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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rudy4pl, Nov 12, 2019.
Following your story too and eagerly awaiting your updates!
Yes, just wanted to chime in, I enjoy your ride report and hope you don't lose "steam" and leave us hanging. Thanks for sharing with us.
Less time lately on my hands and these updates are taking a while, but after the first couple of entries I told myself I'll still finish this up with the same ferocity, just not always on time :)
People are dicks.
Keep the report coming as you have time -- most of us ain't going anywhere this month.
Great write up, looking forward to following along more!
Very ambitious and a true adventure so far!
I see the fuel jugs and I keep seeing mentions of running out of gas (or nearly so) and running out of water... Did you ever fill those things up?
In USA, only once and rode with it for a couple of days. Most of the time when looking on the map, the distance between gas stations was way below my 5.3 gal tank range so I didn't bother, but the terrains were tougher than expected at times so I was burning more gas, unexpected turnoffs/ride-arounds, bike drops where some gas was spilled or a few times simply bad gasoline. I've purchased the extra fuel containers mainly for TCAT as some stretches are much longer than the stuff you see on the TAT.
Plus, as you can tell I was running a very light-weight setup, so I didn't want to compromise that with the additional weight of the fuel
Enjoying the report.
September 2, 2019 Mon (Day 41)
I came to the conclusion that there's no point in getting perishable food anymore. My cooler's zipper is broken, I've been duct taping the top for a couple of days now and it's really quite a hassle. Maybe it's all for the better as I would have been a beacon to bears in Alaska and Canada. Chicken, salmon, sausages, I would have been next on the menu.
Today is when I finally reach Fields to pick up my new rear tire. On the way there, I'm passing through some very remote areas and once again I stumble upon a 'no trespassing' sign that the tracks lead me on. I turn back and find my way around it.
After a couple of hours I get to Fields, I'm finally in Oregon! I pick up the tire from the gas station that allowed me ship it to them and find my way under a tree for some shade while changing the tire. I put on one side and start struggling with the other. I make sure to keep one side of the tire in the center of the rim, but that's still not enough. I try to take the tire completely off, but now the tube is stuck and I cannot get it out. This kenda 270 seems to be a little bit more narrower compared to the shinko I was running. After more struggling, a couple of guys pull up. It's John and Caesar. John has everything needed, including windex that I was missing. He attempts this a little bit differently by making sure both sides of the tire are in the center of the rim. Hmmm, I figured that having just the one that you're putting on would be enough. After a brief struggle, we manage to mount it, yay! I would have been stuck here a bit longer if it wasn't for them.
I strap the old tire to my top bag as I'll be hitting the pacific coast in a couple of days. After that, there's going to be quite a way north on pavement, so I'll switch to the worn tire for that portion and them switch back to the newish one when I hit dirt again.
I leave humanity and continue on through the desolate lands. There's not much shade around here and it's hot. At lunch I pull over and find refuge in the shadows of my bike.
For the next gas stop I ride to Cedarville. A lot of funky vehicles around here. Soon I find out that Burning Man is staged not too far off and it has just concluded. That explains the crowds and the rides.
I finally start seeing trees again and green mountains. In not too long, I find a turn off to set up camp for the night. I cook the remaining salmon and all I'll have left is some sausages in the morning. After that, It'll mostly be canned food I suppose.
The remaining zipper that was somewhat working on the tent has decided to quit on me... After a long struggle with it, I manage to get it to work.
I fall asleep shortly after to the sounds of cows munching on grass right next to me. At least that assures me that there are no bears around here.
September 3, 2019 Tue (Day 42)
Finished my last perishable items in the morning and pressed on, at least i do not have to worry about ice anymore. After a while of riding I start seeing some detour signs, but decide to keep moving forward to see if it's passable.
Large dirt mounds blocking the road, looks like they're installing some large pipes up ahead, this is a no-go. I follow a detour through the "forests", a lot of the areas around here are burned down.
The tracks lead my through a couple of red sections, but they are nothing like the stuff in Colorado, this is actually doable on a bike like this. At dusk I pulled over in one of the countless forests and set up my tent. A little bit of maintenance has to be done, I patch my old front tube and a "new" 17 inch rear tube that I found lying in the middle of the tracks earlier. My bags are also not doing well.
The countless sage bushes and drops have done a number on them. I patch both sides with some cheap duct tape I've purchased earlier.
I have about 250 more miles to go till I hit the coast. That's a lot given the type of riding, but I'm going to attempt to finish TAT tomorrow.
September 4, 2019 Wed (Day 43)
The cheap duct tape did not last too long. In the morning it basically peeled off, I'll have to purchase a better quality one at the next stop, but in the meanwhile, I'll just place some large items in that area so the little stuff does not fall out.
