Yo, Idaho! Alright here is my ride report for my solo Tour of Idaho ride. To learn about the 1376 mile Tour of Idaho (TID) go to www.motorcyclejazz.com. First, I would like to thank Martin and Dan for coming up with the idea of the tour, planning, and sharing it with the rest of us. Second, I would like to thank Hilary, Kinsey, and Brenna for letting me burn a weeks vacation without them. But most of all I would like to thank my father Everett for his lifetime of support from buying me my first motorcycles, to his help with logistics, without which this adventure would not have been possible (thanks dad). Bike prep: 1) The best investment I made for this trip is an Enduro Engineering tall soft seat. This is a significant improvement over the stock KTM seat. 2) SuperSprox sprockets and a new X-ring chain. 3) Remote GPS antenna for Garmin GPSmap 276, this antenna significantly improves satellite reception. This antenna is significantly less likely to get damaged in a wreck as well. And it is less than $20! 4) A fresh set of Motoz Desert HT tires and Michelin Super Heavy Duty tubes. Although I really liked the first set of these I purchased, they were not up to the challenge of the Tour, the rear was gone at about 1000miles. I was happy with the front though. 5) Oil change and lube the pivot points. I arrange to pick up my dad in Boise on Saturday, then we drive to Pocatello and spend the night. DAY 1 We drive an hour south to Jenkins hollow and unload the bike. As I am putting on my gear a guy drives up in a pick-up with a KTM 530XC-W and asks if I am from Bend? I say yes and he said he saw my post about starting today. Turns out his name is Dan and he and Martin set up the TID, he is meeting some riders from Utah and they are going to ride the Day 1 section of the course, he offers to let me tag along. Pretty soon Bruce, Mike, and Mike show up from Utah, they want to see how difficult the trail is before committing to the complete tour. Dan is a really great guy and was a great tour guide for the first day. You fire road south for a few miles then hit the Utah border. The first few miles are really easy fire roads with cool scenery. The route gets more interesting as you go along, we were really lucky it had just rained and there was perfect traction and no dust! Running these ridges was great. More Fun! Some weather rolls in, ridge lines are not as fun in a thunder storm. We get dumped on, the guys from Utah head back to their rig. The last part of the ride turns into a mud fest. The trails turn to grease; an easy uphill turns into a killer. Dan and I get half way up we stop and cant get going again. You cant even stand on the trail without sliding down it or falling. Dan breaks out his strap and we bull dog my bike up 20ft or so. I say it is not worth it and we skip this section of trail, I lose my first challenge point of the trip. We slab our way around the hill and get back on the trail, and make it to the TID Flag Pole, and I sign in. Here are Martin and Dan, the founding fathers of the TID. Here is the GPS summary of the day, 1/10th the way done! Here is a map showing my route and track for Day 1. Here is my score for the TID challenge for the day. I would later regret no going back the 1.5miles to pick up challenge point #11, I worked a LOT harder for points later in the ride. End of Day 1. Day 2. The sky is clear for the start of the day. Dan had warned me that I might want to skip the first section of Day 2 because it might be really slippery and the worst section there is no way out but up, but since it hadnt rained for a few hours I decided to try it out. The tour starts by heading south and climbing a hill just outside of town. You can see Pocatello in the valley below. I look off to the North and see Big Southern Butte, this is near the end of todays ride. This photo is with maximum zoom on my camera. I am motivated to kick it in gear now, that looks like a long way off. Amber waves of grain. Bombing it to the next range. Great sets of switch backs on some rarely used fire roads. Idaho has wind mills that dont turn also. Once you get past American Falls there is a 30 mile sand section. Whoops and dunes! Abandoned water tower on the RR. Abandoned farm. Lots of this. Getting closer. Made it. Great view from the top, it is REALLY windy up here. Here is the wagon trail I had come down earlier. After the butte you have about an hour left to Arco, the stop for the night. GPS summary for the day (add 30miles as I forgot to reset at the start of the day). Route and track for the day. Challenge points for the day, I missed #4 badger peak, I did not take the correct turn out. End of Day 2. Day 3. Day 3 starts in Arco, before you leave you need to go check out the sub parked at the end of town. What is a submarine without a torpedo? I meet up with 4 guys from Spokane and California that are riding the tour, we stayed at the same hotel in Arco. They are Paul, Rick, Troy, and Karl, these guys are some really good riders a lot of racing experience and long ADV rides, Paul is in his 70s! and riding a 2 stroke (KTM 300 XC-W), Troy is riding a 990 Adventure, Karl is on a stock CRF230, and Rick is on a KLX250S. If you have read Martins manifesto you can see the fun