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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Freerydejunky, Jul 14, 2018.
Heal up Freeryde! N glad you're keeping the report going!!
BOYYYY howdy has it been an advenure. Time for quite a bit of recap
I forgot to mention that we also were wall riding our wees on the burmed corners headed down from the closed mountain road, which was comical and i wish we had gotten video, of that, as well as FreeRyde's high speed bombed in water crossing.
Day 1 of my Solo Playing with my wee adventure
Mr Burns and Mr Modelo come down to retrieve FreeRyde and his wounded wee. It was a long and frustrating process. But eventually everything got squared away, we gave hugs, said our goodbyes and I headed off into the mountains.
Nice and warm as I left Bakersfield
Hopping back on 58 and headed back to BodFish Caliente. Riding that road during that day was quite interesting. LOTS of cows randomly popping out from in the woodline and the road is DIRTY. Its a blast but damn, its dirty. Took Bodfish Caliente through Havilah and up to Lake Isabella then hopped on 155 and headed north towards Kernville. Jumped off 155 and onto Burlando Rd around the Northwest edge of the lake which drops onto Sierra Way/ MTn Hwy 99.
I kept headed North through the twisty canyon roads alongside the river. Absolutely gorgeous area and a TON of small camps along the river. I rode through a couple of them and they had far too many people for my liking so I headed further North. Settling on a spot in Chamise Flats, I setup camp for the night.
125 miles on the day @ North of Kernville
Day 2 Not a bad way to start the day
After packing up camp and hopping back on Mtn Hwy 99 I get to ripping down this beautiful scenic twisty road. Johnny McNallys in Fairview caught my eye with their clever advertising. Alas they were not open. Next time 40oz ribeye, next time youre mine.
Carrying on Mtn Hwy 99 took me for a nice beautiful twisty wakeup ride. I turned right and hopped onto M-90 which is an awesome smooth super clean racetrack like road. I think it would be more fun headed from Springville to Kernville (west to east) but it was still a glorious road. M-90 turns into 190 and gets SUPER twisty from CedarSlope headed west. It was a blast
I stopped in Springville for food and fuel, unfortunately most of Springville is closed on Mondays so I carried on. Headed back up 190 and got on Mtn 296. The first half of Mtn 296 was super tight, nasty, twisty, f-ed up, goaty, dirty road and it was a BLAST. Took 296 down into Exeter where I stopped for food and fuel.
After lunch I got on 198 and headed for the Sequoia National Forest. Had to stop and get a couple cool pictures as I went through the forest.
Unfortunately there was a stretch of roadwork going on that caused quite a backup and there was a TON of vacationeers. IF you are going to do this stretch or visit this area Id HIGHLY recommend doing it during the school year to cut down the "lets do 22mph in a 35mph zone so we can look at all the pretty views" minivans and suv's. I simmered, then broiled, then raged, Yelling in my helmet at the incompetence and stupidity of people in general. The further away from the main attractions I got the better it became. It is a little frustrating because it is beautiful, perfect, smooth, twisty tight roads that are just BEGGING to be smashed..... but are 25-35mph limit. ARRGGGGHHH (I may have allegedly gone a scooche faster than that...but within reason as I had already been warned by FreeRyde)
Anyways! If you slip off 198 and jump on 10 Mile road the first 6-7ish miles are EMPTY and its perfectly clean tight wonderful winding curvy road. It then drops down to the Christian Lake Camp which is super packed, but dont you worry, just on the other side of the camp it goes back to 1.5 unmarked lane on an awesome twisty road. Be VERY cautious of oncoming cars running wide in the corners, there was a bunch. Had a few close calls, great stretch of road but stay on your toes.
I then took 180 west back down to 198 headed east then jumped on 10 mile road and hit it again... oooohhhhh its geeewddd. Back up to 180 but headed east this time. I rode it all the way to the end where I was planning on hopping a gravel/dirt road/trail that would carry me east. Well it turned out to be hiking trails and the name "end of the road" really means it is the end of the road.
There are a couple of awesome looking camping spots up there but there was a storm headed in, along with a bunch of people. Sun was still high in the sky and with a storm moving in I hopped back on 180 and rode it down into Fresno where I got a hotel room at the University Square Hotel
325 Miles on the day ending @Fresno
Day 3 started with an underwhelming complimentary breakfast (was really looking forward to those hotel waffle maker waffles, none to be found. I guess University Square is too classy for that. Darn, I sure do love some hotel waffles)
After enjoying a shower and tossing on a fresh set of socks and chonies I loaded up and got back on the road.
