Going for Broke: TAT 2011

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

  1. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    8/30/11 (Tuesday)
    Daily mileage: 274 miles
    Overall average: 30.6

    Got on the road today at 10:30. Yesterday the road in Arkansas started looking up at the end of my ride… and so the good vibes continue. The first part of the ride consisted of rural gravel roads through pretty countryside… some of which was covered in this fantastic yellow wildflower. Like it so much, I even took a closeup of it.

    In Romance, Arkansas

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    Delightful yellow flowers.

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    (angus) Beef! It's whats fer dinner.

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    In Scotland, Arkansas, I stop into a gas station to fill up and get lunch and on the wall was a framed photo entitled, ”TAT, Tennessee to SFO, 2010” There was a montage of pictures of dudes next to motorcycles ( I think they 80s/90s Hondas and Kawasaki road bikes)and doing water crossings. I asked Tina, the woman preparing my lunch if she knew the guys in the pictures. She said they stopped in last year, when the gas station first opened… then a little later they sent the framed picture to share their adventure. Maybe these guys are on ADV.

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    Lunch YUMMM

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    After my delicious lunch, the ride takes me into the Ozark National Forest. This is the best ridings so far of the trip.

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    The forest roads would wind up and down the mountain with switchbacks and occasionally would open up into a forest “highway” where I went WFO for a bit (with my gearing lower and the lack of traction offroad, this really only mean around 65-70 mph).

    Up on the mountain top. The plane! The plane!

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    Cool. WPA marker from 1939.

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    I've seen this on another TAT post... whatever.. isallgood.

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    That was all good fun, but as the day wound down, so did my water supply and my gasoline. The sky also started looking not so hot… I thought I might be caught on the mountain during the rain. After 20 miles with the gas light on, I finally make it down to a town and filled up. It started raining every so lightly as well during my ascent, but ended shortly after.

    And so with a full tank and camelbak, I was continue on to the next leg which was Warloop Road. I remember hearing hoopla about the difficulties with this part, so I asked a local on a crotch rocket who was coming up from behind me. He said it wasn’t bad. A pickup truck coming the opposite direction stop and the old man driving says, “that road is really rough down there. Be careful…. You can see it on youtube.” After thanking them for there insight, I continue down Warloop.

    Its not that bad. It is rough, but on the not so heavy WRR, I was able to go through it trials style feet on the pegs, picking my lines carefully through the rough cannonball sized rocks strewn about larger embedded rocks… If I were here a couple of years ago, I definitely would’ve been stressing, but I’ve been putting the WRR through its paces and on some pretty rocky rides in through the Berkshires, PA, and upstated NY, so I felt prepared and knew what I and the machine were capable of.

    At around 7pm, I make it to the Alma Days Inn. Go across the street to the Red Rooster Bistro and order a ton of food and then here we are… enjoy the photos.

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    #81
  2. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,637
    Location:
    Coweta, Ok
    Enjoying your ride report. We finished the CDR today, now I have more time to keep up with your ride report.
    #82
  3. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    How was it? and how do you rate it vs. TAT? I'm in Blackwell, OK right now.

    #83
  4. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    8/31/11 (Wednesday)
    Daily mileage: 369
    Overall average: 36.4 mph

    I’m firing on all cylinders when it comes to packing up. Got my routine down and I’m a rocket out of the hotel.

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    It was really hot and today. I was sweating even at speed. Definitely was trying to keep hydrated. Drank my whole camelbak before the first gas stop.

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    Towards the Arkansas -- Oklahoma border, I was flying down a straightaway, and I guess I was spacing out, but a downhill turn took me by surprise and while in a dirt lean while going hot into a left hand corner, I hit the rocky berm and fall over to the right of the bike. My knees a little sore, but the d30 Klim knee armor did its job absorbing the hit. Nothing hurt, bike is ok, and I continue on.

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    During the lunch stop at a gas station, I briefly chat with Larry, who’s going east to Tennessee. He’s looked hotter than I did in his gear.. Vanson vented suit. Props to him for the ATGATT.

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    Originally when I was thinking about doing the TAT, I thought I might skip Oklahoma because it was so straight and gridded, but towards to the end of the day, I hit the a couple of Wildlife Management Prairie Areas which are amazing serene, peaceful and beautiful. The roads throughout that section for the most part, do not have fences to the left and right. I felt really close to the land. The hills were rolling and there was a section where cows were just around me unfenced. It was more cerebral experience, something I couldn’t really capture in pictures. The ride and landscape… Everything is getting bigger. I get the feeling the more out west and remote I get, the more cerebral.

