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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by vegemanNZ, Jul 26, 2017.
Conditions do not look hospitable to life in the photo. The scenery is other-worldly!
Gosh, that photo could have been taken in the Painted Desert, AZ! https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attract...t-Petrified_Forest_National_Park_Arizona.html
Maybe he had a UFO sighting, LOL
... or just sightseeing. It's out of this world scenery, for sure!
Hey. Thx for checking in. yesterday was a crazy hard day and one of the harder I've had in ages. I was riding kevs blue route from emery to kanosh. I knew it was going to bee snowy and have mud on sections but it's hard to judge how much until you are in it. I planned to ride it with the option of always turning around if I truly got stuck... well I did. I rode a lot of snow froZen puddles and mud but was making good progress or getting further in the shit...
I must have been 20 miles in and the mud was becoming really slippery... weird stuff. I was slipping and sliding a lot. I actually had my first real crash/off... cross fitted, down hill..bounced off a tree, back on the track. Bike was laying on my left leg... yay for soft bags!. Got it off and sorted myself out. Hmmm.... Its tough now, mentally and physically. I keep progressing and took another route to bypass some shit but that ended in deep snow, where traction was impossible... checked map... went another and the mud was craziest, slippery yet sticky...i could not again get traction and the bike was collecting it like no tomorrow. Dang...i have to go back. That was hard for awhile but the sun was out and i had a plan. 5 hours from when I left i was back at emery filing up. Bugger.
This guy Cory comes up and says hi, and you look knackered... he help pump up my tires as he had a compressor. A quickly update him on the drama he says come camp with my, I've got my bmw in the trailer, I'll show you some scenery. Well, I thought sure i need a change... but sheesh, I didn't know how far back he had in mind... For me it was like riding from home to Palmerston North to put up a tent!!. It felt so annoying to be backtracking but i gave into it. Camped had a fire, had a beer, Cory filled my bike up...
Just made it to Richfield. Ground recovered.
I'll get photos of my go pro soon. Didn't take many when I was in the crap. I was a little to distracted about not sleeping out there. I'm pleased I had trained before arriving... my fitness paid dividends.
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I'm convinced that stretch is one of the worst on the entire TAT when there's any mud up there. Steep climbs with enough turns you can't keep momentum, enough fist-sized rocks to constantly bobble you off line, and that strange mud that's all grease when you need traction but immediately turns to concrete as soon as it hits something solid on your bike. Couple that with thin air at 10,000+ ft. and that section is no joke.
I've recognized variations of your last picture in various other ride reports where guys got bit by that section. Mine is below. I had to turn around up there too because I was getting zero drive on the uphills and the mud built up enough to lock the rear wheel to the swingarm. Had to dislodge it with a tree branch.
Glad you were able to salvage the day though. If you want a half day detour go south a bit and check out Capitol Reef National Park. It's like the illegitimate child of Moab and the Grand Canyon.
One of my two get offs on the western TAT was in the same rocky mud up there past Emery. FWIW the run from Kanosh UT to Baker NV is a fast 125 miles or it was for us back in August.
Pulling for you, stay safe.
Your description of the mud is 100% correct. Even standing or putting your foot down is hard to do let alone a wheel. I've got some still on my soft bags and its like cement. I did go south and go through the park. Its cool as.
I continued on to Richfield and they have a ktm agent. Grabbed a spare chain master link as I had to replace the locking clip ( I should have been running a proper rivet plate) as well as goggles, oil filters must in case I need to do another change. I've done more miles than I expected.. I'm at 3800 so far.
I filled up at Richfield and then again at coves fort or something. Got back I the trail and headed for baker. That gravel road was awesome, but felt very isolated. Just sat on 55 - 60mph for the whole section and was careful not to hit a rock as I just wanted to get there, have a beer and enjoy the warmth that had been missing for the last week or so. 300 miles or so. Great to be back on track
Its so big my phone can't capture the magnitude.
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Photos now easy I've got Wi-Fi
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Top report / skills / determination vegemanNZ - following along vicariously - Oaters from Awakairangi - go well
Awesome pics Veg.
