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

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Sit Rep: Rode 200 miles to Fayetteville yesterday (Monday, Aug 2) evening. A tree was in the way.

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    Shacked up & waiting for KTM shop to open. Grabbed dinner a JJ’s Grill.

    Also - some kind mystery person paid for my lunch & chocolate shake at Dragon’s Den Pizza in Mountainburg - a real treat after Warloop Road.

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    Ikeya-Seki, out.
    #61
  2. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    I’m sure you’re a pro at it by now - but to be fair, it is probably the most technically challenging section outside of Vermont - pop up erosion excluded. I shot some video - I will try to get it posted.

    Cheers.
    #62
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  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    Looks like your bike could utilize a cross-bar for the pannier rack to distribute the weight more evenly?
    #63
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  4. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Couldn’t hurt!!
    #64
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  5. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    @Ikeya-Seki takes clearing obstacles, to another level.

    When I was finishing the TAT years ago, we came upon a trail section in OR,
    just littered with remnants of logs cut up by previous riders.

    But never have I seen "a complete job" most were cut just enough to get a dual sport past it.

    2019 TAT OR.JPG
    #65
  6. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Well….
    #66
  7. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Warloop Road:
    #67
  8. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sit Rep: You know it !!!

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    #68
  9. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

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    dang! Can't be good.

    Welcome to OK :muutt
    #69
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  10. PlatyRider22

    PlatyRider22 Been here awhile

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    Its good enough for guvment work.

    @Ikeya-Seki Totally subscribed to this, sir. Look forward to your RR's.
    #70
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  11. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    Good ole Bob seems interesting!
    #71
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  12. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    Nice saw!
    #72
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  13. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Days: 28-29
    Thursday, Aug 5

    Nuts & Bolts: After a maintenance stop, I leave Arkansas and ride two days into Buffalo, Oklahoma.

    Miles: 200 / 325
    Total Miles: 4890

    Weather: Sunny, 61-91F. Much drier air, 80-82 on Tuesday. Similar with a few warm spots. Great riding weather.
    MPG: 61.6 / 59.9

    Trail Conditions: Mainly hard pack dirt roads with gravel and sand sections. Many soil types with some changes immediate. Faster rolling with long sight lines, but several sandy and loose soil sections. High dust. Lots of freshly graded sections with active grading in many sections. Attention required.

    Stops: Cancun Cantina in Newkirk, OK for fish tacos & also a burrito at one other place I forgot the name of.
    Lodging: The Price Tower - a Frank Loyd Wright building in Bartlesville, OK. Dolby Springs Campground, Buffalo, OK.

    Observations: Oklahoma put the sting on me in ‘17, but not this time….. so far. Trail is fast rolling dirt roads with plenty of front tire twitching sand sections. I have the Scott’s steering dampener cranked and holding a line has been no problem so far. I’m riding between 35-55 mph.

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    Cows know what to do.

    The chain had been giving some feedback I didn’t like: a slight grinding sound when I hit the power. I chased after it for several days adjusting my tension one or two bolt face turns at a time. It would resolve for a while and then return. Frustrated, I reached out to Freedom Power Sports in Fayetteville and spoke with the service manager Josh. That was on a Friday.

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    Sun ball.

    The following Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. they took a look at Katy M. Initially, I thought the issue was a slightly overtightened master link. I’d done tons of bicycle chains, but this was my first motorcycle chain. As it turns out, it wasn’t the master link at all. The chain had been contacting the AXP skid plate at the tail end of the aluminum hardware. Not gouging in, just contacting. We got it straightened out for now and at my next opportunity I will either shim the AXP a few millimeters lower, or maybe shave it some. I’d left 2 extra links in the chain to afford greater clearance between tire & mud flap. If the problem returns, I could aways drop the 2 links.

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    Copley Dam

    Big thanks to the folks at Freedom Powersports. It’s always a major boon to get road service.

    Deer: More and more close calls with deer. Me thinks extra hunting is in order. Something.

    The Price Tower was an unexpected treat. Originally planning to camp, I found myself riding into the night hours and picking out a stealthy tent spot proved difficult. At first, I did not know what to make of The Price Tower. It’s not your normal hotel.

