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Central Arkansas ride planning and whatever else thread

Discussion in 'Tejas and the Gulf States' started by Mister D, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Speedtrap

    Speedtrap Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
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    81
    V-man, without knowing where besides 1-hour from Mena you live, I threw together a route that has a lot of the area you saw in the video with some key parts missing. I tried to make it something your wife would like so no road with all the mud holes you watched. Poof, gone along with some others! This route is approximately 137 miles round trip from Mena to Mena. It's basically a large figure 8. You can remove 8 miles if you don't want a straight out and back to the dam you saw at Shady Grove Camp Ground, but the road there is a nice ride. And I don't know if you have dual sport bikes with stock tanks so the route goes right next to the gas station in Norman at 70 miles. I haven't ridden between mile 96 and 111 personally but I think it should be decent for you all. And there is a 6 mile overlap (center of the figure 8) on an easy dirt road but I figured your wife might enjoy some easy cruising from time to time. Anyhow, here's the link and I hope this helps.

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31665362
  2. Vinduroman

    Vinduroman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
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    Patooty, Eastern Oklahoma
    Well thank you kindly, there Speedtrap!

    Wife sounds up for it, but is concerned about the 137 miles. (Most she's done was a few years ago out in Colorado: Pitkin, CO, over Waunita Pass, Black Sage Pass, Marshall Pass to Salida for gas/eats and return. Some 120 miles, I recall. We beat a rain storm back to our cabin that chased us from Sargent, CO to the cabin by maybe 20-30 seconds! I was hurriedly pushing the bikes up on the porch when it started pouring!)

    We live in Poteau, which would be north/northwest of Mena.

    By the way: What website is that you're using?? That looks EXCELLENT. I don't have a GPS device, but can I use that sight and print out the cue sheet and map, I wonder?

    Thanks again. May have to put this area on our "to do" list.

    V-man
  3. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer Supporter

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    That is a beautiful area for dual sporting. I always get a somber feeling riding through the Albert Pike area.
  4. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    It is a good riding area, you don't really need any maps, GPS, just pick a road and follow it, they all eventually come out someplace

    Except the ones that don't! :augie:confused

    Really, just study google maps for roads between you place and Albert Pike area, then just start heading that direction when you ride and over time you will find your way down there.
  5. Vinduroman

    Vinduroman Been here awhile

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    Patooty, Eastern Oklahoma
    Shawnee Bill:

    Yup, pick a road and ride. Gas being the only limiting feature if the targeted ride takes you deep into the mountains and far from one's truck (if carrying gas) or the gas location. (If I parked the truck by a gas location for unloading.)

    It's always nice to know about any gas/eats locations before heading out, though. No doubt Mena and Norman would have gas/eats, but sometimes there's a convenience/general store out on the back road(s) that has gas and great eats. BUT, you have to know about to in order to access same. That's where local experience/knowledge comes in. So, I was just wonderin'.

    Oh, and speaking of maps: Last month I was riding out of Mena and picked up a brand new USFS map from the Ranger station at Mena. Unfortunately, a few days later I was studying the map prior to another ride, and was surprised to learn the new map is not as accurate or as comprehensive as my 15+ year old USFS forest map! So, I spent something like $11-15 on a "less than useful" map. I've also run into issues with Google Maps out in the mountains in that it will show a road that isn't, or is closed. SO, maps are not quite as accurate as envisioned, either.

    Most of my dual sporting over the past 50 years has involved doing what I can with maps and just general exploration with no maps. The only time I think in terms of gas is when I'm going to be a LONG ways into the mountains from my truck or location of origin that has gas.

    Armed with the info from this thread, I reckon I'll figure something out should we decided to give that area a try. Next up for a "transport a ways to the ride" is a ride I have scoped from Shores Lake over to Ozark for lunch and back. (When our situation/weather permits.)

    V-man
  6. Speedtrap

    Speedtrap Adventurer

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    I haven't ever rode over any of the passes off road in Colorado but this has to be far easier. I also included some extra easy roadway like on the way into Norman and in the middle of the figure 8. None of it difficult but some places are slower for sure.

    Poteau, the LaFlore county seat. I know it a little.

    The website is, RideWithGPS. Primarily a bicycle ride site but I found it works well for what I do and is super simple to plot routes on. Yes you should be able to print out the cue sheet but I've never tried.
  7. Dmorcos

    Dmorcos Adventurer

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    Speedtrap, your routes are by far my favorites. I also add intersection waypoints anywhere I ride that is worth exploring, then go back at a later date to branch out creating a network of fun riding. Thanks so much for posting the routes. This is what the forums are all about.
  8. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    V-man, I have read many of your posts over the last few years and I really don't think with your experience you will get in any trouble if you just gradually explore your way south one ride day at a time.
    However if you really want to venture into unknown to you riding areas I will suggest you break down and use some form of GPS, the best being just an app on your phone. They do not need cell coverage to work, maps are in the phones memory and the phone has GPS antenna. You really just use it to pin point your location and see on the map how to get out. All the other stuff we talk about doing with the GPS is not necessary to have any idea how to use.
  9. Vinduroman

    Vinduroman Been here awhile

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    Patooty, Eastern Oklahoma
    Thanks again Speedtrap. I must seriously look at your route and options off of it.

    Shawnee Bill:

    My questions are in reference to my wife. She did a "Stop n' Plop" when last in Colorado in 2014 when attempting to make a u-turn at a dead end road. Unfortunately she was on a slight uphill and once she got cross-ways in the road, it stalled and she couldn't stop the fall. The bike threw her to the low side of the grade with amazing ferocity. She bruised and/or cracked some of her ribs. She was sore and healing for weeks. She said "no more bikes for me" shortly after that. It was a fluke deal, but it was devastating to her desire to ride. Really, even in Colorado I let her determine the difficulty even with forest roads. IF there was something she felt uncomfortable trying, we turned back and rode somewhere else. So, she didn't really ride "rough" passes, only those with forest roads over them. (Think: You can take a 2wd vehicle over them without issue.)

