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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    [​IMG]

    After saying all that in the last post, I suppose I should confess that I just brought home a 1200GS that I'm going to be turning in to a dirt bike this winter. All the protection parts and knobbies are going on it and I'm going to be running around back out in Virginia and West Virginia on it this spring to see if I'm up to the challenge of taking it anywhere I'd take my KLR. If it works for me, it'll probably be the bike I'll take on our ride this year from Georgia to Maine off the pavement. And if not, I'll be back out on my trusty KLR mule.
    Tallbastid likes this.
  2. dyno_dave

    dyno_dave Been here awhile

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    You just gotta get out and do it. I know the amount of time I have to do these adventures is limited as I age. Don't wait because you just don't know what tomorrow might bring. I have several friends that no longer ride due to health issues and my time is coming.

    The plan is to ride 3000 miles in Idaho this year and spend about a month for the trip and the drive from home and back. A bunch of old guys on KTM's (64, 65, 66 and 70 years old). We aren't fast but we have a blast and I relish these trips (CDR, TAT) as the best trips I've had in my life.
    pratered, PittsDriver and juno like this.
  3. NicorAdv

    NicorAdv Been here awhile

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    In my opinion y'all rode THE TAT.... Period.

    Hell I more than likely would have done the same y'all and still claimed I rode the TAT.
    The freaking TAT changes, maybe not every year, so it's quite possible for different riders to ride the TAT and not the same as the other.
    Boxall likes this.
  4. TxGhostrider

    TxGhostrider Old-Tired-Fat&Gripey

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    I actually ride Colorado pretty often, but I do it on the cruiser. In years past, it was a jeep, and now I have ventured back into the world of 2 wheels off road. Colorado and New Mexico have always been some of my favorite riding areas. When I lived in Raleigh, NC, I enjoyed riding the eastern states, but I always missed being close to Colorado and New Mexico.

    Now that I am getting older, I , like many others have time to do other things, including extended trips and maybe a few extra toys. The KLR seemed like a good addition to my stable. It is like a minibike compared to the Hondapotomus I have ridden for years!!
  5. Solaros1

    Solaros1 Long timer

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    Great ride report - really enjoyed it. I'd love to do the TAT in my diesel Land Rover Defender 90 which is equipped with a roof tent.
    That way I could do a lot more camping in remote spots along the way and poke along at a relaxed pace so I could take lots of photographs.
    From your experience with the trail would there be any serious negatives to doing it in a short wheelbase Land Rover?
    Creek crossings and rocky or sandy terrain would probably be easier than a top heavy dirt bike but I was wondering what challenges doing it a 4x4 would present.

    I'd be in the camp of wanting to do the trail with a 250 if I was going on two wheels - I'm 64 and don't bounce as well as I used to.

    [​IMG]
  6. dyno_dave

    dyno_dave Been here awhile

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    IMG_1467.JPG A lot of the TAT could be done in that vehicle but it would be slow going in spots and there would be multiple work-arounds you would need to work out. I'm not sure if it would fit through or is allowed on the ATV trails that are used in Utah. Unlike a bike where you can pick the cleanest line through an obstacle the Defender won't have that option.

    For example, the White Rim Trail outside Moab and is not part of the TAT, we did in 6 hours on the bikes. We chatted with a park ranger driving a Jeep on that trail and he said it was a 16 hour trip for him. The Jeep rental place in town considered it a 3 day trip and we ran into a family from Europe on the trail and it was their third day working their way around the White Rim. I'd consider the White Rim Trail as an easy trip on my KTM and I've done it twice. It was so spectacular I'd do it again.

    I found Nevada to be tough. I swear the one day was climbing steep, loose rocky uphills then going down a steep, loose rocky hill, cross a stream, open and close a gate and repeat a hundred times.
  7. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Well, I started to, but didn't at the time, mention to the proud gentleman that he didn't ride every inch of Sam's TAT either. There were at least 2 places where routing around obstructions were unavoidable. And, as you pointed out, the published route changes over time anyway.
  8. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I think you'd be in great shape with that vehicle for about 99.9% of the TAT. The only place that comes to mind are Black Dragon Canyon where you'd be doing some technical rock crawling with it and maybe a few really steep forages across a stream or ditch.

    Edit: the other place that you'd have a problem are the places we had to ride around a heavy steel locked gate. You'd have to knock it down or turn around - no way around it in a 4x4. I'm going to say that there were 2 or 3 places where you'd be feeling screwed and rerouting a ways to get around it where on a bike it was a pretty simple matter to sneak around the fence post on the left side.
  9. juno

    juno Long timer

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    Yeah, I just did the eastern part up through most of Arkansas and it is really hard to ride every inch of 'the TAT'. In addition to some closures and re-routing there is also stopping for gas, food, lodging, mishaps... it would take more backtracking then I would care to do to hit every inch.

