My WABDR experience

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by TrevorG, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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    So I completed the BDR on Friday I'll give you guys a little day by day write up. I was riding a Tenere 700 had no real plans other than I had to be back in Portland by Saturday. This is my first ride report. I've been meaning to write one up for my dempster highway trip in 2018.

    Day 1 Tuesday 7/13/21: Left Portland around 3pm. Arrived at the bridge of the gods at around 4pm had a subway sandwich and left town at about 4:30pm. Hit the road, was fairly uneventful. Missed the first turn off off the main road, still getting used to using Gaia. First sight of Mount Adams was spectacular. I lost my GPS track later during the day, thinking I had missed a turn I attempt a turnaround in the road and go to dab my foot on the ground in the middle of the turn but my boot got caught on something so the bike went down. Turns out I didn't miss a turn the GPS track just went haywire for a minute, oh well. 8pm rolls around and I start keeping my eyes open for a spot to camp for the night. Just before 9pm I find a nice little spot on some little side track about 10km south of Lake Takhlakh. It was a perfect little camping spot MINUS the mosquitos, absolutely relentless used my entire spray bottle just to get my tent pitched and hid out in there till I fell asleep.

    Day 2 Wednesday 7/14/21: Wake up at around 7:30am and hit the road around 8am. Tried to go up to the Babyshoe ridge view point, rode up there and didn't see much so I turned around and hit the road. Stopped at Takhlakh accidentally and I'm glad I did, was an absolutely beautiful little lake. Might take the Girlfriend there and go paddle boarding in a few weeks. Finished section 1, was pretty cool nothing too crazy. Arrived in Packwood at noonish. Got gas and snacks, couldn't find more bug spray anywhere in town, oh well. Hit the road around 1pm ish. Near rimrock lake there are some waterfalls I saw a group of ADV riders parked out in a pullout so I go in to chat with them, they were all from California and had just finished the Idaho BDR, Nice dudes. Hit the trail again, took the easy trail around Bethel ridge. Very nice twisty road was a pretty chill ride some nice sights. Start heading up Clemen mountain, saw some dudes on Africa twins on the way down stop and ask how it was. Guy pretty much just said "its real shitty up there". Okay I thought, no big deal. Start up the rocky switch backs, eat shit pretty hard about half way up the first one. This is where I realize its going to be a long day. Made it up to the flat section with the sign saying "this road is maintained by so and so" without crashing so I thought I was out of the woods. Wrong. There's one more steep long rocky section up to the summit, wipe out there 3 more times.

    Guy named Kaleb comes up the trail in a half tone pickup, he's doing the BDR and camping in his truck. We both decide its a good place to stop for a break and have a beer. Thanks for the beer Kaleb. Hit the road again make it to the summit without crashing again at this point its like 6pm and I only stopped for a minute to take in the sights, I originally planned to camp somewhere on section 3 for the night but at this point I was thinking I'd be lucky to finish section 2 that night. Made it all the way down the hill without wiping out, was pretty beat up and tired. Bike handled it well, got good use of the crash bars. I had trouble finding the way out of the park I had the "bridge out" update from the bdr website on my phone, but once I actually got there the instructions didn't make a whole lot of sense. I eneded up finding the bridge with the gate on the other side, the gate was open and I was on my merry way. I later found out Kaleb couldn't find his way out, ended up turinng around going all the way back up Clemen and camping at the summit and making his way down the highway to Ellensburg the next day. By then it was about 9pm and I had enough trouble with Clemen it was an easy choice for me to take the easy route around Umtanum towards Ellensburg. Saw a few heard of Elk, was nice. Arrived in Ellensburg at 11pm, got some taco bell and a hotel and had a nice sleep.

    Day 3 Thursday 7/15/21: Left the hotel at about 10am. Cleaned the chain and checked over the damage in the hotel parking lot. Realized the rear tire was absolutely shot from the previous day, it was the stock Pirelli scorpion that had 9300km on it so it was pretty much on its last legs before the trip even started, probably should have addressed that in Portland. Went to Ellensburg powersports, they had no tires that size. Tried Central powersports and they had a few tires that fit, out of the selection they had I picked the Motoz Tractionator GPS. I arrived there around 11am and they had me out the door by 2pm they were awesome, the service guys were great. One of the sales guys, although very friendly was a very vocal anti-vaxxer, me being from Canada thought that was pretty weird and left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I get some subway at a truck stop leaving town and I head out around 3pm to start section 3. The wind leaving town was absolutely relentless. Hit the twisties into the mountains it was a fun ride. Opens up into a burnt out area, gave me kind of creepy vibes. One lane paved road through these dead trees and lively underbrush, not sure what it was but it just kind of creeped me out. Saw a pickup up ahead of me at the beginning of the dirt section, was Kaleb again was nice chatting with him for a minute and we parted ways. Section 3 was a hoot, lots of fun riding. The new tires were a night and day difference in the dirt. I had been hearing about the fire near cashmere and once I started getting higher up in the mountains I could actually see it, so I figured once I was in Wenatchee I'd make the call if I would skip section 4 or not. The most difficult spot on section 3 was 3 little washed out sections in a row. They weren't really tough but definitely some potential for injury there if things don't go right. Kaleb called me later in the day saying he got his truck stuck there, ended up getting himself free though.