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    #84
  5. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    A raw video of western arkansas ride:

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    #85
  6. SR1

    SR1 Back in S. Korea

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,534
    Location:
    Seoul Survivor
    Enjoying this quite a bit, keep it up.
    #86
  7. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    9/1/11
    Daily mileage: 390 mph
    Overall average 39.5 mph

    Watching the morning news as I eat my continental breakfast of waffles, the temperature was supposed to hit 104 degrees today.. Better fill up one of my platypus bottles. After feasting, I holeshotted out of the hotel : ) and am on the road at 10:30.

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    The midday, high noon riding is a matter of getting comfortable, settling in and making sure I drink plenty of water. The landscape is very open and though the road is pretty much a straightaway, the road sometimes blends in with the landscape which is cool.

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    Around noon, the gas light comes on, and so far, I haven’t been concerned… usually just let it hit about 15 miles and then, I punch in the “Find gas services” menu on the Garmin to see where the closest station. Well, the gas station was 23 physical miles away, and I already had 23 miles with the orange gas light… This is going to be interesting. I have 2 liters of backup fuel, so I’m ready.

    At the 37.5 mile mark on reserve (151 miles total), the bike starts to stutter going up and down hills. I immediately stop and empty both fuel bottles into the tank. After 20 miles I roll into the gas station. Looks like I’m getting about 50 mpg average.

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    At the gas station, got a footlong subway steak sandwich and a caramelo.

    After a full belly, hydration, and tank full of gas, I push on. My favorite parts of Oklahoma are the wide open range sections that curve and twist, and are full of cows and other animals. The riding surface of Oklahoma ranges from old ass torn up blacktop to red silty sand to brown silty dirt to light yellow sand. Sometimes, I feel like I just hit the desert and it then it would revert back to what I’m used to.

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    I’ve seen TAT reports in Oklahoma where it was wet and the brown silt turns to sticky mud making forward progress almost impossible. I’m thankful, it has been dry, thus far.

    At around 5:15 I hit the Liberal, Kansas stop, but its early so I push on. I enjoy riding as the sun goes down mostly because its cooler my self-imposed cutoff time is at 7:45ish.

    Had to stop to load up the rest of the OK tracks from my computer and I meet Steve. He stop behind me in his truck and asked me if where I was going and if I needed directions. He noted that theres a bunch of guys always coming by there since it was his neighborhood, and I confirm that most everyone who comes by are TAT riders. He recommended I stop in Black Mesa because it was scenic out there and good for dirtriding.. I'm gonna check the trail and see how close it is.

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    After pushing for an extra 110 miles, I get to Boise City, OK and check into the Townsman motel. Its not dangerous here, but I ask the motel owner and he says its cool if I push the bike into my room. Good thing, because, I spy that the countersprocket nut is loose. Immediately, I tighten it the best I can and smash the lock nut some more to make sure it doesn’t back out.

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    #87
  8. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    Short self portrait video riding Oklahoma.
    Click on image to be taken to video.

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    #88
  9. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,637
    Location:
    Coweta, Ok
    The CDR was great. I really enjoyed it. As far as rating it against the TAT, that's hard to do. I enjoyed them both a lot. I think the riding on the CDR was overall a little easier than the TAT, no deep sand. The only areas that could be considered difficult was Fleecer ridge, which is a steep rocky uphill or downhill depending on your direction of travel, and a couple of hills in New Mexico. New Mexico would have been very difficult if it rained, but we were lucky in that respect. The CDR was more scenic. You will just have to go do it and judge for yourself.

    Looks like you are making good time and I can tell that your riding skills have improved a lot. Also you are doing a good job on the ride report. I know how difficult it is to do a live RR. I am really enjoying it and looking forward to the rest.

    We are home now. Got here last night, so I now have a real keyboard instead of the tiny iphone. We cut the last 100 miles off the ride because we got the word that a good friend and old riding buddy of ours had passed away and we wanted to get back for the funeral. From what we have heard the last part is just straight pavement to the border anyway.

    Have to go get ready to go to the funeral. There is going to be a motorcycle parade, lead by the deceased's son to the services. We plan to ride our bikes, still dirty from the CDR in the parade. I think Jack would appreciate that.
    #89
  10. meijer's trails

    meijer's trails Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    497
    Location:
    S.E. Michigan
    WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!! Keep it up! Thats the best looking hotel room!(with a wr INSIDE)

    Man im getting goosebumps reading your reports!! I was all worried when you were down like" oh no simonpig is down!!" but whew hes ok

    Good luck ! Go for broke!!
    #90
  11. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,017
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    :clap keep it coming!!!! The last section into NM is fun, uphill climb which is rocky and a decent incline. Easy on the light WR. You must be geared really low to be only getting 50 mpg. Guys I rode w/ were getting mid to high 60's easily.
    #91
  12. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,815
    Location:
    behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
    I read that and thought, "Ew. Poor Simonpig..." :cry

    And then BigWan explained to me what "holeshot" means.