I took 168 up to Aubury. Took AuburyRd -> Powerhouse Rd -> Rd 222
Right on 225-> left on 274 headed north which becomes Malum ridge road
41- >Wawona rd - >Southside rd -> Northside Rd -> Big Oak flat Rd - 120 to Lee Vinning (140 was closed due to fire)
The views on this route are phenomenal, Yosemite has a ton of really cool sights, unfortunately it was SUPER smoky as a large part of Yosemite is on fire. Leaving me a bit confused as to the quantity of people who had camp setup in areas where the smoke was thick enough it was like standing downwind of a good bbq. Great to see people camping and being out in nature.....but come on people, be smarter.
Yosemite was full of vacationeers and 25mph road warriors
^would visit again, couldnt see shit for a large portion of Yosemite. But I'll go during school season and mid week.
The view from yosemite towards Lee Vinning is glorious, the downhill stretch headed out of the mountains towards Lee Vinning is spectacular, got pictures and video
Lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli. Burger was delicious. $13 for a burger, but after riding all day I didn't care, goober was huuungry.
From Lee vinning I hopped 395 north to 108.
395 is wide open and long sweepers. It is windy as balls so secure all your gear before heading north
Hopped on 108 headed west.
Headed west, the first half of 108 up to the Marines mountain training base is a magical twisty microwave bacon roller coaster.
After the marine base it opens up then goes from Twisties to sweepers up and down the mountain. Some serious grades here (steep uphill and downhill)
Stopped at Pinecrest general store for an ice cream and a Gatorade. LOTS of people there. Continued west on 108. From Pinecrest to Sonora wasn't great, too many people, traffic blah blah blah
Had some fukwad in a charger try to run me off the road just shy of Sonora after rubbernecking and smashing his brakes mid corner to look at some dipsh!t who blew the corner and forested his minicooper, I yelled "don't rubberneck dumbass", he apparently heard me quite clearly and was upset because at the next available single to double lane opportunity I went for the pass, he swerved over attempting to push me out of the lane into oncoming traffic, I gave her the beans and got ahead, gave him the bird and pinned it. He then chased me, when we got caught at a red light 4/5 miles later, he flipped me off, I flipped him off, he looked real angry so I gave him goober fingers wave in my mirror, he blew me a kiss and flipped me off again, I threw my head back in laughter. The light turned green, I took off and he dropped back. (The b!tching and visibly frightened girlfriend in the passenger seat currently chewing his as$ was probably the primary factor)
The road I took from 108 to 4 sucked. Would highly recommend a different route. Unless you need fuel, then take 49 north
The first 1/4 of 4 headed east is residential and spotted with lots of little towns and shiite. However it then opens up to BEAUTIFUL long open racetrack perfectly smooth long sweeper high speed racetrack feeling new road from Camp Connell(beer stop) (Very desolate, very little population) for about the next 20 miles before dropping to unmarked 1.5 lane roller coaster twisty mountain road up to the summit then back down.
Mosquito Lake is super cool because its a lake in the woods then 100 yds east it just drops off into a giant canyon
My destination for the evening was Bloomfield campground and it's nice but if you continue down that road it turns to gravel/sand and there are a bunch of secluded solo camping spots. Watch out for the cows. There is a bridge right before where I stopped to camp, past that it starts to climb significantly.
Setup camp along the stream, had a small fire.
410 miles on the day @ a spot past Bloomfield Campground off hwy 4
Woke up and had a nice bodyweight workout to get myself in gear and went on a short hike.
Decided to go exploring, so I left my gear in the site and went to highland lakes campground. Fun road, wouldn't advise for sprot bikes. It leads to a beautiful set of lakes tucked way back in the mountains, there's campsites there but a bunch of secluded sites along the way if you prefer a greater distance from other people.
Hopped back on 4 headed east. Beautiful views, downhill rollercoaster. lots of people fly fishing in the valley.
LUCKILY there is this super necessary sign on the bridge... thats 30 feet over the water
Stopped at wolf Creek restaurant and bar in Markleeville for breakfast. County fried steak was delicious
**Sheriff sitting in the bushes at the north end of town**
Took 89 north to 88 headed west. First stretch of 88 W is nice but then there was too many people, they were laying fresh pavement so it'll be nice once theyre done. It's long open sweeping corners for most of it
Took omo ranch road headed north and it was awesome. Its messed up, potholes, tight, dense forest, saw 3 cars total, 2 small towns.
Mt Aukumn (lots of residential) -> Pleasant Valley -> Newton -> Snows Rd(good)
Hopped on 50 and ran it into South lake Tahoe.
Emergency roadside poo.
Good road. Too many people
Lunch at Sonneys bbq shack in South Lake Tahoe. Food was a bit pricey but good.
