Exploring California - Journey of a Noob

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

  1. Wierdrider

    Wierdrider Been here awhile

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    Yeah Rudy, I’ve gone through the gate 4-5 times, I was surprised when I saw that it was was locked for you that time. Didn’t you guys come through it on your first dirt trek with Kelly and the Meetup? Sdar’s desert dash usually goes that route. That was the last time I did that route, a year ago February.
    Sorry for the interruption KBB
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  2. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    ^ This. Just say when.

    Might have to check this out myself.

    Debating the practicality currently of moto-camping in Sandstone Canyon this weekend. If I head down there and there are signs specifically saying no entry (I know there are at the entrance points inside the ABSP borders, but Fish Creek Wash can be accessed without entering ABSP hence my curiosity) then I'll turn back. Perhaps I'll ride that on the way out if that happens.

    As for the whole "sorry for interruption bit" ... pfffftttt.

    This thread exists for 2 reasons. First and foremost, to inspire others to ride. Part of that is discussing, so hijack all you like. There's a reason I created an index on page 1 haha

    Second reason is so I have a resource I can reference when I want to relive my previous rides. I'm intent on eventually exporting these rides to a blog and website, but for now this is an easy way for me to keep track.

    Cheers gents.
  3. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Went out again with the FMARs.

    We rode Margarita Peak but used a slightly different route, one that I didn't know existed since Google Maps doesn't reflect the entire trail system. But first, we set off from Wrench 42 down in Murrieta. They're a well known bike/dual sport shop and come highly recommended from most anyone in the area. I do my own wrenching but if I ever need a hand, they'll be my first resort.

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    Where we would normally turn off of Carancho onto Via. Volcano, we instead continued straight which turns into DeLuz, and eventually Deluz/Tenaja Truck Trail. Little did I know, this intersects just about with the very beginning of Margarita Road but more than doubles the one way length of off road riding.

    This first section is also exponentially more technical, making it a perfect way to warm up and get the blood pumping before carving up the mountain.

    I'd argue this was my favorite part of the ride and I'm sure many others would as well. We had a couple of stops along the way to let the group catch up where I could pause long enough to snap a few photos with the phone.

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    From this point on we rode steady until the top. It's amazing how much Margarita Road has changed since I last visited a week and a half ago. Apparently when I previously rode it, it had been recently regraded and as such, was smooth but also included a lot of loose sand.

    Since then however, it seems like hundreds of bikes, quads etc. have torn it up. Rocks are strewn everywhere, and while it's still sandy, there are obvious ruts and tracks where ATVs have been - I'd argue this made it slightly more challenging in some spots, and easier in other. Either way, with my skills increasing I was able to spend the whole ride just enjoying myself - intentionally throwing the bike around and jumping off of rocks and over ruts when they presented themselves.

    Easily had one of the best times in a while on this particular ride, I suspect mostly because it was just difficult enough to offer a challenge but easy enough that I could be a bit of a kid.

    Once at the top, we spent a good 30-45 minutes chatting and just bonding as you tend to. I was among the first to arrive up top which gave me time to unpack and fire off photos of the second half of the group arriving. We were rewarded with a beautiful sky lit up by the just barely set sun, and perfectly cool weather to wick the sweat from our shirts.

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    On the way back down I delayed slightly to let others get ahead enough that I wouldn't be riding in a cloud of dust, but those efforts were futile since I quickly caught up with the front of the pack. By the time I got home I was covered in a thick layer of dust, and a grin stretching from ear to ear.

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    I'll have my work cut out for me tomorrow getting all the dust off of my gear and cleaning the bike but meh, it's the price you pay to have a good time!

    Always a pleasure riding with these folks - until next time y'all.
  4. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Sorry I missed this ☝️. It’s a bit of a haul from La Mesa and I couldn’t free up the time this week.
    Hopefully I can plug back in soon. I’m really enjoying exploring the greater Temecula area.
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  5. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Yea Temecula and the surrounding areas really have a lot to explore. It's entirely coincidental that I moved here but it seems to be the perfect spot down here for being located centrally to all the best ADV spots.

