Molochnik on a solo “TAT”

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by molochnik, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the RR, it's a easy read that I looked for every day. Congrats on making it to the conclusion you wanted.
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  2. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    I appreciate that. I’ve tried to keep it real without getting too dark, which I am wont to do, I think it’s important to provide a candid experience for those of us who are not dirt bike heroes but people who want to inject a bit of uncertainty into a life construct that is often a little too safe to stave off the ennui.
  3. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    It’s almost four am eastern here. Waking up in the middle of the night is a common symptom of clinical depression; been up a while and I’m bored.
    So here’s my summary of Kevin’s TAT- at least the sections I rode.
    Working backwards, my perception is that the NY spur once had a number of dirt roads. From the appearance of the surfaces in Virginia, my guess is that since 2016 most have ended up paved.
    I am going to assume that the portion of the trail running through my neck of the woods has had the same history or the course takes you over a number of great back roads.
    Having said all of that, I can’t complain. In fact I don’t intend any of this to be taken as such.
    If the NY spur is indeed the same as the MABDR then whatever one spends on such a package is worth every penny. I zoomed way in to get an idea of whose land I might be riding over as I have read about many instances where landowners became soured on the through traffic. It looked like the course instead used many good paved roads I scouted and rode myself in sports cars and on sport bikes.
    It’s important that I mention I took many green routes in Virginia with the intention of expediting the trip. When I would link back up with a blue route I’d look up it and it was either dirt/gravel or something resembling primitive pavement. Here in PA it’s often oil and chip and that appeared to be the case in Arkansas too.
    I wasn’t necessarily chagrined but I can say the woods of Arkansas and Virginia look an awful lot like the woods of PA. Nice, to be sure, but much too familiar for me to justify taking the time to ride all of it and remain on the road with the associated expense... and the trip was just getting long.
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  4. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    I can’t comment on the sections through Louisiana and Mississippi or North Carolina.
    As I mentioned, I’ve ridden Deal’s Gap and its environs plenty. The last time was two up on an 81 GS 850G. To me, it’s tedious in or on anything but a sport bike so I skipped that area. Plus I understand it’s awfully crowded nowadays so I’m sure there’s a pretty high bonehead factor.
    Didn’t ride Oklahoma either. A work colleague told me what the roads were likely to be and it didn’t sound appealing. I wanted to tour Kansas anyway. Have I mentioned I love Kansas?
    From Lake City Colorado I ran pavement because it didn’t appear that any gas stations were open there. I could be wrong about that but I didn’t want to embark on another section in the boonies with limited fuel.... so I headed into Del Norte which put me on course for Ordway and mount sunflower.
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  5. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    It seemed that everyone I spoke to about Engineer Pass spoke about it with a genuine respect and were incredulous that I would do it on a bike. I spoke about it with Kaspilo and @kaspilo agreed with me that it wasn’t that big a deal.
    Anyone who’s been following has seen the discussions on Ophir Pass, so ‘nuff said.
    I wanted to swing by the Four Corners because I errantly thought the road a chose would take me past the rocks where Forrest stopped running and Billy and Wyatt camped and blazed a doobie.
    Going off of a 30 year old memory got me to Four Corners but not past the rock. Must be on a different road. I wanted to get a shot of the DR up the road from it to go with the photo of my 90 CBR on that road 30 years ago.
    I also needed any easy day after leaving Big Water as I was still beat up from two days before and needed to make up some time.
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  6. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    I may be mixing up days going this far back but you’ll get the gist especially if you’ve been watching the thread.
    Getting to Big Water perhaps the hardest work of the trip only because of how hard the trail had been to Mesquite. My North Rim adventure was mixed in there too. Whoever it was that said it would be a fond memory is likely to be right...that was long hard day.
    Getting to Mesquite was a day on the highway after being thoroughly frustrated with getting out of Vegas and trying to find my way from the Snow Mountain smoke shop. I dunno how close I got to finding a way around the nature preserve but my patience ran out before the fence did.
    Getting to Vegas is a mix of really nice dirt roads daring you to ride faster than you should, if you’re unfamiliar with them, and loose deep gravel and sand that would give one nightmares.
    Between Baker and Lancaster I took trails I knew, avoiding nonsense I dealt with before and using Kevin’s track when it was convenient. I’m not positive but I think his LA spur runs you through a portion of the Mojave Road and the red route looks like it will take you through the water crossing.
    It can be pretty deep. You can see it in my ride report on the Mojave Road. There’s some awfully challenging sand leading up to it too.
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  7. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    There’s a saying among bass players: There ain’t no money above the 7th fret.
    IMHO, there ain’t much challenge after Colorado (going east) but then I only rode pieces until I got bored or skipped sections to make up time on the road.
    Feel free to infer that I am out of shape, not really a “dirt bike guy “ and a smoker. I don’t ride dirt bikes because I love to; I really ride them because of the risk and challenge. I don’t necessarily get my jollies from risk and challenge but they have utility in granting a reprieve from life’s tedium.
    I told my buddy Joe that the Mojave Road is plenty challenging and it doesn’t require weeks to do it. However, if you have the time and do actually just like to be on your dirt bike, at the very least, the parts I rode could make for a very good trip. If my skills and fitness were what they were a decade ago it would have made things easier and faster. If I was willing to pack lighter that would have mitigated my being out of shape and somewhat rusty. If you’re gonna do the LA spur on anything heavier or physically larger than a DR650 then perhaps *you* are a dirt bike hero.
    A number of times I considered whether riding a Ural would have made things easier and I’m not sure if would have. I’m sure there’s quite a learning curve to get a 700 lb machine with an extra wheel up some of the stuff out there.
    If could try anything else it would be a TW200
    Only because I imagine it would float over sant better, be more resistant to deflecting off of rocks, and it would be easier to pick up.
    With a genuine granny Gear big power isn’t really necessary as long as the suspension doesn’t work against you, a T dub will go plenty fast for what’s out west. I dunno what their road manners are like so the backroad stuff could be a different story.
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  8. wilfred

