Speed GOAT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DirtyDog, May 19, 2020.

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  1. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    I guess it's a decent time to talk a bit about ride strategy, provisions, hydration, gear, etc. For those not interested, feel free to skip it.

    On a ride like this (a speed run, if you will) I try to schedule stops based on a need to pee. It's not that I have a bladder issue or anything, but having worked in the desert, I know that hydration is important to your physical and mental acuity. So, I generally tell myself that I'm not stopping unless I have to pee. This motivates me to drink more water. :1drink It sounds funny, maybe, but it works for me. If my knees are aching and I want to take a break, I just start chugging water.:lol3 I had a 3L hydration bladder in my tank bag and it lasted me all day. I probably should have drank more.

    For food, I made a point to only eat what I carried with me. This allows my food intake to be prescribed. Not so much for calories or nutrition, but for known items that won't cause me to have to take a trail dump. Although I'll admit, I felt the urge for a while. :ostrich I carried a tuna salad kit, some beef jerky, a couple Clif bars, a couple Larabars (which are awesome and I recommend them), and some single-serve packets of almonds. For energy boost, I packed four 5hr energy shots. I consumed 3 throughout the day, but I never felt drowsy.

    Fuel stops are only for fuel unless I need to buy something for the bike, as I did at the end of Section 3.

    Carried gear includes anything I'd need for typical stuff. Tools and a 12v pump are under the seat. Tire irons and tubes are stuffed inside the upper side cowlings. Tank bag holds personal items, hydration, Rok straps, cargo net, SPOT communicator, device charging options, goggles, glasses, and contact case. No backpack to reduce fatigue. And the fuel can...:uhoh

    Navigation is via GaiaGPS app on iPhone.

    Worn gear included A-Star Tech 5 boots, olympia pants w/ knee and hip armor, Leatt torso armor, elbow/forearm guards, Klim gloves, jersey, vented FLY enduro jacket shell, and bluetooth helmet (for tunes and phone calls).

    Bike setup is nothing crazy. Stock 950 Adventure S with crash bars and LED aux lights and knobby tires.

    ...
    #61
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  2. sawin44

    sawin44 Always looking for new roads!

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    I wish I knew you were going to do this run. I might have called in to work to join you. It is still on my to do list.
    I also could have gave you more information about fuel stops. I shortened the fuel gap by adding another stop in south and have made note to others to break off at Illinois River to get fuel if you can't get over 100 miles on one tank. That would make the longest distance between fuel stops only 94 miles between Sparks Convenience store and Moodys Store and the gap from Sparks store to Loves is 131 miles.
    The route also adds Old Stagecoach Road which is a short .6 mile washed out road that is a little bit more technical than the rest of the route. Here is a video clip of a recent riders trip through there.


    I've also created this resource as an information guide.
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1bmHGu7EOMU2vNuMUgJV_AxHcib9pOPkj&usp=sharing

    Sorry I haven't been very active on this site with my updates.
    #62
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  3. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    To be fair, I didn’t tell anyone I was gonna do it. Not even my local ride buddies.

    I’ll check out the site. Thanks for the link.

    edit - that looks like a great resource. Nice job. :thumb
    #63
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  4. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Thanhs for posting the video Jason. That was pretty close. Like I said it did startle me but it did not piss me off. I am glad I was staying far to the right. I try to make it a point to do that especially on a blind curve. Sometimes when you ride for a long time without seeing other vehicles, you become complacent. you forget there can be other vehicles coming from the other direction. I try not to do that.

    you do not need to apologize but if you wanna buy me a beer that’s OK.

    I remember seeing those three little donkeys right before that. I was thinking why are they not inside of fence instead of being allowed to run loose on the road. some people back in the woods like that do open grazing. another reason to be mindful. besides all the road graders, do you remember seeing all the rural mail carriers? There was also many many deer especially late in the afternoon early evening. there are many hazards out there.

