When you see rain, run for pavement!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Shawnee Bill, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Due to time constraints I've been trying to do the CDR in short sections, this summer the plan was to do the section from Del Norte to Cuba.
    Well, here it is the end of summer so it's now or next year. I'm well aware not to do this in the rain, so with that in mind I didn't look at the weather and left Oklahoma headed for Del Norte. Made it to the last motel room in Monte Visita just before dark. Went to bed without checking the weather.
    Got up and headed out without checking the weather.
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    Headed out of town on the CDR
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    Read the regs, just said stay on the roads.



    So sure enough just as I came to the end of pavement the rain begins

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    So I turned around and rode 90 miles of pavement to pick up the CDR where it crosses Hwy 17 northeast of Chama.

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    This the pullout where you can park and watch the train go by, fun train ride, took it with my wife a couple of years ago.

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    There was rain to the northwest but also blue sky showing to the south which is where I was headed so off I went.

    First I had to stop and take a picture of the narrow gauge tracks, really shows how narrow they are when you park a bike across them.
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    This is what the road is like the first mile or so past the tracks, solid easy riding but cobblestone like, rough.
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    #1
  2. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    The Aspens were changing, the bright yellows don't really come across good in these pictures.

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    Missed a turn somehow and found this, it shows up on the forest service maps. Turned around and came across a hunter, he told me where I missed my turn so off I went, it was a pretty scruffy looking road I should have turned on. Rain was still off in the distance to the west of where I was going.
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    It looked like this after it got better, easy ride, just enough variety to be interesting.
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    After a bit of that I came to the "rocky" uphill climb to the Brazos overlook, 1st and 2nd gear for what seemed about a mile, might have been less. Didn't think it would be wise to stop for a picture so when I got past the rocky section I stopped and walked back a ways to take a picture but I was at 10,700 feet and didn't feel up to walking up hill at that elevation so just took a sample picture to show what the rocks looked like.
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    Brazos overlook, rain was off in the distance to the west.
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    On past the overlook there was a section where a lot of trees had blocked the road but were recently cleared, should have taken a picture there but didn't, maybe next time.

    Then I came out onto some high plains, lot of free range cattle out there. I love these places, just a little dirt road that disappears into the hills.
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    A bit of easy riding across the plains, then came a couple of aspen groves.
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    I was beginning to feel a few more drops of rain but it seemed most of it was still west of where I was headed.
    More plains, notice the skys, gathering clouds and a few more sprinkles.
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    #2
  3. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    I rode 50 miles south from Hwy 17, did pretty good until the last 3 miles. I came to a steep downhill switchback that the hunters had churned the surface on. I saw this coming, couldn't really stop, I thought to myself there was no way I was getting around that corner upright.

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    That surface is almost as slick as ice, four wheel drive with chains is the only way to do these roads when raining.

    Finally got the pig picked up, put both wheels in the small ditch, figured that would keep the front from washing out again, worked for a while.

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    Raining pretty good now.
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    Made it 1 1/2 miles, halfway to pavement according to the GPS, doing pretty good then the front let go again, my foot got under the sidecase this time and twisted my ankle pretty good.
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    Couldn't pick it up this time, so I dragged it out of the middle of the road, nobody was coming up that road in the rain so I started walking. Made it to Hwy 64 in a bit over an hour, first guy that came by picked me up and gave me a ride into Chama. Spent the night in a motel, called my Roadside insurance to see if they would pull me out. KOA RV service, they sent a truck out from Las Vegas, NM, 150 miles to the southeast. They did pretty good but by the time they got there the road had dried out and a hunter had picked the bike up and parked it to the side of the road. I could have ridden the bike out and home, bad foot and all.
    Rode the rescue truck to Las Vegas, spent the night in a motel, got up early and rode home, Oklahoma City by 3PM.