Looping all the way around the west side of the lake and wanted to blow my brains out. Sooooo many vacationeers doing the exact speed limit or 5mph below it. I continued up to incline village(North end of Lake Tahoe) and took 431 (which has some good stretches) headed to Reno. Decided no thanks Reno and headed east, looked up a campground on Lahontan outside Fallon and headed that way.
In Sparks, Nevada there is a gas station where regular fuel was $3.05 a gallon. Cheapest in that area for sure. The drive from there on was long and hot, road quality is good, speed limit high, bunch of wild horses running around which is cool. Road signs for all kinds of animals.
The Lahonta "campground" outside Fallon was crap so I got a room at the Econolodge in Fallon where it was a brisk 95*
315 Miles on the day ending @ Fallon, NV
Excellent reporting, Goob!!! You're carrying the torch admirably. You're in my old stomping grounds and nice to see it's not completely on fire. Good stuff, and give our best to FreeRyde.
I took a shower, did a workout, had my complimentary "breakfast"(two pastries and a bowl a dry cereal, the EconoLodge breakfast was unsurprisingly underwhelming) in Fallon then I loaded up and headed out. Today is going to be a long one, the end destination is Shoshone. 500 mile day through death valley HERE WEE GO!!
I took 95 South towards Hawthorne. It was a long, straight, hot, and windy treacherous beginning warmup befitting the following day. Walker lake pops up like a mirage after a 50 mile stretch of desert.
I came across Freedom Ranges which is awesome
Then discovered Hawthorne is the largest US Army ammo depot. Thats pretty darn sweet
From Hawthorne I took 95 South down to Coaldale and headed west on 6 then hopped 773 and on to 264 headed south.
Across the western side of Nevada there was a couple dust funnels which were cool.
There is a single gas pump at Dyer (which I bypassed thinking there would be fuel in Oasis <- Boy howdy was I wrong)
Again there is no fuel at Oasis. The whole stretch from Fallon to fish lake valley(Oasis) is long, hot, boring stretch. The Moto Hoon God's must love me because they gave me cloud cover and a light rain off to my side from fish lake valley to lone pine
168 headed west is pretty darn cool, there was a large stretch of construction and my fuel light was flashing... but it was still enjoyable.
Rolled in to big pine and put 5.57 gallons in the wee @236 miles (almost ran out)
Saw this gangster-mobile
Had brisket and pulled pork at the Texas style BBQ "Lone Pine Smokehouse" in Lone Pine. Where it was 105*
From there I committed. Dumped my two bottles of water into my camelback and hit the road. Here comes the crazy, lets go!
I took 136 east to 190 which has some super twisty sections, some gorgeous views, and well.... heat... lots and lots of heat. Father Crowley Overlook is a cool spot to stop and take pictures. Carrying on to wonderful places like Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek (where there is fuel, and fluids....which I didnt stop for)
As you first come into Death Valley National Park there is some sand dunes which look very out of place against the mountains and surrounding terrain.
There is a random mansion surrounded by palm trees at the intersection for Badwater. I found this quite entertaining.
As I headed down Badwater I passed "Satans Golf Course" with an ambient temperature of 128* I just had to chuckle and wonder what kind of idiot would come out here to golf.... then realized I was in a full aerostich riding suit rolling through death valley at the end of July alone... I may be that kind of idiot, different type of idiot, but none the less.
As the heat started to really kick up, the zippers in the arm pits of my stich got hot enough they began to burn my triceps and the glue in my boot sole loosened up to the point it was flopping. Made the following 3 hrs fun, twisty, demented fun
I stopped at the Badwater Basin which is below sea level and hot as BAWLS
Hopped back on the bike and headed for Shoshone. Talked to a father and son who were on a roadtrip who had seen me in Badwater, goofy as$ dudes but I was cooling off in the gas station putting down a gatorade and basking in the glory of my ride through satans oven. While talking the cashier at the gas station where fuel was $5/gallon there was a super nice guy who informed me that if I could make it to Pahrump fuel was $2/gallon cheaper. Well that was all I needed to hear, back out on the road I went as the sun began to set. Into Pahrump I rolled as my fuel light was flashing for the second time that day...oopsies. 5.2 gallons later at $3.05 a gallon, I was fueled up and back on the road. Destined for the outskirts of vegas (it was still 106* and I just didnt want to camp in that) Rolled up to my Super 8, checked in, brought my gear in the room, jumped through a cold shower and hopped into bed.
540 miles on the day ending @ Las Vegas super 8
Left vegas and headed to the hoover dam. Visually a Cool spot, temp wise... 113* but whatever, now ive seen it, checked that off. So I rolled through, took some pictures and left. Headed east
Stopped at the Last Stop Burger and Bullets gas station/restaurant/machine gun range.... With a monster truck. Which honestly the prices are criminally outlandish.. but the concept of the whole thing, Im a fan.
