Exploring California - Journey of a Noob - RR Megathread

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by KennyBooBear, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Klav! I sincerely appreciate the kind words. Funnily, I started documenting all of those a year ago just so I'd have a way to go back and reference older rides. I knew as I continued to put more and more miles on the bike that by way of absent-mindedness, I'd likely forget various tracks and hidden gems throughout the Sierra. Over the last year it's spawned into something a great deal larger and more thorough than I expected haha

    I'm glad you've enjoyed reading through and though I don't think a thanks is needed, you're most welcome.

    Regarding Zion - that place is absolutely stunning in every mark of the word. Your hike up to Observation Point is one I'd love to do myself one of these days with the wife. There's nothing wrong with a walk report! Perhaps this year during the FMAR if the wife and I are up to the task. We were strongly considering moving to St. George after our visit out there but there was no way to keep my current job and live out there so we opted to stay in CA for now.

    Regarding the thread title, perhaps a change is in order. "Journey of a slightly experienced noob that still crashes a lot" is a mouthful but a great deal more accurate :lol3

    There's so many good reports on here - this site provides a lot of inspiration and is partly responsible for me getting into riding in the first place. I'm glad I was able to keep you interested over the last year. Hopefully the best is yet to come!

    Cheers.
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  2. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    After spending last week recovering (leg is still a bit sore even now but was close to 80% by last weekend), I was eager to get back out on the bike as a way of redeeming myself from my prior weekend's mishap. Namely, slamming myself into the ground at speed.

    Andy was keen on joining as well to get more time in the saddle. Originally we had planned to do the same ride we did last week, but due to a considerable snowfall leading up to the weekend we would be unable to ride about 3,500ft, especially the single track. At the last minute I suggested we ride straight out of Grass Valley up toward Cascade Shores and ultimately down to Greenhorn Creek.

    The latter has been mined and dredged over the last 100 years fairly considerably and a local concrete company still has a quarry on it close to town. I suspect they use the dredged river rock in their mix. The riverbed itself is very loose and ranges in consistency from soft sand to fields of large basketball sized rocks - all of which are loose and stacked at varying depths. This makes the whole area a fantastic place to practice low speed riding as well as giving you repeated opportunity ford back and forth through the creek (we must have crossed the creek some 30 times - a few of those with enough speed to drench myself from head to toe!)

    In any case, we set off from Andy's place in Grass Valley at around 11:15 in the morning and rode straight through town, taking backroads that quickly take you from 2400ft to up above 3600ft. Andy being unfamiliar with this area followed as we turned off onto Red Dog Road. If you follow this long enough it'll take you to what was once an aptly named mining settlement that went largely deserted by 1875. Instead of heading there though, we turned off onto Buckeye Road which is where the dirt began.

    The ride down into Gas Canyon as it's known is abrupt but had no shortage of melting snow and a bit of packed ice. Andy had previously indicated a concern of riding on snow but I gave him a few tips regarding momentum and clutch modulation which gave him the confidence needed to tackle lightly snow covered tracks. A touch under 2 miles later and we arrived at the Greenhorn. Andy was particularly stoked as he had never seen anything quite like this.

    We opted to first ride North through all manner of rock and silt. On the way Andy managed to stall out the WR trying to climb back out of the creek. It's times like this that I can't help but chuckle as on the much slower, heavier Himalayan I just continued to putt straight up the middle of the creek for a few hundred foot before steering up one of the loose, rocky embankments onto a more tractable section of rock and sand.

    The last little bit to reach what is in effect the end of the road requires a fairly steep 50-70ft climb up a mound of sediment that is continually eroding from the 150ft tall sides of the canyon. In my initial effort I lacked momentum and bogged at the top. After take a moment to inch back down backwards, I put her in first and gave it another go which ended quite successfully as I crested over and down the other side where we decided to take a break. Andy's effort was equally successful if not a bit unorthodox as he flogged on the WR to the top wildly, throwing the bike over the crest while he jumped off to the side safely.

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    After a bit of time collecting brass left by others who reached the same destination to shoot, we saddled back up to head out and up the other side of the mountain toward Scott's Flat Reservoir.

    Andy started by immediately bogging down in the sand and rock that led us here. I rather unintelligently decided I would go up the much steeper embankment as a shortcut. Again, due to a lack of momentum I too bogged, and in my effort to back it down lost my balance so I simply hopped off and let the bike set over on it's side. Just as quickly, I lifted her back up and then spent the next 5 minutes gassing myself trying to work it out of all the loose rock, sand and sediment. By the time I did, I decided I was too gassed to do that again so I took the smarter way out. My GoPro footage below begins right as I dropped the bike, reserving some kind words for myself.

    We rode back across the riverbed all the way past where we entered and to the other side where numerous No Trespassing signs warn us not to enter the concrete company's claim, so we flipped back around and began making our way up Lower Greenhorn Road. On the way we'd encounter thick red clay, snow and ice of varying amounts and seemingly tractable sections where Andy decided he needed an abrupt nap (worry not, he faired out well!)