    If you want to get out this weekend let me know - playing with a few ideas ranging from day trips to perhaps motocamping.
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  6. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    No time to camp this weekend, but possible other options. I’m playing it by ear at this point. If I can get a helmet on wifeys head I’ll do a a Sunday road ride with a few folks on SDAR. Ping me if you want San Diego Adventure Riders info.
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  7. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    No worries! I've finally concluded on my plan for the weekend.

    Due to the uncertainty of ABSP (and the fact that next weekend looks to be an even cooler one than this one) I think I'm going to ride rouse ridge over to San Jacinto truck trail and up into Idylwild.

    Should be about 46 miles of dirt so I'm looking forward to it. Will write a detailed report of course, and might even camp out along the way!
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  8. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    Yup, as KBB said, it was a hoot!
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  9. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    61111001741__1A6F48CB-C7E8-4164-8974-160C9964C897.jpg
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  10. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    IMG_4533.jpg
    Yes, we had “rocky road” at the summit!
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  11. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    IMG_4532.jpg
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  12. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    IMG_4535.jpg
    Group shot.
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  13. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Proof that even noobs like me can ride :D
  14. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    Pretty awesome thread. I can id half the picture locations before reading the captions.
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  15. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Appreciate you - Yea I tried to cover every bit of unpaved road I could in Nevada and Placer County. Few spots I didn't get to before the move that I'll be back for and a whole maze of places I haven't even scratched in/around Markleeville.

    One destination in particular I want to ride/motocamp to is the Carson River Hot Springs via. Barney Riley Road.

    Partly due to water crossings, partly due to lots of baby heads and partly due to hot springs at the destination.

    A lot of people stop/camp there on rafting trips, so it'd be bad ass to ride out there on a bike like "You needed a raft to get here? Pssh."
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  16. GonzoMD

    GonzoMD Adventurer

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    Due to the uncertainty of ABSP (and the fact that next weekend looks to be an even cooler one than this one) I think I'm going to ride rouse ridge over to San Jacinto truck trail and up into Idylwild.

    Should be about 46 miles of dirt so I'm looking forward to it. Will write a detailed report of course, and might even camp out along the way![/QUOTE]

    ABSP rangers patrol the fish creek wash but don’t go very far up/in. If you ride in from shelter valley you’d be good. It is a “real” trail though. Not easy in the slightest (just meaning might be good to have a partner). Your route to idyllwild is awesome though. Scenic and fun
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  17. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    Yea I've been told it's pretty sandy and requires patience among other things.

    I'll probably put it off until the park actually reopens and when the weather cools which on one hand sucks since that likely won't line up before the Summer temps hit the desert.

    If I can get someone to go with, I'll probably hit it up next weekend though as I'm keen to get out there sooner than not.

    The route up to Idyllwild does look fun though. Crossing my fingers for technical, baby head ridden riding but I'll know when I head up there Saturday.

    Temps look like they'll be amazing and overnight temps around 5500 should be mid-high 40s which really has me wanting to camp; issue is I'll cover the 46 miles in no more than 2 1/2 hours leaving me little excuse to setup camp before Noon. Trying to find a route I can take back without relying too much on pavement so will update with that info if/when I find something suitable.
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  18. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    So Rouse Ridge had equal amounts of success and failure. After pinging the local riding group (FMAR) I had a couple of other riders reach out and 2 decided to join in.

    After fueling up just before 9am and pounding out a quick 40 highway miles, I reached the point where pavement ended. I arrived way early as we were scheduled to meet between 10 and 10:15AM so I took my time hiking around the surrounding area and snapping off a few photos. Right around 10:10 Frank arrived on his KTM and shortly after, Kyle pulled up on his WR250.