Arizona and Nevada sure are hot and windy. On the freeway headed into Williams the storm I had been watching in the distance was finally in range and it started raining. I got blown across the freeway. Hooting and hollering in my helmet as I faced what I was sure my imminent death. Didnt die, kept pace, kept going (this would happen 3 more times). Made it to Williams and fueled up, stopped at the Information Center where a kind old lady informed me that there was an entire area of OHV trails/roads in the forest on the South side of the Grand Canyon....which I didnt even know existed. She told me about Ten X campground which is a $10 a night and that camping along forest roads 302, 307 and 310 were free, WIN!
I hopped back on the road and headed towards Tusayan and jumped on FR 302 just shy of town.
It was 17 miles to the Grandview Tower, which if you go past drops you right on to the road that runs through the Grand Canyon National Park (you pay at either the west or east exits/entrance ($25 for 7 days for motorcycles))
I did some exploring and roaming around, then headed back to FR 310 and went back into the woods wandering around until I found a camp spot I liked, rolled through the wilderness on some blue trails that were pretty easy, couple small herds of elk roaming around (that was cool) then decided on my spot and setup camp for the night.
I headed into Tusayan for dinner where I went to the Yippee-Ei-O steakhouse where I had a delicious Cowboy Sirloin and some good local Brewkies(2) It was not a cheap dinner by any means ~$50(with tip) but it was delicious.
325 Miles of street and 40 miles of dirt ending @ the Grand Canyon KAibob forest.
I slept in, noodled around offroad a bit, went and noodled around the Grand Canyon national park a bit. I went into Tusayan for lunch then hopped the forest road back to my camp spot for a mid day nap. I woke up from said nap and realized that I had left my camelback at the restaurant at lunch. Back into Tusayan I went, luckily there is still some good people left out there and it was turned into lost and found. So I headed out, grabbed a super healthy dinner of Cherry Sprite and a bag of Cheesy chex mix and headed back out into the woods on FR 302. Had myself a small fire as I ate my "dinner" then bunked out.
Where I stumbled across a few gas station giggles
50 miles of street 85 miles of dirt still @ Kaibob (pronounced kaaayyyy Bob)
Started with a well rested bright and early 0545 wakeup, as I closed up camp and did a quick workout I decided rather than spending a full day bouncing around offroad abusing my wee I would go spot to spot on my grand canyon tour visit.
From west to east, 0700-0915, a real cool spot I stopped at was the Desert View Watch Tower. There I had a scoop of peanut butter ice cream in a waffle cone for breakfast :) because I'm an adult. As you leave the park to the East and head for Cameron you see the part of the Grand Canyon that I personally picture when I think of the Grand Canyon. Dry, hot and sandy, deep, straight drop cliff faces.
From here I took 89 and headed south towards Flagstaff. With a stop at Sun Ridge volcano, AZ (which I would recommend, its full of lava rock and a bunch of unique stuff, cool stop)
After a stop for breakfast in Flagstaff at Mrs Zipps where I had delicious strawberry pancakes with bacon and eggs, I went from Flagstaff to Pine which was a pretty uneventful stretch. Pine to Payson starts to get more scenic but it's still hwy, not the twisty backroads I was searching for. At this point I was incredibly surprised as I rolled through the Coconino National Forest, there is luscious green beautiful forest in Arizona and I did not expect that. I have always pictured Arizona as sandy, hot, dry, desert full of cactus. My route carried me into Payson which is a fully equipped city with whatever restocking you need to do. As I rode 260 east out of Payson I noticed the MILES of backed up traffic headed into town... Must be quite the popular place.. they have a topless bar and a walmart , so it makes sense.
I took 260 east to 512. 512 is pavement for the first 3 miles then turns to gravel for the following 15 miles then back to pavement as you hit a reaaaal nice 3/4 mile twisty stretch headed down into Young. Young is a misplaced midwest farming town thats settled in a valley up in the mountains, 3 miles of pavement followed by 15 miles of gravel in and out of the only two ways in/out of town. It was a magical place.
My midpoint destination was Antlers bar/grill, with plan to carry on to Tortilla flats(this plan changes). As I enjoyed my "Moose Drool" I was shooting the shitte with the bartender about local routes and locations. I gave him my grand canyon ohv map as he and his wife were going camping there in 2 weeks. I asked if he knew any good motorcycle roads and said he didnt personally ride. Disappointing answer but not everyone knows the joy and freedom of being on two wheels. So I go take their restroom to ground zero, after an aggressive power poo I came back out and went back to my table. A gentleman walks up and sits down "I'm Scott, whatcha looking for? Where ya coming from?" he says.
