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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by crazybrit, Sep 2, 2011.
Heh heh Thanks for the nomination!
Awesome, got some good photos in there!
Got a few video clips from Hancock, plus slide show stuff of the pics already posted, and a few others.
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Tony was either suffering from altitude sickness, or maybe food poisoning. In any case, he wasnt doing too well in the morning. We got a really late start.
Cinnamon Pass was a fairly easy road.
Just about Tony's speed for this particular morning.
But maybe the parking area was not quite level enough for his loser kickstand:
After going over Cinnamon Pass, Tony took a break in an old building in Animas Forks while I rode to the top of Engineer Pass.
From Animas Forks, the TAT goes over several more passes in a row: California Pass, Hurricane Pass, then Corkscrew Pass. Here Tony is on the way down Hurricane Pass:
Corkscrew Pass (look carefully, Tony is at one of the switchbacks):
Coming down Corkscrew Pass might be my favorite of all the passes we did that day because it truly lives up to its name. Switchback after switchback, and they were steep. Toward the bottom my front brake started to smell like it was burning, and it faded a little so we had to slow down a bit.
At the bottom, we stopped to do another clutch adjustment on the KTM. Here's Tony test-riding:
Then we hit the pavement briefly, then back to jeep roads over Ophir pass. Here's a view toward the town of Ophir:
Back toward the pass:
Then it was several more miles of pavement, first over Lizard Head Pass:
Then on into Rico, where we had a fantastic meal (and WiFi!) at the Dew South in Rico, Colorado.
Tried to photograph the rainbow on Lizard Head Pass, but it didn't really show in the picture. This one did, tho:
In case you cant tell, Tony is feeling better now that he has a great meal in front of him:
We geeked out with my iPhone and his iTouch dueling Apple geeks in a very small town, sucking up all the WiFi we could!
Then we headed 12 miles south of town to the Circle K Ranch. The room was OK for the price, and we talked to a couple guys who had spent a couple days riding single-track in the area.
Stats for Day 3:
Well I just typed in day 4's report, was almost done and we had the 4th brownout of the day. I guess I need a UPS. Anyways, time for bed, we'll try again tomorrow. I guess text editor and frequent saving is the order of the heat.
You guys are inspirational, I have been wanting to recapture my early riding experiences with a small dirtbike, now I will, thanks for bringing me back.
My question is: On the trails you rode, do you think a 2 wheel drive Ural sidecar rig (with high exhaust and bash plates) could make it through?
Thanks, and keep on keeping on.
great thread.... right from the FIRST POST
thanks for taking us along for the ride
Well shot and processed images and a story well told. Save as Desktop over and over and over.
Thanks for the gift and keep it coming!
Thanks for the many compliments, folks! It's taking longer to get the trip report up than it did to ride the darn thing!
The Hancock Pass ascent would be a really bumpy ride with a sidecar, but if you're geared low enough I think you'd make it through slowly. That pass is probably the most technical and difficult riding, although the Black Dragon wash and Eagle Canyon are up there.
Where the sidecar would really run into trouble is a few spots,all of which can be by-passed pretty easily:
- Between Richfield, UT and Kanosh, UT, the TAT runs several miles down an OHV trail with some sturdy posts set 50 inches apart to limit vehicle width (you'll see a photo when we get there)
- In Nevada when passing Patterson Peak (but not on Patterson Pass, which is the next range to the west), there is a section which used to be a jeep road, but has been significantly overgrown and partially washed out that I think would be difficult or impassable on a sidecar. This is the range to the east of Hwy 93.
- North of Battle Mountain, NV, there is a creek crossing at the abandoned Kelly Creek Ranch which has a decent single-track solution, but you might need scuba gear to bring a sidecar across
Okay, lets try again with day 4. Hopefully no brownouts this time.
We were up early at the Circle K ranch after a good nights sleep. One of the things we discussed with the dirt-riders next door the previous night was the sketchy RFS oil glass window. They said I could have some oil to top off with if necessary. It was 8am and I felt bad about knocking on their door, so I let the KTM warm up for 10 minutes, ostensibly so I could check the level but it also had the effect of waking them up Actually I think they were up but it makes me chuckle.
We got going around 8.30am and headed for coffee at Annie's High Ground Coffee:
Sitting outside in this picture is Felix Snow. He was quite the character, a world champion disabled skier. We chatted to Felix for a while, a few other locals showed up. Amusingly (to me) they were mostly the same ones who were hanging outside Dew South the night before.