    Collectively we stopped a few more times on the way up to Cascade Shores either for me to wait for Andy as he adjusted to riding snow and slick terrain, and a couple more just to snap some photos.

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    As we climbed I became a bit concerned the snow may become too much for Andy to trudge through on only his 4th or 5th outing on the bike, but he did well thanks largely to there being some tracks from previous 4x4 traffic.

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    By the end of it, he said something to the effect of "This is the best day of my life", which seems to be a common sentiment on those who get out and explore on two wheels.

    We reached pavement and then rode back down into Grass Valley for lunch.

    Here's a quick video lapse of the afternoon's antics.



    Overall it provided a pretty casual/relaxed ride for me, which I needed with the soreness in the right leg that is still lingering. I was just glad to be back out on the bike considering I could barely walk the prior Monday.

    Got some interesting routes mapped for this coming weekend too so hopefully we'll be able to put something entertaining together for the next report!

    Rubber side down, y'all.
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  3. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Alright, it's been a few minutes since my last upload so being that there's no time like the present I figured I'd get caught up.

    Firstly a little announcement of sorts, though it's likely more cryptic than intended. I can't reveal too many details, but I can confidently say that this Summer I'll be checking off a bucket list ride of sorts that involves large swaths of Alaska, and it's by invitation. I'll do my best to have a report on it before the NorCal Himalayan Rally but since both things are kind of ramming together, reports on both are likely to arrive sometime in mid-July.

    Anyhow, task at hand. The weekend before last I reached out to my buddy Andy again who is always eager to get more experience in and also having recently been reached out to by a couple of DRZ gents that I crossed paths with a few weeks prior, I was able to get a couple more folks to join in the fun.

    The plan was to take Andy, Mike, and Kellen up Tyler Foote and then cross over via. German Bar to either Washington or head back down the mountain toward Lake City. The latter bit would be contingent on snow levels which plot twist: were too high for us to make it through resulting in us doubling back over Tyler Foote.

    We set off at about 9:30am and made quick progress down the canyon and back up the other side to get us onto Tyler Foote. On the way we only had a brief mishap as Andy darted out onto the ice covered Wooden Bridge at Edward's Crossing. I did my level best to flag him down prior to, but he insisted on blowing past - noticing all too late but managed to not eat shit while locking up his brakes and sliding a few feet onto the bridge. Once we all collected at the crossing, we proceeded across with no drama.

    I slowed again to let Andy and co. catch up, just to let Andy know to steer clear of the edges and take his time as we were approaching an area with unguarded drops that would result in a damn near 1000ft drop. He heeded the warning and followed with some bit of caution.

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    After a short look over the edge we sped down to the bottom (probably the best part of the whole loop if you like riding rocks and small ledges, as it's the only part of the loop that can be considered intermediate/technical). I'd find out later that I absolutely adore riding up this section.

    From here we made pace to hit up all of the familiar spots - though they were entirely new to the trio in tow. Mike has been riding more than 20 years, though Kellen just started in January. This resulted in a nice team as I could lead at whatever pace I wanted to with Andy behind me, Kellen following and Mike riding sweep. At each intersection or POI I'd stop and wait for everyone to get caught up. Mike enjoyed it too as it allowed him to ride whatever pace he liked either choosing to slow down allowing enough room to then rip or simply cruising along casually behind our two learner friends.

    At the large lookout we stopped for a chat which got interrupted by Andy's helmet deciding to take a tumble down the mountain. He managed to catch up to it about 10 foot before it went over a drop which likely would have resulted in it being gone for good. We all had a laugh as it slowly rolled down the mountain though I suspect neither of us would have been as amused had it been our helmet in his place.

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    Further ahead, the downed tree had been cleared beneath it a bit allowing a larger bike to pass or any smaller bike to pass with ease. Even on the Himalayan's large rear end, I was able to ride under unabated. Further still a new tree found its way across the road. Where it struck, the rotten trunk exploded leaving a soft pile of mushed wood to climb over. Easy enough for an experience rider but Andy and Kellen kept their outriggers out for stability. I made it a point at all of these locations to stop and film with the GoPro as best as I could, but the camera does a better job capturing the moment. This shot was actually from the trip back, but it amounts to the same thing.

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    It wasn't long then before we hit the waterfall cascading down and under the road signaling our close proximity to Alleghany.

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    Kellen and Mike were particularly wowed by this specific landmark so we stuck around for a few and enjoyed the soundtrack nature was playing for us.

    We reached Alleghany shortly thereafter and after a quick discussing decided we'd try our luck heading over toward Alleghany. Unfortunately we quickly found that at the intersection where the road out of Alleghany meets Plumbago Road over toward Washington, the snow was not only over a foot deep and rather icey, but also lacking tracks. The latter was especially the nails in the coffin as Kellen had previously never ridden snow and on his Bridgestone Deathwings he was already struggling in the tracks that barely had a mentionable amount of leftover snow in them.