A lot of fun 2-tracks around here, but shortly started running into some blocked off roads.
I walk to see if there is any point in attempting to pass this, none. The road concludes after a deep stream. I ride around, but soon hit more blocked of tracks. It's passable after this fallen tree, but I get stuck on it midway. A bit of a struggle and I'm able to pull the bike to the other side. I proceed blasting through these forests until I hit town. The next gas station is on the coast and there is still about 200 miles left of riding. I fill up the bike and both of my fuel containers as I figured I would be running into more blocked off roads, and purchase some better quality duct tape for my bags.
A couple of detours as I've hit a "no trespassing" sign and an unfinished bridge that made me verge off-course.
A few brave trees remain standing.
And then the single tracks started. The entry was a steep and narrow downhill, if I came down, I might not be able to make it back up if needed. I almost back out based on my previous single track experiences in Colorado, but then decide to go for it.
It was rough riding, but luckily mostly downhill. After that a couple more single tracks as well as countless quad trails.
It's getting late and the progress today has been very slow, no way I'll be able to hit the coast. After one of the many blind turns, I'm greeted by a young black bear in the middle of the road. I stop and quickly turn around fearing that mama is somewhere near by, he probably has done the same. After a few minutes I come back and the bear is gone. It's not a very pleasant thought considering the fact that I'll have to set up camp soon around here.
A couple of miles later I find a nice pull-off for the night. I better hang any food and smelly items just in case, I don't want any bears sniffing out my tent or bike. I also re-patch my bags with some proper duct tape, this should do it.
September 5, 2019 Thu (Day 44)
There were heavy rains and thunderstorms through out the night and into the early morning. It was still lightly drizzling and more trails ahead, I'm not sure if I should skip them and simply take the dirt roads. A lot of deer running around. The skies have gotten clearer, I've figured I'll attempt the trails, hopefully they're not too slippery and muddy.
The first couple are relatively easy, but then I a narrow single track. After a few miles I find myself descending the peaks. This place is sketchy with my bike. The trails are slanted, narrow and topped off with shale rocks. It's also very steep and the 180 degree turns are very tight.
I walked it a couple of turns and this is a clear no-go. There were tree trunks and rocks protruding onto the trail up ahead, I would risk clipping something with one of my panniers and would have tumbled off to the other side as there is no footing.
I turn the bike around and backtrack. There were a bunch of tree roots and rocks in the trail that should be normally passable by me, but my rear shock is done and I'm clipping stuff much easier with my skid plate. I ride over the root with the front and suddenly the rear jumps up and flings me off the bike to the right. Shit, good thing I retreated. If this happened back there, I would have been screwed.
Some additional straps ripped off of my top bag. It's becoming quite a hassle when I have to take something out of my bags, or get them off/on. Everything is ziptied, roped and duct taped. I have to rip off zip ties, untie the ropes, get the luggage off, pick up the bike, and then zip tie/rope everything back up .
I manage to get out and check out a map. It's going to take me a while to get around this tough section. After some time I'm able to reconnect at the bottom.
After a bit of riding, the line on the map leads me on an unmarked trail on my gps. The entry greets me with some major humps and then the trail seems to disintegrated. I don't think I want to proceed and get stuck. It takes quite a bit of effort to turn the bike around again.
It's getting late and it's starting to rain. There's no way I'll be able to make it to the coast today again. Upon descents, I shut the bike off and coast. At dusk I arrive in town of Glendale and am able to fill up. The gas attendant, Patrick, here is pretty cool, it seems like a bunch of people on the TAT stop by his establishment to fill up.
I continue westward out of the town. A couple of steep climbs and I find a good place to camp upon a sharp turn. I heat up a canned soup and a curl up in the sleeping bag as the nights are getting colder.
this is an awesome ride report. i had a question about the no trespassing signs that keep popping up is this following the "official" TAT tracks or are they other tracks out there? Or is it folks just trying to keep ppl off the roads near their property? i ask because i've had folks but no trespassing signs up on public dirt roads to keep traffic to only the ppl they wanted on the road.
Great story!! I love it. What's great about this is that you are making all the mistakes that many of us made early in our riding career. From poor routing choices, to buying crap bags and cheap duct tape. And anyone who's ridden a chain at the end of it's life can totally relate to that experience. I think that's why your story is so compelling. Because we can feel the knot in your stomach, and we feel the emotion of being god-knows-where with sand as far as the eye can see in both directions, with rotting gear and a bum chain, . . . because we've been there in whole or in part.
A good story teller draws emotion out of his reader. You have it in spades my friend!!!
