Hawkeyes Go East - TWAT 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Orangecicle, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    Good ‘Nuf Hollow Road, or something like that. Regardless, it did not disappoint. Riding in the woods one handed while taking a picture with your GoPro is kinda the definition of “Safety Third.”

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  2. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    @ZLTFUL at the rock everybody takes a picture of.

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  3. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    More from Good ‘Nuf road. It’s the highlight of the trip so far. There were about five or so little stream crossings, which were fun. We had an Africa Twin trailing our group through this part, and then he disappeared. If you were the Inmate on the red Africa Twin, let us know who you were.

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  4. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    Waldo! And they said this game was hard. ( @ZLTFUL and @vipers in McGregor).

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  5. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    Yellow River State Forest overlook. Cool place.

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  6. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    Back into Wisconsin on the Lansing bridge. Metal bridges with knobbies = interesting.

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  7. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    People in Wisconsin think a lot of their roads are closed when they’re not. They REALLY thought that the road blocked by concrete road barriers was closed. It wasn’t.

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  8. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    There really wasn’t any photography from this point forward. We left Lansing at 5pm with the bright idea that we would make it to Ontario by dark. We made it to Viola at about dark. There was a fair going on with truck/tractor pulls, which looked to be stupid fun to see, but the town was packed. While getting gas I met Mick from Viola, who said he’s an Inmate. He was wondering why all the adventure bikes were going past his house for the past couple of years. :lol3 I told him to thank Chad Burger.

    We were also out of time to try and make Ontario. We headed out, and it soon became dusk, and then dark. We creeped along dodging deer until Rockton, and then we jumped off of the track to ride Highway 131 up to Ontario. We found a room at the only Inn in town — the Driftwood. The checkin process involved calling the phone number on the paper sign at the desk to get the caretaker to drive over and give us keys. Time to dry out.

    Viola fair:

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  9. reedski

    reedski Adventurer

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    Your camping spot south of Bellevue is literally 2 miles from me! Have a great trip!!!
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  10. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    Well, Imelda is still hanging around, so we’ve decided to lay up for the day at the Driftwood Inn in Ontario. There are two bars in town. The first one we went to — River’s End Bar — is about 50 steps from the Inn and has Jamison. Just FYI. I’m not sure what the other one has because I’ve deemed it irrelevant at this point. @ZLTFUL ordered an Irish coffee this morning and had to explain that was Jamison and coffee. He received something he called coffee-flavored Jamison.

    So yeah, the other bar is irrelevant.

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  11. ZLTFUL

    ZLTFUL Optimistic Pessimist

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    Some things I have learned after the first full day on the TWAT (Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail)

    1. Heidenau K60 Scout front tire is exceptionally good on the front of the 640 on pavement. Almost as good as a full on road tire.

    2. Heidenau K60 Scout front tire is AMAZINGLY BAD at high speed on dirt and loose gravel. I have NEVER had so many close call front end washes on any bike/tire combo in my life. That will be the first thing I replace when we get back home.

    Side note: the Mitas Enduro Rear is not nearly aggressive enough for hard dirt riding but does fine in paved and packed gravel...predictable slides and traction. But I will most likely get rid of it too to have a matching set of mostly dirt tires.

    3. “Huh...” This is the singular thought Brad has as he heard a crunch and watched his bar end mirror crash to its death.

    Back story: We have just remounted after stopping off to check out the Dickeyville Grotto (amazing as far as grottos go) and are headed out of town. Speed limit goes from 25 to 55, we all 3 start accelerating. I see a small SUV creeping past her stop sign and watch her a bit too intently. Meanwhile, Brad and Blake have signaled the next turn and have slowed to almost a complete stop. I look up and gently grab both front and rear brakes but with the constant drizzle and rain throughout the day, both ends of the bike completely lock up.

    I am immediately thrown into a sideways slide at about a 70* angle to my original direction of travel. I immediately see that my front is going to clip the back of Blake’s bike and I am going to reverse t-bone Brad.

    It’s amazing how much your brain processes in a situation like that. In less than a second, about 30 scenarios run through my head and I process each one for the best and worst possible outcomes. There is also a point in this process where you are determining the best way of contact emergency services, reassuring your wife you are OK, contacting your insurance, and how you can save your friends all at once because you know that this worst case scenario is about to unfold.

    Instead, my brain instantly processed the following...

    Release both brakes.

    Brad and Blake are staggered JUST enough to fit between them with minimal contact.