    By this time the group was getting hungry so we decided to take Tyler Foote back the way we came (Mike suggested we take Bear Trap Springs over toward Lake City to add a bit of variety in, which we did!) On the way back we made decent time though I'd sprint ahead to stop and get photos of the group, rinse and repeat.

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    Upon our return to civilization, we all rode over to 1849 Brewing in Grass Valley for lunch. I phoned up my wife who excitedly joined us with our pup. Calling it a fine conclusion to an already spectacular day would be a bit of an understatement. I'll look forward to having Mike and Kellen on more of my adventures in the future!

    I threw together a little edit of the footage from the day - but as my GoPro Hero3+ is slowly dying, the best moments are often missed (it constantly stops recording for no apparent reason or powers down arbitrarily. Yay!)



    More recently I decided to go on a little pavement pound - something I rarely do these days.

    I was really keen on seeing the Sierra Buttes and as the road between Forest City and Goodyear's Bar was still impassable, I decided what better way than to take Highway 49 all the way up and around. Andy and his brother Joey tagged along (on their much more comfortable Versys') as neither had ever been beyond Downieville. On the way up we stopped at the aforementioned for lunch before continuing on the rest of the way up and over Yuba Pass. The snow machines were out by the dozen enjoying the warmth of the day.

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    We ended up looping all the way around through Sattley, Sierraville and Truckee before heading home via. Highway 20.

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    As we took our sweet time, we only covered about 190 miles over the course of 5 or so hours. On the way back down 20 though, I sent them on their way as I opted for a little single track outside of Chalk Bluff to get the blood flowing. Unfortunately I've got no photos or video from this so you'll just have to take my word for it.

    Along the way I managed to jump the Himalayan (rather unintentionally) higher than I've ever had it previously. I wasn't expecting the launch to be as severe or I'd have preloaded into it. Unfortunately since I didn't, the bike tried to throw me - but I managed to keep things composed and make a smooth landing of it. By my estimate I must have been at least 3 foot off the ground. Paltry compared to a dirt bike, but for the Himalayan I was likely at a greater height than it was ever designed to come down from, but I digress.

    Yet another successful set of weekends on two wheels. I'm finding now that I'm back up here, I'm riding a lot more often, including during the week. I suppose this means I better upgrade the GoPro sooner rather than not.

    Cheers all.
  4. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    Good to see your making it up to Alaska. I look forward to what you think about it to compare to my thoughts of when I've been up there. The Sierra's are hard to beat for great riding.
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  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I love the pics in your latest update. I'd definitely love to ride that area someday.

    I also like how you are out riding that Himalayan one day in the dirt with DRZs and the next day with bigger street bikes. I have a friend (and inmate @Thinwater ) who got a Himalayan a little over two years ago. He shows up for both street and DS rides on his and has over 24K miles on it. Another guy who I have ridden with for years on street rides just bought a Himalayan so he can get in on our DS rides. I think RE is going to sell a lot of these. They should be sponsoring you and your ride reports!
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  6. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Yea, funny that. I've been scouring maps and it seems like all of the interesting rides/backcountry stuff Alaska has can't be found on a map.

    Being able to look at any map and find hundreds of routes within a stones throw of my front door is a luxury I admittedly take for granted. I'm really interested to see how those hidden routes in Alaska compare to what I'm used to though. There's a few little detours I have plotted on the route that I'm looking forward to riding though. Archangel Valley being one of them.

    I can't repeat this enough - the Himalayan is a very surprising machine. It has short-comings that we're all aware of an one expects at both the price point and when one is aware of the power to weight that it has. Once you set that aside though and are willing to ride to it's strengths, the damn thing constantly manages to slap a smile on my mug.

    Regarding sponsorship, one can always dream haha. I suspect you'll like the next entry I'm going to draft up today - as it sees me once again taking the Himalayan places it wasn't at all designed to go (but ridden well enough, absolutely will.)
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  7. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    For those that have kept up with my previous RRs, you may recall that about a month ago my buddy Andy and I went out riding and after meeting a trio of guys on DRZ400s, we all ended up riding a portion of Trail 4 in Foresthill.

    Ever since that ride, I've been wanting to get back out there to ride the whole track but for the month since that ride, the trails have been closed due to additional snowpack. This past Thursday Foresthill OHV finally re-opened, allowing me the opportunity to head over with very little notice. It's probably worth mentioning that the last time I was out there Andy and I rode maybe 1/10th the length of trail 4 and after Andy's WR got high centered on an obstacle (a bike with considerably more clearance than my own) followed by me getting high centered on that same obstacle, we bailed early as both Andy and I (he especially) were getting exhausted after wrestling the bikes over the rocks in too much riding gear.