    I normally like to ride right on the edge of the road. That seems to be the smoothest place you can miss a lot of the jug holes and stuff and you can find good dirt there sometimes
    #64
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  5. Newner

    Newner Buffering

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    Agreed
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  6. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Section 2 followed the E bank of the Illinois River for quite some time. This is a great section. The Illinois River is one of Oklahoma's scenic rivers which is clear, blue water originating in the Ozark Mountains.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_River_(Oklahoma)

    It's a popular destination year-round, but during summer it's packed with river floaters. The lower Illinois (below Tenkiller Dam) is maintained as a put and take trout fishery, fyi. It's tough to pass through this stretch and not stop to see the river, take pictures, jump in, etc. I only stopped briefly though.

    Yes you can ride right down to the water in multiple spots. Here's where I did: 36.104340, -94.783298

    IMG_6255.jpg IMG_6256.jpg

    Other pics from the section-
    IMG_6254.jpg

    Not a great pic, but I tried to chase down this huge black ratsnake. Sucker was pretty fat. Maybe 5' long.
    IMG_6253.jpg

    Section 2 was nice and scenic. I don't recall any additional issues. Smooth roads. Water crossings up to this point have been simple. Deepest one of the whole route I recall was possibly in Sec 1 and it was maybe 10" deep.

    I took a ton more videos in Sec 3 and had some bike frustrations, so I'll digress and move on...
    #66
  7. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Section 3 was the longest I had planned- >150 miles. Once I left West Sailom Springs, the route headed generally due North for quite a ways before hooking around the Grand Lake headwaters and then turning South. The area around Grand is generally my stomping grounds for work, so I'm fairly familiar with many of the roads. The terrain is somewhat similar to my section 2. As I mentioned, I took quite a few helmet videos, however, the pics are nil until the end. I'll explain in a sec.

    Some of these videos aren't too interesting on the surface. But at least they are short!
    I just tried to give a glimpse of the roads. And any time I found something particularly interesting or scenic, I just pressed the button and recorded for a few seconds. Unfortunately, I didn't wipe the dust off my gopro often enough.




    The road turned into a 2-track for a bit, which was odd.


    I found this rolling meadow to be particularly scenic.


    Low water crossings in OK are fairly abundant. This one was kind of unusual in that it was basically functioning as a dam.


    At times, the trail is below grade and lined with trees, somewhat like a dry creekbed.


    More vid with little context. :dunno


    Another "epic" water crossing. Honestly, if I'd done this ride a week prior, the crossing situation could have been vastly different.


    I stopped for fuel at the Elk River bridge "Gitter Done". I've stopped here many times while working in the area. It was good to explore some new roads (and see some known ones). Some of the chosen roads were an unexpected surprise.

    Soon after fueling, I noticed a decline in my clutch lever effectiveness. This can happen if it gets some air in the lines or if fluid leaks out from the lever piston. However, I paid quite a bit of cash to have my master cylinder re-sleeved and it was showing no signs of leakage. :hmmmmm The KTM slave cylinder is prone to failure, so I assumed it was leaking a bit of clutch fluid past the slave cylinder seal. Well, I'm gonna press on for now.

    The trail makes a couple quick little jogs into Missouri. Here is one near Seneca to get around and cross Lost Creek.


    ...
    #67
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  8. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    After fueling at the Elk River, my clutch lever became basically nonexistent. Therefore, I didn't stop till the end of Section 3.

    I continued to take some videos though.

    The route ripped up and through the twin bridges area, crossing both the Spring and Neosho rivers, then hooked back N right by my research station and crossed the Neosho again over Conner's Bridge.

    I was happy to see the route traverse a piece of historic Route 66. This piece of the Mother Road S of Miami near Afton, OK, has some of the last remaining original pavement of the historic route. It's only 9' wide and the pavement and lines are still barely visible. Oncoming cars would originally have to merge onto the shoulder in order to safely pass.

    Unfortunately, subsequent maintenance of the route has required the placement of gravel, so the route is degrading quickly. The last time I drove it (maybe a decade ago?), it was still easily recognizable as pavement with 9' edge lines. This is tough to discern now while traveling on the road and I don't think there are signs to inspire travelers to ponder the history... at least not on the GOAT. Maybe I missed it.



    Just one more highlight before the end of Section 3.


