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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Oct 14, 2019.
We were 2 weeks early. Enjoy
Day 4: October 3rd, 2019
We started the day in the aspens. The low was around 25 degrees this morning!
I went for a little photo walk before breaking camp.
Then it was time for a colorful ride.
We blasted down the trail out to Marble View at 50 mph.
The view was quite hazy this morning.
When headed back down the same trail we had just blasted through, we encountered a Kaibab Plateau traffic jam!
The deer took off. The Bison left the road several times, but then came right back as the forest was to thick.
Finally, the traffic cleared, and it was smooth sailing...
...up to the Jacob Lake Inn for lunch.
The funnest route up to Jacob Lake had a 6 mile section of the former 2-track being graded. The grading was in process and the road was really torn up and sketchy riding for 6 miles. We encountered the grader still working on "fixing" what used to be the fun section of this route.
I realize the GCBAR tracks for this day don't seem to make much sense, except you get to blast through color and have lunch and re-supply fuel, water and groceries in Jacob Lake.
After lunch, we slabbed it back to the park.
We stopped at the North Rim Lodge / Bright Angel Point. The views were so hazy and ugly that I didn't snap any pics. The ugly day changed our minds about riding out to Cape Royal, so instead we headed out towards Point Sublime a little early.
Point Sublime Trail is always a blast, and rougher than I ever remember.
We reach the intersection...
...and get a look at the road closure that will require a re-route tomorrow.
To our west, we could see the reason for the closures and hazy conditions.
We were the only one's out here!
There was nothing special about the sunset...
...except we were at Point Sublime!
As the light fades...
...we set up camp.
Day 4: Saddle Mountain - Point Sublime 118 Miles
Dave, can you tell a bit more about the road conditions heading out to Pt. Sublime? I have read mixed impressions about the roughness of the road. Big bike friendly?
@swimmer It is mostly a rough 2 track with some fairly rocky ups and downs and a large meadow with some deepish sand. Is it big bike friendly? The first time I rode it was on the 990 with my 11 year old son on the back. It wasn't very fun for the passenger. Once you ride it, it's easy to say it's easy. It actually becomes quite easy and smoother for the last 6 miles. Road conditions are ever changing with frequent deadfalls. It was dry this year, but can have muddy puddles if wet.
These 2 videos from 2016 have some sections of Pt Sublime Trail.
To the moderators: For nearly a decade I supported advrider with an expensive Smugmug account. I know you guys have divorced, but I'm pissed you don't have better support for Smugmug video!
You guys got a way closer view of the wildlife than we did.
I am not sure what "friendly" means. We were there 2 weeks before @dave6253 and @rtwpaul on a KTM 990 and an F800GS. It was easier than Saddle Mountain Rd and certainly doable. It was challenging enough to give you a sense of accomplishment for getting there. For me, the sandy meadow was the most challenging. I fell in one of the sand pits coming back but neither of us fell on the way out.
Day 5: October, 4th, 2019
I get up in time to see the Earth's shadow in the sky.
Paul went without a tent last night and slept on the table.
We watched the sunrise.
The view here is massive. The camera really shrinks this landscape.
Just over there is where I slept the first night - Havasupai Point.
Due to the fire closure, we must ride Point Sublime Trail all the way back to Highway 67.
It's a fun trail, and always seems easier doing it the second time.
Yesterday, Paul had stopped to add a way-point for a descent with at least 4 ledges we had ridden down. Today, we breezed up that climb without noticing the ledges.
I had to stop in the big meadow for a group of 15 turkeys - some in no hurry to leave the trail.
Paul caught up and needed a break for equipment repairs. He was still looking for the ledges way-point, but we had already passed it.
Kanab Point is a must-see on the North Rim - easy to get to, not not frequented much. You can camp about 4 miles outside it without a permit (i.e., outside the GCNP boundary).
We routed around the fire closures to the next view that was accessible - Crazy Jugs Point.
The view was super smoky.
Although we skipped a lot of fun trails, there will still be some great riding today.
The fun trail out to Sowats Point was next.
The view at Sowats is so-so, So what? I'd bet if we went...
...right over there, the view would be awesome! Oh yeah. That's Jumpup Point. We are headed there.
I rode the 990 as my first and only offroad moto for a decade. I was quite comfortable riding it offroad everywhere, although I was never a fan of riding it in deep sand. While the 690 loaded for this trip was at least 100 pounds lighter - it basically requires the same skills to ride it. I'm a big guy carrying plenty of fuel and luggage, so there's still a limit to how much faster I can ride it without bashing the wheels and flattening the tires. In general I find riding the 690 easier due to less weight and a smoother throttle. In many offroad sections I believe I'm running faster than I would on the 990. My comment was about how I felt riding it up the particularly sketchy loose rock climb up the FS 220. I've ridden up that same climb twice on the 990. Once reaching the top I was filled with confidence that I could ride that bike anywhere. Perhaps because I was trying to ride a little faster, and because of the difference in gearing, I did NOT feel comfortable at all on the 690. I started up that climb thinking the 690 would be better, but the 690 was getting bounced around and repeatedly I found myself off my intended line and came very close to crashing several times. I reached the top filled with doubt that I could ride this bike well - unlike my previous experiences on the 990. I was having the most difficulty getting the rear tire to hook up - even though I'm running a far more aggressive tire than I did on the back of the 990.
We raced up the 427 and across Ranger Pass.
Paul has ridden some of these tracks before when he had the XR 650R.
We made lunch and hung out at the Jumpup Cabin.
Sitting on the porcelain throne while watching the rabbits play and listening to the birds sing as the sun rises over Jump Up Cabin is a special experience. It has a unique outhouse...emphasis on OUT.
Are you using a drone for some shots?
Nope. I just jump really high. They named Jumpup Point after me! Just kidding. I use the self-timer and tripod held up high overhead with an ultra-wide-angle lens.
Sounds like too much rear spring, take some preload out and see how you like it.
I'm not sure I rode my 640 faster than my 990 but I definitely was able to ride it places I wouldn't take the 990. Plus the 640 was just much easier to deal with due to the lower weight, easier to turn, much easier to pick up, etc...
Jumpup trail is 8 miles of fun.
The view is incredible.
We had visitors out at Jumpup Point. Don and Nancy were super-cool and we chatted awhile.
Don and I shared petroglyph info and he is currently now out hunting the Thunderbirds I visited in Saline Valley.
It's much warmer here, so we both decide to cowboy camp - with no tent.
I prepare a culinary delight as Paul scoffs at the idea.
But when the SPAM started to sizzle, Paul admitted it did smell good.
I made these until I ran out of SPAM...
...and someone began screaming.