    wilfred juvenile delinquent Supporter

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    Thanks for taking us along, great ride report. Be safe.
  9. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    I'd say your assessment as far as not much challenging stuff east of the Rockies is more or less on spot but there are some places where its plenty challenging you just don't have as much and over the vast distances as in the west nor the elevation. In the east lots of the more challenging stuff is in the more remote parts of the national forest that don't make it on TAT or MABDR routes such as OHV areas like Hatfield McCoy in WV.
  10. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    Agreed; I have spent plenty of time in the PA woods and know just enough about woods riding to know it can be as challenging as anything else out there. I was genuinely concerned about having healthy tires for dealing with the sort of stuff one encounters out here.
    The odious Warloop, despite the rocks, gave me some idea of what I thought lie ahead.
    I’ve actually packed recovery gear - static lines, pulleys, etc. - not just for the exposed trails out west but for the muddy trails here too... many times just as exposed.
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  11. Yamajoe

    Yamajoe Adventurer

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    Ok, now onto the next riding adventure.

    Maybe the Continental Divide???
    That way we can have Tequila at the beginning and Molson at the end and Whiskey in between. We'll take our time in the in between part.
    More importantly the other inmates can read another perspective without all the big words and philosophical mumbo jumbo.

    Who is this Nietzsche anyway??? What f'd up bike does he ride??? I bet a Ural. LOL.


