The Mobius Trip

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DR. Rock, May 23, 2008.

  1. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    in Colorado, you could tell the fall colors were better.

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    This could have been ugly right around 1:00 :huh

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    What a perfect day. So far.

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    Francine loves tearing through the aspens.

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  2. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
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    A couple of guys pull up to us, stop and chat.

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    They were brothers. From Green Bay. Out for a day ride.

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    Go Packers.

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    We were west of the Continental Divide, climbing up and up. We had a bit of navigational drama -- I had a waypoint that said "tricky junction". I figured there was a way through -- just couldn't trace it on Google Earth. Big Dog figured out the connection, though.

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    and we were back on track, over a pass that I knew we'd have to clear, or there'd be a big 'ole go-around in our future.

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  3. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    the crappier the road got.

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    no surprises, but it was getting on in the day, and you had to stay on your toes.

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    a little ways on the ridge,

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    inching higher and higher,

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    until we got to this point,

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    and then it was all downhill.
  4. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,534
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Great getting caught up on your ride report. I was really feeling sorry for the guy on the R1200GS. I too used to ride a heavy GS about single track and beat up gravel roads. R11GS and R1150Gs. Then, I went back to these roads with a DR350SE. Never did I go back on an R11**GS. :LOL.
    Thanks for all the work and time you guys are doing bringing this trip to us. :clap:clap:clap
  5. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,052
    Location:
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    Hmmm... Dancing Bear on Tavern sign. Trouble for Francine!

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  6. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    for the day, was to ride down off of this mountain, skirt around the sand dunes, pick up some pavement, and ride into the next town. Easy peasy. :fpalm

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    The thing about sand is... it doesn't usually just stay in one place.

    From up here at this vantage point, I remember saying to myself... there's gonna be some sand riding before we get out of this mess.

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    But first, we gotta get through this steep part. :huh

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    Good times, eh Big Dog?

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  7. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    got through the first set of switchbacks without incident... other than some pucker.

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    This section was one of the highlights of the trip, for sure.

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    One tight, steep, loose switchback after the next. Steve was doing great with the big bike, especially given the turning radius.

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    Then, as it started to settle out in terms of steepness, [Note: just about in the center of the photo below is the hill we had to climb in the next post.]

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    the sand got thicker,

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    and BAM! Steve went down hard. :p3rry

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  8. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    he picked a pretty spot to crash. :thumb

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    His nose was bloodied up, and he was a bit shaken, but no major show-stopping damage. We picked up the bike, got it pointed straight again, and he was on his way.

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    I think a little ways later, Francine almost went down when her bike had another one of it's "the steering is getting stuck" episodes. Only this time we all felt it too. Uh oh. Dat's not good. :brow

    At the bottom of the hill, there was a baby water crossing, and then a steep hill climb through some VERY soft sand. It seemed unlikely that Steve would be able to pilot the GS up. Mark and Scott rode their featherweight bikes up,

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    I got my welterweight bike up with difficulty, walked back down and rode Blueberry up.

    And we all got prepared mentally and physically to push the big beast up. I figured Mark would ride and we'd all push,

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    but he'd already stripped off his riding gear,

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    so I guess it'd be me to ride up that hill a third time. :1drink

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    I made Steve sign a waiver regarding his clutch plates, and off I went.

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    NOT pretty! :ricky
  9. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
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    in the back way here. Now all we wanted to do was get out. But there was still some sand riding to go.

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    Stay near the scrub,

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    Leapfrog the bikes,

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    Let the featherweight 250's run point to scout,

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    teamwork makes the dreamwork, and before you knew it, washboards never felt so good. :lol3

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  10. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    to Walden, CO, our next fuel stop, and with the sun sinking low, it was the perfect time to call it a day.

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    It was finally clear that Blueberry's steering bearings were shitting the bed, and would need some attention. Divide and conquor. We found rooms at a motel, we got a kitchenette, so I scooted off to the grocery store for vittles, then the Napa to see about a new bearing (closed, and in the morning didn't have it), while Steve, Francine, Mark, and Scott tore apart Blueberry's front end. :bow

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    Looking at the photos, this for me is what it's all about... shared struggles, overcome.

