TAT Sept 2017 'Fly and Drive' on 250 Rally - RR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by TreblesAllRound, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Haha, I think some people like a good public argument! I've been checking up on your inReach, and it looks like you are making good progress yourself :)
    #41
  2. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    That sounds like a great offer! Should be starting to pass through Colorado in the next 3-5 days. Will send you a message when I'm a bit closer.
    #42
  3. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    I'm having problems getting pictures off my phone for some reason to add more photos and updates of the last few days.

    Does anyone know of an Android photo editing app that will in batch a) resize images so they are a set size (e.g. 400kb) b) remove all the properties and personal info?
    #43
  4. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Two other random questions that might help me to save a bit of weight:
    1. I probably ought to know this, but don't. In the toolkit provided by Honda, I've got a thin rectangular bit of grey foam. What is this for and can I get rid of it? They also provided a steel cable with loops at either end, sheathed in thick black plastic. Again, what is this for and can get rid of it?
    2. I bought a spare front and rear tube. I know on some bikes you can get away with using a front tube in the rear to get you to the next garage at a steady pace. Is that true on this bike? If so, I'll send on my spare rear inner tube.
    #44
  5. CrStep

    CrStep Been here awhile

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    I'm not sure what the foam is, but the cable is for your helmet. There is a hook, probably under the seat, where you can theoretically lock it up.
    I know that my 21" front tube for my AT can be used in the rear tire in a pinch (no pun intended). I'm sure it's the same with your wheels.
    #45
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  6. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    21" tube is just fine as a repair. I would try and find the correct tube as soon as possible but I have ridden for days on the wrong tube.
    #46
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  7. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Got to Enid last night. Very much remote feel now in OK.

    As there is a heatwave going to try to get to boise city ok tonight even if it means a fair bit of tarmac. Great to be here where there more space but get feeling view from highway is similar to the tracks.
    #47
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  8. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    At about 1830 this evening Boise city had already been out of the question for a few hours. I came off the route at Folger OK to get fuel. The small shop didn't have any available as pumps were 'vapour locked'. I'd never heard of this before but apparently it means its so hot they shut off. Made sense as it has been 35c today.

    There has also been a relentless 25mph wind coming from the south (so a cross wind coming from my left) the whole day. Even though I've been going in a straight line all day (it's OK) I've been turning left all day to keep the front wheel on track. Dealing with that and the occasional bursts of thick sand at 40mph have led to a few wobbly moments.

    Given the next fuel stop is another 7 miles off the route and its getting dark, I decided to stay at the only motel (I was surprised there was one as the town is only about 8 by 8 half a mile long streets).
    #48
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  9. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Thursday 21st
    Today was a special day for many of reasons. It was the first day I've not had logistical things to do in the morning and could just get up and ride. I left the motel at 8. It was the first day there were pleasant riding temperatures all day, it even started off cold (probably around 5-10c). It was the longest day of riding (around 9 hours total) in which I did by far the most TAT miles I've managed (260). It was also the day I crossed from the plains to the mountains.

    I've been planning and thinking about this trip pretty intensively for weeks, and the bit that I've been most apprehensive about is the mountainous western TAT. In some ways, all the work (I've got to be honest, it has felt like a lot like that at times) had been leading to this moment, where I was sure the blobs on the horizon were mountains:
    Mountains.jpg

    The camera came out at lot over the next few hours as I rode around 100 miles without passing a town. There were very occasional cars and houses, so it wasn't completely remote, but still more remote than where I've ridden a motorbike before. Much more of that to come! There was only one major climb as most the 500m of elevation to Trindad was gained slowly:
    StartingToClimb.jpg

    I reached the motel feeling like a proper TAT rider. Rest day tomorrow with some more items coming via UPS (sleeping bag amongst them!). I've checked into a lot of hotels over the last few weeks. I've often been asked if I want a 'smoking room' or 'non smoking room'. This is the first time I've been asked if I want a 'marijuana smoking room'. No thanks. It seemed he had been smoking too much himself, as when I got to the room and opened the door, there was someone else's stuff all over the bed. I went back to the reception. He apologised, saying he had no idea how that could happen as the should have been free. He gave me another room key card. As I was walking up to my new room, keen to get my boots and helmet off, I noticed there were two people in it, lying on the bed, shoes off, watching TV. Back to reception for a third time and finally a room that wasn't shared with someone else.

    Friday 22nd
    After success of yesterday, I got up feeling my confidence had taken a bit of a knock. I've got to the start of the hard bit, but I've still got to do it.

    Spent the day washing out everything (seems like a good point, now that awful heat and humidity have passed for a while at least), repacking kit after the new deliveries, tweaking some things on the bike and organising new tyres (thanks for the tip @Kgw).

    I'm only going to have a short day riding tomorrow as there are jobs to be done in the morning. That should be pretty much the last of my todo list. After tomorrow I hope to be able to get up and ride every day without having to make preparations/kit improvements for later stages of the trip. As I've joked a few times with people, by the time I get the end of the TAT, I should be ready to do it.

    At sunset this evening, the mountains were awaiting me in the background:
    SunsetAtMotel.jpg
    #49
  10. 68vette

    68vette Adventurer

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    I am in Montrose thruSunday night
    We are renting house and have spare room if you are in the area Welcome to it
    Jeff
    #50
  11. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    That's a great offer, and it might just be doable. I don't have a good feel for how long the mountain miles are going to feel like on the bike compared to what's gone before, but I may be in that area on Sunday. Will let you know tomorrow how likely it is looking.
    #51
  12. 68vette

    68vette Adventurer

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    We will be hiking Black. Canyon but will check for messages
    #52
  13. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Friday 22nd
    Very busy morning finishing off endless little tasks (sending another package of stuff to @Scheffy, funding, fitting everything back on the bike, going to Topar racing in Trinidad - who were great in fitting me in), I finally left Trinidad at 2.

