Full Throttle Touring - 150 through the Rocket City

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by klaviator, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    We had relatives visiting for Easter weekend. I spent most of the weekend in a food coma:dukegirl It would have been a great weekend for some riding with wall to wall sunshine. I did get out for a short ride in Friday.

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    Everything is turning green here. In many places there are all kinds of colors blooming making it almost as colorful as fall. Unfortunately I didn't really capture that. You can only see a hint of colors in the next pic.

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    I had some fun before riding back home.

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    This evening after everyone had left I decided to go out and get the scooter tag. I got bruced but did get a couple of sunset pics.

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    I'm planning on doing a longer ride tomorrow.
  2. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Leaves on trees. What a concept. Who knew?
  3. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After a weekend of eating way too much it was time to go for a ride. I headed out on a nearly perfect day. It wasn't long before I got off the road to check out a bridge.

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    This spot had the added bonus of a nice little hill climb to get back up to the road.

    Going through Decatur I shot this colorful spot.

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    Getting near the Bankhead forest I saw this and thought I would take some pics just to remind everyone that this is still Alabama after all:D

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    Closer view.

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    I can't pass up a bridge without taking some pics.

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  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    While there are some run down places in Alabama, there a plenty of nice farms and houses as well.

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    I got into the National Forest and stopped and took a break. I stopped here last time an took some pics so I didn't want to repeat the same pics. This one should be good for the "Where's Waldo" thread.

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    This gravel/dirt road took me to Leola Rd. Leola Rd is best described as the Bankhead Dragon. Perfect pavement and plenty of curves. The curves aren't real tight but still fun.

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    Then it was left on 33 and a stop at the campground where we will be staying this weekend for "Dualsporting the Free State."

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    This is a hunting camp with no facilities except an outhouse. Normally there isn't much firewood here but with a saw we might be able to make some this time.

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  5. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Then I headed down on of the Forest roads west of HWY 33. I've been back here before but never seemed to know where I was. I stopped at a bridge that I had stopped at before.

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    Nice view from the other side.

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    These roads where fairly wide. The maintenance varied with deep gravel in some places and mostly dirt with plenty of ruts in others.

    The best riding is when you get off the "main" roads. I turned down one side road that wasn't gated or marked closed so I think it was legal but who knows:dunno

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    Dirt with mud puddles in some low spots. Much more fun than a wide gravel road. I followed it for a bit then turned around. Most likely it was a dead end.

    Back out on a "main" Road.

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    I was out on gravel roads for at least a half hour before hitting some pavement. I decided to find some gas and ended up in Double Springs where I filled up. After the vast quantities of food I consumed over the weekend I thought I could just skip lunch but it was around 1:30 and I was hungry so I stopped and had a light lunch. I found the perfect place.

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    I only had a coke, chips and one taco. It was just enough to satisfy my hunger without making me want to take a nap. The Taco was very good. I wouldn't hesitate to stop here again.
  6. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After lunch it was time to go exploring. I started on some pave roads and just turned down every forest road I saw. This was the first one.

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    It was a fun dirt road with no gravel. It started going down hill and became really rutted.

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    The pic doesn't show how deep the ruts were and how steep it is. I went a little ways further then decided to turn around while I still could. Maybe in a group it would be fun to see where this went.

    Just so I can remember the road number.

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    After that I explored a bunch of dead end roads.

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    This one went by a bunch of hunting club land and got progressively better.

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    This is as far as I could go without a hunting club membership.

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    On the way back out.

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  7. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Jealous Win. You have such great little roads and good weather.
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  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Another place to check out.

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    Nothing fancy. Unfortunately you have to bring a target stand as well as targets so not really practical to use when riding.

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    Another dead end forest RD.

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    These dead end roads are generally much better than the ones that go through. They aren't over graveled and over maintained. They also have very little traffic.

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    Although I ride pretty conservatively when out in the sticks by myself, I was having fun. It always takes me a while to get warmed up but I was well warmed up by now.