    Fast forward to this past Saturday - After my wife left for work, I geared up with my Summer jacket and got the bike packed with tools, snacks and water before heading down Yankee Jim's and as I'm sure you've already guessed, I then branched over to Shirt Tail Canyon and up to Sugar Pine Reservoir. Par for the course, really.

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    Finning Mill Road is just a stone's throw from Sugar Pine Reservoir so after a brief stop at the lake, I hopped back on the Himalayan and rode over to where trail 4 begins (just after the start of Finning Mill.)

    Turning off of Finning Mill immediately puts you down a narrow and slightly rocky chute, descending down to an open area of decomposed granite. Down here there's a number of small creek crossings, the last of which is the largest. Terrain ranges from packed iron enriched clay that flows back and forth like a trail for mountain bikes, to rocky scrambles both up and down. In between each technical obstacle, there's usually enough space to relax and catch a breath. It is probably worth noting that trail 4 is considered the "hardest" of the "Easy" trails at Foresthill. Trail 5 is their only blue trail, and trail 6 is their only black. If you search for videos of 5 and 6 you'll quickly see why trail 4 is considered "easy" in comparison. These are trails where the Himalayan unfortunately wouldn't be able to complete the trail - not even with an expert rider at the helm (anyone is welcome to prove me wrong :D)

    There's really only one difficult obstacle as far as I'm concerned, and it's the same one Andy and I struggled with the last time we were here. Part of the reason I struggled last go around as that I was largely intimidated by having never ridden there before. Once upon the v notch of granite, I stopped to pick a line. Getting restarted never did work out so I couldn't get the line I wanted and by the third attempted I just said to hell with it - committed to a bad line and beached the bike 3/4 of the way up the obstacle. Alone, the obstacle wouldn't be particularly difficult but after slaloming up a series of progressively harder rock obstacles on a 450# bike, you're already working up a sweat by the time you reach it. If interested, this particular part of the trail starts at 4:13 in the video.

    Thankfully I had more confidence and a better understanding of where I needed to point the bike on this trip, and I wore a nice, airy jacket to help keep temperatures down. By the time I reached the obstacle I was barely phased and to my delight, I marched the Himalayan right up the left side of it. I was both surprised and excited as to how easily I made it up this time around, proving that I apparently learned something from my previous mistakes.

    After this portion, the trail crosses back over Finning Mill and the onslaught of rock obstacles and gardens continues. I stopped at the base of the next one to take a photo as there was room to do so. This obstacle is fairly easy as you have a lot of room to pick a line around the rocks and roots that are strewn about. Since I stopped for the photo and effectively restarted on the hill, I chose the left side so that my lack of momentum wouldn't prove terminal.

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    From here the trail continues on for quite the next mile or two as little more than a slalom of red clay, both up and then back down the mountain. Eventually it again becomes rocky, all the way until you complete the loop. During the entirety of my stay on trail 4, I encountered no other souls - which was a bit of a surprise. Once I hopped off the trail though, three guys on dirt bikes turned on from where I had just exited. I suspect they collectively wondered what someone was doing on the trail with what I'm sure appeared to them to be a beached whale.



    The closing clip in the above video was just as my GoPro died. You can see Finning Mill through the trees, as my battery thankfully lasted long enough for me to complete the whole trail. Unfortunately the damn camera keeps powering off arbitrarily, so doing a more proper review of the trail was out of the question (I recorded audio the whole time with the intent of doing just that but it's probably going to have to wait until I get a new GoPro.)

    Once settled back on the road, I opted to ride back through Iowa Hill to get a good look at the American River Canyon. I stopped briefly in the aptly named town of Iowa Hill (or what's left of it), to check the state of the old "Iowa Hill Store" which should be re-opened by the Summer as the family who owns it is currently performing renovations. While there I bought a bottle of water and then continued on.

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    Iowa Hill for those unfamiliar, is an old gold rush town that fell by the wayside by the late 1800s/early 1900s. During it's heyday, the mine was producing $100,000 a week in gold and by 1880 had produced some $20,000,000 of golden deliciousness. As was common in those days, the town repeatedly burnt down and was rebuilt through the 1800s, but in 1920 it suffered yet another catastrophic fire and was not rebuilt after. The buildings that remain today are what survived of this little known living ghost town.

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    On my way out I snapped one last shot in front of what's left of the old Wells Fargo station.

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    I hurried up down into the canyon after Iowa Hill and on the way snapped a photo from the edge looking down. Iowa Hill Road always gives me the creeps as you descend down a section called Windy Point, which is an unguarded single lane wide road, filled with blind curves and a more than 1,000ft drop down to the American River. If things go wrong here - there's a decent chance it might be the last mistake you ever make.

    That said, it offers stunning views from the top and you can see clear across to Robbers Ravine and further still. Note the rather tiny looking American River at the bottom of the photo and the road's concrete bridge that lie just beyond.

