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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joe Motocross, Sep 27, 2018.
Guhhh that morning shot. Beautiful colors. That's the life.
Yeah, I was totally into this ride report until the chairs came out. Wake me up when they get to Starbucks.
Thanks for the memorys!!! I'm familiar with all 4 stages. Just got turned on to that stage 4 area 2 years ago. Can't wait to get back with a proper dirt bike.
Chairs....tents......what next, chase vehicles? :)
We drop off the bench we’ve been on and head down a canyon.
We’re going to cross a stretch of “no mans land” and head for the river crossing.
There is a set of train tracks and an interstate freeway between us and the “no mans land”. There is supposedly a two track on the south side of the tracks and freeway. We’re on the north side. I suggest we check out the culverts in a random wash and see if we can get to the south side. Ricardo kind of looks at me like “Really? We’re starting this crap again already?”. In the end, we slide right through the culverts and connect right up to the road we were aiming for.
The road improves a bit and we put some miles behind us.
We descend down a small canyon that’ll spit us out at the river crossing.
I love river crossings. It often adds a little intensity to the day. This is a cool shot highlighting the difference of how these two bikes are set up.
Also, for some reason I love to watch guys squirm a bit about having to go across a river. I’m an asshole. Most of the time everyone makes it but not always. The thing is I really don’t care if I get my boots wet or if the bike swallows water and we have to take an hour to get it running again. Here’s a one minute clip of the type of shit that happens around the various rivers. This is an old compilation but it’s a good summary.
This crossing needs to be played a little different on this day because it’s cold and we’re concerned about not being able to get the boots dried out tonight. We don’t exactly know if we’ll have firewood and it would not be good to have wet boots with below freezing temps. Since this was Ricardo’s idea, he accepted the task of checking the river. You don’t just blindly punch river crossings you’ve never crossed unless it’s obviously good to go. The river was flowing at 100 cubic feet per second this day and there was just enough velocity to feel it tugging the bikes downstream. It was about knee deep in the deepest spot and had rocky bottom with medium sized rocks. Should be an easy to moderately easy crossing.
2 cylinders?........ Oh, never mind.
Hahahahaha! Hey man, you guys gotta cut me a little slack. You gotta remember that I’m doing Stage 4 with a BMW rider.
Are you holding your pinkie out as you type?
I went first. My boots have a place at the base of both heals where the stitching is blown out. I’ve been taking on water at every crossing this Fall. Again, I don’t really care but the cold temps change things a bit. I attempt to cross at a really slow pace holding my boots off the pegs. I go at it a little too casual and stall the bike on the far side and have to put a foot down briefly. I get across with one slightly wet boot.
Here comes Ricardo. He’s not going to take my “too casual” approach. He stands up like it should be done, pushes a good amount of water and comes across clean. He does end up with one boot slightly wet also.
Now we are into terrain we haven’t traveled through before. Generally, we take the more main routes the first time we are checking out a new region. We take note of the lay of the land and smaller roads and spurs that might be interesting the next time we come through.
For the most part, the roads are graded well but there are a number of loose rocky sections also.
The farthest ridge in the distance against the horizon is the bench where we camped the night before. It’s only 50 miles away as the old crow flies.
We find a spot to camp with a sufficient amount of Piñon and Juniper firewood. We start yucking it up as usual and this night it’s Ricardo who overserves himself! Quesadillas are the appetizer. I throw on a Kielbasa afterward and simmer a vegetable stew on the coals. I love this shit!
We wake to another awesome sunrise hitting the mountains in the distance. We were both thinking about how we were going to exit this region we were in. Backtracking is always the least desirable and we’ll pretty much do anything to avoid that. Our original intent was to cross the river at a different ford. However, I had been to it from the other side years ago and I was thinking it would be unlikely for us to get across there considering the current flow rate of the river. Plan A was to go check it. Plan B was to investigate an obscure route cut into a very steep canyon and descend into a small settlement for gas and supplies. This would be questionable at best judging from our maps, especially for the BMW. Plan C was to either backtrack or attempt to go over the top and hit some pavement into a larger city.
Excellent morning for a little motorcycle touring!!
We sniff around for the ford down at the river but, like we guessed, it was not happening. Water was too deep and the location of the ford and it was chocked full of large rocks. Plan A was eliminated.
We ride some more easy and beautiful terrain heading for Plan B. This is where things get a little interesting.
I love that you got started by riding the Paiute Trail. My brother took me atv riding on parts years ago and I’ve been dying to go back on a bike.
We were climbing and the road was becoming more rugged. So much so that we had to stop and eye up the line that the BMW would take. There were probably 4 little short pitches where we kicked a few rocks out of the way.
Next we were looking down on the route cut into the canyon. From what we could see it looked like a well traveled ATV trail. Let’s take it! What could go wrong? Ricardo dropped his bike in some rocks just after I snapped this photo.
Ricardo made it through the sections we could see from the rim.
Just around the corner, out of sight from our vantage point on the rim, the route showed its true colors.
That first pic with Ricardo going up the trail looks like fun on a big bike (not really :)......looks like trails out by bar 10 in Utah....Thanks for postin!!
He "manned up" and charged those sections. Not easy on that beast! He has a smaller front sprocket on but 1st gear is still really too tall.
The route got steep. Real steep. And rocky! Ricardo has the BMW engine shut off and he’s inching it down the hill. The engine is in gear and he’s using the clutch as a rear brake so he can keep both feet on the ground. He’s a bit gripped. The route is south facing and we’re hot at this point. This would go on for nearly 3 hours.
You could not stop the Beamer in the loose rocks. This is where I truly realized the advantage of the 18” front trials tire on the Superenduro. Surefooted as a billy goat. I could roll down over all the rocks with my feet on the pegs fully in control of the Superenduro. Ricardo had lost his mojo at one point so I attempted to ride his bike through one of the most difficult sections. I tried to roll it like I was doing on the SE. No dice. The front tire would just wash in the loose rocks. The back tire wasn’t really any better. It kept skidding sideways on any off camber section. We were hoping that we didn’t come to any major “stoppers” as we descended because we would not have got the BMW back up. No way.
From the photo, it looks like you could just roll right down the trail. Not on the BMW. Also, It's steeper than the photo makes it look. The Superenduro, on the other hand, performed flawlessly. I probably could have made the descent in under 1/2 hour. I’m pretty sure I could have climbed it on the SE also. If I were back here with another buddy on his SE and he said “I wonder if we could get these bikes up that trail?” I guarantee we'd be punching it.
The route was relentless. Every time we thought it was letting up, we’d come around a corner only to view countless steep rocky switchbacks in front of us.
Way to go Ricardo. I surely wouldn't want to do that on my Vstrom.
That looks awesome!!
Yeah, it was a slow descent but he pulled it off without having a "melt-down" or a "come-a-part" which we actually joked about possibly happening at the top. I'm telling you, from being there and trying to ride that bike, it wasn't easy.