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    Eventually I got back on one of the through roads.

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    After following it for around 30 minutes and not knowing were I was it dumped me back out on HWY 33. Then it was time to head back home.

    this was not too far from home. This pic would have been much better a little earlier when the sun was still shining on the tree.

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    I passed a couple large groups of spandex warriors out for a Monday evening ride.

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    My mileage for that day was around 230.

    Next Friday I will be heading back over to the Bankhead Forest for a weekend of camping and dual sport riding.
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    That's one of the reasons I chose to live here. I have lived in several places that had shitty roads and weather and I decided long ago to not settle down anyplace that wasn't a good place for riding.
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  10. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I'm heading out for the Bankhead Forest and a weekend of camping and riding. The weather forecast shows we'll probably get wet but I'm hoping for the best. I'll be back on Sunday.
  11. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    I got back yesterday evening from a fantastic 3 day weekend of camping and riding. I'm walking around like an old man. I don't handle three days of dual sport riding like I did when I was younger:gerg I'll post a ride report when I get the chance. A few pics as teasers until then.

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  12. norton73

    norton73 drinkin' in the garage Supporter

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    Rut roh! I hope Rich is okay.
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  13. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    That was not the worst thing that happened to Rich over the weekend!
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  14. norton73

    norton73 drinkin' in the garage Supporter

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    :yikes
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  15. 2372ighost

    2372ighost Been here awhile Supporter

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    You big Teaser!!
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Dual Sporting the Free State is an event that started around 15 years ago and has been held every year since except last year when most things were shut down due to Covid. I went to it the first time around 5 years ago and have been to every one since. It is always one of the highlights of the year. It's not that the riding in the Bankhead National Forest is that great although it is pretty good. It's the whole event is just a great time. Two nights of camping, plenty of food, hanging out with friends and making new friends. The riding is icing on the cake. This event is so much fun because Al @Al Goodwin and his wife Melony but so much effort into it. Then all the regulars pitch in with various things to make this a great event that people keep coming back to.

    Leading up to this year's event we had some pretty nasty weather forecasts. Rain starting mid day on Friday then a 90% chance of rain much of Saturday. Sunday at least would be nice but most people head for home on Sunday and don't ride.

    Well we all know how accurate the weather forecasters are:loco

    As it got closer to the weekend the forecast got better but still wasn't real good. Well I was going even if I ended up just hanging at the campground. So I got my truck all packed up and headed out a little after 9 am on Friday and got there just over an hour later. A couple of people were already there and more rolled in after me. I set up my tent.

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    Soon Al and Melony rolled in. Al checks out this big trailer from work that has big grills and propane tanks on it. You could feed a small army with this.

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    They also had tables, chairs and a bunch of other stuff in their truck.

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    More camping rigs:

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    We set up and waited as more people rolled in. It didn't look like weather was keeping people away. Around 1:30 it was time to go for a ride:ricky:ricky

    Al always leads the big ride on Saturday but I would be leading this one. I had some roads picked out that aren't part of the Saturday route. So seven of us headed out. A few miles of pavement and we turned down a dirt road I discovered a few weeks ago. It was nothing real challenging but rough enough that you were glad to be on a dual sport instead of a street bike.

    I'm cruising along and see a small water crossing ahead. No problem, there was only a few inches of water last time through. I didn't even slow down.

    It was much drier last time. Wooosh!! I created a wall of water and ended up pretty wet. Good thing it wasn't a cold day.

    I stopped to watch the others hit the water and maybe get some pics.

    There was no one in sight. Oh OH! I'm not that fast. The others should be right behind me. So I turn around and head back. I find Rich and Chris stopped. They noticed no one was behind them so they stopped. We turned around but soon saw the rest of the group coming. This was their story.

    John was riding third from the back. He hit a big pothole on his TW200 and his tail box popped open and there was a yard sale over the road. John had no idea until he saw on one was behind him and went back to find them gathering up his stuff. Some of that stuff ended up underwater in a puddle.

