Big Fat Tat on a BDR Roll: aka The 2021 U.S. Dirty Dirty Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ikeya-Seki, Jul 9, 2021.

  1. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Big Fat TAT on a BDR Roll: aka The 2021 U.S. Dirty Dirty Ride RR

    This Ride Report chronicles my (Ikeya-Seki) 2021 ride across the U.S.A. as I attempt to ride six and a half of the Backcountry Discovery Routes and the Trans America Trail all the way to Yuma, Arizona and beyond. I will be riding a modified KTM 790R, camping, lodging and vagabonding along the way.

    The intended route: North East BDR > Mid Atlantic BDR > Trans America Trail > Oregon BDR > Washington BDR > Idaho BDR > Nevada BDR (to Tonopah) > California BDR. From Yuma, I will ride west to Coronado, CA and points north before the return ride to New Hampshire.

    Time Frame: Early July to later October.

    Expected Milage: 15,000 miles (BDR’s & TAT) 4000 miles return trip.

    This RR will be split between two sections: A Nuts n’ Bolts, which will focus on logistics, trail conditions & a section of bike / rider observations & Insights.

    Photo Heavy. Uploading when possible.

    Tuesday, July 6 - Day Zero (riding to the start)

    Nuts n’ Bolts: backroad slab ride to Kingfield, ME to visit an old school buddy for fish n’ chips

    Mileage:
    200 more or less
    Weather: 84-79F Sunny with light clouds
    MPG: 59-60

    Quick visit with Derek up at Sugarloaf ski area before setting off for the END of the NEBDR. Was a pleasure to spend a few hours with my old friend. Unfortunately I probably was not the best of company as all the run up to departure caught up with me like a freight train and put me to bed by 8 p.m. Coffee and morning sunshine at daybreak.

    Day One: Wednesday, July, 7 - Official Start

    Nuts n’ Bolts: Rode from Kingfield, ME to “End” of NEBDR - section 8. Some backroad slab, mostly fire roads & two track.

    Mileage: 192
    Weather: low 70’s. Mostly sunny early, clouds forming late
    MPG: 58
    Stops: The Shed in Rangeley, ME for lunch. Pulled pork, slaw & a beer.
    Lodging: Rangeley Lake State Park - no reservations.

    Observations: Saw a good sized bobcat crossing the trail about 12 miles from the end of NEBDR. First one I’ve seen while riding. No other riders. Enjoyed a few private moments & cast some of Bill’s and Chris’ ashes in a few spots - one among the wild iris at the head of the Connecticut River.
    Ethanol-free gas was nice.
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    Day Two: Thursday, July 8

    Nuts n’ Bolts: Rode from Rangeley State Park to Conway, NH - essentially section 8 & 7

    Mileage: 240 ish (need to verify)
    Weather: 52-62F light to moderate rain with 1 or 2 downpours, misty all day
    MPG: 58
    Stops: Lunch at Ebineezer’s Pub in Lovell, ME,
    Lodging: Eastmans Inn in North Conway
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    Observations: Riding was solid. Damp, packed gravel with occasional puddling and some mud, but nothing harsh. Cold and wet all day. Three layers - switched on the heated shirt a couple times. Neoprene gloves a good choice.

    Cone valve suspension upgrade is incredible. The set up is a little lively, but Katy M is smooth, stable and well mannered. Eating up the bumps.

    A group of four riders on bigger bikes (Africa Twin, Tenere, etc,) was pressing on some of the longer dirty stretches. I blasted off to see if I could get some space and then stopped for a little trail side tune and stayed put for a bit to let them “go.” About 10-15 mins later I came upon one of the riders mid trail, waving arms. From what I could tell, the Tenere rider failed to negotiate a turn and flopped his bike. After determining there was no need for First Aid, I pressed on…. oddly satisfied.
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  2. SlowBo

    SlowBo Adventurer

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    Woot! Here we go....

    Subbed.
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  3. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Here for more
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  4. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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  5. bostax

    bostax Trying to cross as many lines as possible Supporter

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    In as well, very much enjoy your RRs.
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  6. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day Four: Saturday, July 10

    Nuts n’ Bolts: Rode from North Conway, N.H. to Chelsea, VT. Section 6 and half of 5. Camped at the Limehurst Lake Campground
    Miles: 255
    Total Miles: 532
    Weather: 69F-78F
    MPG: 56
    Tires: Motoz Adventure - I left home with a bit less than 50%. Not sure I will make it to Nashville where new Motoz Desert HTs are waiting.
    Stops: Livermore Falls in Plymouth to cast some ashes in the Pemigewasett River.
    Piermont General Store for smoked turkey bulky and an All Day IPA

    Observations: Vermont lives up to its reputation as a challenging ride. The normally steep and rocky class IV roads were slick, muddy and demand concentration. Katy M had her first kiss of earth when I got the front wheel in one rut and the rear in another. Funny, I was actually making forward progress with my bike at a 45 degree angle for about 30-40 feet before I read out of clearance and came to a dead stop drop. I am relieved at how much easier she is to pick up compared to Dirty Gerty. I guess 200 lbs really does make a difference.

