TAT 2020 roll call

Discussion in 'Americas' started by PackinDirt, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. mliers

    mliers n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2020
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    Location:
    Ooltewah, TN
    As of right now 3 of us are planning to go mid to late July. Two CRF250L's and one DRZ400 currently. We are all located around southeast TN (chattanooga). Plan is to ride for 2 weeks, then transport the bikes back. I think we may bypass the GA section since we have done all that many times, so will probably start west of Chattanooga using Sam's route.
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  2. Wadmalaw-Rider

    Wadmalaw-Rider Been here awhile

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    Dec 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Wadmalaw Island, SC
    3 of us from Charleston, SC will be shipping bikes to OR in mid-August for a West-to-East run. Logistically, it seems simpler as the shipper can hold the bikes until we arrive. We'll get to ride the Western sections first and if time runs short we can sprint through some sections.
  3. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
    Oddometer:
    946
    Location:
    Eastern Vermont
    If I had a choice, I'd depart in mid-June as the passes in Colorado will be more likely to be open by the time you get there. If you are starting in NYC, consider either Kevin's NYC to North Carolina route or the MABDR to get to the TAT start. Flights from LA to NYC are relatively cheap. You could do some of the prep work on the bike while you're here in April, too.

    The relatively easier routes down to North Carolina will be a great way to get to know the "new-to-you" KTM and sort out any issues before you get out west.

    A TAT-prepped 690 is a great bike for the this trip. Very capable off-road and happy doing a day on the slab, too. Big Thumpers rule!
  4. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2014
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    Location:
    Eastern Vermont
    Yes, this was to make the off-road, cross-country experience more accessible to bigger bikes and older riders who didn't want the challenge of riding across the desert for three to four days. Or going over the most challenging mountain passes (back side of Engineers down into Ouray?). In doing so, he also added significantly to the mileage of his route. Especially in the west going up into Idaho then to the coast.

    All the old routes still exist and that's the great thing about the TAT now. You can pick and choose your level of commitment. Want it easier? Stick to Sam's new track and parts of Kevin's new stuff, too. Want a challenge? Ride Kevin's older '16 track. That's what we did and it was terrific fun on our 650s. For most of the trip, my buddy on the KLR said he wanted a smaller, more capable bike but by the end, he said he'd want to do it again on the KLR.
  5. EZ-D

    EZ-D Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,087
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    I haven't downloaded (bought?) the tracks yet, but I am curious about bypassing the more difficult sections as I'm not an experienced off-roader and I ride a Vstrom 650. Do the tracks somehow breakdown the route into hard and easy alternatives? Tks.
  6. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Sam's tracks do not feature alternate difficulty sections, I believe Kevin's do. Having said that, Sam's current tracks are about as easy as it gets for "off-road" ADV riding. In my opinion the only spot on Sam's entire route that is a challenge is Warloop road in western Arkansas. It, however, is only 6 or 7 miles long and is easily bypassed on local roads. You just need to look on a gps/map and find a way around, which is what you need to do anytime you have to get off-route for whatever reason- food, trail construction, flooded trail etc. look on your gps/map and navigate a way around it. That happens alot! Probably every single day. You need to be comfortable with your navigation system that you can find and navigate you way off the trail then back on again.

    When you hear of particularly hard sections of the TAT like Engineer Pass or Black Dragon Canyon, those are not on Sam's route. If you want to hit those to up the challenge level then you have to purposely navigate to them. Another thing is, if you are starting on the east coast and riding the whole thing you will be a very experienced off-road rider by the time you get to Colorado and Utah. Have fun!
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  7. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

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    Mar 2, 2019
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    Location:
    Nashville
    Is there a library/archive/source for all the harder tracks available for download?
  8. E-luke

    E-luke Been here awhile

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    Dec 26, 2018
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    Los angeles
    Legend! That sounds like a great plan! I think I’ll stick to that as I definitely want to hit those passes! I’m in Denver right before NY for work and will take a drive with the girlfriend, but it won’t compare to solo on a bike;)

    thanks mate!!!!
  9. PackinDirt

    PackinDirt Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Being in Denver will give you a chance to chat up the locals about the current snow pack. This is a good predictor of when the passes will be open. Last year, some spots had 5-600% above their normal snowfall. It was estimated that Animas Forks had over 100' of snow. And there were LOTS of avalanches as well. But that was last year and every year is different.

    As far as I know, there is no central spot to find EVERYTHING TAT. You need to do the homework yourself, have all the tracks you need, a good GPS that can help you navigate around difficult spots, and be ready for an adventure. On Kevin's route, the harder tracks show up as different tracks. My gps wouldn't show all the tracks at once but Scotty's did so he could see when we passed the start of a "hero" section. We didn't do any of the harder sections. Rule #2: No hero shit! The route is challenging enough without hurting yourself or your bike 2000 miles from home.

    We came across several locked or No Trespassing gates that were easily bypassed by expanding our view and rejoining the blue line somewhere on the other side. Just part of the fun!