I think we were rolling by about 9.30am. Not horrible on the loser scale. We start off on gravel roads and after about 10 miles, switch onto jeep trails:
Then onto an ATV trail that reminded me of the OBDR which isn't my favorite riding:
After this there was a long downhill section, not sure if Brian has any photos but there were numerous odd dead ends where they'd run the digger off the trail for a few feet. I don't have any pics, just this one:
Then it was straight gravel roads into Dove Creek. As soon as we started descending it got pretty warm. We stopped for a sandwich and soda at the gas station at Dove Creek. Uninspiring place.
Soon after lunch we're into Utah, more straight roads lead us towards Monticello:
We make the mistake of going into town rather than just bypassing it but fairly soon after we start seeing the Utah scenery we came for:
The downside of today's ride was that there was quite a lot of pavement. So I'd be checking the GPS for side detours. We took one down a short wash, then I found this 2 mile clay track which was quite fun, very slippery where wet:
Shortly after we enter the South La Sal block. Gravel roads of varying quality, some nice views and a lot of cows:
The La Sal block is basically a large plateau overlooking Moab. We arrive at a junction, it says 22 miles to Moab. It's 5pm and I turn left. In the back of my mind I'm hoping to get to Moab before 6pm to pick up oil and filter cleaning supplies. It turns out the TAT route is actually to the right and closer to 45 miles via Sand Flats road. It's a great ride though the surface is basically slick rock covered with marble sized gravel. Almost to Moab we run into a guy from the East Coast riding a 625SXC with the 9 liter tank, he must have liked stopping to fill up
We arrive into Moab about 7pm. I think this is where I first convince Brian that getting the iPhone out and surfing over to motels.com is a good idea. We're in the parking lot of the LaQuinta where I've just been inside to find out they want $150/night for the room. Thanks to motels.com we find out that Super8 is probably our best bet, a phone call later and we have a room secured for $75.
It's on the far north end of town so it's another squidly shorts and flip-flop ride into town for dinner where we eat at Pasta Jays. Turns out it's a (Boulder based) chain, I expect we could have found something better. I bail from dinner early because the waiter says there is a place which may sell oil open till 9pm but it turns out it closed at 8pm.
We head back to the motel where Mr CrazyLoser decides he'll clean his air filter, install an oiled filter skin over the top and head to the bike store the next morning to reoil the filter. Somewhere along the way I lose all common sense and decide to bring the pan of gasoline into the room to do the cleaning . This a) stinks out the room b) irritates Brian to no end. With my tail between my legs I go outside to finish up the cleaning.
We do laundry and hit the sack.
Dude, given your history with Gas you should have cleaned it at the fire station.
I'm getting a little better with iMovie, and this video has more clips from several of the awesome passes we went over on our day 3. A little over 4 minutes long.
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As Tony mentioned, we met championship disabled skier Felix Snow at the breakfast shack in Rico. It was kind of funny, because he was asking us questions about the bikes and the routes, then joking about the 300 inches of snow that Rico is supposed to get, then he starts talking about going to all these international ski meets. At first I thought he was BS-ing, but after a little while I realized he was serious. A lady we had met outside the Dew South the previous evening also joined in a bit. It is definitely a small town, and I thought I lived in a small town.:eek1
The route out of Rico starts on the road to Dunton, which, according to the Rico locals we talked to, is a somewhat snooty up-scale hot springs resort.
It's a beautiful road, winding through aspen forests, pine forests, and big meadows, it goes up to a plateau area, then descends down into a canyon.
However, the TAT takes a turn onto some rougher roads for a while. Our first two hours riding today only got us about 40 of the 240 we needed to do to get to Moab.
We also went through our first several please keep gate closed gates this morning.
After that bit of semi-technical riding, we suddenly found ourselves out on mesas and plateaus, and the beautiful San Juan mountains were fading in our mirrors.
The roads got straighter and straighter, and the temperature got hotter and hotter.
Utah state line:
Chickens, ducks, and a true "white trash" yard:
The TAT tracks we followed go into Monticello, but at the time you are generally going north. To get to Monticello, you jump on a state highway and drive 15 or 20 miles west, go through the town, then come 15 or 20 miles back east on farm roads like this, then resume the northward track.