    Made it to Wenatchee, surprised how big that town was considering I've never heard of it. Saw smoke pouring in from the mountains and some pretty cool action from the water bombers. Decided section 4 wasn't worth the risk and bypassed it up the highway straight to Chelan. Arrived at Chelan at 7pm had the best calzone I've ever had at local myth pizza. Had a raging headache so I got some Tylenol at Safeway and hit the road around 830pm. I had looked at the Butler map (great map) and my GPS and I found a campsite at Poison springs about a 3rd of the way up section 5 I thought it would be a perfect place to make camp for the night so I made my way there. Heading up the mountain over looking lake Chelan at sunset was my favorite part of the trip by far. The sunset was amazing and I couldn't stop stopping to take photos. I continue riding past the summit of Cooper mountain by this time its pitch black. I have Baja design s2 pro lights and they were fabulous for riding at night. Got to the point where poison springs was supposed to be, absolutely nothing there. Was in the middle of a steep downward sandy section. Just nothing there, no sign, turn off or anything. By this point its 11pm and on the prowl for somewhere to camp. I see a Y in the road, on the left is the BDR route, on the right is the summit to fox peak. I figure there's usually a flat spot on the summit of a mountain and boy was I correct. Find a perfect spot to camp on the summit and as soon as I turn my lights off I was greeted to one of the most vibrant displays of the milky way I've ever seen. Made camp around midnight stayed up till about 2am taking photos of the sky.

    Day 4 Friday 7/16/21: Wake up around 630am. My perfect camp spot really was perfect, no wind, no bugs, nothing. EXCEPT. 630 am rolls around and it's fully exposed to the sun. Feel like a baked potatoe. Pack up and hit the road around 7am. Stopped at Carlton general store at 9am for some snacks. Very friendly staff and was surprised at how high tech the gas pumps were, they only had 87 though so I passed on gas. Felt rejuvenated after this stop after only having 4 hours of sleep. Hit the road made the goal to get to Conconully and section 6 by noon. The ride was nice and remote up to section 6 lots of sand though. Wiped out twice in the same long sandy section about an hour before section 6. Made it to Convonully by noon as I had hoped, filled up got an ice cream sandwich. Decided there I was going to try and make it to Portland tonight (crazy). made quick work of section 6 was fairly uneventful not a whole lot to see until you come down to the valley at the end. There are road closed signs posted near palmer lake, the last off road portion of the BDR. I couldn't see any practical work around so I just went through. Didn't see anyone and I was gifted some great views of the valley. Made it to the border took a pic turned around headed towards Oroville. Got a subway sandwich cleaned my chain and hit the road at about 7pm. At about 9 I got to the Coulee dam and I realized after 14 hours on the bike another 5 hours to Portland was next to impossible. Booked a hotel in Yakima and headed towards there. Rode through the Grand Coulee at sunset and WOW what a cool fuckin place. Can't believe I had never heard of this geological feature before. It was one of the most breathtaking rides of my life and definitely the most unexpected of the trip. At around 11pm I was riding across this bridge in a town called Vantage on highway 90 and came the closest I'd ever been to having a catastrophic crash. I went through this wall of turbulent wind as soon as I got on the bridge and I was pushed right to the the barrier but I managed to save it. The rest of the ride across the bridge I was getting tossed around both lanes but I made it across. The rest of the ride to Yakima was super windy and kinda sketchy but I made it to the hotel around midnight. I was SORE when I got in to the hotel 17 hours of riding and my foot was soaked in blood, my sidi adventure 2 boots failed on me. The toe box collapsed so the hard plastic was tearing away at my toes. Huge disappointment with the boots at just over a year old.

    Day 5 Saturday 7/17/21: Woke up at 10 from the deepest sleep of my life. Hit the road at 11am, un eventful ride home. Found out the new tires don't really like the highway after 80mph the front end has an insane wobble. Saw some nice windmills. Got stuck in a huge traffic jam getting back into Portland.

    Thanks for reading.

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    #1
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  2. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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  3. MikeCMP

    MikeCMP Been here awhile

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    Nice ride report! Have a t7 as well, it’s a great bike, sounds like it did you well on the trip.

    would love details on your racks, and how you packed, always find it interesting the different ways people packs stuff up.

    did you pack any food with you or get it along the way?

    thanks!
    Mike
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  4. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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    I can take some more detailed pictures and lists of my gear tomorrow. As far as food goes I had 4 cans of chunky soups which I didnt eat. And general organization goes, left pannier me stuff. Right pannier bike stuff. Top bag is camping stuff. Backpack first aid/survival gear. Tank bag was camera stuff.
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  5. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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    Backpack: charging cables, ear plugs, mosko poop trowl, garmin explorer+, 2L water pack, bear spray, first aid kit, neck gaiter, leatherman, spare key and other random things.