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    Down at the bottom of the canyon, the old Iowa Hill bridge still stands though it's been converted into a pedestrian bridge. My understanding is that the powers that be intend to do the same with Yankee Jim's before too long. I sincerely hope they choose not to tamper with Yankee Jim's as there's nothing quite like riding across an old suspension bridge while it sways beneath your wheels.

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    From here it's just a short jog back up the other side of the canyon to Colfax which is of course home for me. I finished the day satisfied and on a very high note having ridden to completion (and without issue) a trail I've thus far only seen 2 strokes and lightweight 4-stroke 300/500cc DualSports on. Doing it on a bike that weighs 100-200lbs more, with 50% less suspension travel, half the ground clearance, and 1/4-1/2 of the power to weight of anything else I've seen on trail 4 definitely felt like an accomplishment.

    This coming weekend and as the snows continue to melt, I hope to have something far more interesting to report on. As always, thanks for reading.
    :beer
  8. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    Looks like you'll be on the Himalayan for the Alaska trip planned. Be aware if your looking for those off road routes they are almost always lots of Mud. Fender clearance in the front is a problem unless you can get a high fender for that model. The gravel roads aren't so bad just long and boring, but I've never seen so many guys crashing out on them. It rains almost everyday at some point. Denali hwy. is easy gravel, very scenic and there is a cool hunting lodge ( https://alpinecreeklodge.com/ ) in the middle for lunch and watching the jets scream by braking the sound barrier. It's shitting although if it's raining, start early as it usually rains in the afternoon hours.
    I should of added there isn't much available for off road routes because of so many rivers and streams that would
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  9. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    You are correct.

    Regarding the route, Jesse and I have already mapped it out and while I'd love to indulge, I can't yet reveal when or where we'll be going. As for the muddiness of the off track locations, this is something we've come to understand as well. If we do venture away from the mapped tracks, it'll most likely just be Jesse and I after a day's ride - he and I are the only 2 that will be on knobbies as far as I know - so a group of unprepared Himalayans getting stuck in a bog doesn't sound all that entertaining haha
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  10. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    You have to look at Snowmobile trail maps. Motorcycles aren't really used up there much because of the conditions. The off road vehicles are those amphibious type with balloon tires and of course snowmobiles. The bigger problem is everything is so far apart you need to travel long distances, knobbies won't hold up long. Don't miss Top of the World Highway and Old town Chicken.
    If I ever go again I'd skip the really off road stuff and stick with the gravel roads for off road adventures. I'd equip the bikes with Anakee Adventures or Shinko 705's. You need to keep in mind if you fall and get hurt your a long ways from home and no help in the off road tracks. Also the motorcycle shops up there don't have many parts on hand., they are really snowmobile oriented and don't know much about motorcycles, any make. SAM_3612.JPG SAM_3722.JPG SAM_3678.JPG SAM_3628.JPG
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  11. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    We're only doing about 1800 miles (max - probably closer to 1650 miles) across Alaska over the course of 12 days - knobbies will be just fine. I've been getting 3000-3500 miles of mixed use on the Tusk DSport rear with 25-30% center tread remaining (I change them out early) and similar on the Dunlop D606F - keeping both at 22psi.

    I won't spill too much but as it's already been briefly mentioned on Instagram by Breeann I'll share this much - there's going to be a number of us on this trip, with a support crew in tow. We'll be fine with regard to spares etc. and we'll also collectively have a few Spot and Garmin InReach GPS beacons so we're not overly concerned about things occurring out in the bush and not being able to get home.

    Our route is already selected (all of our stays are pre-booked and largely paid for) and something we pieced together to cater to the group as a whole. Any extracurricular stuff will likely just be Jesse and I going off exploring a bit after the a respective day's events. As this is largely a ride catered toward hitting up a number of hot spots in as little time as possible, Top of the World, Fairbanks, Prudhoe Bay etc. are all out of the question. We'll make it interesting though, worry not.