Since we didn't need gas or lunch in Monticello, I ended up wishing we had just kept going straight north.
The TAT hits a bunch more pavement in this area. A number of roads that were probably gravel 12 years ago are now paved. It got a bit boring.
Finally, we got back into some mountains, headed toward Mount Peale here:
We went over Geyser Pass, then started descending toward Moab:
Into the land of red rocks.
Looking back toward Geyser Pass from a road turnout where we met a couple on dual-sport bikes:
Tony claimed to be in a hurry to get to Moab to try to get some oil at a motorcycle shop, but the guy was riding a KTM, so we had to stop and talk 'orange.'
Stats for day 4:
Pretty decent averages for Losers like us. As I mentioned, the first 40 miles went really slowly as the roads were rough, there were a number of fences to open and close, and one segment of the jeep trail/stock-watering trail had a "Trail Closed" sign, so we did a bit of navigating a detour. Straight roads and pavement later in the day got a lot of miles covered for us.
Since our gear was all wet after the "shower stomp" treatment, we rode squidly-style from the Super 8 to Pasta Jay's for dinner:
As Tony mentioned, it takes real Loser Style to drip gasoline all over the carpet, dresser, and sink in your hotel room. The smell never dissipated, and I didn't sleep well.
Neither of us Losers can be trusted with gas! There just aren't any photos of my mishaps
I showed up late, but that seems appropriate for a loser's RR...
Awesome trip fellas. I gotta ask as I have the same bike (drz400), which gas tank are you running, it looks like the clarke 3.9g? I just received my Garmin 60csx (very similar to your 76cx), it sure seems to come in handy.
Quit buying lame ass pans that leak, or failing that, once you've established they're lame and leak, don't use them for oil changes
That's what I did, stayed in Dove Creek and skipped Monticello.
Hey Larryboy, pretty neat Nevada TAT trip you did last year!
Yeah, we haven't gotten to Loser Oil Change 101 yet!
Yeah, it's the Clarke tank. Seems to hold a bit more than 3.9 gallons, especially after Day 5 stay tuned for more on that...
And, yeah, the 76 is basically the 60 but with the buttons on top as far as I can tell. I have a kayak, too, so it may get some use there.
Yes, an epic day this. All of about 80 miles.
Who of us was the biggest loser? I'll let you the readers chime in on that.
We're up early at the Super 8. Downstairs for the free breakfast. I guess Brian hasn't stayed at a Super 8 before (he's probably more of a La Quinta/Best Western kinda guy) so he's less than impressed by the sugar crusted cereal and stale english muffin breakfast. Or maybe he's still cranky from the smell of gasoline Personally, I slept fine.
We're on the road by 8.30am, stop for gas and then it's South a couple of miles to Moab Powersports (huge thanks to these guys, they charged me nothing and were super helpful, A1 place). We got there just as they opened but before the mechanic had arrived. They only had 1 qt of oil and I needed a bit more. So I sent Brian off in search of some Mobil 1 15w50 as there were a couple of auto parts stores 100 yards away. Ten minutes later he shows up with 2 quarts . Also the mechanic has arrived so I ask if he can oil my air filter and the filterskins I've used so far, "no problem". I go back to changing the jets and changing the oil and Brian decides he should rejet also. This turns out to be a bit of a mistake a) because I'm done with the rejet, air filter change and oil change before he's finished changing his jets b) because the DRZ runs worse after
It's about 10.30 by the time we are finished. We stop at the gas station for a soda. It's freakin' hot already and they are pressure washing the concrete so I ask for a spray off, they soak me good which feels great
10.50am and we're actually moving but we have some loser nav problems and miss the dirt turn off. Eventually we get onto the dirt. Leaving US191 behind:
Heading towards Gemini Bridges:
Heading towards Green River:
At about this time Brian pulls up and tells me that his bike is surging fairly badly, more on that later.