    :lol3

    Anyway...
    You're doing an awesome job with the live ride report! Carry on...
    #92
  13. awshouse

    awshouse Downwardly mobile

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Seattle
    Hey man! It's Andy from Seattle-- we rode the Pine Barrens 300 together. Jason just sent me the link to your RR. Super. It's great to see you doing this. I'm there with you vicariously. Have fun.:clap:clap
    #93
  14. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,452
    Location:
    On a set of 50,000 mile tires.

    I'm a born cheater, find a stick, clean it off really good, take the gas cap off the bike, put stick down the hole, gather wood while it soaks up some gas, start fire with stick.

    Don't forget, the western states have fire restrictions this time of year, no campfires outside of improved camp grounds and sometimes not even there. Ask a local if unsure.
    #94
  15. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,017
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    In Nevada is seem to remember they weren't even allowing smoking outside!
    #95
  16. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,094
    Location:
    Broken Arrow, Ok
    Keep the pictures and RR going, Great so far. Wish I had know you were passing by this week, Would have road a day.

    Be safe.

    Vinnie
    #96
  17. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    9/2/11 (Friday)
    Daily mileage: 240 miles
    Average speed: 34 mph

    Today I set out sorta late, but that’s OK because we’re turning the clocks back today when I hit New Mexico. Part of the delay, was that I was revising my Track to reflect gas stops, so that I can have an at a glance reference. This of course is because of my having to draw from my reserve fuel bottles yesterday. Can’t have that happening in the Nevada desert.

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    The last section of Oklahoma starts feeling all western, and as soon I hit New Mexico, the grass sprang up and was uber green and sky was uber blue and road was clean white gravel… the epic level has just been turned up. The scenery was too much to take in, I had to stop myself from trying to take pictures at every turn. Since the plateaus were so far away, it was always a disappointing to view the pictures on the camera, look up a the scene, turn the camera off in disgust. Anyway, I try my best.

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    After crossing into Colorado the plateaus turn to mountains. I run upon 2 riders on horseback. I stop for a picture and chat with them for bit -- Wes on a brown horse and Colonel Sanders on a white horse (hmmm. I hope I heard that right). They were super nice dudes with an old school appeal. They were asking me what I was doing on this road, and I told them, I wanted to be close the land… Wes was surprised that I was a Mississippian. They asked I wanted to camp out the the Bellerius Ranch up the road (something to the effect). There was going to banjo music and a big cookout. Turns out there was a whole lot of them ahead on a ride, women, children, ladies. Some were with carriages. Pretty cool. I thanked them, but told them I was planning to camp out at Lathrop State Park.

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    As I am riding through moutains in Colorado, I can see a distant that there was rolling dark clouds that were to the southwest. Didn’t want anything to do with those, and was relieved that the direction I was heading was clear.

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    La Veta's version of the Hollywood Sign

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    From reading the trail maps, unless I was in Cotopaxi by 5pm, I shouldn’t try and push it to Salida.. which was fine by me. I had been pushing the last 3 days. Around 5:30, I make to Lathrup and get a tentsite. Remember those clouds… They were on their way here, as confirmed by my Doppler radar app. (which I love dearly). Quickly, I put up camp and move everything into the tent, and not much later a big black cloud descend upon the area, and I duck into my tent for cover. I love t-storms… we don’t get enough of them in NYC.

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    Its storming outside. Why don't you come inside:
    Click on the video to see how simonpig is livin' the dream.

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    Observation: I’m really happy that I put my stock exhaust back on. Its whisper quiet at idle and I can tiptoe by horseback riders and people without giving off negative vibes. When I’m trail riding with other dudes, its not a problem, but running into people outside the motorcycle community, it makes a difference.
    #97
  18. simonpig

    simonpig packin' heat

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,207
    Location:
    NYC
    Thanks, I'll try and stop over on the way back to the east.

    #98
  19. Holeshot

    Holeshot Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Kirkwood, MO
    :roflI like the way you think..
    #99
  20. rudyunknown

    rudyunknown Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    725
    Location:
    Phoenixville
    i am living it with u dude......the best part of the day is getting to see where ur at :)