Scott and I have a nice chat and I tell him the Twistier and nastier, more technical, the better. I love me some twisty roads. Scott goes "what are you ridin?" A vstrom 650 I reply. "Yeahhhh that should make it, man have I got the road for you, the government is trying to close down access to it, so by this time next year you probably won't even be able to ride it". I bring up the map and Scott shows me this beautiful knarly twisty road called "Cherry Creek Road" Aka NF 203. Scott goes " Yeah its a great trail, it drops about 800-1000ft then runs along side the Cherry Creek. It's primarily an ATV and horse trail now. You may see a cowboy or two but that's it. You can bath in the creek if you want, camp when you get tired and finish up tomorrow. It will drop you back on 288" Great! It looks beautiful on the map, "Is it pavement or gravel?" I ask. "oh its gravel" Scott says. "this part where it crosses the river? hows this" I ask scott, he goes "oh thats a bridge, I think theres only 1 maybe 2 water crossings". Hmm alright, Im down for a little offroad shenanigans. I finish my beer, then hop on my wee and hit the road.
The sign at the gate reads at follows:
It's not too bad at first, HAHAHA just kidding, yes it is. Shit got brutal, and quick. The rain that had started as I turned off on to this trail would lead to quite the adventure later on.
Rocks turned to sand turned to rocks, rock gardens, bounce pads, and sand turned to slush, water crossings over baby heads then water crossings over volleyball sized rocks then it got really soft then rocky. I started this adventure at 1730. By 1930, I had dropped and recovered the wee no less than half a dozen times and had accomplished a WHOPPING 9.8 miles..... in 2.5 hours. By the time I stopped my wheels were so coated with mud that I had ZERO traction. Max speed of 8mph as both the front and rear of the bike slid all over the place. It was brutal,, treacherous and exhausting, I absofreakinglutetly loved it. I pushed on, the sun was setting and the worsening condition of the trail caused a noticeable slowing in my pace. When I came to the clearing I looked at it, stopped and thought "hmmm that would be a good camp spot.... but it wont be dark for another 30 min... f%*^ it" and kept rolling. I made it all off 200 ft and as both of my tires continued to slide and i almost ate the mud again, logic and reason kicked in and I decided turning around and going back to the flat clearing was a good idea. So I setup camp and bunked out.
On a dirtbike this trail would have been much much much easier. On a WeeStrom on street tires during a decent rain....holy hell if that wasn't the most challenging thing I've done on a motorcycle to date. It was torture, it was brutal, it was misery.....and I loved every second of it.
I lay there on my sleeping pad in my tent looking at the map for the next day listening to the thunder roll of a storm off in the distance. Today was ridiculous, absolutely flogging ridiculous, and there's more to come tomorrow. I smile and realized I am a sick sick twisted demented man. Off to bed.
Day over at 2000
248 Miles of street, 30 miles of gravel, 9.8 miles off-road
I woke up on the mountain at 0530, unzipped my tent and looked out. Figured "hell, ill just go back to sleep" rolled over and saw that ants had invaded my tent, welp guess its wakeup time.
I realized quite quickly that I needed to Unmud my wee. it was ddduuuurtttaaaayyyy. Hey ya know what they say. Anything is a dirtbike if you believe
After cleaning, I packed up, geared up and jumped back on my wee with a smile on my face ready for more brutality.
The rain had stopped shortly after I setup camp and by morning had absorbed a bunch, the trail became signficantly easier and my pace picked up to about 15-25mph depending on the terrain which continued to range from sandy gravel to rocks to bigger rocks with a few water crossings...
then I reached this
Pictures of course don't do this justice. The initial drop in is about 7' then a 4' drop into the stream, 7-8' climb out of the stream on to a 2' wide path. Had to overshoot the path and run the front wheel up the cliff face, stomp the rear brake once it reached the path then slide the front end down back on to the trail. I made it down, in and out and bounced up on the path, worked over and the front wheel slipped. So I gently and intentionally(haha) leaned her against the wall to enjoy making it across. Then got the wee back up and rolling. Forward and Onward!!
This continues for the next 16 miles before I reach the "bridge" over the creek... which wasnt a bridge but was just a water crossing...which had a work around path...which was also a water crossing. Not terrible, only about a foot deep. At 25 miles in, almost the exact halfway point of what turned out to be a 50 mile detour. From here it goes back to grated gravel road. At this point I concluded that Scott hadnt been on this trail in quite some time, or was quite ill informed of the conditions of this trail. Either way I loved it.
The rest from here seems much more like Arizona as it shifts back into desert and drops down towards 288 and Salt lake. I roll on into Globe and hit the local self service car wash and give the Wee a much needed deep deep cleaning.
SCrubADub scrub ma weeee at a car wash in Globe, Arizona.