    My route
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    My foot a couple of days later
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    Now a week later it is much better but it will be next summer before I go back.
    All in all a good day, can't wait to get back.
    #3
  4. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

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    :clap
    #4
  5. birddogin

    birddogin Been here awhile

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    You need to invest in a set of toenail clippers!
    #5
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Wicked mud! Great job getting across just how slick (and impassible) that stuff can be.
    #6
  7. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    Ouch. I can remember having fun riding a 250 cc bike in the mud. Since moving on to heavier machines, I avoid mud like the plague.
    #7
  8. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Im so glad I dont ride big 2 cylinder bikes in dirt,I tipped a R1150R over in clay once and 3 old guys jumped out of their truck to help with lifting the fully loaded bike. No way I would have got the skow upright by myself.
    Maybe try a little 370 lb 650 single next time? Bummer walking out but great pics and good adventure spirit,Id be a little paranoid about leaving a 11,000 dollar bike sitting in the road overnight.
    #8
  9. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Well, it isn't a $11,000 bike, think more, by the time it is ready to ride, much more.
    :eek1
    #9
  10. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Not a good adventure story. Your BMW brethren are shamed. You gotta' dump that pig and get a KLR...:D
    #10
  11. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    As one of the BMW Brethren, I say what you need is some proper tyres ... Heidenau, TKC, Mitas ... anything with some off road ability! :deal
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    It started out well enough!! Heal fast and get back on 2 wheels :thumb
    #12
  13. Steevon

    Steevon n00b

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    #13
  14. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Ding, ding, ding, we've got a couple of winners. I knew that was coming when I posted that pic. :rofl


    I have a KLR at home in the garage, good place for it since I got the 8GS

    Got a Heidenau on the rear, it did really good, now if I just had one on the front. :huh It's on order :clap
    #14
  15. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Yeah, it's amazing, there's a solid base but when it rains there rises to the top about a 1/2 inch of something like greased owl snot.

    I can't help but wonder if a better front tire would have helped.:muuttNot real sure if anything could have got a grip, it was some difficult just to stand up on that stuff.
    #15
  16. smilin jack

    smilin jack Grandpa Adventurer

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    Do a search for tire chains for your bike. Lots of pictures and how to descriptions on advrider. Made some for the DR but haven't used them except for the lawn around the house.

    Dave
    #16
  17. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

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    You guys are forgiting the important things,
    Forget about the KLR,
    Forget about tire choices,
    as for the toe nails :rofl ,
    But you forgot about the most basic survival tool he did have, The keg on the back of the bike.
    Good for you, just that alone would make your foot feel better.
    #17
  18. Rutsref

    Rutsref Been here awhile

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    just my 2c, your idea of riding in the rain rut next to road = good if you could have:evil. Also shoulda had knobbies, next time right:lol3
    hope ur foot heals up good!
    #18
  19. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Knobbies yes, first thing I did when I got home, ordered a Heidenau for the front, had one on the rear, it seemed to work pretty good. The front is what was washing out bad, but that stuff is so slick when wet, a better front tire would have helped some but I still would have had problems I think.

    It's over 600 miles of high speed pavement from my house to where I leave the road, that is where the 800 shines, cruises the slab really good, but if it had full knobbies I think it would have not been so solid doing that.

    Foot's almost well now thanks, :rilla
    And I have trimmed the toenails :lol3
    #19
  20. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Uploaded a couple of short videos I took with my point'n shoot digital camera:

    First, several miles before it got slick, it was just barely raining here. I was still confident I would make it out with no problems. :lol3
    http://billskoi.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/CDR-2010/13911275_C2zv6#1062446603_wU8xv-A-LB

    Notice the difference in the amount of water running down the road between the first and last of these.

    http://billskoi.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/CDR-2010/13911275_C2zv6#1062185509_RWdTa-A-LB


    http://billskoi.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/CDR-2010/13911275_C2zv6#1062294420_Ucejd-A-LB

    http://billskoi.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/CDR-2010/13911275_C2zv6#1062312573_PKhiR-A-LB
    #20