    Fast forward to April of this year:

    I purchased an XT225 for my use for exploring old trails and riding tighter and rougher stuff. A few weeks earlier I had taken her on a forest road trip in our Colorado pick-up to get her out in the mountains (she likes mountains too) as well as show her one of the routes I enjoy riding. (All forest roads w/some blacktop to get to an eats joint.)

    Some weeks later I was strolling through the living room and she says "you're not going to believe this".

    I stopped and inwardly braced, expecting some unnerving news from family or something. She continued...

    "I'm thinking about riding again."

    Admittedly, I was a bit dumbfounded, for she had been adamant that she was done with biking. She continued...

    "When we were out in the mountains in our pick up and I saw the roads... I thought 'I can ride this. I've ridden it before without problems'. So, if you'll PROMISE to keep me on forest roads, out of creek crossings, mud holes and such... I'd like to ride again using the XT225."

    I readily agreed to the terms. She's been riding ever since and during our ride season (her ride season = temps in the low 80s to down to her cold threshold of low 50s) she's typically with me once a week or more.

    SO... I'm always open to more forest roads than the ones we ride in our immediate vicinity, and thus you can better understand my questions concerning the creek crossings and mud holes, for this would be a "Sharon route" more than one of "my" routes.

    V-man

    P.S. The little XT225 is a blast to ride in the tight and rough. I can flat foot it when stopped, and it only weighs about 238 pounds with a low center of gravity, has low end like a tractor, yet will still run AR 2-lane highway speeds with ease. Fun little bike IF you don't get stupid on it and override its suspension. (It's NOT a race bike.)
    jamboa and vintagemxr like this.
  10. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    V-man, thank you for that, I was giving my thoughts based on not understanding what you situation is, sorry about that.
    I think you are looking in the right direction for roads your wife will enjoy riding. Most roads in the Albert Pike area are pretty good gravel and dirt roads with some interesting scenery. There are a few places that will have some small water crossings in the rainy season but most I've seen run dry if it hasn't rained for a little while.
    If you have a smart phone you should be able to open Speedtrap's "Ride with GPS" routes on that and just follow the red line.
    I often took my wife in the car over back roads that I have explored on the bike so she could enjoy as much of the back country as we could get to in the car, you can get to a lot of places in a car if you have some experience driving an oil field company car on oil field roads. It's surprising where you can take an every day 2WD sedan with a little practice. :augie

    Edit to add: It's been a couple of years since I have ridden that area, I need to get back down there and ride around some.
    Speedtrap likes this.
  11. MartiniUp

    MartiniUp Long timer

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    :clap:clap Great to hear that story!
  12. arkansawyer

    arkansawyer Long timer

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    Short notice I know. I'm 'on call' this weekend and willing to risk the consequences.
  13. jojofett

    jojofett Hi, I'm Armando but most folks call me Joe

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Moto Mansions

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  14. jojofett

    jojofett Hi, I'm Armando but most folks call me Joe

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    Sunrise in the Ouachita
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  15. jojofett

    jojofett Hi, I'm Armando but most folks call me Joe

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    The Bushpig all suited up
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  16. jojofett

    jojofett Hi, I'm Armando but most folks call me Joe

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    Refuge of the American Spirit

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  17. MartiniUp

    MartiniUp Long timer

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    Can't imagine riding on those tires, you're a better man than I!
  18. jojofett

    jojofett Hi, I'm Armando but most folks call me Joe

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    Not a fan of the Shinko 804/805?
  19. bohawk

    bohawk Like mechanical stuff Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
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    Location:
    Ozarks
    NORTH OF HECTOR
    I have not been on here in a while and it has been nearly 2 years since I have done a ride report. I did all of my ride reports on the Arkansas Ride Reports thread but that seems to have kind of withered away. So since Hector is kind of in central Arkansas, I figured I would post this here. Sorry about the video quality. This is the first time I have put something on YouTube. I had my Hero 5 Session set on 1080 at 30 fps. It looks great on my computer but I guess that ain't good enough by the time YouTube processes it. I reckon I need to experiment with some of the higher settings or just stick to taking pictures like I used to do.

    Anyway, last Wednesday, I set out after lunch on a 70 mile ride into the Ozarks north of Hector. I crossed the East Fork Illinois Bayou twice. The first one is fairly wide with small to medium sized rocks and is usually not too tough to get across. Of course, I made it tough on myself by being in the wrong gear and stalling the bike just before reaching the other side. The second crossing is just a slab of rock....very slick rock this day. I was hesitant to make any steering corrections, missed my exit point and got hung up on a small step when I got to the other side. So as you will see in the video, I went left and checked out the little water fall and then rejoined the trail.

    About a half mile later, I turned off of the main trail onto a less traveled trail that heads up the mountain. This is kind of steep, rutted and rocky in places. Near the top, the trail splits but both end up coming out on Hwy 27. I took the one that goes left because it takes you by a neat little bluff. It is roughly a 150' or so off to the left of the trail but you have to keep an eye out for the trail that leads to it since there has not been much ATV traffic there lately.

    After that, I headed north on Hwy 27 to Nogo where I turned left and began my southwesterly track back towards home on mostly well maintained forestry roads.

  20. njoytheride

    njoytheride NJOYN' THE JOURNEY Supporter

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    Thanks for posting the video Bo. I’ve missed your ride reports.