From there I hopped on 60 and headed west towards Mesa. After fuel, I went to the Wild Berry Diner in Mesa for lunch, whch was a sirloin with 3 eggs, toast and hashbrowns...and a pitcher... no kidding, a whole pitcher of water. Ground zero'd their bano and went back to my table. I looked for local motorcycle stores and hotels as my offroad shenanigans had lead to bending my left side of my handlebars. But a local CycleGear supplied me with everything I needed, I got a room at the Best Western Plus, where Im currently sitting typing this up.
115 Miles street, 25 miles of gravel and 15 miles of off road
0 miles accomplished. I had waffles for breakfast, had pizza for lunch and typed up all this and uploaded all the pictures. Ive got about 100 videos to edit and upload but that wont be for a while, so dont hold your breath on that one.
DAy 11 (Tomorrow) i will have waffles again. I really like hotel waffles. Then ill swap my bars for the new ones.... since i bent the shiite out of mine. Then ill head to a laundromat and wash all ma dirty clothes and then head east!
Back to the mountains i go!!!!
Current mileage of the trip
3330 Street Miles
200 gravel miles
25 offroad trail miles
Nice update!! Officially a dirt bike now....nice job!!
Yeah....this is why I can't have nice things. Thankfully there is a Cycle Bros in Mesa Arizona
There's a chance you may have exceeded the design parameters of the Wee.
The stock bars are crap they bend way too easily, how is that SV motor doing for ya?
Excellent adventure and fantastic write up. Looking forward to the next installment! How is Freeryde doing?
I'm alive! Nursing my bones, contemplating my options (plating vs letting my clavical heal all lumpy)
Heal up, man. I've broken both of my collar bones and they're both lumpy. Only problem with that is they'll snap much easier next time I do a shoulder roll or, worse, fly over the handlebars. I'd recommend the plating.
i had mine plated last year. Happy to tell you about it. Mine was in three pieces. Plate and nine screws.
Still alive and kicking. Rode pikes peak this morning after a big loop of colorado- Kansas - Oklahoma - Texas and back to Colorado
I'm now sitting in Wyoming having lunch with an end of day goal of Lander.
Haven't had WiFi to upload the trip report but don't worry I've got all the notes saved and at my next hotel/wifi stopping point I'll spend a day and get from Arizona to now uploaded.
Then I just missed you. Rode from Helena to Rawlins yesterday on US 20 and 287. Also riding an '07 Wee ("Old Blue"). The wind whipped my ass but good. In Boulder now, headed east tomorrow, so we probably won't cross paths again but RIDE ON!
Went to the laundromat and cleaned all ma nasty dirty clothes. Cost me a whopping $4 and an hour and a half. I swapped out my off road contoured bars for the new set of cycle bros cr high bars (wish they were a bit taller, I'll probably get a set of atv mids or highs)
Pictures posted above ^^
Apparently my body is cool with sleeping on a pad on the ground but 2 nights in a hotel bed had left my shoulder and back all messed up. I brought icyhot knowing this could be an issue (assumed it would be from riding) Well as it was already 92* by 830am I was pretty sweaty by the time I was done mounting the bars. As I was almost finished I noticed a strange tingle going down my back. I quickly remembered the icyhot as the tingling spread south and lead to a numb butt thanks to the sweat carrying it down. Was quite interesting, especially when I went back into the air conditioned laundromat and sat down. Woooo-eeee. Went to the bathroom and wiped to sweat away before it got to where it shouldn't.
I went back to the Best Western and showered, packed up and headed to the lot. Loaded the bike then went through my normal routine of lubing the chain and checking tire pressure. Rear was a bit low so I filled it back up with my mobile pump.
The bike was feeling odd when I made my first fuel stop 185 miles east of mesa right before I jumped on 191(devils Hwy). After I fueled up I checked my tire pressure....rear tire was at 18lbs.... Uhhhh ohhhh. So I grabbed the can of fixaflat and sprayed it in, pumped the tire back up to pressure and hit the road. Now reading 106* on the local digital thermometer.
My options at this point to be to either head back to Phoenix and go get a new tire put on.... or continue on my way with the fixaflat bandaid in place, hope for the best, and get a new rear put on in the next large city I come to.
191 up to the 180/191 split is uneventful and unexciting. Then you go through the Morenci Mine and it is a MAGICAL wonderful amazing road that has everything! Tight dirty dirty dirty nasty technical road through the mining area fades into slightly less dirty twisty mountain climb(about this point it started raining) slid the bike in a few corners on wet gravel, hooted and hollered as I corrected then right back into the throttle I went. Riding the limit of traction of the tires.....on the gravely dirty roads.... in the rain Haha.