that they are having with this. These guys are a hoot and they invite me to ride with them today. Heading into the sunrise at Arco Pass. Really neat geology. Grouping back up. One of the coolest parts of the ride is an optional 16.5 mile trail, called Massacre Mountain Loop. Troy and I want to do it so he barrows his dads 300. It starts off as a jeep trail then turns into a really steep set of switch backs up to a plateau. The views are spectacular. I would recommend not doing this trail in reverse, but it is great fun clockwise. Down the other side. I did not get a shot of the bolder field you ride through on the way down. Then there is a lot more of this. Later in the day you climb railroad ridge to Chinese Wall, 10,300ft. Then a nice drop down the other side, really nice trail. You then drop into Old Sawmill Station and can get gas. Unfortunately they changed the trail at the bottom, so we decide to boondock it out, evidently we cut across someones private property and they call the Marshall who decides to chew on us for a while as we get gas and a snack. (sorry no photos or mug shots) There is a really nice single track with a couple of challenges on it to finish the day. Here is a video of Troy and his 990 in one of them. <embed src="http://p.webshots.com/flash/smallplayer.swf?videoFile=http://videoserve.webshots.com/video/35421/3043728920082314816FKqIhp_v_0.flv&audio=on&displayImagePreview=http://videothumb22.webshots.com/thumb/35421/3043728920082314816FKqIhpstill_002_0.jpg&videoPageUrl=http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3043728920082314816FKqIhp&autoPlay=false&shareLink=http://cards.webshots.com/ecard/personalize?photoId=3043728920082314816%26source=v" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350" quality="best" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed><br/><br/><a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3043728920082314816FKqIhp">100_1748.mov</a> Here is a video of me climbing a nice little hill climb out of the bottom. <embed src="http://p.webshots.com/flash/smallplayer.swf?videoFile=http://videoserve.webshots.com/video/33205/3032666460082314816pfkNKy_v_0.flv&audio=on&displayImagePreview=http://videothumb06.webshots.com/thumb/33205/3032666460082314816pfkNKystill_002_0.jpg&videoPageUrl=http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3032666460082314816pfkNKy&autoPlay=false&shareLink=http://cards.webshots.com/ecard/personalize?photoId=3032666460082314816%26source=v" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350" quality="best" allowscriptaccess="always"></embed><br/><br/><a href="http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3032666460082314816pfkNKy">100_1752.mov</a> This looked like a tiny little puddle, NOT! It was full of super sticky industrial adhesive. The day ends at Challis. Here is the GPS summary for the day. We dont do the side ride to Frog Lake so we miss one challenge point. Route and Tracks for the day. End of Day 3. Day 4. Day 4 starts in Challis you head North and West to Elk City, unfortunately the Saddle Complex fire has blocked a section of the tour North of Shoup, I have made an alternate route but it is 70 miles of slab mostly on highway 93 into Montana to get around the fire. Due to the extra mileage for the re-route we skip the first challenge point of the day a side route to Twin Peaks lookout at 10,300ft. Karl is excited to get riding today. More vistas The group Moose Creek Check out the sign. We drop into the Salmon River Less welcome signs An old ore car at Shoup, I about fell on my butt when this thing started moving. The shoup store is closed for the fires so you have to go to North Fork for gas anyway. We head up 93 into Montana. It starts dumping on us. We head north to Conner, MT and head back to the TID. We miss another challenge point with the by-pass it is in the fire. The next interesting section on the TID is the Magruder Corridor; it is the only passage through the Frank Church wilderness area. It parallels the Nez Perce trail, which was used for centuries but was extensively used during the gold rush to get supplies from Lewiston, ID to Virginia City, MT. It starts off mellow and gets more technical as you travel west. I do not remember passing one moving vehicle on the whole corridor, and only seeing a couple of parked ones. You see these signs all over the area. I did not see one bear on the trip, but I had some bear spray. Scenery With about an hour to go I get my first flat of the trip, the tube has a couple inch slit opposite the valve stem on the inside of the tube, no loose spokes, it looks like a defective tube? Next on to Elk City and the end of Day 4. GPS summary: Route and Track: Challenge Points End of Day 4. Day 5. Day 5 starts in Elk City, and heads to the Selway river then on to Lowel on highway 12, up a nice little single track Pete King Trail north to the Idaho Montana border trail and then west to Wallace. Because of my flat last night we by-passed one of the challenge point locations, Troy and I head back to pick it up. I did not think it would add another hour to the day but it did. Dropping down the almost 4000ft to the Selway is a cool ride. Confluence of the Selway and Lochsa rivers. These are some great