My first adventure ride - the TAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PittsDriver, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    We met a family in Canyonville Oregon on our next to last day on the TAT. This was a father and his two boys that had ridden the TAT and was met at this point by the mom/wife to see them and then collect them from Port Orford and portage them back home. The dad asked us how we'd routed ourselves along the way and we told him sometimes Sam's tracks, sometimes Kevin's and sometimes our own custom route skipping some gratuitous gravel to make time. He proudly said that "Well, we rode every inch of Sam's track and never wavered from it. If you didn't do that, you just just 'rode some roads' instead of the TAT." I can see why someone would be very proud of having done exactly what he said they did and if that's the thing that really adds to your sense of accomplishment, then that's totally cool and I'd acknowledge it as quite a feat. But I'll also say again, if taking 5 weeks to ride the TAT (which is what they did) is a non-starter for you, then I'm pretty happy with our efficient TAT ride and will reiterate again that the journey is the reward and we got the full measure of TAT essence from our ride. I'm still pinching myself to make sure I didn't dream it every time I go back and look at the photos again.
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  2. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    That's the spirit, I don't care about touching every inch of a cookie crumb on a screen...I touched every inch of what I rode and that's all that matters to me.

    I might do it again this year, west to east...I haven't seen it in that direction yet. If I could find somebody that could hang with me that'd be great, alone is fine by me too.

    :ricky

    Thanks for finishing off the report!!
  3. olegmc66

    olegmc66 old chevy

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    Great report, I did it on a KLR back in '08 and sold it to a Chips and flew home after visiting my daughter in San Francisco. I also wavered from the TAT because Sam was sending me maps on the way out, since I originally intended to do just Tennessee. It was a blast, enjoyed reliving it thru your eyes.
  4. lucertola

    lucertola Jonnum Media

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    Great RR! I love the attitude you guys went into this with, and you did a nice job of capturing the vibe with your write-ups. Your two-phase approach has me inspired that something like this is possible while still managing the everyday responsibilities of life. Thanks!
  5. FenceJumper09

    FenceJumper09 Been here awhile

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    Amazing RR!! It is very inspirational to see so many different ways people are completing this great ride across our beautiful country!

    I look forward to hopefully completing it next year!

    Thanks for taking us along!
  6. TwoTiredRiders

    TwoTiredRiders Been here awhile

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    Fabulous RR. Congratulations all around to all 4 of you and the ones at home who held down the fort.
    I said it before earlier in the RR that it is remarkable that you found four guys willing to make it happen, and then actually Made It Happen! :clap

    Also remarkable are the amount of flat tires. Good prep for sure. I'd assume you guys ran close to max air pressure the whole trip?
  7. OldTriumphRider

    OldTriumphRider Livin the Dream

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    Great report , I also agree that no matter how you do it or what routes were taken , it's all about the ride ! My mind was changed as I read a report awhile back about a fellow who , after an hour in the mud of Arkansas , asked himself if he was having fun , no , and headed for some hard road and spent more time on the western side....alittle mud goes a long way in my book....I never seen that sign at the beach in Port Orford , maybe I didn't look !
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  8. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    "a little mud goes a long way..."

    Ain't that the truth. Crossing Mississippi in the outer bands of the named storm was enough red mud for one lifetime. I'd say the same thing about deep, soft sand out west also. Trying to make some miles while dabbing a foot down every 10 feet is a real trudge.
  9. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    One last photo posted here that I use for the desktop on my computer now. It really captures the epic vastness you encounter on the TAT:

    [​IMG]
  10. horseiron1

    horseiron1 Been here awhile

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    Awesome report. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed it!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap
  11. ScottyXR

    ScottyXR Just a Kid Super Supporter

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    Inspiring! I now have to do it!
  12. dyno_dave

    dyno_dave Been here awhile

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    It's a trip you have to do. Us older guys prefer the lighter bikes. I put 4100 miles on my KTM 400 on that trip and reading these reports and seeing the photos brings back some great memories.
    IMG_1625.JPG And take a day off in Moab and do the White Rim Trail. IMG_1325.JPG
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  13. Molonlabemike