    So I went ahead to take some pics.

    Rich @2372ighost on his Bashan Brozz 250

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    Randy @TheSweeper on his CRF250L

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    I caught up with the group. We came to an intersection and turned right. A couple miles later I stopped at another intersection. Rich was right behind me but no one else.

    Oh OH!!
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I am thinking that bridge shot is about as good as bridge shots get!
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  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    We went back and found the rest of the group at the last intersection. Chris's WR250 had a flat rear tire. No one had an 18 inch tube with them but I had a tube patch kit and a quick Jack so we went to work.

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    Chris patched the tube then we all stared at it to make the glue set up faster.

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    Time to air it back up. John pulled out his little air pump but it was one of the things that had fallen into the puddle and didn't work. No problem we had some CO2 cartridges. Unfortunately the tube still didn't hold air:(

    Time for plan B. Randy volunteered to go back and get his truck and trailer to haul the bike back. So off he went. The rest of us hung out. We talked about the "yard sale". John mentioned that he was really glad that they found his truck and camper keys. he would have been screwed without those. About that time Rich started searching his pockets. He was looking for the key fob for his truck.

    Oh OH! It wasn't there. Maybe he left it back at the camp? Last time Rich locked his keys in his truck on the last day and had to get his wife to bring the spare keys.

    Did Rich leave his fob behind or would this make two times in a row?

    We would find out after doing some more riding.
  19. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    After Randy and Chris left in the truck the five of us remaining went and rode some more.

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    It was a fun but uneventful ride. We had already used up all of our bad luck right?

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    We got back to camp. There was a tree stump just perfect for a work stand for the WR and I had a spare 18 inch tube in my truck.

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    We were all set!

    Right?

    Well we couldn't get the valve stem on the tube through the little hole on the rim.

    :scratch

    It turned out I had a tube meant for street bikes and the valve stem was thicker than that on a dirt bike tube:baldy

    What else could go wrong?

    How about the fact that Rich had really lost his key fob:baldy At least he had forgot to lock his truck before leaving so he could at least get into his truck.

    Back to the tube. We looked at the old tube and found another hole. We could patch that so we did. We put a little air in the tube. No leaks we could detect so Chris put it back in the tire and we pumped it up.

    Pssssssssss, It was leaking:dirtdog and no one else in the camp had an 18 inch tube.

    Time for plan C. I would take Chris and the tire to All Sport the next morning and we would get them to fix it. Someone else suggested plan D. They would ride a few miles to a spot that there was a cell phone signal and try to get a hold of someone still coming and see if they could bring a tube. That worked and soon 2 tubes were on the way:-)
  20. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Now it was time to hang out.

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    This is one reason I enjoy this event so much. The weather was great but getting a bit cool.

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    Al fired up the grill and soon we had way more food than we could heat. Burgers, brats, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips......Debbi even baked some brownies for me to bring to this. No one went hungry. One guy who had not been to this event ate before coming, He won't make that mistake again:dukegirl

    Later that night it was time to finally fix the WR.

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    Success:rayof

    This is another reason this is such a great event. If someone has a problem everyone pitches in until it's solved. None of us had met Chris before but we would do whatever it took to solve his problem.

    One more pic and the story behind it.

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    Yes I know it's blurry. There was a strip of lights hung around the EZ up. Al brought a generator to power those lights as well as the coffee maker in the morning. He put the generator way back in the woods so it wouldn't be so loud. The problem was it hadn't been used in two years. It fired up but was surging. The lights would get bright then real dim and keep cycling every few seconds. It reminded me of a disco but someone else thought it was like an old horror movie:lol3

    Al told us it always did that but would smooth out after about 20 minutes. Well it did smooth out.......when it died:lol3 Ok, it was funny at the time but might not be so funny if there was no coffee the next morning:hair

    Around 10 it started raining but we were ready for bed. Hopefully it wouldn't be too stormy!

    I wasn't too worried when I went to bed. I don't drink coffee:rofl