TAT 2020 by a new ADVer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by mallen416, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. mallen416

    mallen416 Adventurer Supporter

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    Central Washington
    I was using the Slipstreamer Spitfire windshield. Under 50mph or so I don't really care either way, but over 50mph I definitely miss the windshield.
    #41
  2. mallen416

    mallen416 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2020
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    I'm using Locus Maps with their proprietary maps that they call LoMaps downloaded. Their maps are really nice and it only cost a couple bucks for all the states I needed; as far as I've noticed they've had all of the roads and trails, it also marks some campgrounds, stores, historical sites, etc. I love the software, you can upload tracks as .gpx files which is how you get them from Sam, Kevin, and for BDRs. The tracks as well as all of their points loaded up perfect. You can set it up so it automatically follows you on the screen, as well as rotates with your direction which is nice. I also use it to record my tracks. Not sure if it's available for iPhone, I have a Google Pixel 2XL.
    #42
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  3. mallen416

    mallen416 Adventurer Supporter

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    These smaller bikes definitely don't get enough credit. Don't get me wrong if Yamaha came out with a WR450R I'd be one of the first in line, that doesn't mean these 250 class bikes can't do everything you need.
    #43
  4. mallen416

    mallen416 Adventurer Supporter

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    You hit the nail on the head with that one, looking back I already laugh about the single track problems, and it gives me more good stories to tell. I'd have no problem spending multiple days just riding around that part of Colorado, it's beautiful land and great riding.
    #44
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  5. mallen416

    mallen416 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2020
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Central Washington
    DAY 16:

    Nothing too exciting on this day, some mild forest roads on my way to Moab. Once I got out of the forest it was neat to see how the landscape changed into a lot of canyons. I couldn't wait to ride the White Rim Trail which I had planned for the following day as commonly recommended, everyone talks about the great canyon views along the way.

    I made it to Moab late in the afternoon, grabbed myself a great burger at Zax's, and then found an outdoor store to replenish some supplies. There wasn't much that I needed to get, but I found the greatest selection of dehydrated meals that I have yet to see.
    IMG_20200902_182856.jpg

    There were even more on a shelf behind me. That was pretty much the highlight of my day, it wasn't a bad day just a little boring compared to all of the passes the day before.

    I followed the TAT route by the Gemini Bridges as it got me closer to the start of the White Rim Trail. I camped at a campground a few miles before the entrance to Canyonland National Park.


    240 miles


    DAY 17:

    I'm pretty sure I mentioned this when I made my report of the passes in Colorado, but it's worth repeating; I don't know why everyone doesn't just ride a motorcycle. I got started on the White Rim Trail at about 8:00 and was done in time to get lunch in Moab, about 1:00. From what most places say, this is a two-day trip in a Jeep or similar vehicle but only took half a day on my WR250R. There were some great views of the canyons along the way.
    IMG_20200903_110753.jpg

    Also towards the end, there is a nice river flowing through the canyon.
    IMG_20200903_123758.jpg

    After I made it back to Moab I followed some advice from online and took the Utah BDR towards Green River. It bothered me at first because I don't like going backwards, and I backtracked almost an hour of riding I did the day before. Once I got down by Onion Creek I decided it was worth the extra riding, I missed water crossings, even as easy as these ones. I went fast enough through a couple that I had water soaking my pants and even got my shirt pretty wet and it felt good to cool off.

    After I made it past Onion Creek, there was some sand that I had to go through. I was really struggling and making slow progress when another rider passed me going the opposite direction much faster and look like he was having an easier time. I decided to follow his lead and picked up the pace, my bike fell a lot more planted with the weight shifted back from staying on the throttle. Not long after getting through that, I decided to call it a night about 2 hours before I hit Green River and pitched my tent just off the trail.