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    The Price Tower

    The hallmarks of Frank Loyd Wright’s architectural genius were on full display. Excellent use of concrete, metals & woods, color, light and lines make this building unique. The windows opened on the 10th floor - old school. I’ll include a few pics.

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    Bedroom.

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    Desk

    As I write, the morning sun is doing the finishing work on drying my ground cloth, coffee is in my belly and I’ve reduced chain slack by 3 bolt face turns. Should be good to go. Two fellow riders on KLR’s shared the campground with me and are also headed west. They are an or so ahead of me, but if I had to guess, I’ll be passing them shortly after lunch. Who knows?

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    Ready for battle.

    Restocked with H2O and a few handy vittles, I am ready to continue the ride west. I expect to finish the panhandle today.

    Ikeya-Seki, out.
    #73
  14. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    really enjoying your photos and brief updates... that hotel is beautiful, what a great find! thanks for taking us along.

    best regards,

    johnnyg
    #74
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  15. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    Location:
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    Sit Rep: Westcliffe Colorado. Beautiful. More challenging. RR coming.
    #75
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  16. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Sunday, August 8

    Days: 30, 31 & 32
    - Two raptors, standing.

    Nuts & Bolts: I leave Dolby Springs Park in Buffalo, Oklahoma and ride to Black Mesa State Park in Kenton, just north of Boise City, Oklahoma. Friday, I ride from Black Mesa to Westcliffe via Trinidad and La Veta. In the morning I ride to a friend’s place in Glenwood via Salida and Sargents. Leaving the flat grid of Oklahoma for the mountain twisties of Colorado.

    Miles: 265 / 321.4 / 281
    Total Miles: 5788

    Weather: 57F-86F across all three days. Sunny, clear skies in Oklahoma become smoke hazed in Colorado. Visibility drops below 5 miles. One passing thunderstorm Friday night in Westcliffe. Otherwise perfect riding weather.

    MPG: 58.5 / 59.1 / 57.7

    Max Elevation: 11,600 feet

    Trail Conditions: Oklahoma ranged from both hard packed dirt and freshly graded county roads to sandy sections of two track, muddy and wet farm land as well as loose soil on hard pack. Colorado becomes firmer and much more rocky. Well established fast rolling fire roads with a thin layer of pebble gravel in places. Most sections have larger fixed stone dispersed in a range of density. A couple of passes were steady, rocky climbs with several switch backs. More challenging, plus altitude up to 11,600. Saw about 10 total TAT riders, half headed east.

    Stops: Delgado’s Bar in Liberal Kansas for tacos. Tony’s Diner in Trinidad for a burger. Three Kings Bar & Grill in Westcliffe for fish & chips. Little Red Hen bakery in Salida for a fancy chicken sandwich and Casey Brewing in Glenwood for hazy IPA’s and a vegan pizza from down the street.

    Lodging: Dolby Springs Campground, Black Mesa State Park, Grape Creek RV park. Friend’s home in Glenwood.

    Observations: Two raptors, standing. Twice, within 10 miles of each other I spotted Red Tailed hawks standing along side of the dirt road. The first one seemed as surprised as I was and kinda took a side step back, but otherwise didn’t move. He just opened his beak as if to say, “what the?” The second hawk hesitated for a few seconds and then took flight, circled around and hovered over me before I sped off.

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    Oklahoma. Possible a Hog Nose? I also spotted a Coach Whip.

    Af first I felt self-confirming about my developing raptor theory until it donned on me that there were no trees. Not one. Except for a telephone pole what’s a hawk gonna do? Anyway.

    The riding is faster. Not in all places, but many stretches in the west go on for miles with out deviation and it’s easy to cruise along.

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    Dolby Springs Park booth style picnic table.

    The transition from the flats of the Oklahoma panhandle to the steeps of the Rocky Mountains is not subtle. The ground rises up with massive stone formations, falls off into deep ravines and rolls with folding terrain. Abundant geologic activity leaves the impression the work of planet making is not done here. Rock outcropping crumble and toss boulders onto the roads. The effects of wind and water erosion rip and tear at the terrain. Trees reappear, streams trickle and flow and before you know it, you’ve ridden into a coffee table collection of stunning landscape photography.