Anyhow I'm moving along at a good pace, feeling pretty good but I recall reminding myself to not get carried away. Ten minutes or so later there is a easy right hander with a small drainage bar on the exit, the front end deflects off it sending me to the outside of the turn. I'm standing on the pegs and recall thinking no problemo right as I hit a rock and get deflected again. Now I'm heading towards a deep rut off the edge of the road. I'm pretty sure I could have saved it but I must have target fixated (loser). I recall thinking man this is going to hurt bad as I come off the bike at about 25 mph. I'm amazed I didn't break a rib, instead I land on the soft underpart of my arm just above my armpit and lie there under the bike for 15 seconds or so hyperventilating before dragging my legs out from under the bike and getting up. At some point I figure I must have hit my head also. I get the bike upright just as Brian arrives (I think he took a picture of the bike). A few sips of water and we're moving again towards Green River. For future reference, both my mirrors are still intact
I can't recall if this pic is before or after the crash:
This one is definitely post crash as the road straightens out as we approach I70 ..... about this point I realize I must have a bit of whiplash from trying to head-butt the rocks as I've definitely pulled something in my neck:
Anyways, we get to I70 and ride the frontage road 10 miles into Green River. On the East side of town we stop at the Burger King for a quick lunch. I forget what time it is when we pull out after lunch, maybe a bit past 1pm.
We follow the GPS track and it seems to be indicating we should open this gate which is on the South end of the I70 entrance ramp:
The wash is a little soft and I fail to give it enough gas at one point coming to a rapid halt, back wheel almost totally submerged. Brian returns and I get fairly confused allowing him to operate the throttle while *I* lift the rear of the bike up. Instantly I'm transformed into my super-hero alter ego, AdobeMan. Fortunately one of AdobeMan's superhero skills is his ability to dive into the water before anyone can capture him on camera so this will have to surfice:
Oh, did I mention that it's unbelievably HOT? Anyways, further on the wash dries out a little so we keep going trying to follow the GPS track:
We're South of I70 at this point and we actually need to be on the North side but the wash (left side of this picture) is totally impassible so Brian hops up into the bank to scout out the underpass. He comes back saying that the underpass is full of boulders and we'd need to walk our bikes through:
Common sense prevails and we decide to backtrack:
We head back through the gate and back to the gas station, at this point Brian seems confused as to where the track is North of I70, I think it's actually following the road to the disused dump so we follow this road and we're back on track ...... for a while .... but now we're on the North side of some railroad tracks and we actually need to be on the South side of the tracks but North of I70. We wander around for a while but there doesn't seem to be an obvious place to cross anywhere near the GPS track:
So we're still North of the railroad tracks and North of I70. It's been over 90 minutes since lunch. Brian tries to ride over the railroad tracks but gets pretty well stuck so I make him back off. We start backtracking towards Green River and we see an underpass under the railroad tracks. Score. Problem is it's full of rocks. It's also close to 3pm.
I forget the exact order of what happened next but I end up riding off back to the main dirt road. At some point earlier I'd suggested that we might want to retreat to Green River and try again when it's cooler but Brian has an alternate plan of finding the start of Black Dragon and if we feel good, riding it and the heading back to Green River on I70. That was fine with me. Anyways, I'm at the dirt road waiting for Brian but he's not coming. I can see him doing something with the bike. About 10 minutes later he shows up and tells me that as he was about to follow, gas started pouring out of his carb so he removed the gas cap at which point boiling gas shot 2 feet into the air. #1 suspect is the shortie vent hose on his gas cap. I look at the black gas tank and it's huge. At this point we ditch the idea of trying to get to Black Dragon and agree we'll get a motel in Green River and Brian will find some hose to make a vent from the gas cap down to the skid plate.
We stop back at the Chevron where we run into this guy in an RV. He's very interested in our trip, we wish him a good journey and a couple minutes later he kindly comes back with a couple bottles of ice cold water. Some kid at the Chevron tells us that the Motel 6 is the price/luxury winner in Green River and foolishly we believe him. We head over and get a room. It's $3 extra for wifi which barely works and Brian vetos the first room as it smells too much of urine. Second room smells too much of whatever they used to clean up the urine but it's good enough. One plus of it being HOT at 4pm is that we can get all our laundry done. Brian heads out to the Napa for some hose before it closes.
We ride a few blocks in search of a pizza place that Yelp claims exists but it seems to have closed and been replaced by something neither of us find appetizing so we head back to the Tamarisk which is next door to the Motel 6 and fairly decent. We hit the sack early.
Plan is to be at the Green River coffee company for breakfast when it opens at 7am, yes, you read it, SEVEN am. If we get moving that early it'll be plain sailing ...... right
Oh one final picture. Day one of the owey, not too bad so far:
Great report guys. Keep it up!