Wow. What an amazing ride and report. Thanks so much for sharing. Stay safe.
Well, there are 2 different TAT gps tracks. Sam's and Kevin's. Sam's is a little bit more official as it was the first one that came out and it is updated more frequently. Kevin's TAT doesn't seem to get updated very frequently, hence stuff like "no trespassing" signs happen. Probably initially there were no such signs and it was thought that those were public roads, while maybe that's not the case. I'm not sure how one would go about actually confirming if those roads are in fact private, but I would assume it's a tedious process, hence why I simply looked for detours when such signs were present.
Thank you for the kind words
September 6, 2019 Fri (Day 45) Part 1
I get up at daybreak, the fog is draping the mountains.
While eating breakfast, 2 guys fully packed ride up the road. I didn't get to catch their attention as they were focused on the sharp turn. After about half and hour, I'm ready to move on as well, maybe I'll catch up to them. It's drizzling a bit and the visibility is very low at times due to the fog.
I come across a closed yellow gate and there they are!
They've been navigating across the TAT without a gps, only maps. That's pretty ballsy, especially around Oregon. There are so many different turn offs everywhere, I feel like I would have been quickly disoriented, lost and stranded. Nice folks
They found a detour around the closed gate so I decided to tag along. A couple of miles in, my gps shows me that it's a dead end. I found a different way to get to where we needed to go and we proceeded. At one point the roads became more and more overgrown, muddy and slippery, there was also a massive 3' deep rut in the middle. They were not impressed with my navigation skills and decided to turn back as there was a good chance that it was going to become impassable. Maybe we'll see each other on the finish line if our arrival times align.
I move forward carefully in order not to slip into the rut. The roads are still a little bit overgrown, but soon they clear up and link up with a pretty well maintained dirt road.
I'm riding on the peaks, there are probably awesome views from here, but it's still very foggy and the visibility is very poor.
Around lunch time I was led onto a very rough trail that has partially collapsed into the adjacent stream.
I scout it out on foot to see if it's worth the trouble riding forward. A bunch of large, slippery mossy fallen trees up ahead blocking the trail. It's probably passable if I was to stage some ramps to get my bike over them, but I feel like I would be spending the night on this short section if I do proceed. This trail seems to be only slightly over a mile long, but it's very eventful. I take a little break, heat up a soup and whip out some bread. I think I'll turn back, this seems like it's going to get out of hand pretty quick.
I found a detour to get around this section and took that instead. After a few hours, the road is once again blocked off.
I end up taking off all the luggage to get across. It's a little bit sketchy as it's tight and there is a steep fall to the right.
In the far distance around another mountain I can hear 2 motorcyclists, I wonder if it's the guys that I have met earlier.
I proceed forward and there are a lot of fallen trees blocking the road. Luckily, most of them are cut through, but one has a ramp built over it.
I get stuck on it midway. In hindsight, I should have dragged my bike under it on the left side, but I figured it was going to be less of an effort to use this pre-built ramp instead. If this keeps up, I won't be able to get to the coast today again...
One day, while in OZ, I pulled into a gas station during a strong tropical storm. The attendant asked me if there was somewhere else, I would rather be. Water was draining/running off my Body, Bike, & Backpack (see avatar) as I filled up with gas. I smiled & told him, "No, How About You?" The rain during the AM had been stronger then anything I had ridden in during the last decade in SoCA. By the afternoon rain had increased another 30% testing my rain gear. This was a very tropical coastline with Pinapples everywheres, Very Wet.
Would not have traded that moment for anything, set the standard (mine) for "A Heavy Rain". A quite memorable day, as I recall was heading to a friend & his family in Townsville (500Km), they held their dinner for my late arrival. Whew did it rain!
Great RR, but try to keep the rubber side down...
That's a cool avatar! I bet it was easy to lift the front up.
I can definitely relate, these little moments do tend to stick as it's not something that we would normally do everyday
September 6, 2019 Fri (Day 45) Part 2
After making my way over the roads with obstacles, it took me about 2 more hours of racing the sun to finally reach the coast of Port Orford! It took quite a while to get here and unfortunately I think it's too late for Alaska this season. I met a bunch of people along the way saying that I would probably hit snow and I didn't want to risk getting stranded out there. I'll head north to Vancouver in Canada and pick up TCAT heading east from there.
I set up my tent on the beach and cook myself a nice warm dinner. It is pleasant watching and hearing the waves crash deep into the night.
This beach is pretty flat, so I'm afraid that if the tide comes in, I might get overflown. I ask one of the locals and he said I should be fine. Nonetheless, I set my phone alarm to alert me every 2 hours to make sure that the high tide doesn't cause any issues.