    At this point, I've been riding with no clutch lever for maybe 100 miles? What I underestimated was how challenging this would be for the route I was on. When underway, it's not too tough to shift without the assistance of the clutch lever. But the route goes through SO. MANY. INTERSECTIONS. AND. CORNERS. My SOP of squeeze, stab, dump, spin through basically every corner to keep the pace I was riding was basically out the window. It took me a bit to get the hang of riding clutchless, but I eventually worked it out. You might say, "just click it into N when approaching a stop." Yeah, try that yourself. It seemed impossible. When I fixated on trying to hit Neutral, I ended up stalling or rolling uncomfortably into the intersection before coming to a stop. So I just changed it up. I stopped stopping. I rolled all stop signs as safely as possible with a standing almost-pause in first gear while preventing a stall and looking for oncoming traffic. At turns, I just jabbed it into lower gears, swung a bit wide, and letter rip. It was less finesse and riding instinct at this point, as everything was now deliberate. Highway crossings were the worst. Especially the ones where I was pointed uphill.

    I nearly dropped the bike doing a low-speed clutchless maneuver at the gas station in Langley at the end of Section 3. :fpalm I'm sure I looked like a fucking n00b rider. Oh well.

    Parked the bike and walked to the grocery store for repair supplies.
    ...
    #68
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  9. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    I was very fortunate (I guess) that the fuel stop between Sec 3 & 4 was right next to a grocery store with pharmacy. My KTM calls for mineral oil in the hydraulic clutch and I have found it on prior trips at a pharmacy. So I secured some juice and added to the master, which wasn't really low. :scratch
    IMG_6257.jpg
    IMG_6258.jpg

    I cycled the lever repeatedly and tested things. Seemed to help. Guess my clutch woes are over, right?

    Now on to the final stretch. It's 4:50pm and I have 114 miles to complete this challenge. No sweat. Shouldn't be dark till 8pm or so?
    IMG_6259.jpg

    Leaving Langley, the route took a fair number of roads that I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, my "repaired" clutch lasted maybe 2 miles. Shit. Clearly the slave cylinder seal has failed and the pressure from the master is just bleeding by with every attempt. Back to clutchless riding for the duration. Glad the terrain is easy.


    While riding clutchless, I only rarely stopped (when I had to pee) and I did it at the top of hills so I could be rolling in neutral, start the bike, and pop it into 2nd gear with no stalling.

    I had to stop for a snack in the pines. In the pines. Where the sun don't ever shine.
    IMG_6260.jpg
    IMG_6261.jpg
    IMG_6263.jpg

    Of course, the fun was short lived. Fate was conspiring against my finish before dark.
    Riding along and heard a pop. It sounded a bit different than your average, hollow smack from rocks getting thrown against the skid plate or swingarm. Please don't be a flat. It was. Whatever punctured the rear
    tire was substantial, as it poked a 1/4" hole through the tire and UHD tube. Not a nail or fastener. It was heavy or embedded enough to stay in the road. Guess it's a mystery. So I took to swapping the tube as the sun inched toward the horizon. I felt lucky I wasn't using tubeless rims because I dunno if 3 or 4 plugs would have been adequate to seal it.
    IMG_6264.jpg

    I took a video of the entire tube swap, but haven't uploaded it and it's on a different computer. So I'm gonna save you the effort of watching the 30 minutes at 8x speed. I'll just acknowledge that I did it with little frustration and no pinch flats.

    I keep the tubes and tire tools in the upper cowlings of the bike. Front tube and tire irons on the left and rear tube on the right (meaning I had to remove both). Tubes are wrapped in thin, cotton fabric "cravats." These function to prevent vibration chafing of the tubes but also have a valuable 2nd use in first aid. https://www.liveactionsafety.com/triangular-bandages-aka-cravats-non-woven/
    IMG_6266.jpg

    I keep a 12v air pump and other tools under the seat.

    Got the tube swapped and on my way into the darkening skies.
    ...
    #69
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  10. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Final stretch of Section 4! Still clutchless, but ripping along as fast as I can safely. I was definitely ready for this to be over by now. My mind is alert and doing well, but my body was aching. I've had a weird pandemic limp in my right knee for a few months now. It was bothering me, of course. But also my wrists. I was looking forward to getting of the bike and laying down in bed. I wondered how the real rally racers can do such long days in the saddle, but do it for weeks on end. I wondered what it would be like to roll into the pits, pass the bike to a mechanic, relay to them the issues I had in that last section (knowing they will be fixed by morning), grab a bite, sit down for a massage, and get some sleep before doing it all again tomorrow. I'm not claiming that the Speed GOAT remotely compares to one day in a Dakar-type rally, but one can't help wondering.

