Louisiana to Alaska on as much dirt as possible

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ejtv, May 27, 2011.

  1. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Happy b-day Alex!

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    Handy camera work ejtv :lurk
    #21
  2. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Mentally? Out west...
    I think these are north of La Veta, around the Greenhorn Mountain:

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    These are on the Shelf Road and beyond, north of Canon City:

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    I think on the Rampart Range already:

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    Single track fun on the north section of the Rampart Range

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    Hotel parking lot in Denver:

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    So we rode 2,500 miles to eat dinner at a Louisiana style cajun restaurant, NoNo's...this was the only eatery within walking distance of the hotel we used in the southern suburbs of Denver. Pretty good actually, they even had Abita's Purple Haze, one of the local Louisiana beers I like...

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    Waiting for cab ride the next day & airport:

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    Last video of the trip 6 posts below.
    #22
  3. EnduroRdr

    EnduroRdr Woods Racer & D/S Rider

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    Hello neighbor! Subscribed, we really enjoyed reading this one (I hope you have more to add later) because we sure seem to have a lot in common. (Farther/Son) dual sport trips. And - We too have been following Mobius for a couple years now. yes that is THE inspirational thread if there ever was one. Our last trip to Arkansas this past Easter week 2011 - http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58977 (I was trying out the new GoPro) I'm still updating that RR. Kinda slow at editing my stuff :lol3. Now my son keeps talking about us riding the TAT too. One day - I promise!

    I have to assume you have other bikes at home? Cant imagine not being able to ride until the return to Denver - how's that working out for you? Also when will we see the followups on the return to your TAT adventure? Great RR - thanks for sharing.
    #23
  4. BadBrian

    BadBrian Adventurer

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    :thumb I loved that 'no traffic' moment...that's a do what I say not what I do moment if I've ever seen one!
    #24
  5. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Location:
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    TAT:

    If you are wondering if the TAT is worth it, the answer is yes. Every area had its charm, even 50 miles without turns in OK. It was a blast at 70 MPH:ricky
    The subtle transitions in climate, geography, people, food, weather, humidity, smells, agriculture, oil wells, terrain, altitude...taking it all in was tremendous. After exploring more of Colorado and Utah in the next year, we hope to continue on the TAT to Oregon and beyond the following year.

    We found the choice of roads for the TAT and the Mississippi Hill Country Trail by Sam Correro to be excellent and with little to no traffic. We would go hours at a time without seeing another human being or car or truck. I highly recommend spending the money for the maps, worth every penny, studying them, creating the tracks on your GPS map program and uploading them to your unit. I did not use the roll charts or the maps during the trip. Navigation with the GPS plus the ability of both riders to communicate via bluetooth headset made it very smooth and quick. I simply cannot imagine riding at the speeds we rode with roll charts and maps.

    Navigation/Logistics:

    I did a lot of research on City Navigator, Google maps and Google earth to confirm that motels and gas stations actually existed. Our WR's extended tank gave us a range of about 200 plus miles, so gas was never an issue.

    Plenty of food available on the road. We packed lunch only two or three times as we entered western Oklahoma and New Mexico.

    We decided to skip camping along the route to get to Denver faster and get good rest. 10-12 hrs on the bike day after day was tiring. To be frank, with the exception of some areas in New Mexico that were private property anyway, I didn't think the portions of the TAT on this trip had the camping potential I consider worthwhile given the added weight and time to set up and break camp.

    Carry an extra clutch cable on the TAT, unlike what I did. Practice changing tires and patching flats if you don't know how.

    Bring and use chain lube.

    Riding Terrain was varied, but I don't think there was anything too technical for an average rider. Three or four sandy sections that were relatively short, maybe stretches of 2 to 3 miles, but not too deep. Just a couple of short medium steep climbs, less technical than anything in the White Rim Trail. And in Central Oklahoma mud if it rains. That proved the most difficult and frustrating. But you can cheat like we did after you have your fill.

    Choice of bikes with the WR250R's I think was very good. Anything heavier than 300 pounds and that is not dirt oriented would have been a pain in the neck in the sand and mud. Very grippy dual sport DOT knobby tires like the Pirelli MT21 or similar I also think are essential despite the wear. The weather changes everything in less than a few minutes.