    222 Miles


    DAY 18:

    The first couple hours of the day were what I would call your standard Utah trails, some hard pack dirt, with a little bit of rocks but nothing crazy. I gassed up and grabbed brunch in Green River, then headed toward Black Dragon wash. I believe Sam used to take you through this wash, but his new route takes a big loop South of it. Kevin's route takes you through the wash though, so that's what I did as I wanted to see the drawing of the dragon. The way through was either deep sand, deep gravel, or very rocky but was well worth it. Here's some of the drawings in the canyon.
    IMG_20200904_121030.jpg IMG_20200904_121212.jpg

    And I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a selfie with a dragon.
    IMG_20200904_121332.jpg

    I joined back up with Sam's route which I would take all the way to the Utah-Nevada border. I passed through the Manti-La Sal National Forest later that day, and it was packed with people. I should have seen this coming since it was Friday of labor Day weekend, but it really ruined the riding with all of the dust and constantly dodging bad drivers through corners. I made it through the forest into Ephraim where I grabbed dinner and gas then got back on my way. The rest of the day was spent going through different ranches but luckily free of other people. There were a couple good views as well.
    IMG_20200904_180249.jpg

    About 25 miles before the town of Delta I passed through a small section of Fishlake National Forest where I set up camp for the night.

    277 miles


    DAY 19:

    You always hear how Oklahoma is just dusty roads, but there was a lot more dust through this part of Utah than anywhere in Oklahoma for me. A lot of the day was spent on relatively straight gravel roads just like this one.
    IMG_20200905_100700.jpg

    The nice thing about around here was even though it's flat, there is still plenty of hills to stop you from getting too bored. Even now after having finished all of Nevada, I personally never felt that I was in the middle of nowhere as much as in Western Utah and Eastern Nevada. I could probably count the number of cars I saw outside of towns for the day on one hand, the solitude was very enjoyable.

    More hills than I was expecting, but nothing else as far as I could see.
    IMG_20200905_124313.jpg

    National Forest in the middle of the desert are quite a bit different than elsewhere. I was still going through plenty of hills but all of the trees just looked like overgrown sagebrush with the occasional pine mixed in. This was my first taste of thick sand as well, as soon as I entered the forest it started. The whole stay on the throttle to keep your weight back idea works when the loose stuff is a layer on top, but not when it's this thick. I struggled a bit, but made it through with only a couple close calls and no drops.

    About 35 miles before I hit Eureka I called It a night as I hit some deep sand and didn't want to tackle it that night, pitched my tent on the side of the road and prepared for more sand the following day. As I was doing my nightly bike maintenance I realized my tires weren't going to be doing me any favors, I only had a little over a thousand miles on them but my rear was disappearing fast. I had dropped the pressure a little bit more than with the D606 I was running to get these TKC 80s to hook up like I wanted but didn't expect this fast of wear. There was no plan to get another tire before the end of the trip, but at this moment it was looking like a real possibility.

    319 miles


    DAY 20:

    Sand, lots of sand. The very first road I got to take in the morning looks just like this
    IMG_20200905_185657.jpg IMG_20200905_190201.jpg

    I took the pictures the night before but I went through it in the morning. The ruts were higher than the axle on my front wheel, and just sitting there my bike sank in about halfway to the axle... This was soft, and it was deep. It felt like water on my feet as my front tire pushed the sand up over them. I managed to make it through this section with only close calls, but I was so lucky later in the day. I stopped in Eureka to grab something to eat and ended up doing some laundry as well.

    Later I was going through more sand similar to earlier in the day, when my front tire hit a large rock hidden underneath and turned almost all the way to one side. I went to straighten out my handlebars and overcorrected causing my bike to technically high side. I say technically because by this time I was going so slow and the ground was so soft that it was a pretty gentle crash in the end. The worst part of the crash was all of my nice clean gear was now soaked with dirt and dust. I pounded out everything the best I could and continued on my way.