    :beer
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  12. Swamper

    Swamper Been Nowhere Done Nothing

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    Riding to Prudhoe Bay and Tuktoyaktuk is more of an experience than an adventure if that makes since. It's a haul and not that much to see as far as scenery. Probably the first hundred miles to Prudhoe is the best part of that route. Dempster Hwy is better but still sort of boring. For me the highlights where TOW Hwy., Denali Hwy., Thompson Pass to Valdez, Chitina, and Dawson City. Denali NP is Shuttle bus only and takes out a full day. There are a lot of trails near and around the park mostly for ATV rentals.
    I didn't realize you weren't riding up and back, we did, that's why I question the tires. Having a chase truck is a whole different deal, we always ride self sufficient. You still need to realize your going to be a long ways from modern Hospitals. We used Spot and let a couple of friends tracking us daily back home. We put over 9,000 miles on this trip. Don't let the daylight fool you, most every business run business hours and close early, it looks like noon at 7 pm.
    I used Dunlop 606 on my Continental Divide ride and they worked out great. There were five of us 2 Dr 450, 2 KTM 350's and my 250 Rally. Both KTM's used Motoz Tractionator Desert H/T, Suzuki's where using Shinko 804 and I ran the Dunlop 606. All worked well, I'd give the Motoz the better of the bunch but they were on lighter bikes.
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  13. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Colfax, CA
    So in preparation for this weekend's riding I decided to do a bit of overdue maintenance. Chain tension was in order but I made sure to check oil levels etc. and also took the time to install the wiring harness and an SAE connector extension so that I can have constant USB power on my dash. In the process of removing my tank, the outlet nipple snapped off of my fuel pump. I'm still not entirely sure nor will I ever be sure how this happened. I wasn't forceful or at all aggressive with the removal. I think because I didn't disconnect the outlet before sliding back and then rotating the tank 90 degrees, the extra "pressure" on the outlet was enough to break it off, but we're talking such a minimal amount of force/rotational torque on the thing that I'm still puzzled the outlet snapped off in that way, given that the hose to the TB is flexible and moves with the pump easily. In the future, I'll always disconnect the hose to the TB before I move the tank.

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    Very quickly I realized this may mean I won't be riding for a couple of weeks and as I didn't like the possibility of that, I quickly came up with a solution I was sure had a 5-10% chance of actually working.

    I started by putting an light layer of Krazy Glue on the mating surface and then pressed the outlet in place, being sure to hold it steady and firmly for a good minute or two. Once set, I let the stuff cure for about 2 hours knowing that super glue isn't fuel safe. My hope was that this would hold it long and steady enough that I could get to work with some JB Weld QuikSteel which IS fuel safe - so I did just that.

    IMG_20210409_200203.jpg

    After letting it set with the JB Weld for about 16 hours, I got to work setting the tank back on the bike and putting everything back together. The moment of truth was upon us and so hesitantly I flipped on the ignition and kill switch to prime the pump. To my amazement, no leaks. I then fired up the bike and let it run for a couple of minutes and everything was still dry so satisfied with that I shut everything back off - pulled the tank again to inspect and all was well. Once sure there were no issues, everything went back together and I repeated the above steps except this time I left it primed and pressurized for 5 minutes without running the bike, followed by 10 minutes of the bike running. No issues to report...

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    The final test had me head out on a 33 miles ride mostly on pavement (a small 2 mile stretch of dirt had to be done though, of course!) and by the end of it I was properly gobsmacked. The damn thing held the whole time without issue.

    Along the way I stopped over at the Bear River Bridge and hiked down to snap a few shots. This spot is about 5 minutes from my doorstep, and believe it or not - there's a Himalayan in this photo if you can spot it.

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    In any case, Sunday would consist of quite the adventure. A few new friends joined me for some riding that for me turned into a 13 hour recovery mission - more to come on that.

    Cheers all.
    klaviator and Johnnyadv43 like this.
  14. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Oddometer:
    369
    Location:
    Colfax, CA
    Alright, so Sunday's adventure - where do I begin.

    I didn't have much of a plan going into the weekend, but on Wednesday I had a couple of folks reach out wanting to join in on my weekend exploits. One of those was Johnnyadv43 (we'll just refer to him as Johnny from here on out) from here on ADV Rider and another was a local climbing guide and photographer who has been watching my posts on Nor-Cal DualSport named Justin. By Saturday evening I figured out a plan - to ride over to Uncle Tom's Cabin over as much dirt as possible. Andy wanted to get some riding time in as well, so he joined in too.

    Just as my wife and I were about to turn in for the night, a gent out of Lodi on a Tenere 700 was looking to join in on a ride as well so I invited him up too. By 9:45AM we had an exciting mix of machines in my driveway ready to depart consisting of the following: My Himalayan, Andy's WR400, Johnny's sweet ass Husky 701 with a rally kit on it,, Rick's T7, and Justin's Street Scrambler. It's important that you remember Justin's Street Scrambler as I was originally under the impression he was on the more capable Scrambler 1200 XE given the off road riding he was doing with it.

    As we were about to depart, my buddy Kellen reached out and let me know that Mike's DRZ fell off of his trailer and wanted to see if we could meet up at some point so Kellen would have someone to ride with. We agreed to meet at Yankee Jim's Bridge and then set off.

    The descent down the canyon went largely drama free though I'm abundantly more cautious about the turn I high-sided on a smidge over a month ago. Once at the bottom, it's all everyone was talking about as apparently everyone else was sliding around on it too. Justin got completely sideways and stalled his bike but managed to keep it upright, and as I understood it from others - Rick had a scary slide on it as well. Even with my being cautious and aware of the spot I felt the rear end on the Himalayan trying to go as I rounded the corner - it feels a lot like what I'd imagine riding on marbles to be like.