    After fixing the flat, I'm uneasy about whether or not it "took," therefore I'm riding anxiously for a while. I stopped a few times to check the air pressure before feeling confident that the skatey feeling on gravel was normal and not a flat tire.


    It's getting darker, as you can see. Lost some daylight with the flat fix. It's that time of day where the headlights don't really help because the sky is still bright enough to see, but the contrast is low and the headlight is ineffective.

    There's still a big risk of dogs or vehicles popping out of nowhere. On the subject of dogs, I was trying to convey to my SO just how many dogs were on the GOAT. I exaggerated a bit and said a thousand. Of course that's an exaggeration, but to say "hundreds" probably wouldn't be. It's not unheard of to see 7-8 loose dogs between my house and the highway. That's just in a couple miles. Extrapolate that to 430 miles and it might be a few hundred dogs.

    There was some chatter on FB about dogs on the route. I'm of the philosophy that dogs aren't much of a threat to me on a motorbike. I think I can confidently say I've never crashed or "almost crashed" due to a dog. A deer, sure. But dogs are predictable, anticipated, and generally only a daytime concern. When they don't see you, the results are less predictable. If I see a dog that looks like it's gonna "come at me," I hold my line and speed always. If they are coming from the opposite side of the road, I might even edge to their side a bit. Their goal is to intercept from the side, not to get in front of you. If they manage to get close, I have two immediate options- 1) throttle, 2) throttle and juke. If I've already merged over to one edge or the other by the time they get to me, then I have nowhere to juke. That's why I hold the line. I've never had a dog make contact with me and only on rare occasions (with a large, snarling dog) have I been inspired to lift my foot to avoid a bite.:dunno

    All this being said, I found myself in TWO scenarios on the GOAT where my dog philosophy was challenged. The first was pretty bizarre. I entered a left-hand downhill bend in the route where the road became somewhat bound in a dry creekbed. After I cleared the turn, I was met with a woman walking her dogs. I wasn't going excessively fast, and as always, I slowed severely for pedestrian traffic. What was bizarre was the fact that she had at least TEN dogs- all off leash. I say at least ten, because it was a fucking pack of dogs. My best recollection of this moment was best described to my SO today. I felt like the terminator who basically scans the landscape identifying all the life-form targets in view and does the light-speed calculations on how to hit (or in this case, avoid) each of them in the most efficient way possible. My quick scan identified multiple breeds- I recognize Husky and German Shepherd. Great. Those are both known for their friendliness to strangers. The rest of the dogs were possibly an ad-mixture of Husky/GSD and of various ages. Some appeared to be large puppies. I made eye contact with the lady owner, exchanged waves, and her no-shits-given, lack of concern demeanor settled my nerves. I quickly but safely navigated through a sea of canines, surprised to see that none of the dogs cared about my presence. Whew. Maybe I was just nervous after being recently surrounded by three pissed dogs while attempting to jog in my rural neighborhood.

    The second scenario is one where I almost made contact with a dog unaware to my presence. There were multiple dogs that I had to briskly maneuver through while meeting two oncoming tractors. The last dog was laying in the road and my trajectory was between the dog and the tractors. Apparently the dog saw the tractors and not me, so she hopped up to intercept the tractors right as I zipped into her field of view. Close call. In that case, I think I should have honked the horn.

    Digress...

    Coming into this water crossing when I wasn't expecting it was a bit of a challenge for my clutchless and fatigued brain status at this point. Made it through though.


    Tried to make some time riding a bit quicker on the open sections where I wasn't staring into the setting sun.


    I was really kind of waiting for the sun to fully set so I could see what my lights were illuminating.