Another interesting day on the old tat, and it feels like the old version. You can tell that not many bikes or people are going this route, maybe the new sams route is where people are going. I've again had another one of those. Wtf am I doing out here. I've changed to thinking more of a what if? Mindset than enjoying the vistas and omg, is Nevada huge. More mountains than i expected but the distance between them is huge. There's a lot faith placed in the bike, while we are moving, 100 miles doesn't seem so bad... but either direction is hell of a walk. I think it's on my mind more as the recent snow and mud detours had shaken the confidence, and being tired makes things worse. Luckily the sun has been out and is glorious but you can feel winter's bite in the wind. Air temp has been around 8C to 16C. Only once did i feel hot enough to take a layer off.
The pass thorough Paterson peak was tight, lots of potential to go the wrong way due to the low and crowded collection of scrubby trees. Concentration was high, a few bogus turns but focused on the over zoomed GPS track and got through with out much hassle. I would not like to have been on a bigger bike, especially by myself. This felt more like a trail ride that the fast gravel sections from the previous day.
I took more on the gopro that on the phone...i didn't want to stop moving. Moving is good. Stopping is bad. Ill be better once I've had a proper rest day
I'm sure i took more than one...
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Hey Veggie.... I did some research on your next destination.... seems quite approriate considering the way you must smell by now!!...http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/armpit-of-america..... living the dream!!...
<he chose Battle Mountain because of its “lack of character and charm, its pathetic assemblage of ghastly buildings and nasty people.>>
as someone who grew up in rural northern nevada, with battle mountain as our high school rivals, i approve of this message.
yeah, yeah. @Pinty Battle mountain has been the stop I needed. I only rode the one section from Eureka to Battle Mountain, and it was lovely to not be fighting the elements. I left once the weather warmed up to 0C and headed northish, I couldn't be bothered going south and into the hills just for the sake of adding more miles. I've done plenty and there is still plenty...so I'm thinking fuel management, and general wear and tear (me and the bike).
The first part of this 100+ mile section took me again into vast, almost featureless terrain...I'm still learning to relax and enjoy the remoteness and not let the thought of walking somewhere for help cross my mind. The cool temps give me comfort that I won't die of heat or dehydration. The trail is nice but I can tell that if rain had, or was happening, you wouldn't want to be in it. There was lots of moist patches and I can feel the bike slip here and there...nothing major, just dirt riding. Being sunny does wonders for the soul.
That section must have been 40miles and then I entered someones farm with a stop sign and gate...initial thoughts was, Shit...I hope this is okay...and it was. Just the usual slow down, close the gate, have a nice day kinda thing. I rejoined the green/blue sections and ended up following the green section towards the mine. The road was awesome and the scenary no different and I was curious to see what it was all about. The pereceived issue of turning into the mine and all that....but now getting there, it's very, very clear where to go. If you turned there, you're a muppet. (no offence to Bert by the way). The mining company have built a new road, and while it didn't follow any of my GPS tracks it intersected futher down and was great. I headed down until it turned left and intersected back with the blue and over battle mountain. I really enjoyed it, scenic, no stress, warm...animals, a person mowing his lawn!...yup, WTF is that at about. Riding through there reminded me of NZ, as there was crystal clear water crossings, dried landscape...nice.
Coming out of there and reaching battle mountain is abrupt. One minute in the hills and then a fast long stretch into town. I was there around lunch time, it was warm. Found motel for 32 bucks with wifi and breakfast. Time for a half day, clean bike and clean clothes.
...cleaning the bike again, created that water in the electrics gremlin again....!@@##$$, and more @%$#@!#%$!. I let it dry out, bought some more electrical cleaner, did different connectors...it runs, but I'm not happy.
I'll probably ride closer to civilisation as it bothers me but only a few more sections when @ClintusMaximus is going to join me for the last sections, having a rider (even if he is part Aussie) will be welcome...I've had a good blast by myself, but sharing the last bits will be cool.
I've done 4300 miles on this trip so far...crazy
this photo is approaching the mine section. I'll post some more from my phone
Lovely day huh. It was only when I got to battle mountain, did it reach double figures... Celsius that is
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Bro Veg, loving your updates and photos. Map is deceptive, looks like not far to go but I guess that's still a few '000miles? Some of those dirt tracks definitely trail riding stuff, never seen such weird claggy looking grey dirt like powdered concrete, glad you're not doing (most of) them in the wet, they look gnarly enough dryish esp considering the distances you're travelling. Try to put the "I'm alone n the wilderness" out of your mind, maybe think "I am the wilderness, the wilderness is mine".