    Molonlabemike Been here awhile

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    Great write up, looking forward to coming back to this when I start nailing down my TAT 16 plans (aka another couple of weeks)
  14. TxGhostrider

    TxGhostrider Old-Tired-Fat&Gripey

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    I enjoyed reading this at work today. Shame on me! Great RR. I am working do Alaska on the KLR, just haven't got things together to do it this year. Maybe I will do part of the TAT instead this summer.
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  15. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Man, if I lived in Texas I'd be getting pretty familiar with the Alpine Loop and the COBDR in Colorado, the NMBDR, and definitely some trips up into the Ozarks. I know, Texas is pretty big but you're nearly 2,000 miles closer to NM or Colorado than I am :)

    It's my hope that by describing how we broke up the trip that it'll inspire more people to set the bar lower for how much of the TAT that they ride at one time and also find it easier to share it with some good friends. There's just nothing like the antics that ensue when you get in the zone away from home.
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  16. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Hey Dave, that's a newish looking KLR that rode with you. How was it for him vs. you on places like the White Rim Trial or through Black Dragon Canyon?
  17. dyno_dave

    dyno_dave Been here awhile

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    It was his first big trip since he retired and he had way too much stuff (and he's 70). Gary is a great rider with a lot of road racing and Bonneville in his past. The KLR beat him to near death. I had the same vintage KLR at the time and you see which bike I chose. The KLR suspension is crap and waaaaay too harsh in stock configuration. I'm 63 and the extra 200 lbs the KLR has over the KTM was the deciding factor.

    Gary thought White Rim was very physical and I didn't think anything was tough but Nevada. We skipped Black Dragon reluctantly but he managed White Rim pretty well. He went down a couple of times. Once in the deep sand and another being too rambunctious in a corner. He deemed it "No Road for Old Men". But he did say he'd do the whole trip again on a lighter bike.

    We camped about half the trip and we both carried our own Redverz tent and camping gear.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
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  18. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Funny how this adventure attracts older folks. The age range of our group was from 50 to 58 - all in pretty decent condition for our age.
  19. dyno_dave

    dyno_dave Been here awhile

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    I would have never had the time to do it before I retired. It's nice not having a deadline to get back.
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  20. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Where we seemed to have the most trouble was in the soft sand out in Utah and Nevada. Man, that made for some pretty slow going and more drops there than anywhere else on the TAT. I could see how you could literally rip through that stuff on a much lighter bike.

    There's this constant discussion about what the right bike is for the TAT and I've said it before - I think it depends on the style of rider you are. If you're interested in a high energy romp through the terrain then weight and power is everything. But I personally have to question the wisdom, or maybe a better way to say it would be "risk management" of that kind of riding when you're 3,000 miles from home, 100 miles from a hospital, and still have a thousands of miles left on your adventure. Some people won't think twice about it and sometimes that would be me. By way of analogy - The way I ride on the track on my race bike is different than on the street. With good run-off areas and medical standing by some of the risk is managed of riding on the edge. I guess what I'm trying to say is, for a big epic ride like the TAT, it just seems like good risk management (to me) to keep some good healthy margin in the ride so the weight/power calculus isn't the top priority and riding something that is still fun but is more of a marathon bike makes more sense. Then, there's always people that like to take inappropriate machines to places they weren't intended and that's a fun challenge too. I'm thinking of the Harley side-car guy on the TAT or the guys that took KTMs that had to change the oil daily. That's all perfectly cool too. And to the credit of folks riding 250 enduros on the TAT, that's pretty much what Sam did when he set out to create it. Like we defined our adventure as not necessarily riding every inch of the actual TAT, everyone should make it their own challenge and just do it - whatever "it" is!
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