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    Little Colorado peak peek

    No secret, Colorado’s natural beauty draws a heavy tourist crowd, even more so on weekends. On Saturday the trails & roads were what I would call fairly packed, especially along the main corridors. I did have parts of the ride to myself, but never without the feeling someone was about to roll around the corner. And they did, often. This, and needing a break & recharge made the 130 mile detour north to visit an old school buddy a much easier decision.

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    Easy rolling fire roads soaked in scenery

    As it would turn out, the ride from Sargents to Glenwood was excellent. I found plenty of bending & rolling in both hard pack gravel and asphalt, a couple passes and a meandering stretch along the Crystal River. Three or four spots in particular are must stops on the return ride Monday. I hope to get the drone up and maybe even wet a line.

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    Hill climb helmet cam

    My friend’s home sits on a 40 acre lot at just over 8000 feet with a glass wall of sliding doors facing south. He tells me that if the skies were not so hazy with fire smoke, the view would extend all the way to the continental divide. I believe it. It took us 20 minutes of climbing to arrive at his driveway. A couple of moose joined us for morning coffee.

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    Alpine pollinator at work

    Camping at Dolby, Black Mesa and Grape Creek were wholly different from one another. Dolby was a single loop of campsites on a field of large oaks, one of which had recently fallen. The campground sits adjacent to a golf course and comes with an orchestra of croaking, howling, hooting - wild, crazy hooting - with a cicada band playing all night long. Oh, which reminds me, I saw the largest bullfrog in my life by that park. So big, I thought at first it was a stray kitten.

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    Mountain flowers

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    One of the national forest sites I passed on.

    Anyway, Black Mesa was a pre-reservation only state park, which I botched, and had three site loops, one of which is the Dark Skies loop. I stayed there. The park ranger had no problem with my reservation snafu. There was no reception and not much I could do. The landscape reminded me a lot of Big Bend - a mountainous desert. The dark sky loop lived up to its name and I slept under the stars without the fly.

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    Old school

    Tenting in Grape Creek in Westcliffe wasn’t my first choice. I’d ridden long and hard that day and was really aiming for a cabin or maybe a room if I had to. I’d passed plenty of spots back in the national forest, but I did not have enough grub and there was an ominous black cloud forming, threatening a downpour.

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    Wet times in Westcliffe

    In the end, I did go with Grape Creek and paid 30 bucks to pitch my tent. The park is nice, has a large and welcoming office space, a clean, spacious and well built bathhouse, but it clearly caters to RV’s. I chose the more level of the only two tent spaces - both cabins were booked - and to my disappoint, there were no picnic tables, no shade, and the cite was a bed of sand. Kinda steep for bare bones, but with the storm pressing, I begrudgingly set up. Just in time too.

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    Rack of ribs anyone?

    No sooner had I got set up, the rain came down in sporadic sheets for about an hour or so. I slept like a log. I think the sound helped. In the morning I packed up what I could, set my wet gear up to dry and had a long, hot shower. Before I left, I settled up with the nice folks at the office and chatted some over coffee. I encouraged them to think about a few tweaks to bring in more happy TAT riders.

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    Sun pallet.

    It would be a good thing if campgrounds would offer a night owl travel rate. Lots of us motorcycle travelers arrive late, use few amenities and clear out early. If campgrounds offered say a half off rate, they might get more takers and still potentially double sell a site. Anyway.

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    Sean shares a tasty vegan pie.

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    Da pub

    While I am here in Glenwood I will give Katy M a little love, get some wash done and just kick it with my buddy who I have not seen since 1985 sometime. I’m so grateful for his hospitality and what these kinds of stops do to enrich the riding experience. I can get too easily drawn into ride, fuel, eat, sleep, repeat.

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    Morning moose stroll

    Nice to be stopped in Colorado.

    Ikeya-Seki, out.
    #76
  17. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Casey is on my bucket list. I’m jealous.
    #77
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  18. Ikeya-Seki

    Ikeya-Seki Been here awhile Supporter

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    T
    That just makes me wanna go again! lol
    #78
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  19. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Prince Edward Island. Canada
    I’m enjoying the read.

    Your very fortunate to be able to travel in the manner that you do. Most on adv are not so lucky.
    I shall continue to ride along. Wishing you happy trails. Petepilot
    #79
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  20. Vambee

    Vambee Adventurer Supporter

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    Location:
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    #80
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