sharp cut edge of the the tubliss branded rim tape. It was a little bunched up around there. Noticed it running my hands over it, but it didn't seem like it could do harm. Oh well, live and learn. (update: it was a manufacturing defect)

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    Also, the right fork seal is weeping. I believe this happened after yesterday's gettoff in the the tenacious clay mud. Once it dries and the fork compresses, your seal is burnt toast. I wonder if seal savers could prevent that from happening.

    I was definitely worried. I was 35 miles from Denio junction and I was forewarned about a super rocky long hill climb not too far away.

    Hopped back on and kept the speed at around 20-25 mph. The front was behaving ok when straight up but in leans, there was a tendency to wash out especially in hard pack. Sand traction was obviously awesome. As I puttered along, visions of the show Cops ran through my mind. The ones where criminals are outrunning the highway patrol on flat tires only to have the tire shred off the rim and delight viewers with a shower of sparks from the metal grinding against pavement. The thought of a bare aluminum rim hitting rocks was horrifying.

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    Eventually, I did make it to the hill climb and it was steep (not crazy steep) but was very long.

    After clearing that the rest of the ride was just managing the wipeouts. Happened once when my front washed out into a deep crevice, but otherwise slow going to Denio.

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    Someone left their dry animal skin behind

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    Got to denio junction at around 4:30 and ordered a beer and a burger. All the rooms were booked, but the owner said I could pitch a tent near the pumps.

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    My version of a TAT classic

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    As I was contemplating my next move, a guy getting gas, Brendan, from chicago was asking about my trip and wishing he could do more to help. After going in to pay for his gas, he came out and handed me two free drink tokens. Super cool. Made my day. Had my 2 beers with a burger and afterwards decided to get on the road to winnemucca and the yamaha dealership.

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    It was a sensible move as I really didn't want to pitch a tent next to a gas pump and nothing was really being accomplished by me staying the night.

    On the road to Winnamucca

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    After cruising at a constant 45 mph I made it to winnamucca just before night fell. The distant city lights of Winnamucca was a very soothing sight indeed. Checked into the economy inn on the main drag a couple of blocks down from Sonoma cycles and promptly crashed.

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  13. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    15,341
    Location:
    On a set of 50,000 mile tires.
    Take a business card and wrap it around the fork slider, then slowly work it past the dust seal, then past the main seal, twist it around the fork a few times and you'll probably get the dirt out to stop the oil leak. Sometimes a little angle on the card helps, one corner in further than the rest of the card.
  14. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    No way. A business card to clean out a seal. I'm learning alot on this trip. Gonna have Sonoma cycle change out the seals and renew the fork oil. It has been over 3 years since the bike was born.
  15. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    On a set of 50,000 mile tires.

    Nothing wrong with that, you are going for "broke". :lol3
  16. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,201
    Location:
    NYC
    Of course service is all backed up at sonOma cycle so ....
    Thanks Larryboy.


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  17. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

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    Location:
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    In terms of the tubliss failure it looks like a manufacturing defect. It was a pinhole size leak that lived along a slit that ran lengthwise about an inch.
  18. rudyunknown

    rudyunknown Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    725
    Location:
    Phoenixville
    i am living the dream with u Than.....

    Next time i am getting along with you.....
  19. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    buy the seals just in case....if they have them in stock which I bet they don't. If not in stock find out when they can get them and have them shipped ahead. Shouldn't be that hard to dot he seals if you have too!!!
  20. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
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    1,637
    Location:
    Coweta, Ok
    Sometimes the card trick works and sometimes it doesn't. I had the same problem on my WR on my cdr trip I just finished. It leaked for about the last 7 days of the ride. I tried the card trick to no avail. Go ahead and pry the dust seals down first to get them out of the way, that way you can be sure to get the card under the seal. And yes seal savers do work, especially the long ones.