Today for a bit of nostalgia and to make you yearn for home I did the fang up the Rimutaka's (blew away a couple of hotties on their sport bikes .lol, always good a laugh seeing their faces at the summit when they realise what went past them) then Western lake Wairarapa, back to Ruakokoputuna gravels (missed that fast left hander again, big lockup sideways but saved it), then Hinakura to Gladstone paper road, slick but quick with the tyres really soft, love that road. Special as always, but wet miserable day, got soaked, got a bit of sideways, got a big grin. Then home, into the spa with a Bourby, now eyeing up a scotch fillet on the BBQ and comfy bed after the Netflix movie.
You're in our thoughts every day mate, doing the adventure of a lifetime.
Coops...Veg.... I guess you cant be watching Bathurst!..not beaming into the armpit then? Americans won't know what or where Bathurst is...relax veggie.. Clintus will be great company..
A late update from me, as the day was an easy one for both the bike and my brain.
I headed north on the first back roads and made my way through the private property sign. Some people on Kev's site felt that was the end of the route, but it is just one of those public roads that goes through a farm. I actually spoke to a lady coming out and asked if it was okay to continue through...which she was happy with. The road was heavily used and riddled with bike and bone jarring corrugations...that gets tiring and boring. I continued for a few miles and then actually missed the turn to follow the route. I can see why the last person who updated Kev's site that the track has almost disappeared and really dry...I'd agree a fire risk as well. You really couldn't see where to ride...and then I looked ahead and really couldn't be bothered. Mentally, I still felt tired and thought I needed to do something different. Ironically, back-tracking isn't that different for on this trip....but I wanted to check the bike out further, I knew there was a bike store in Winnemucca so I thought yeah...easy day today. Went back, got on the interstate for an easy 50 miles. Put Spotify on and actually enjoyed the scenery without having to watch every rock or stone in front of me.
Nevada is vast and I could see where I would have been, seeing probably the same thing as I was here....hmmm, am I getting soft? or just getting a balance. I didn't care. Once into Winnemucca, I went to Sonoma Cycles and they had one dual sport rear tyre, fortunately a D606 which is a great tyre and as I had never ridden on one...I thought now's the time. The Mitas E07 has done a fantastic job getting me here, but was just wearing to the second set of wear indicators and I felt like heading to Oregon, I should really have more traction. The tire did about 4500 miles...perfect for the TAT ride so far.
I managed to talk the Sonoma guys into doing the tyre while I waited, I helped and we got it fitted, balanced and ready to go. The young guy did a great job considering 2 rim locks, but I was really impressed with him using the http://www.bajanopinch.com/ tool. I'm getting one of them before I go home...
Back at the Motel, I did some more checking and cleaning of connectors and think I might be on to something. There is a sensor that generates the timing for the spark/efi unit to trigger, and the rubber boot into the alternate case that covers it is showing oil, water and mud signs. I blew the contact cleaner around that (yesterday) and was surprised how much moisture and crap came out...so today, I cleaned it further and sealed it with gasket goo. I'll just have to do one thing at a time...I'll suss it. Since I was in the mood, I also replaced the oil filters and changed out 1L of oil....strange I know. The bike takes 1.7l but I only had 1l. Adding 1l of new oil to the 0.7 left will be fine....It'll freshen it up and the new filters will help. I think I only need 2000 more miles from the current batch.
Now the chores are done, I went to the motel pool and relaxed....yup, I really did.
I'll head to Mcdermitt in the morning...it's nearly midnight, so that's not far away.
Nice update Veg, glad you had a good day. I'm thinking your luggage has grown in size and capacity (nice shiny new tank bag is it?). I see what you mean by the disappearing (overgrown trail), better to flag that than be wondering which way to go in the middle of nowhere! That new rear tyre looks great, is it tempting to go back and do those snow and dirty trails with a decent knob on? Just joshing mate, onwards.
Ahh memories, seems like yesterday but was 5 years ago.
Nevada was tough but also maybe one of the most memorable states. Was glad to hit California and see a tree. Then Oregon with nothing but trees !