    The bike felt different for some reason. There shouldn't be any more weight on the bike, but I think it may be distributed differently since adding/removing things and repacking. Also the new tyre (Metzler unicross) felt very squirmy. Again there was a strong cross wind. So I decided Rye was a bit too far, much better to stop early, work out if I can pack the bike better and get back on the road early in the morning.

    The bike seems to lean much further over on the stand (unloaded) since fitting the new tyre. I assume that is just because the knobbles are bigger, making the bike taller and so lean further?

    Decided to get a microwave meal from the local supermarket. The combination rear wheel spanner/spoon is a great idea:
    TyreSpoon.jpg
    #53
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  14. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Didn't make much TAT progress today. Will text you tomorrow on when I'm likely to be passing you. Rain is forecast tomorrow and next few days so that could throw a spanner in the works...
    #54
  15. vegemanNZ

    vegemanNZ Been here awhile

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    that spanner spoon is awesome...you're coming along nicely!
    #55
  16. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Saturday 23rd
    Up and off early this morning. Made easier by the fact that the motel was a bit of a dive. I spent a few minutes on Google before going to bed working out how to identify bed bugs. Fortunatly I didn't find anything bad in the morning.

    I knew it was supposed to rain in the afternoon at some point, so I set Salida as a destination so I could get in 160 miles and hopefully just finish the day in the rain, not spend the whole day in it. There was lots of dark cloud around in the sky but also lots of blue patches. I was hopeful.
    CloudsAtSunrise.jpg

    I actually felt a bit cold setting off with temps around 10c and me being dressed for the 35c of the last few weeks. It was all lovely going, smooth dirt roads for the first 100 miles or so. Lots of riding through wooded glens and small valleys. Some climbing too.

    It was difficult to get a sense of height except for one thing: my 250cc Rally was feeling like a 10cc scooter. I've was riding a lot of the time with throttle wide open to go up a gentle incline at 49mph. Then I checked my GPS app which reported I was at 3200m (around 10k feet I think). I let the Rally off, but I think you'd have to get something bigger if you lived around here.

    When I got to down into the valley near Silver Cliff there was an amazing mountain panorama. In pretty familiar with the high jaggedness of the Alps, but this was impressive in a different way, being encircled in peaks from all directions. This doesn't do it justice at all:
    Panorama.jpg

    There was some flat high speed (50mph is high speed on a 250 at this height) riding until a crossroads where I had a choice of cutting 20 miles along the road to Salida to avoid the rain forecast or do a 50 loop up into the hills. I decided I needed to test out how waterproof my gear was from the outside (so far it's only been tested with water from the inside), and 50 miles shouldn't be enough to get properly cold if it did start leaking. After about 15 miles it started raining whilst still climbing. The track went up to around 3000m and then descended back down into Salida. I was pretty glad to get there as the rain had deteriorated into a thunderstorm and there is only so much riding I want to do at altitude in the rain on slippy dirt roads.
    DecendingInRainToSalida.jpg

    The first hotel I tried was full. The second had rooms but was a bit pricey. The girl behind the desk actually apologised for their rates and seeing how I looked pretty wet just suggested taking $25 off the bill! Very nice.

    After going out to get a warm meal, I went out to sort out a few things. Makeshift waterproof gloves, another USB stick for photos, fill up the bike, put half a gallon in the Rotopax (first time I've used it, but it seems now is a good time to start keeping a bit extra).

    The second act of kindness of the day was in an auto parts store. I was looking for a 2mm Allen key. All they had was one in a set of 15 for $25. After I got chatting to him about what I was doing, he just went behind the counter and gave me the 2mm Allen key from his personal set! Very nice again. In general I've found people in the U.S. have been really friendly and helpful (including the people on this forum). It's made a big difference to the trip. Goodnight and God bless America!

    P.S. I'm doing the TAT section between Salida and Ironton tomorrow, which includes Cinnamon pass which at 3800m. There is snow on some of the peaks and I hear locals chatting about how snow has been arriving in places today. Making me slightly nervous, but fingers crossed for tomorrow.
    #56
  17. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Dammit just saw this, probably too late but if you're still anywhere near Salida and want to hang around this area we have room, the RV park halfway between Poncha Springs and Monarch Pass on hwy 50.
    #57
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  18. TreblesAllRound

    TreblesAllRound Been here awhile

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    Bad day today. Crashed going up marshal pass. Passing ATV risers helped me pull it out:
    IMG_20170924_093347~01.jpg

    Then lost lots of time due to bad GPS tracks (my current conclusion) on TAT south of Gunnison. Now relaxing with @68vette at his rental cottage in Montrose. Going to see how how I feel about it all in the morning but intend to pick up where I left off tomorrow morning.
    #58
  19. waybill

    waybill wayward

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    Sorry to hear Trebles, you ok? and the bike ok? If you need anything let us know, have truck and trailer.
    #59
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  20. dirtylizard

    dirtylizard n00b

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    Hey buddy- myself and two friends just came off the TAT last week. Sorry you had a crash today. Keep going! It's incredibly hard, and entirely worth the struggle. The passes in CO were challenging in sections (Ophir pass especially- the backside- we all dropped the bikes at one point or another). Keep up the good work!
    #60
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