Climb climb climb. Up up I went! The rain getting harder and harder. It got real real fun. Hootin and hollering as I slid the bike around on the tar snakes, wet gravel and other misc traction reduction aids into corners at 5/10mph over the posted SL on my dying leaking tire, I realized once again, I'm really not right in the head.
The tight twisties open up to long sweepers as you reach the summit and are treated with some phenomenal views. Be careful from this point because you go through a densely wooded section with LOTS of fallen tree debris. Needles and leaves alllll over the road in big clumps, which being wet it became a game of frogger in valiant focused effort to not have to LAYYYERRRR DOWNNNN.
After this it opens up to pastures and is open range. Which means.....yup you guessed it. Cows standing in the road, the middle of the road. Silly cows
From here the descent begins and it bounces back and forth from tight 15-20mph(posted) twisties to wide open sweepers. Roads in pretty good shape and there seems to be lots and lots of ohv trails stemming off of it to check out.
This drops you down into Hannagan meadow where there is yet more of Arizona that continues to surprise me.
From here things get interesting and the temp drops significantly. I'm completely soaked as I've been riding in the rain for the last hour. I think to myself "Wow with all the shit my buddies gave me for installed heated seat pads and heated grips for a trip in July/Aug/Sept im sure glad I've got em now" they're working like a champ. My teeth are chattering and I can feel my spine tightening but damn if my hands, butt and lower back aren't nice and warm. Then I see this shit:
YUP. That my friends is SNOW IN ARIZONA IN AUGUST.
I stop for pictures, local temperature was 46*(which isnt incredibly cold.... unless youre soaked through and doing 75+) so I turn my grips and seat into "Cook me" mode and carry on. I stumble across a bunch of pastures full of elk and some beautiful scenic views
I roll into Alpine and fuel up, check tire pressure, refill the rear(still losing pressure slightly) I set the GPS for ShowLow and get back on the road. Beautiful clean sweepers until you hit Springerville then the road goes to $hit.
On the other side of Springerville the terrain goes to this
It is too cool the terrain changes this much in 100 miles.
Forward and onward to Show Low (a couple of local motorsports shops) I am now eating a plate of wings, drinking a Sam Adams Oktoberfest(which apparently comes with cinnamon around the rim) and tomorrow I'll get the new rear tire put on, maybe see if anyone in ShowLow has wee front rotors as mine are warped then head back and hit the 180/191 loop with a final destination of Reserve, NM as I intended today...before my tire shit the bed.
365 Miles ending @ Scott Reservoir Campground in ShowLow
I wake up around 0630 and walk down to look at the lake at Scott Reservoir....uhm Arizona...your lake is broken
I pack up and head to ShowLow Motorsports to get a new rear tire. Upon arrival my rear tire now looks like this
I meet JR who checks their inventory and tells me he has no 150s and he just sold their last 160 yesterday. Like the boss he is, he calls every local shop he knows of that may have the tire I need. I use the Lord and savior Google machine to look in nearby towns and call them. Nothing followed by nothing, followed by nothing. No one within 100 miles has 150/70-17s. We spend 3.5 hrs calling around looking for tires, so I call cycle bros in Mesa. They have tires, and there are 3 other cycle bros locations nearby that also do(in Phoenix) So after about 4 hrs of searching and zero success I decided I'm gunna risk it to get the biscuit. JR tells me "well I cant in good conscious tell you this is a good idea, but I wish you the best and hope you make it". I thank him then I gear up and head for Mesa. My two choices for route are either run 60 west down through salt River canyon or head towards Pasyon and run 87 south. I opt for 87s as it looks significantly less twisty...which on a dead, chords showing, leaking tire is preferred.
So I pump my rear up to 40lbs and hit the road. Make it the 90 miles into Payson and stop for lunch. My tire is down to 23lbs. I stop for lunch at Culver's (a hometown favorite being from Wisconsin) and I'm left incredibly disappointed. My order was wrong, the burger was sub par, I watched 9 people take their orders back in the time I was there. It was not the sweet spoonful of home I was yearning for when I went in.
With my rear reinflated I head for 87s and get to gettin. As I rode the twisty road down through the canyons out of the mountains and along cliff edges I pondered the circumstances I was in and realized that if my failing tire went out at this point I'd be doing 80 down a twisty road along a cliff.... so the only two possible outcomes were to be run over by traffic going 80+ in the opposite direction or take a tumble into a superman dive off the cliff and I'd probably end up dead. But I'm in a stich, and I'm invincible! So onward I went.