    Once at the bridge, Kellen was hanging out and enjoying the American River as he awaited our arrival. We all hopped off for a meet and greet and after about 10 or so minutes the six of us set off for Shirt Tail Canyon. As a group we roosted through the canyon and up to Iowa Hill in record time though I reached the top with enough time to pull off my gloves and helmet so that I could fire off some shots of everyone making it to the top.

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    From here we rode over to Sugar Pine Reservoir and then quickly over to the start of Trail 4. For Justin's sake - I made it very clear that we'd walk the top of the slalom up to the large and hardest rock obstacle the trail has to offer, so that he'd have a chance to assess whether or not he wanted to actually ride it. It was a bit funny because once we got near enough to the spot, he and Johnny walked part of the trail and concluded the obstacle they saw was what I was talking about. Justin came back very confident about it, a confidence I quickly squashed by insisting what he saw was not in fact the obstacle in question. We continued up the trail and as we got closer, we hopped off and walked. Kellen decided at the bottom he'd take the bypass which was the smart decision for his skill level and after seeing it in person, Justin did the same. I went first and took a bad line which stopped my momentum dead. I managed to keep the bike up though, and went in for a second go. Kellen filmed from the top but only caught the very end of my second effort which saw me walking right up.

    Rick went next and almost made it but I suspect in the process of bucking up it, he got knocked into neutral or pulled too much clutch - either way he took a gentle fall to the side. He did make it up his second effort but I don't have this on film. Johnny followed and tried a slow and strategic approach, but once the bike was pivoted up on the rock (a rise of about 2 foot) he no longer had a place to put his foot for balance and ended up toppling over the bike pretty hard. It faired well though. I scrambled down and pushed from the right side of his bike as he made his second effort up, keeping he and the 701 upright as he powered through. Andy took 3 attempts, the first of which I caught on video below. I think it does a better job capturing the moment than what I can say with words - but he did eventually make it up and without injury.



    We pressed on from here but as Kellen was already gassed from the earlier part of the trail he decided to head home for lunch with the family (he lives in Foresthill so it's just down the road). Justin started up the next section first which is a rock garden about an 8th of a mile in length. Andy hopped off to try and give a hand pushing but by the time he reached Justin, the Scrambler was over the rock it was high centered on and continuing on down the trail. I followed and quickly remembered that this was where I had my hardest rock strike on the trail last week. I didn't miss it this week either haha

    A short bit later though and the trail becomes a pristine stretch of flowy dirt that meanders back and forth. I think everyone agrees that this was the high point of the trail as we all had a moment to relax a bit and play around on our two wheeled steeds - airing them out wherever possible as we slalomed back and forth through the forest. This joy was short lived though as we turned down the 3-4 connector. I misread where we were and thought that this was where I turned off last time (it wasn't) and ended up going down a steep, stepped rock garden leading to a creek crossing. This was no issue for me on the Himalayan, Rick or Johnny. We all made it down and crossed without issue. As we waiting for Justin and Andy to catch up though, our banter was interrupted by pained groans from Justin. For reasons I can't explain I decided to turn my bike around (as if I planned to ride the 40ft to them instead of you know, walking) before parking the bike and walking anyways. On the way over I heard Justin say "This is the one thing I was worried about..." Unfortunately I knew exactly what that one thing was. Upon reaching he and the bike, the truth was revealed: Justin's sump had been split open by a rock and the bike was bleeding to death before our eyes.

    We collectively did our best to mitigate the spill and then after some continued moaning, humming and hawing we concocted a plan. First we pushed the bike to a flat spot and then after scouring the map briefly, Rick and Johnny began trailblazing over to a clearing. They came back a few minutes later with the good news that across the way lie a gravel road. If beyond that there wasn't a locked gate, we'd easily be able to get my Tiguan and trailer down there to get the Scrambler home. After doing a bit of cleanup (moving logs and entire sections of dead tree around) Rick, Johnny, Justin and I began pushing the Scrambler straight through a forest of sharp Manzanita. The path was fairly flat as it was following the creek but we still had obstacles in the form of occasional logs bedded into the ground and exposed bits of rock along the way. After a few minutes, we made it the roughly 1/10th of a mile to the other side of the clearing only to have to go back, grab our bikes and ride back through ourselves. Andy was waiting at the creek as he pulled his hamstring earlier in the day and would have been no good pushing through the brush.