    From the South, Rouse Ridge starts in a strange (strange because they're not hugely common in these parts) in a pine forest - something I've grown accustomed to not seeing much of down here in Southern California. The smell of sweet sap filling the air reminded me of Northern California, if only for a moment.

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    After chatting for a couple, we hit the trail. Rouse Ridge is a moderately trafficked fire/forest road that runs 26+ miles from Thomas Mountain to 74 and the start of Bee Canyon, another fire/forest road. The original intent was to hop over to Bee Canyon and take that up to San Jacinto Truck Trail and into Idyllwild. Though as the day progressed, that became less practical.

    I've previously never led anyone on any sort of ride, nor have I ridden this area before so this was uncharted territory. Admittedly I was trying to push myself a bit so as to not slow down my newfound friends on unquestionably superior machines for this sort of riding. We averaged about 25mph through the first part and up to the top of Thomas Mountain where we took our first break. The road to get there was a winding mix of shallow sand, ruts that ran perpendicular to the track and numerous small/medium sized rocks that were bedded into the terrain leaving a portion exposed. Occasional dips and humps added a bit of extra excitement but for the most part Rouse Ridge is a pretty easy ride.

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    We broke for perhaps a bit too long, especially considering what happened next.

    We made our way back down the tricky/slightly technical bit that takes you to the summit and back onto the main path. As I had before, I picked up my pace and kept an average of 25-35mph going down the mountain. This wouldn't normally be an issue, but I also had my inner (tinted) visor down.

    On a straight, downhill stretch I saw a rock jutting up ahead. As I normally would, I prepared myself and at the right time, preloaded my suspension to allow the bike to easily spring over the rock - catching a bit of air in the process. What I failed to notice due to the tinted visor and the fact that we were under the shade of tree cover was that just before said rock was a quick dip of approx. 8-12". When I preloaded/compressed my suspension, I did so into this dip which in effect multiplied the compression of the front end. As a result, the front of the Himalayan was completely bottomed out instead of rebounding by the time my front tire made contact with the rock.

    This caused a violent and sudden buck upwards of the front end which was them in turn slammed back to the ground when my rear tire caught the same rock. After a sudden and violent jar into the air and back onto the ground, the rear end of my bike simply went out and around to the right of me causing the left side of the bike to low-side and ultimately spin around all at about 20-25mph.

    This normally wouldn't be much of an issue either, except that ineptly I had forgotten my ADV pants when I was gearing up and in a rush to make time, I left without them on and instead wearing jeans. I realized this 10 miles into my trip down concrete slab and instead of turning back I thought "Meh, it's just a fire road. How bad can it be?"

    I'm lucky that the only damage to me suffered was a moderate scratch/gash on my left knee. At the time of the crash I held it tight as I couldn't see if or how bad it was bleeding. I figured pressure was the best thing to apply - and as luck would have it, it hardly bled at all. Lesson learned - ATGATT.

    Frank and Kyle quickly rushed to get the bike up and we collectively assessed the damage. My bars were bent quite badly, shift linkage snapped, left peg had slammed so hard against the frame that the teeth had been bent flat and my side-stand was tweaked. Frank and Kyle quickly conjured up a trail fix and Frank and I worked to wrap the linkage in JB Weld. Once set, we wrapped it in galvanized wire and hung out while it hardened.

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    At this point, we were 2 hours behind schedule and due to the adrenaline and such, I was far more fatigued and hungry than I otherwise would have been. We decided to continue the trail down to 74 where we would cut the day short, having still ridden some 26-28 miles of trail/fire road.

    At this point my knee was a bit swollen and admittedly I was a bit apprehensive due to not wanting to further damage my knee as well as wreck the trail fix. I kept the bike in 2nd almost the entire time so as to avoid shifting/damaging the bodge of my linkage which worked surprisingly well. From this point forth my pace changed from 25-30mph down to about 15-20mph. Frank and Kyle were understanding though and we continued to enjoy the trail and views it offered.