    Countour helmet cam was frustrating: short battery life, difficult power button to use, unstable bluetooth iPhone interface, unstable software on the PC, lens casing easily gets dirty in dusty conditions, tricky re-alignment after you disassemble and clean the lens, horrible microphone placement, tricky battery to unload and reload, etc. I can go on and on about the negatives, but overall, the quality of the video was stunning, I didn't even shoot in full HD, the record button is very easy to access, and it just looks cooler and lower profile than the Hero, so I think it is worthy of consideration. I got the one with GPS, but I think it was overkill. Save the money and buy the other model. You don't really need that feature, in my opinion, especially because it doesn't work consistently once you download into your PC or Mac. Even the bluetooth iPhone interface card I found to be overkill too. I never used more than the two pre-programmed settings. And I only checked alignment once, and that was because I made the mistake of cleaning the re-assembling the lens incorrectly after a cleaning. Mount was acceptable for helmets, not great, but acceptable. I spent time at home experimenting to find the most advantageous location and camera position on the helmet, and audio settings (mic gain at 12).


    Other Equipment/Gear:

    Panasonic Lumix LX5. I have owned several digital pocket cameras since I abandoned my bulky 35mm Nikon FM and assorted lenses 20 years ago, but this Panasonic does almost everything that bigger SLR digital cameras do...and you simply cannot beat a Leica lens, sp for that price.

    Interphone F4 bluetooth stereo intercom. It worked perfectly. Miles ahead of the original Interphone if you're wondering. 12 plus hours of battery life.

    Zac Speed Exotek chest protector/hydration pack worked well. I never realized how important the chest protector was until I kept getting pummeled by rocks from the bike in front of me. It converts into a small backpack too if you're into riding and hiking.

    I can't speak highly enough of Giant Loop products for saddlebags and tank bags. Expensive but great design. Same goes for HighwayDirtbikes hand-guards and mirrors.

    We used dual sport helmets with visors that accommodated goggles. Visors were used when it was rainy, cold or during highway stretches. Goggles a must for the dust.

    Both bikes have electric grip warmers one by www.hotgrips.com the other one by Symtec. Both work well, but with Symtec you can use your own grips and it is cheaper. After living with these on two 10 day trips, we both agree Symtec has the more elegant solution.

    FroggToggs jacket and pants worked well. Kind of bulky for storage, but relatively cheap and doubles as a light jacket/windbreaker for riding and hiking.


    Repairs:

    Bikes are getting TLC, one at www.grandprixmotorsports.com, a Yamaha dealer, and another one, for half the price, at www.fastlinepowersports.com, both in Littleton, south of Denver. Grand Prix chosen because of location outside the city and south so we didn't have to ride in the city or highways too much, the other one found by chance, right next to the miniUstorage we are using. Both had friendly staff. Feedback after I pay the bill and pick up the bikes.

    Sheps Motorcycle in Bartlesville, OK, the only store we found between Mississippi and Colorado that was right on the TAT. Helpful staff, just a block from hotel, food, Starbucks, Laundromat, etc.


    Hope this helps others.
    #25
  6. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Thanks for the great report and pics.
    #26
  7. AKASY

    AKASY Noob

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    Interesting RR--I'm doing the TAT on the WRR and had already ordered spare hoses, clutch cable (I always parallel one in) and the Enduro Star stand (no rocks needed for flats:evil). I do a lot of offroad--CDT etc--and I have had good luck with Slime and an electic pump. I just add air as needed and the Slime slows the leak--normally make it to a convient placed to do the repair. Considering tubliss but not sure--good RR thanks:clap
    #27
  8. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Here's the last installment:

    <iframe width="800" height="485" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_ypp4fyLYb0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Video ends at the spot I took this picture of the WR250R with Pike's Peak in the background, on the Rampart Range, a few miles south west of Denver, shown at the start of this thread:

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    Hope you enjoyed the report.

    We certainly enjoyed riding those 2,500 miles from Baton Rouge to Denver.

    Cheers! :beer
    #28
  9. mrprez

    mrprez KJ4WMZ

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    Nice trip report and I appreciated the gear review as well.
    #29
  10. ua99003

    ua99003 Adventurer

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    South Louisiana
    My wife sent me a copy of a email from one of her exec. at BRG describing your ride intents. I gave it a quick look and one thing came to mind .... TAT !!!
    Your ride report was great, well put together. As a parent you will cherish the time with your son forever. I am also a member of DSRL, you need to post up any furture rides there also. I am also impressed with the WR. I presently have 06 Tiger and I am on the lookout for a WR or KLX 250 for more dirt stuff.
    Great ride !!!!
    Keith
    #30
  11. mnormand

    mnormand Been here awhile

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    The gear review was very good indeed. It made me decide to sell my Panasonic DMC-FZ50 camera kit and get one like yours instead.