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    Working together, taking on challenges, and living to tell about it. :clap What a great day. :D

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    I had the easy job... cook the labor pool a yummy dinner. :kbasa

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    The anatomy and natural history of dying steering head bearings: The vertical members of the cage break, fold under the roller bearings, and catch. This is sensed by the rider, but a firm twist of the handlebars will disintegrate the piece of metal which will fall away or crush into undetectable bits. The roller bearing will more or less maintain it's place, with only a bit more play at first, but when a critical mass of vertical members of the retaining cage disintegrate, (about 1/3 to 1/2), then the rollers will bunch up instead of spreading out around the cone evenly, and the steering will lock up. Blueberry was right at the critical point. :eek1

    Moral of the story: Listen to her when she says her steering is feeling notchy! :deal I had tested and turned, ridden, and tried to reproduce what she was feeling no less than a dozen times going back to Alaska -- even Dave Ranson tried to document what she was complaining about. It's not that I didn't doubt what she was saying, but not being able to feel any problem at all myself, I started to think about alternative explanations -- maybe a rock or stick got caught behind the headlight, maybe she was getting tired, maybe she wasn't keeping her elbows out. OK... lesson learned, she knows what feels right and what feels wrong, and if she says her bike feels wrong, even if I can't reproduce it, and even if her description is less than Top Gear or Car Talk - worthy, take it seriously, and bird-dog the problem until it's fixed. :nod

    Our temporizing solution was to slather it in waterproof grease (they were bone dry), hoping the viscosity of the grease would hold the rollers in place for the next three days of riding.

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    Also, no more wheelies. :deal

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    Before the sun set, the boys (and girl) had Blueberry buttoned back up, and ready to roll.

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    My humble thanks was expressed with meat and potatoes. :dg

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    What a day!
  11. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose...

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    to the left in the pictures below in the gap between the trees? That is where I should have went and hoped for the best! Might have been more of the same, but it looks like dirt and not sand.

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    So close! This was going to be my last day with Mobius 10.

    We were only 5 miles from the highway and 15 or so from town....
  12. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
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    .GPX file of the day's route can be downloaded from here.
  13. SoosCreek

    SoosCreek Angle of Repose...

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Seattle Ish
    and everyone else helping me through the Sand Dunes!

    Not a place I would have ever chosen with this bike.

    I did drop the bike a couple of more times before we were through that stretch...Thankfully no more video!

    Need longer legs so I can get smaller bike!

    Talked to Big Dog about the WR250 and how he handles it given the 35" seat height.

    Turns out he is 3" taller than me, but it is all in the inseam!

    Not an issue for DingWeed...
  14. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,545
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    Hey, you did great. The thing about Mobius riding is... it's really pretty easy... until it isn't. :lol3. For the time you were with us it was mostly easy, and the times it was moderately technical you rode it without a hitch. Then it went parabolic off the scale. It wasn't a long stretch in terms of distance, but in terms of time and energy, it was huge.

    I got a PM from Big Dog and Dingweeds the other day who are down in Baja now... "...went 15 miles in 4 hrs. Scott may have some broken ribs from landing on a sharp rock---man was it tough riding..." it happens to the best.

    I wish I could predict where the really technical sections are gonna be, but I can't. Actually, I really don't wish I could predict... that would take some of the adventure out of it. I still remember our second real quagmire fondly. You've got nothing to apologize for -- I knew with you riding that big bike we might get you into some trouble, but from the minute you joined our crew, we were committed to get you through whatever we got you into. That's the deal when you sign on. :beer
  15. McDOPE

    McDOPE Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Rocky Mountain Low / Denver
    Really nice example of "one for all and all for one." Nice!
  16. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,860
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Well for starters Steve, both you and I put more miles on our bikes on asphalt than dirt on this trip. I usually order jeans with a 30" inseam, but still just resign myself to not being able to dab when riding my CRF250X. I don't think there is a perfect solution, you just play with the hand your dealt. Glad I was able to meet up with you. :freaky

    David
  17. DRRambler

    DRRambler AKA Albertastrom

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    The mystery of the notchy steering solved:clap
    Hind sight being what it is, we should have dug deeper when it started happening. I was mystified at the time but it all makes sense now.
    Great work team!
  18. taco250

    taco250 wannabe adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    LaGrange, GA
    Steering stem bearings, along with the linkage, are often overlooked maintenance items. My bike needs them checked right now but since I haven't ridden for a long time, they most likely won't get done before I ride again because I'll forget about it.:norton
  19. bbanker

    bbanker Klrista

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Beautiful NC
    I've been slowly catching up on the last two installments over the last two days. I'm usually a lurker, but have to say that your collective attitude is infectious. I absolutely love your RR and your trip. Well done so far. A series of trips like this is a true dream to aspire to. Good on you guys.
    :clap
  20. taco250

    taco250 wannabe adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    LaGrange, GA

    I've been following this "dynamic duo" since the beginning and have had the same thoughts as bbanker. If rides like these are their usual vacation activity, what might Doc & LDF have left on their "bucket list"????:ear