    Great report! Has me looking forward to biting off the next chunk!!!
  10. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    Parts of the Ok route was under water and not passable at all when I road the eastern half, I still consider that as doing the TAT as it could be completed.
  11. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I alluded to it back near the beginning of the ride report that there's an underlying reason why we are all committed to a bucket list type trip every year. We all four riders on this trip have some personal and powerful experience or condition that reenforces the notion that tomorrow is not assured for any of us. For more than one of us, it's more than a notion. The one thing we all have in common is that we all choose to use that knowledge as not a curse but a gift. We all know that any one of these rides might be our last and that makes every one of them precious and worth anything we do to make them happen. Our motto is "You'll regret the things you don't do in life more than anything that you do." My whole reason for publishing this ride report was to possibly inspire others to take in that spirit and to do whatever it takes, conventional or whacky make it your own, but in any case get out and experience the world from the saddle of a fun bike on the road less traveled. It was the ride reports from others on here that inspired us to take on the TAT and will be the inspiration for our future rides to other worthy bucket list adventures.
  12. 1Scorpion

    1Scorpion Been here awhile

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    This actually being the first TAT RR I've ever read . I would like to thank you and your crew for sharing your ride with us. It was great! And thanks for posting a link on RWNC. Or I would never have read it. Maybe someday we'll meet at MikeE's.
    Good luck on your next adventure.
  13. Len

    Len Long timer Supporter

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    If/when I ride in a western direction, I don't want to get hung up on a route in my GPS. I just want to go on a long dusty, sometimes muddy, sometimes wet ride with bunches of stealth camping mixed in. There are better parts of OK to ride than is outlined on the TAT, more to see in UT than is on the TAT. It is a great route Sam put together and I bought the maps, but I don't think I will care how I end up getting to the "there" where I decide to take a 90 or 180 degree heading change. I don't think it really matters... if someone has to brag about what they have done and exactly how it was done, they missed the point.

    All rides I've read seem to me to be guys/gals having an absolute blast whether in a group or solo, more power to all that play in the sandbox, no matter what it gets called.
    NicorAdv and pratered like this.
  14. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Hey thanks Scorp! I'm still planning to be back down in Murphy with my sport bike in April. Looking forward to connecting with Mike and Jenn.
  15. BuiltnotBought

    BuiltnotBought Perpetual Project

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    Don't say that! I don't want to get it in my head that I might have to wait 20 years to ride the TAT!:becca:rofl
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  16. Pelipen

    Pelipen Adventurer

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    That was a good read. I've been prepping my bike all winter to do the TAT later this year. I'm also skipping sections out of need due to time. Having crossed this country several times on road, I have no doubts the "Efficient TAT" is equally as memorable as the "official" - whatever that may be.
  17. BentFork567

    BentFork567 n00b

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    Thanks for a great RR! I will be riding the TAT in June with three others. Two KLRs and KTM 500s. Can't wait to hit the trail
  18. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I think what Sam has created is unbelievable. The work that must have gone in to doing this and the collaboration he must have received in doing it are just amazing. I spoke with Sam on several occasions before and during the ride and he impressed me as a very knowledgable and humble guy that genuinely wanted everyone to have a great time on the ride and he takes a lot of joy in hearing that people are having great experiences. On this subject of skipping bits - the first couple of times I talked with Sam he was apologetic about the sections of paved road that there was just no way to eliminate. His goal was to get as close to 100% off the pavement as he could. So it makes a lot of sense that there would be some of what I've called "gratuitous gravel" on the route as a result. I hope no one thinks that a criticism of the route and I'm sure Sam has gotten negative feedback before - "Whadda ya mean it's not ALL dirt?"

    The route Sam chose for the TAT is an amazing trip where every state offers up something different and you get every bit of the essence of the road less traveled across the entire country. If we had unlimited time and resources, maybe we would have ridden Oklahoma or a few of the other shorter sections we skipped and I admire those that do as much of it as can be ridden. But I also have to believe that there are a great many more people out there dreaming of this trip that can't take 6 - 7 weeks - or even 3 - 4 weeks non-stop - and do the whole thing like that. I'm hoping this RR stands as a testament that you can get the full TAT experience doing it your way and the only person that has to be happy with your "gratuitous gravel" decisions is you.

    Now, all that said, there are some sections that look skippable on the map that you'd be well advised to ride. Sam helped us with his advice on several of those. Maybe when I have some more time, I'll post up more detail exactly where we skipped sections that made sense and where we didn't and were happy we rode it.
    Len likes this.
  19. slime

    slime Healing nicely

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    Great report. Thanks...I feel inspired to try..
  20. DanBarwick

    DanBarwick Adventurer

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    Great shot - I may use this as my Facebook cover photo to inspire me!
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