    After I made my way through the worst of the sand, I hit some gravel roads that were like heaven in that moment. I was winding my way through some hills when I hit the smoke coming up from California wildfires. This is not too far after I first ran into the smoke
    IMG_20200906_152425.jpg

    The smoke continually got worse over the next couple hours to the point where the sun was just a dull red ball in the sky. I made it to Battle Mountain about 4:30 and reviewed when my next possible stop was. It isn't severe, but I do have asthma and didn't want to camp in the smoke if I could avoid it. The next hotel wasn't for another 150 TAT miles, so even though it was early in the day to stop I decided to get a hotel and call it a day.

    171 miles
    #45
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  6. Jedi2Rider

    Jedi2Rider Been here awhile

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    Those are the best sand pics I've ever seen!! Really looks like flour!
    #46
  7. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

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    White rim trial is on my list, Canyonlands is a gem of a park.
    #47
  8. jjr66

    jjr66 Been here awhile

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    If your still in Nevada you need to be aware that Oregon is on fire from California to Washington. Please choose your route wisely and be safe!
    #48
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  9. mallen416

    mallen416 Adventurer Supporter

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    I actually finished today! The only problems the wildfires gave me was a closed gas station and lots of smoke.
    #49
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  10. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    That's really good to hear, the last ~36 hours have been completely insane and it's not getting any better any time soon. So are you in Port Orford then? If so, probably want to hang somewhere that isn't too close to a fire outbreak; the smoke up where I live was so bad today that my throat and eyes are still jacked and I was inside an office working all day.

    Anyway, fantastic updates on days 16 through 20. It's crazy how much terrain you've covered. I've only ridden NV once thus far, but have read many reports from the big empty and it's a special place for adventure/dual sport riding. I can't wait to get back down there and enjoy more of it, so much BLM land to explore. Though I wouldn't mind skipping that deep silt crap. I've become semi-comfortable riding in sand and gravel wash stuff after Baja and the CABDR, but deep silt (aka fesh fesh) is something else.

    Look forward to hearing about the track from Battle Mountain; that was one of the stops we were supposed to make during a ride that went completely pear shaped this time last year.
    #50
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  11. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Been here awhile

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    Austin, Texas
    One day I’ll get back out there and do White Rim and Black Dragon Canyon. Great updates!

    Glad to hear you made it safe too. I’ve been seeing the fire pics on Reddit and my mind drifted to the TAT riders who would be passing through that area.
    #51
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  12. Jedi2Rider

    Jedi2Rider Been here awhile

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    Congrats on finishing!! :liftHuge accomplishment and major trip!

    Look forward to the rest of your report.
    #52
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  13. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Great ride report! Not only are you out experiencing ADV riding at a young age, but you've already learned what a terrible tire TKC80s are! :lol3

    Congrats on making it the entire way!
    #53
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  14. Jedi2Rider

    Jedi2Rider Been here awhile

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    Oh, that's funny about the TKC80s! Nicely done.
    #54
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  15. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb... Supporter

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    Kerosene works well on tar and won't mar the paint if you use a second dry cloth to finish up...
    #55
  16. BigStu

    BigStu Adventurer

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    Enjoying the report, glad you made it. Look forward to reading the rest of it. I'm glad to see young men like you and RacingBlue doing this. There's plenty of time for work and bills and such. Lessons y'all have learned from the TAT will stay with you for life.
    #56
  17. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Good on you for doing this so young, well done. Now, we,re waiting? Petepilot
    #57
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  18. DownGoesFrazier

    DownGoesFrazier Adventurer

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    M'boro, TN
    I’ve always been pleased with TKC80’s. I’d be interested to know what makes them terrible. Just curious to learn another’s POV.
    #58
  19. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    North GA and Atlanta
    Had a similar experience .... barely got 3,000 miles out of a rear... speed on gravel roads is what ate mine. Since then I have stuck with Heidenau...12,000 miles on last Heidenau’s and still had meat when I sold the bike.
    #59
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  20. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    Only had a TKC 80 front. For me it was wet pavement.
    I'm sure most knobbies are sketchy on wet pavement but the rear K60 wasn't good on wet pavement either so when I went slowly around a corner and caught a bit of the white paint: "DOWN GOES FRAZIER, DOWN GOES FRAZIER!"
    #60
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