    EDIT: PLEASE RESPECT "NO TRESPASSING" GATES! We are all ambassadors for our sport.
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  10. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2019
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    Location:
    Nashville
    Yeah I learned the hard way last year about getting lost without a proper GPS, ended up buying a Montana 680 (the ability to walk out with a gps being a big plus) and bought Sam's gpx tracks for this year.
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  11. zoink

    zoink Been here awhile

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    Mar 8, 2012
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    358
    Location:
    SW VA
    Regardless of what you use for your primary nav, it's a good idea to have a backup. Easiest thing is to just your phone as the backup, even if you don't have cell signal you will still have GPS signal. Just make sure you have some offline maps downloaded (one source here)and a set of the tracks you're using saved. Functions just as well as a standalone GPS; I use a kyocera duraforce as my primary nav.
  12. tarhoo

    tarhoo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2015
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Texas

    I am a big bike guy and I second the comment about Engineer pass into Ouray. Came down on a KTM 350 this summer and would want nothing to do with that on the GSA. Nasty.
  13. tempesc

    tempesc n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Hi all - great thread.

    I am also planning to ride the TAT this year (2020). I live in the UK and am planning to fly my bike to Toronto (around 18 July 2020) ride down to the start of the TAT, take the full run to Port Orford, then ride up to Vancouver and fly the bike home around 29 August). Open to camping or motels - maybe a bit of both?

    I ride a Husqvarna 701. I am no riding legend, but i’ve done a fair bit of dirt riding in the last 10 years and did 10 weeks riding solo through Africa in 2016, which was one of the highlights of my life, so not a complete rookie either.

    Not sorted any more detail yet but please can i be added to the list of 2020 travellers.

    Definitely up for riding some with others who are planning to be on the road at the same time, and collaborating on routes/planning etc. If you are interested let me know (looks like i might be a little later on the road than some of you who have already posted up?)

    Cheers
    Andy
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  14. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,255
    Location:
    Charlotte, N.C.
    I had both Kevin's and Sam's tracks loaded in my Zumo 590. No issues. I relabeled the tracks from Basecamp before I downloaded to my Zumo so that I could establish the specific date that I needed to be on that particular track including whether I wanted to take Kevin's or Sam's. Refer to the attached and the track identifier for both Kevin's and Sam's. As @Addapost posted, our group would just zoom out to find the next red tracks on our GPS if we came off the TAT for the night or to gas up/eat.

    TAT 2018 Track A.JPG TAT 2018 Track B.JPG
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  15. ATadam

    ATadam Been here awhile

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    Mar 2, 2019
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    Location:
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    Yeah no doubt, one reason I really liked the Montana is the ability to pop in AA batteries if the lithium battery runs out and my backup battery runs out, I also bought the outdoor maps so I can see the contour of the terrain around me and every road in the region without needing an internet connection (each region's maps are expensive - like $100 - but imo worth it). When I hiked the Appalachian Trail I really liked having a piece of paper with a spreadsheet of mileage markers laminated with me as well, think I will put something like that together (obviously having a dummy system like a compass is useful as well). I also bought an emergency beacon that geolocates on a regular basis and I have an entire map of the TAT printed out for people back home to keep track of where I'm at in case they need to send search and rescue or for just peace of mind. Next up on the list is first aid training.
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  16. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I wanted to do Sam's TAT so I bought his tracks. I also wanted to spice it up a bit from time to time so I added:
    -Hurricane Creek Road North Carolina. (Not on anyone's TAT this may not be legally accessible, research this if interested)
    -Engineer Pass Colorado (Not on Sam's TAT, is on Kevin's I think)
    -Imogene Pass Colorado (Not on Sam's TAT, is on Kevin's I think)
    -Section 2 of the Utah BDR Monticello to Green River (Some of this might overlap Sam's TAT but not the really good (hard) stuff)
    -Black Dragon Canyon Utah (Not on Sam's TAT, on Kevin's I think)

    All of those were friggin hard, much harder than anything on Sam's TAT except Warloop Road in Arkansas, that is Sam's TAT's hardest section in my opinion. All of those sections, including Warloop Road, were the highlights of the trip for me.
  17. seasider

    seasider Just a rider Supporter

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    Oct 27, 2007
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    Location:
    Virginia
    What bike were you riding? I did Sam's om my GS last year and definately would like more challenge on a re-run with a smaller bike and not wanting to ride back to the east coast.
  18. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I was on a little Honda CRF250L that was modded out a bit and lightly loaded. I was alone so my number one priority was light light light. It worked fantastic. I would not have even attempted any of the sections in my last post if I was alone on a big bike. The 250 was easy to ride and easy to pick up the 2000 times I dropped it.

    Attached Files:

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  19. Jsherman

    Jsherman Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    84
    My business partners and I are going to run Sam's GPS tracks starting in July. Coast to coast, starting in cape Hatteras. 3 of us on KTM 790 R's.

    I'm from Florida, one is from North Carolina and the last is from Indiana.

    I've prepared for the trip for several years, I wouldn't say any of us are experienced off-road... I've got about 3,000 miles under my belt. Should be fun, looking forward to it.

    Now if we can just get our clients to cooperate while we ignore them for some fun.

    Attached Files:

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  20. SATEX

    SATEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2002
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    4,765
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX USA
    If the Monticello to Green River (UT) included Lockhart Pass, then you DID ride the tough stuff! I like your idea of fun.