    Once we collectively made it through to the other side, Johnny and I rode ahead to scout out the road hoping to find where it led. We concluded that it would exit out to Finning Mill so we again reverted to pushing the Scrambler, but this time a bit more creatively. Johnny started along by clutch feathering on his 701 with a foot on the pillion peg to help Justin along as we largely relied on gravity to get us all the way down to the road. I subbed in about half way through and after a few more minutes we made it to the road. Johnny had to get home by a certain time, so I left Justin with my Spot GPS beacon as a backup, and then Johnny, Rick, Andy and I set off. On the way there was a strangely sketchy gathering going on that I approached to ensure we weren't trespassing. One of the 30 or so spoke English and was friendly enough to confirm that we were indeed on the right path and that getting a trailer down there should be fine. Justin would later tell me that they never did turn their music back on and about 20 minutes later they all departed. The whole area had a very, illegal grow up/meth lab kind of feel but who really knows?

    Once at Finning Mill Road I directed Johnny toward Foresthill so he could pound pavement home. The remaining 3 of us jetted down Finning Mill in the other direction and once on pavement to Iowa Hill Road. Andy had to take his time as his leg was really starting to bother him - but we all made it to my house in about 40-45 minutes. Rick and Andy hung out and ordered a pizza after I insisted there was no need for them to all come back to pick the bike up and that they might as well make themselves comfortable. I hitched up the trailer and loaded up for a 55 minute drive back to one of the most relieved faces I've seen in a long time.

    Justin and I quickly strapped down the Scrambler and started to make our way back home. I opted to take the long way through Foresthill and down to Auburn, as the roads would be less twisty and rough - hopefully decreasing our chances of a mishap involving a bike spontaneously falling off of a trailer. Once back at my place I told Justin he could park it in my garage and as he works in Mammoth Lakes, he was welcome to keep it there as long as he needed. "If time permitted" I said, I'd even be willing to tear into it on his behalf.

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    We grabbed pizza downtown and then at around 7:20 I drove him home way up into Nevada County.

    By the time I got home it was 9:55PM. When I woke up at 7AM that morning I had never expected this would end up becoming an arduous 15 hour day but alas; that's why we call it called adventure riding.

    Big shout-out to Johnny and Rick as they were both damn good sports considering they both came from an hour + away, and not only stuck it out but also were integral pieces to us getting Justin's bike off the trail. I've assured them both that the next ride will deliver in a much more spectacular fashion.

    Apologies for the lack of photos in this one - it was a long day with not a tonne of riding nor many opportunities to pause for a photo. I'll be better next time (and I'll remember to charge my SLR batteries before the next ride!)

    Cheers all, thanks for reading.
    Zubb, Johnnyadv43 and klaviator like this.
  15. Johnnyadv43

    Johnnyadv43 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    Had a lot of fun out there. And that video doesn’t make that rock obstacle look to bad at all haha. I took a couple pictures too if you want me to post them? Let me know next time you’re out riding. I’d like to explore trail 4 and the other trails in the foresthill area too.
    KennyBooBear likes this.
  16. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Oddometer:
    369
    Location:
    Colfax, CA
    Post all you like! If nothing else it'll give better context to what we were up against.

    I'm putting a route together tonight so just let me know which day between Saturday and Sunday is better for you and we'll get some good riding in this weekend as well. Many more miles planned than we did this last weekend, rest assured!
    Johnnyadv43 likes this.
  17. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    17,172
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Great update even without the pics you wanted to take. I'm not surprised at all the riders wanting to join you. I'd be more surprised if no on wanted to join you with the great ride reports you do. I'd be trying to ride with you if I lived just a "little" bit closer.

    Good job rescuing the broken down bike but it's what I would expect from fellow riders. That's one reason I like riding with others. Sure, sometimes my ride is interrupted when someone crashes or their bike breaks but I know that next time it could be me.

    Anyway, as much as I like pics and videos, I also appreciate a well written ride report. Looking forward to reading about your next ride.
    KennyBooBear likes this.
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    17,172
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    Videos and pictures rarely show how steep, rough or challenging something is.
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  19. Johnnyadv43

    Johnnyadv43 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    I thought I took more pictures but I guess now haha. I know Justin had his camera out as well, maybe he can post some as well. Very dusty conditions. Definitely fun seeing all the guys on dirt bikes look at what we’re riding on that trail too, must have thought we were crazy. And I felt bad about having to leave early and couldn’t help with the recovery mission as well. But all in all, it was fun.

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  20. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Oddometer:
    369
    Location:
    Colfax, CA
    I'm partial to riding solo BUT group riding comes with it's own set of joys and despite the mishap this last weekend, it turned out to be one of the best days I've had in a while. There's something about coming together and helping someone out of a hairy situation that leaves you strangely satisfied.

    All good! Justin unfortunately didn't get to the top of the obstacle in time to photograph us coming up it - so those photos will just have to wait for another effort.

    As for the recovery, you and Rick both did more than enough. Were it not for you guys, I'm fairly confident the Scrambler would still be down there on the side of the trail.

    During the pizza session after all was said and done, Justin did mention a few times he might have to get himself something more trail worthy. Ironically he recently sold a mint DRZ400 that was nicely modified because he never really touched the thing. I may have given him slight amounts of shit for that move haha