18 miles shy of my 178 mile destination my tire went flat and I got real real wobbly. I was slowing down, but 65 fully loaded on a flat tire will still make your butthole pucker. Thankfully it went flat as I reached the plateau at the bottom of 87 as it drops into Indian junction. Im now back down in the valley now and it is HOT(103*-105*). I stop at the gas station, hook up the air pump and go inside to get some Gatorade while it fills. I come back out and it's at 25lbs and won't take anymore. There is now an audible hissing from the multiple holes in the tire.
Back on the road I go! 10 miles from victory it is dead flat again. This time I have to stop on the side of the hwy to refill it and it won't go higher than 18lbs. So I top it off and keep pushing, the end is within sight.
5 miles from my destination the tire has gone completely flat and will not hold anymore air. With victory in sight I ride the remaining 5 miles fully loaded with a dead flat rear. It was shaking and shimmying, slipping and sliding on takeoff and slowdown, I now know what it would feel like to be Michael J Fox ridin a motorcycle. The last two turns before the shop the whole ass slides about 2-3 feet out and I have to low speed drift it. Almost dump it pulling into the parking lot but make it. I walk in and I'm greeted by Garrett who I had a lengthy conversation with 4 days prior when I had come in and bought new handlebars. He goes "what the hell are you doing back?" I reply "I've got a smoked rear and you guys are the only shop within 100 miles with 150s, rode her in on 87 flat. In utter disbelief Garrett and his two coworkers helped me out and The guys at cycle gear of East Mesa definitely hooked it up, super helpful super nice guys. Id absolutely recommend going to see them if youre traveling through that area or live locally.
So in roadkill fashion I put the wee up on the centerstand on the curb in front of the store and pulled the rear off to get it's new Bridgestone Trailsmart (after almost putting a 160 q3 on because I'm cheap and im ordering a set of tires to be delivered to my friends place in Kansas) but while decimating the cycle bros sh!tter I realized I should spend the extra $80 and get a better, more properly suited tire to the dumb shit I'm going to do....while alone....far away from assistance. They put my new 90* valve stem on, drenched in sweat, I bought and put on one of their Heat out cooling shirts, packed up, got back in my stich and hit the road.
Thanks Again guys. You're awesome. Garrett even hooked me up with a Camelback full of fresh cold water.
I've got a weird pain in the top of my foot, not sure what it's from but hoping it fades.
Hopped on 60 E and gaver hell headed for Globe. Fueled up in globe at the split of 77 and 70. Looked at my gps and got back on the road, made it about 20 miles before I realized I was going the wrong way. So I turned around and headed back. Turns out 77 N is 60E so I got on it headed towards Salt River Canyon and gaver hell. The first 1/3 is nice long open sweepers and it starting raining (welcomed as it brought down the heat). There is some real dirty spots with gravel and sand clumps on the road so be careful. Thankfully it stopped before I reached the Salt River Canyon because boy howdy lemme tell ya! That is a GREAT stretch of road. It was getting dark by the time I got to it, which added that extra fear boner level of awesomeness and was pitch black by about 15 min in. It is a GREAT stretch of road and from what I could see in the dark would be very scenic to ride during the day. Great road. Great great road.
Once you come back out of the canyon you fall back into sweepers in forest. In one particular corner I was good and leaned in, giving her the beans with all my lights on and I pass the Apex of the corner and see a longhorn standing on the inside shoulder, his horn hanging out into the inside of the lane. So I loosen out and widen my line a bit and while hollerin in my helmet miss him with my side case by ~2-3'. In the next straightaway I pull my underwear out from where they've been sucked and carry on into ShowLow. I stop at the Maverick gas station right by ShowLow Motorsports and have a super healthy dinner of a cheddarwurst and half a bag of Cheetos(I dropped the bag . ) I look at the map and plan on heading to the campground I camped at the night before. As I go to leave the parking lot I change my mind, look at the map again and find a campground off 273 and boy howdy am I glad I did. It was an extra 47 miles to get to this camp but it's out here. Way out here.
I push on through Hondah and as I'm rolling towards camp I pass a lake, then an elk on the side of the road goes to step out then turns and jumps into the field. 100' later I see the other 3 elk, it was with almost the same thing. I dropped my pace....for about 30 seconds. Then once I had passed the lake and hit woodline again I gave her the beans as the road was getting twisty and I had fresh new rubber.
Feeling the temperature drop I already knew what was coming so I kicked on the heated grips and seat heaters. I hit a patch where there is random spurts of dense fog which I later found out is because there are a bunch of creeks and streams. But I was basically following the marker lines as visibility went from full to none, back and fourth, it was cool. I enjoy riding in the fog in the woods.
I turn off 273 onto the gravel road that takes me to camp. Read the big ole Bear Country and other warning signs at the entrance and head in to find a spot. I setup camp and lay down, as I'm serenaded by the sounds of the forest.
385 Miles ending @ Winn Campground