    Congratulations Buddy! You are awesome.
    I can't wait to catch up and start preparing for next year's ride.
  12. kaspilo

    kaspilo Been here awhile

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    I may even join you guys... Congratulations Molochnik, job well done!
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  13. Mrs. Molochnik

    Mrs. Molochnik Here to provide support

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    @Yamajoe don't take him away from me again too soon :ricky
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  14. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    I think you’re just looking for an excuse to find out what they have for banana hammocks in Mexico and Canada.
    And don’t be beating up on Nietzsche, he was just trying to find a basis of morality for those who lost their faith in The Enlightenment. He is just misunderstood... even by me for a while. I think he rode a bicycle for local jaunts.
    Lastly, I’m not taking admonishments regarding diction from a Californian. Why use many small words when one word could make them superfluous, thus obviating their utility?

    Seriously, I’m down for something. I could use some help picking up my bike. You should be able to just carry yours over the rough stuff, you Big, strapping surfer you.

    Hey we could use someone who knows what they’re doing to show a couple jabronis how it’s done!

    Baby, you’re always with me even when I’m a little distracted. You were always with me. I just had to find you.
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  15. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    :lol3 :lol3

    @molochnik - as others have said, I thoroughly enjoyed your report, writing style, and pictures. Has been something I've looked forward to checking on each day, sometimes a couple times each day if the chaos of cubeville allowed. This forum and these reports are my outlet as I'm not able to ride as much as I'd like, and life's curve ball of late has only increased the importance of this outlet.

    What's your return plan - are you riding back west? Packing the bike and shipping?

    Whatever it is, safe travels and keep the reports coming when you're out riding :thumb
  16. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Nice wrap up. You going to hit Warloop again on your way back west?
  17. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    I truly appreciate that you enjoyed it. As far as I know this won’t be my last one so I’ll be hoping you’ll be engaged in the future.

    As for the return, I’ll likely be renting something and hauling the DR and a TTR 125 back to CA. The TTR has just been sitting here for buzzing around the farm but it’s sat unused for a while. Ideally I wouldn’t mind finding a nice dual sport chassis with a blown engine and using the TTR engine as it’s a sweet little tractor of a motor.

    I really didn’t expect to take so long to get out here so a return ride isn’t in the cards with my vacation limits. I’m sure that even if I set out on the bike and ran freeways I would lament not renting a truck.

    Mrs M has given me lots of help weighing options.

    Too bad you can’t ride as much as you’d like.
    That’s part of the human tragedy; some want to and can’t, some can and often put it off. If I can get Joe up to the high desert, and he doesn’t drop rocks in my path, I’d probably have more to post in Day Trippin.



    Warloop will have to wait, although it remains a trail I wanna conquer. It’s generally a little out of my way though.
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  18. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    If I can make good on one end of trip promise I’ll post some shots of my chopper like I told someone I would.
    Been having some fun buzzing around on it

    Attached Files:

  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    That's quite the interesting piece of work there @molochnik. Shift from the left or right (hard to tell, though it looks like linkage on the left)? What's in that machined "box" above the exhaust pipes? What's the power plant in there?

    Good looking ride man, bet she sounds sweet (and loud). Probably doesn't corner worth a damn though :lol3 At least nothing like the bike in your avatar :D
  20. molochnik

    molochnik Desperately wants the blue pill

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    Thanks for the kind words.
    It’s a 2000 Sportster 1200 engine in a Paughco “Loop” frame. I used the front end, engine, electrics, and wheels off of the donor bike.
    The box above the pipes is a a battery box I fabbed up. The shift linkage is on the left . I fabbed the shifter, brake, and rear sets. I also made the “birdcage” that holds the Mooneyes oil tank. Also made the bar clamps, chain adjusters, a third bearing hub for the rear sprocket as well as the motor mounts and kickstand pivot.
    I bought the rear fender but cut and shaped it to fit.
    The most agonizing parts were the seat suspension and rear tank mounts. The bike sat a long time while I contemplated and experimented with various configurations.
    I ended up using a mountain bike shock on the seat but the body gave out. I suspect I had it mounted at too acute an angle. It survived trips up on Angeles Crest but couldn’t stand up to Pa Frost heaves.
    It’s loud, but not overly.
    It will handle well for a rigid but the front pipe and kickstand pivot limit my lean angle.
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