    My tires are going - especially the front. I am going to run them as long as I can still make a corner. If I must, I will look for something used just to get me to Nashville.

    The KTM Powerparts Rally seat is very good. I am able to ride most of the day with no discomfort. The cone valve suspension continues to impress. I really did not need to stand until Vermont. Wow.

    The campground here in Limehurst is one I’ve been to before. It caters to RV’s and tenting seems to be an afterthought. The setting is decent - lake an all, but I will note not to return. I do not like places that charge for showers…… If I stunk more, I’d use my portable on their hot tap.

    Ikeya-Seki, out.

    P.S. - not enough bandwidth for photos today.
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  7. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Day Five. Sunday, July 11

    Nuts n’ Bolts: Rode from Chelsea, VT to Emerald Lake State Park. The remainder of Section 5 and all the good stuff in Section 4 so far.

    Miles: 211
    Total: 800 (from home)
    Weather: 68- 76F Hazy but bright with sun burning through at times. Turned from light drizzle at 6:30 p.m. to full rain by 9 p.m.
    MPG: 54.9
    Tires: 30 psi rear 20 front. Rear is holding shape, but down to 25%. Front is cupped and probably 20% along the center and better on the sides.

    Trail Condition: Damp, hard pack, loose gravel, mud, loose wet rock, damp & dry pavement.

    Stops: Lunch at a place I can’t remember the name of but it had a nice wrap around porch and one of the best Ruben & slaw combos I’ve tasted.

    Camping: Emerald Lake State Park. Lean to with a tarp. Neighbors with Mike, Rickey & Dima, also riding the NEBDR.
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    Observations: Wet, muddy conditions made the class IV roads more challenging than they were in the dry last September. Picking a line and staying firm on the wrist was important today. The hills were climbable, but any stopping would have have been problematic. I did not stop.
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    The mud sections were kinda shitty but passable. There were options at times to take a high-side line around the deepest ruts. One of which that I took got my eyes wide with a surprise bolder thrown in. At other times I just plowed right through the ruts and found fairly solid ground on the bottom. Other than the mud bath, it was straight through.

    I hammered these sections.

    As chance would have it, I met up with two of the three riders from a few days ago, Ricky and Dimitry who helped me clear a log that was blocking the trail. They both rode with me for a while until maybe Pepper Hill, or some hill anyhow where Ricky ditched in the ravine. He was undaunted though and with the help of a team of six dual sport riders got back on the track and rolled into the state park along with Mike, the last of their triad. I am impressed they are tackling these trails on big bikes in these conditions. It is super slick.
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    I also almost had a chance to ride with fellow advrder, Adam Chandler. I saw someone coming in the opposite direction on a Husky LR and then bang a U-turn. I just figured it was a BDR rider getting his bearings and maybe just following my turns. Nope, it was Adam out for a tear and I just rode off. Lost in my helmet.

    Right now I am hunkered down in my lean to trying to decide should I stay or should I go.
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    Rain, rain go away.

    Ikeya-Seki, out.

    Attached Files:

    #7
  8. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    That guy's bike was WAY off trail. Looks like a classic big rock, off-kilter wheel + throttle incident. Thumbs up is always a good sign though :)
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  9. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    He’s a motivated adventurer for sure.
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  10. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    I like his smile; like yep, ready to go! Interesting mix of soil and rock
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  11. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    The first pic of wild iris meant I need to follow this report.

    Subscribed...
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  12. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    By chance meeting on the trails with the author. This RR is becoming a blueprint for my next solo adventure. Hope to learn and yearn.
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  13. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    Cool trip. Glad we could ride for a brief moment, share a meal, and save my hide! Enjoy the miles on that awesome machine...
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  14. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    Love that narrative. You are one great rider with all the right stuff for an epic ride!
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  15. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sit Rep: Expect the Unexpected


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    Full RR coming…..
    #15
  16. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    OH SNAP
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  17. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    It snapped alright
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  18. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    Too much fun to be had, but that was an AT that crashed the first time. You actually got the best pic of a ST in a off trail photo op.
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  19. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    AdamChandler you seem to have experience with my style of crashing? It seems lack of control was a factor.
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  20. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    Oh..I absolutely have been in that situation MANY times. I even have some video proof and photos but I don't want to muck up this RR but yes, I've done that exact thing at least 8 times in the last 5 years. :p
    #20