    Bike is still sideways so you need to get it traveling in the correct direction to pull off this avoidance maneuver.

    Whack throttle part of the way open while counter-steering into the slide.

    Bike snaps back into the original path of travel.

    Now a quick juke to the right while leaning away from Brad and his bike.

    Catch a glimpse of the initial (and only) impact of my left bar end mirror with Brad’s bar end mirror and the resultant flight of the mirrors on different trajectories.

    Glance right to verify that I have cleared Blake and his bike while simultaneously verifying that no one has taken to the shoulder to go around the stopped motorcycles.

    Calmly apply brakes and edge onto the shoulder and stop.

    At this point, my first thought was “Why is my midsection all warm?”

    With the immediate follow up of, “Did I just fucking piss myself??!!” (For the record, I most certainly did not. It was just the radiating warmth of a MASSIVE rush of adrenaline.)

    After a few seconds of reflection, Brad rolls up next to me and the first words out of my mouth are, “Are you alright???” My status at this point was moot. I was more concerned for my friend’s current state and the thought that I had just screwed his trip up or hurt him was foremost.

    Needless to say, Brad and Blake started signaling turns a LONG way in advance the rest of the day.



    4. Wisconsin’s “alphabet roads” are awesome. But the TWAT...the TWAT follows roads and trails that are considerably more awesome.

    5. Having the best lights of the group is a blessing and a curse. Even more so when you are asked to take over lead of the group when it gets dark and your phone is almost dead because the charging port has become intermittently functional. Brad suggested I lead and I hesitantly agreed with the stipulation that Brad and I keep our Sena connection open and he feeds me the upcoming turns and terrain...I felt like Colin McRae taking his course cues from Nicky Grist in that indomitable Subaru rally car. But we made it to Ontario, WI without further excitement.



    This was Day 2 for Brad and I, having already ridden from Des Moines to Bellevue State Park on the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi to camp for the night.

    Blake caught up with us in Galena after my buddy Dan met us in Bellevue for the ride from there to Galena and a little bit beyond. I am glad it wasn’t next weekend in Galena, otherwise, I may have insisted we waited out the weather in the Biergarten at Galena’s annual Oktoberfest.

    I do need to get back to Galena with my wife when we can spend a day simply checking out the town.



    End TWAT Trip Day 1 - 2 trip report.
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  12. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    After the rain cleared, @vipers and I went out to do the small bit of track that we skipped getting into Ontario from Rockton. Then we headed into the roads to the east of Rockton that ran up in the hills. That place is idilic in every sense of the word. Then we topped a hill and ran across this scene. At first I thought that we found the builder of Amish buggies. Then we realized that this was a Sunday meeting. We could tell by the hats the men left outside of the house on the front porch. Such a cool scene, and I’m glad I could take a picture to record it without photographing the Amish themselves.

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  13. TrailGoat

    TrailGoat Adventurer

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    Glad you and the rest of the crew are OK.

    I had heard the K60 did poorly on wet pavement; your account is one additional data point. I will be swapping mine out next and been considering the Motoz Adventure or Rallz with the option to combine rear/front respectively. If more pavement, they also have the GPS. I’m thinking the compound of the K60 is perhaps to blame on the hard stuff.
    #33
  14. s0lidstate

    s0lidstate Two Wheels = Fun

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    Great photos @Orangecicle! Looking forward to hearing about the rest of the trip. Glad to know that everyone survived @ZLTFUL's unorthodox mirror modification procedure.
    #34
  15. 32dgrz

    32dgrz Been here awhile

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    Is there an inflatable raft in one of those bags? Looks moist
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  16. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    I will always remember a similar incident in my first car sliding with locked up brakes towards the rear of a stopped semi. It’s so counter intuitive to let go the brakes to get steering back and even more so for an average driver of 17 tender years. When you consider all the forces at play and the biological sensors in use when you pull off a save like that you realize the amazing processing power in the ol’ noggin.
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  17. RoundOz

    RoundOz Plenty of seasoning

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    Obviously should have taken the time off to join this one. Great stories and images!
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  18. Stujiro

    Stujiro Adventurer

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    I'm watching this closely, we leave for the TWAT thursday! Great read so far!
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  19. Orangecicle

    Orangecicle On a "Quest" Supporter

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    Wisconsin.

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  20. ZLTFUL

    ZLTFUL Optimistic Pessimist

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    First crasher award goes to me! Suck it Brad! Beat you to posting!!!

    Don’t worry though, I am fine and got it all on the GoPro.
    #40