    Great trip, glad you guys made it ok.


    Keith I hope my old Tiger is running well. Sure miss that comfy seat compared to my present WR250R seat.. LOL.
    #31
  12. motoxer

    motoxer "Ronin"

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    As always an outstanding report on a trip that only you could think of and deliver. So what's next, Denver to California on dirt roads
    #32
  13. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    After riding the TAT from Louisiana to Denver, parking the bikes at a mini storage in Denver and flying home to work, we return in July to attempt the Rainbow Trail and a 14K in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

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    The plan is for me to fly first and play around July 2-4. My son would fly later and July 5th we would ride on as much dirt as possible Denver-Rampart Range-Goldcamp road -Phantom Canyon-Greeenhorn Mountain-Medano Pass-Great Dunes National Park-Medano Pass-Rainbow Trail-hike up Humbolt peak-bail out at Silver Cliff-then link Cotopaxi-Guffey-11 Mile Canyon-and back to Rampart-Denver, and camp-out along the way. We would fly back home late July 10th.

    Here's the track:

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    Here's what the Rainbow Trail did to him first:

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    And then to me:

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    We can't wait to finish it up. :jump
    #33
  14. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Fly to Denver

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    Ride and spend the night at Rampart:

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    The set up:

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    Found the $20 you guys left there:

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    #34
  15. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Finished Rampart to Colorado Springs, here I am across from Pike's Peak:

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    Then looked for a way up Goldcamp Road cross west, but found it was closed to motorcycles, so decided to head north towards Boreas Pass.

    These are some back trails around Tyrrall Creek:

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    These are near Boreas Pass:

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    At Boreas I took some of the ATV trails going west and decided to ride around until night fell:

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    Campsite:

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    Dusk:

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    Quick video of campsite:

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    #35
  16. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Morning chill:

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    From Boreas to Breckenridge:

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    After more pavement than I wanted since Georgia Pass was closed, Guanella Pass:

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    Meeting my son in the ministorage in Littleton and preparing the bikes/gear for the rest of the week:

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    #36
  17. heffe

    heffe #$%^&U*&^%$#@

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    :thumb
    #37
  18. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Bueno! :clap
    #38
  19. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Gas in Sedalia, just before hitting Rampart:

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    Playing around Rampart's side trails:

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    On the southern section of Rampart, near Garden of the Gods:

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    Campsite off Gold Camp Road, Middle Beaver Creek. We were disappointed the roads among the reservoirs (Moraine, Mason, McReynolds, etc.) south of Pike's Peak were closed....they don't even appear in the MVU maps of the area, though you can clearly see them in any topo map...according to the caretaker, an avid ADV fan, due to regulations to protect the watershed :hmmmmm

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    Hike around the campsite w Lake Mason in the background:

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    Video of days 3-4

    <iframe width="853" height="510" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NknDcFTgxOI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #39
  20. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Today we finish Gold Camp Road, explore some of the old gold mines near Victor and head south via Phantom Canyon Road toward the Greenhorn Mountain area.

    First we ride some of the trails around our campsite. These trails were much steeper and rockier than we ever anticipated. Made the rocks of the Rainbow Trail feel like tarmac.

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    Finishing Gold Camp:

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    One of the old gold mines north of Victor, the Vindicator mine. If you are interested in gold mining history and if you have time, there are lots of very interesting walking trails among old mines in this area:

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    American Eagles Overlook, amidst a huge active mine. At $1500 an ounce...they will keep going:

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    One of the best eateries we found, this one in Victor, owned by german immigrants, Gold Camp Bakery on 3rd Street: bread, pastries, soups, sandwiches, were superb. As European as you can get on this side of the Atlantic.

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    Phantom Canyon:

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    Son, your sponsorship dreams have been shattered...Refueling in CaƱon City:

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    About to start climbing Oak Creek Grade Road north of Greenhorn Mountain:

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    Climbing Oak Creek:

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    Weather begins to close in:

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    First a few drops...then torrential rain...

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    Several of the area roads we planned to take were chained, gated or private....so we did a lot of re-routing on the fly cold and wet...

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    those rain pants we left in Denver were starting to feel really warm and dry...until out of the corner of my eye I see this on a side road...

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    :clap we make a 180, turn right and a hundred feet ahead we find Ophir Campground, off 165...

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    For $30, a dry and warm camper, yeah, a little old and with a few dead bugs here and there, but it did the trick. I wasn't looking forward to setting up camp cold and wet. Besides, game room and everything: fussball, ping-pong, pool, darts..:

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    Safety first:

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    #40