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    We trudged onward, vying to stop once more at this old remnant of a corral to look out toward Hemet. Despite the haze over the valley, the views were incredible.

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    Once we reached 74 Kyle was keen on continuing to Bee Canyon and Idyllwild, and had I not been so famished that lightheadedness had become the norm, I would have continued on with him. The trail fix seemed to be more sturdy than the linkage was from the factory and despite the sore/swollen knee, my sense of adventure wanted to see what awaited us in the higher altitudes above.

    Still, my common sense got the better of me and we ultimately opted to head home with the intent of riding again soon. 60 miles of pavement and a short stint at Paradise Valley Cafe later and the bike (and myself) had reached home. After further review I found that the pivot pin for my shift lever was also fairly tweaked.

    Damage report to come....
  19. KennyBooBear

    KennyBooBear Been here awhile

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    After giving the bike a more thorough look, I concluded the bars were most definitely tweaked beyond my desire to bend them back/repair them. The side-stand was also badly tweaked but easily mendable as the bent portion was the threaded rod I installed to shorten it in the first place. My shift linkage and pivot post/bolt were also toast though the latter was still "usable" so I quickly got to work ordering new parts.

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    My Himalayan is indifferent, now all it can do is shrug to the left.

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    Ironically a few days prior I had ordered a set of Doubletake Mirrors, so they got a pair of brand new bars to go onto!

    I spent a few hours on the internet trying to locate parts - unfortunately anything from RE takes forever normally, and this is only amplified by the current lockdown in India and elsewhere. I found that Dynojet made a similar linkage that I could shorten the threads on and use, so I ordered 2 in order to have a spare. I then ordered new braced, aluminum bars, grips etc.

    Once the new parts arrived, I spent about 2 hours pulling everything apart, drilling the notches in the new bars for the electronics to seat, and putting everything back together. You could say I'm happy with the result.

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    Oh and the linkage worked perfectly after removing about a half centimeter of threads from either side.

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    I re-used my pivot bolt until I can source another and then reinstalled it as tight as it would go without seizing up the gear lever, finally adding red loctite to the threads to prevent the bolt from backing out.

    The new linkage is a lot beefier so hopefully it won't end up tweaked as easily as the OE one.

    Now all she needs is some bar adapters so I can get my handguards back on.

    It should also be mentioned that the cheap $20 Amazon knock-off Acerbis Rally handguards survived. The plastic fairing is more cracked/gashed/chipped than it has ever been but they're still functional and ready to continue saving my hands from injury. For the price, you really can't beat the damn things.

    Until next time, ladies and gents!

    Edit: It should also be mentioned that my next investment is going to be a proper ADV/Moto helmet, as the Neotec II is a fantastic helmet but just not designed for this kind of riding. On multiple occasions it has resulted in visibility issues etc (my own fault mind you) due to my needing to keep the main visor open for airflow while on trails, and subsequently keeping the inner/tinted visor down.
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  20. Wierdrider

    Wierdrider Been here awhile

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    Nice rr, I’ve gone over Thomas Mountain a few times, but I’ve never been on Rouse ridge. I’ve heard it can get extremely silty sometimes. Last time on top of T homas we got a glimpse of a bald eagle.
    I’ve always been an ATGATT kinda guy, and I also learned a lesson recently. I bought a Hussaberg a while back. I had a friend get it running so I could sell it, but I wanted to ride it once. I went up and down the road, had enough, but decided to try and wheelie 20’ before I was gonna get off and take photos for the sale. BA98B8C6-A8CE-4E2E-8CFF-BE9852F60CD0.jpeg DUMB IDEA( especially in shorts )! Should’ve straightened the Berg out before I blipped the throttle. I threw her to the ground straight away.
    Live and learn, hopefully. 1576D72A-1CE7-437B-A78D-8C4020C16BD2.jpeg Thanks for sharing as always, ride on KBB