The class of '07...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by neduro, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. neduro

    neduro Addict

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    When Lastplace and Hogwild announced the Death Valley Rally for folks either going to Dakar or aspiring, I knew that I had to be there. Dakar is my dream, I don't know when or if I can make it happen, but to be with people who understand the attraction was a lure that seemed irresistable.

    However, after almost 20,000 miles of driving my van to and from various rides this summer, I couldn't face getting back in it.

    A trip to Dumont floated around in my head in search of something to connect with. A hatred of the van floated around in my head in search of something to connect with. A desire to ride my 950 provided the core for everything else to crystalize around. The plan was born: ride as much dirt as possible from here to there, ride all the rally routes, and then ride home. Who says moderation is a virtue?

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    #1
  2. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    For info... theres always the www.spanishbaja.co.uk in July.....wait around after the Dakar a few months and get two races after travelling half way around the world....not too expensive for the entry I`d say....
    I drove to the Dakar at Barcelona a couple of years ago to watch the first stage...150,000 people on the beach at once:clap ......2 of my friends have done it...not big money people either....just fund raised all year and went....its maybe easier to do than you would think....source a bike in Europe??(my off road magazines have rally prepped bikes in the adverts quite often)....




    :D
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Moderation a virtue? I thought obsessive compulsions are a virtue! Works for me :lol3
    #3
  4. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    :lol3
    #4
  5. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer Supporter

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    Moderation in all things is a virtue.
    So be moderate in moderation, eh?

    This is gonna make my day, Ned. :D
    #5
  6. StihlRigg

    StihlRigg Dog Farkler

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    :lurk:lurk:thumb
    #6
  7. G.Kennedy

    G.Kennedy ...

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    i was trying so hard to make it out to this ... as a photographer. But the stars did not line up and I found my self at work(sucks).

    Looking forward to your photos. Looking forward to the SoCal clinic.
    #7
  8. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

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    #8
  9. HarveyMushman

    HarveyMushman Long timer Supporter

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    I'm here. Bring it.
    #9
  10. GnarlyKarle

    GnarlyKarle aka: ici_moto

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    :freaky :freaky :freaky

    :lurk :lurk :lurk

    -dk
    #10
  11. ktmnate

    ktmnate Long timer

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    I like the sound of this :thumb


    Nate
    #11
  12. neduro

    neduro Addict

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    The first step in the trip was figuring out how to get from here (Colorado) to Death Valley, with as little pavement as possible. Obviously, the distance between here and there is littered with a great many bodies of water, mountains, and valleys, not to mention gates and impassable "roads". The apparent answer would be to research other ride reports, buy good maps, come up with a draft version of the route, and then validate it with local knowledge.

    I meant to do this, I really did, but I didn't start working on the route until about 36 hours before my intended departure. So, my solution was to take two laptops, sit them next to each other, and find routes in Mapsource Roads and Recreation, which I validated with Google Maps. If they existed on both mediums, then I figured they were real.

    Once I'd outlined my route in Roads and Rec and transferred it to the GPS, my next step was to print google maps of the whole route and make a map scroll for the whole route, to load in my roadbook.

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    Arts and crafts completed, I procrastinated until about an hour before my intenteded departure, and began packing. Then I rescheduled leaving until the following morning, slept at home, and left dark and early.

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    Taylor Park is one of my favorite parts of the state- this time of year, the reservoir puts up a thick cloud on cool mornings.

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    Kebler Pass, from Crested Butte to Paonia-ish, is about as beautiful as scenery comes...

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    But these passes are about as easy as dirt gets. Both are treated with a hardening agent, and it's actually possible to leave black streaks if you throttle the bike hard out of corners. DAMHIK :evil

    Now it gets a bit more interesting- after running from Paonia to Delta on Pavement (hey, it's CO and I ride here all the time, so excuse me if I was anxious to leave the state), I got onto the Delta-Nucla Road for a while, before turning off onto a little used trail that would take me to Gateway.

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    Recent rain had turned it into a muddy, puddly, rutty mess, and I was glad that I'd taken the Packmule trail selection school in New Hampshire this summer. I remembered the adage of the old new england trail rider that aimed for the deepest ruts- "hey, at least it won't get any worse!" :lol3

    Eventually, the trail turned into a phenomenal little fireroad, that was the goal of this whole trip. And I'm only a few hours in!

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    Just one little descent to take care of before Gateway...

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    And finally, back into the canyons and toward John Brown Canyon, which I'd take over to Sand Flats Road and hence to Moab.

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    One problem with the accelerated method of route planning that I used is that one has no idea what the reality of the roads are. This can be dangerous if you get in over your head, or if the road turns out to be impassable more than halfway from last gas, (and I don't even want to think about breaking a leg on one of these things, or even just breaking down when traveling alone as I was) but it also opens up a fantastic feeling of adventure. One is truly out in the unknown, and that's a great feeling.

    My skillful route selection yielded me this superhighway:

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    But eventually I wound up on Sand Flats, as planned, and made my way to the red rocks.

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    And then, on to the most important thing anyone does in Moab: consume ice cream and breakfast at the Moab Diner, regardless of hour.

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    #12
  13. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    Reports like this make me want to RIDE :ricky

    This shot is great ... something about the anticipation of what's ahead

    I gotta go pack for Baja... :D
    #13
  14. Ignore Amos

    Ignore Amos bruised, dazed & confused

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    :lurk

    Baja? Me too....
    #14
  15. G.Kennedy

    G.Kennedy ...

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    I am packed ..... see you in 3 hours. :1drink
    #15
  16. inte

    inte neophyte serendipity

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    We are hijackers of the worse kind :evil.

    Hi Ned! :wave

    Now that I included the word "hijackers" homeland security will soon be paying our very own Neduro a visit once this thread pings their database...
    #16
  17. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

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    A little late finding this... can't wait to read it tonight and catch up:lurk
    #17
  18. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Supporter

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    Hey Ned! :wave
    #18
  19. reorx

    reorx Been here awhile

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    This is pretty cool man...

    :lurk
    #19
  20. AntWare

    AntWare Lost In Translation

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    They'll be super suspicious when they pull in his driveway and see his 400 sq ft house and 1000 sq ft bomb making facility
    #20