    Tank bag: camera/lense, map/compass, ear plugs.

    Top 40L duffle: camping gear, MSR elixr 1 man tent, -7 degree sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp pillow. In the tent pole compartment on the bag I have my tent poles and camera tripod.

    Also carry 1 gallon of extra gas and a motorola g7 play as my gps device.

    Left pannier: clothes, 4 cans of chunky soup, spoon, battery pack that doubles as a booster, pack towel, toiletries. I have all my chain lube stuff in the pox (cleaner/lube/brush)

    Right pannier: has everything in these pics. Plus a 2L dromedary bag in the pox.

    IMG_20210721_1834462.jpg IMG_20210721_1825300.jpg
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  6. MikeCMP

    MikeCMP Been here awhile

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    Thank you for that, appreciate you taking the time to respond and write that out.

    You are like me, I carry a lot of tools as well. I did convert my t7 rims to tubeless, which cuts down on some of the stuff I have to carry.

    do you tend to do a lot of these rides solo?

    Mike
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  7. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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    Yeah no problem at all. I've never actually been on a group ride before. The self reliance is part of the reason why I got into motorcycling in the first place.
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  8. MikeCMP

    MikeCMP Been here awhile

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    Me too. Lot of my hobbies I started out doing bc they were easy to do alone, then gradually found friends to do them with.

    When I am off on my own on the big bike I will often carry my rope and pulleys, the best rest recovery kit, in case I drop the bike in a spot I can’t pick it up.

    also, curious as to the tool duplication, saw you had the Allen sockets, and Allen wrenches, and you have two ratchets since your tire spoon has the ratchet bit. Any reason for that? And what is the tool on the far left that is black marked tattico?


    Thanks!
    Mike
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  9. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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    Tattico is a hand pump, I prefer working on stuff with the ratchet if I can, I'll carry the extra bit of weight, I also carry the allen keys them selves if I cant get the ratchet into something. I have the ratchet adapter on the spoon just as an added peace of redundancy as well. Never know when it could come in handy and it adds virtually no added weight.

    Do you use that recovery kit often? I've found so far if I take my luggage off I can get the bike back on track under most scenarios.
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  10. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

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    It may sound like I'm criticising but I'm not, just curious. I see no screwdriver and no holder for the 1/4" bits; do you use the Leatherman as screwdriver? And to pop off the dust seals to use the seal mate? How do you install the master link clip? I struggle even with proper master clip pliers. Is the clear tub holding safety wire? No ClampTite for that? What do the Torx bits fit? And red Loctite? No chain lube?

    Sorry if that's a lot of questions but toolkit is one area where I struggle with packing too much yet still not having that one necessary tool.
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  11. MikeCMP

    MikeCMP Been here awhile

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    I have honestly only used the recovery kit in my own yard, was riding my dirt bike ad it looked a little muddy next thing I know was up to my axles. Have almost had to use it on a BDR, but managed to get it out with a friend helping.

    Totally understand where you are coming at from redundancy, makes sense to me and if you are alright carrying it, then go for it - the hand pump is probably lighter than my motopump pump after all :)

    @spuh I tend to not have all the precise tools for every case, I have a decent set of pliers in my multi tool, bit nothing for a master link and no chain breaker. Seems a remote possibility to have a chain problem where I would need to drop the chain, so I don't bother, meanwhile, I have had 3 tire puncture in one day, so I carry plugs and all that stuff for tires :)


    I have the eastbound moto tools for the T7, my brother got them for me for christmas, they are really light, and the handles work as tire spoons, and has both axle tools. and it is pretty light. I have the wrenches I need, and the apropriate allen keys, and some sockets as well.

    Mike
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  12. TrevorG

    TrevorG Been here awhile

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    Hey yeah no worries I can answer all of those for you.

    1. The screws fit in one of my 1/4" sockets and I use that with the 3/8 to 1/4" adapter and the extender. I also have a leatherman surge with bit kit and extender for small jobs.

    2. I have a master link tool and pliers on the leatherman, have never used it dont know how well it works, never had to do much chain work so I'm not sure what works and what doesnt.

    3. Clear tub is a throttle/clutch cable repair kit. With spare cable and adapters.

    4. Torx bits fit mostly accesories, mosko pannier racks, lights and stuff. If I recall I need them to open up the rear fender too.

    5.I use the leatherman blade to remove the fork seals.

    6.I have red and blue locktite, just take whatever from work.

    7. In my post I mention I keep my chain lube, cleaner and brush in my aux pox on the back of my pannier.
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  13. cjmadura

    cjmadura Been here awhile Supporter

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    Nice report and ride. Cleman mountain is a tough one for sure - that short section near the start is an eye-opener, and has claimed a lot of riders.
    Shame about the fires and that whole area near Ardenvoir is a lot of fun.
    Glad you had a blast!
    #13