    And here's the final moments of the one-day Speed GOAT. The irony of it was two-fold. The finish line, so to speak, of my arbitrarily chosen point to start this ride was a fuel station across the highway and it was actually called the "Finish Line." I didn't know this until I pulled up to the highway crossing and saw the gleaming lights just hundreds of feet away. The second of the folds was that due to my damn clutch issues and that this was a highway crossing, I couldn't just roll across through the traffic. I had to stop. And it was uphill. And I stalled it multiple times. So close, but I couldn't get there. Finally, I was able to coordinate breaks in cross traffic with my clutchless start from a stop and rolled into the finish line at 9:04pm. I'd started the GOAT at 6:53am for a Speed GOAT time of 14h 8min.

    GPTempDownload.JPG
    GOAT Stats.jpg

    I checked in at home and headed out on the highway for the ~60 mile ride to the house. I really wasn't looking forward to this stretch because that morning I had managed to hit about 10 consecutive red lights in Muskogee. Now, without a clutch, I was actually considering the long way via turnpike. But I didn't. I just anticipated all the light changes and tried to be rolling when they turned green. Worked OK and I made it home, but not before hearing about some facebook drama about my ride and the ethics of going fast on the GOAT. I feel that I've addressed most of the concerns in my description of what I saw, how I dealt with it, how I interact with pedestrians, vehicles, dogs, other riders, etc.

    If not, maybe someone can enlighten me. I feel the ride was a success. I achieved my goal. Given the challenges, it was done safely with few near-misses. Pushing the limits takes you close to them.

    Door to door, my day was 583 miles and I rolled in at 10:30pm. Not my longest, but it was tough enough.
    The GOAT can be done in a day. A few more maintenance hiccups could have ruined the trip. The weather and traction was as good as I could have expected. Water crossings were low. Should be tough to beat that time. :deal :ricky

    IMG_6267.jpg
    #70
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  11. mayoisnasty

    mayoisnasty trials wannabe

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    Thanks for sharing. I've found those country dogs aren't really that big of a concern. Like you, I just hold the line and don't slow for them. I think that's what gets riders in trouble...when they slow down or swerve erratically. Then again, a giant fluffball Pyrenees jumping out of the bushes is quite startling. :lol3
    #71
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  12. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Damn right. The way that they hop with their front legs when doing a bluff charge makes me instinctively think polar bear every time. We have one in my hood.
    #72
  13. dewey405

    dewey405 Been here awhile

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    My pyr would probably run the other way lol.
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  14. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Nice. That clutchless riding is tough, especially through water crossings of unknown traction. Bit of a pucker factor there. My strategy with dogs is to maintain speed then veer slightly toward them as they get close. Suddenly the thing they were chasing is coming at them and they tend to stop dead in their tracks. Has worked well so far.
    #74
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  15. Edoz

    Edoz n00b sauce

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    @DirtyDog maybe you should think about including an extra slave cyclinder and oil in your on-bike kit.
    #75
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  16. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Nah. I’ve had a rekluse with an adjustable slave on the shelf for a while now. Install in process. :deal

    Only spares that should be carried are things that will stop a ride dead. Fuel pump is one, but I left it at home. Need to squirrel that away on the bike somewhere. :hmmmmm
    #76
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  17. millman84

    millman84 Been here awhile

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    Or get a bike that can go more than 300mi without falling apart.
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  18. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Imma let this slide because I know you, Sean. :*sip*

    43,000 miles on that clutch slave.
    #78
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  19. Edoz

    Edoz n00b sauce

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    That seems pretty respectable.
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  20. sawin44

    sawin44 Always looking for new roads!

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    I don't think you were riding too fast at all. I see your numbers and I know mine are usually more unsafe, but I know a lot of those roads well. I also use the same safe defense methods you were describing. I'm also used to the dogs running out at me because I've been driving a brown delivery truck down these same backroads for years now.
    Your number of dogs was quite exaggerated though. I've been down the route several times and know a lot of the roads well and there isn't that many, but that's okay. There are a lot of loose dogs though. It's what people do out here. I would've laughed seeing the dog pack lady lol. I only don't like dogs that stay in the way but most will just want to run and bark. If a dog does get close enough, it might eat my boot.
    Sorry for any "drama" you thought was going on. Too many people with opinions.
    Thanks for your detailed trip log too. This has been real fun for me to read.
    #80
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