rivers to raft, I grew up less than 100 miles from here and this is a really nice area to visit if you get a chance. When I took the photo of the tree over the road I lost my electrical system, the bike would still run but no lights or electric start. My kick starter fell off on the slab section on the previous day, so I really needed my electric start. I pull everything off and to look for a short. I cant find anything so I buy a couple extra fuses from the store at Lowel. It is 240 miles to Wallace from Lowel, and there is no gas unless you can bum it from someone. I fill my tank, I have 2 1L bottles in my backpack and I buy this 1 gallon can. Well the flat tire gremlins are back, this time a huge slit in the side of the tube. Slime does not help with this, but it sure makes a mess. I tell the rest of the guys to ride on without me and I will catch up with them latter. The ride today is over 300 miles. I put the only tube I have, a front in the back, ride the mile back to Lowel fill up the tire with a compressor. Right after leaving Lowel you head up a great single track trail Pete King Trial I would be more fun without trying to hold a 1 gallon gas tank on my bike with my legs. I hustle ( dont stop to take many photos) and final catch up to the rest of the group. It is 3:00 in the afternoon and we are only halfway done for the day. They are looking at ways to get to Wallace quicker, I decide to try to complete the day and head out solo. Unfortunately that is the last time I get to ride with these guys. There is a section of road with a couple of huge wash outs and is only passable with a Bike or Quad. At sunset I have 100 miles to go. I am in a real hurry now no more photos the rest of the day. I am praying that I dont get another rear flat after dark. My luck holds and I make it to Wallace just before midnight. I am running on fumes and cover 340 miles (I reset the GPS in Elk City after we picked up the challenge point from the day before). GPS summary: Route and Track: Challenge points for the day, I get all 12. End of Day 5. Day 6 and Day 7. My plan was to do the tour in the recommended 6 days, however, plans are made for changing. Day 6 starts in Wallace and heads west then north around Northern Idahos 3 premier lakes, Coeur d'Alene, Pend Oreille, and Priest there are 2 alternate finishes one close to the Canadian border the other at the north end of Priest Lake at Wig-Wam, I elect for the latter. I get a late start on Day 6 (8:00AM), beautiful day and blue sky. About 85 miles in I get another rear flat. The valve stem is separated from the tube, with no extra tube I ride out the 25 miles to highway 95 and Athol. I give up for the day and call for a ride. GPS stats for the day: I get rested up and eat a good meal and decide to finish up. I drive the 3 hours back to Coeur dAlene the next morning, stop at Coeur dAlene Honda. I tell them what I am doing and what I need, they happen to have a 120 x 18 Maxxis Desert IT and a Super Heavy Duty Bridgestone tube in stock. They have it mounted in less than an hour! (Thanks Randy) The rest of the ride is pretty easy with some nice views of the lakes and Mt. Spokane ski area Notice the TID Challenge sticker and the new fresh meat on the rear. I make it to the top of the road at Wig-Wam. The route has you going up a trail for another 1-1/2 miles, but there were about a dozen families hiking the trail, I did the first couple hundred yards and turned around it was really technical and I came upon to many hikers, this is the sort of stuff that gives our sport a bad name, so I call it finished without reaching the last challenge point. Now it is just 80 miles of slab back to the truck. DONE! GPS Stats for the day Route and Track for both days. Challenge points. End of Day 7. Epilogue Challenge point and mileage summary. I wound up doing about 200 miles extra mostly for routing around the fire and riding back to my truck, and a few navigation errors. According to Martin a score of 61 is pretty good. All in all a great ride through a beautiful state. Would I do it again, yes, but not next week. I would consider doing it with a Giant Loop next time and breaking up a couple of the days, camping some days and motels the other nights. I would run a Maxxis Desert IT or similar rear tire. I would not buy Michelin super heavy duty tubes again; I would go with Bridgestone or a Bib Mousse. The Enduro Engineering tall soft seat was a great asset (pun intended). I spent a lot of time going over the route on Base Camp and maps before the ride; I dont regret a moment of it. Martin points out that GPS units have problems on day 6, although I did have some issues with getting a good fix, I think a larger problem is the accuracy of the maps for Northern Idaho, they just seemed to be off. I had the best luck seeing the route zoomed out looking at the contour lines seeing I needed to go downhill and ignoring the GPS telling me to turn around and 80% of the time this was the best thing to do. Bring your Elephant Ears I used mine 4 out of 7 days. Bring enough gas for Day 5, you will need it. I had about 6-1/2 gallons and barely made it. Make sure to start watching inciweb a couple of weeks before your trip, and plan to route around fires. Cheers!