Trans-PA Trail - Vertical Edition - Prove out ride - Memorial Day Weekend 2016

Discussion in 'Americas' started by tonyjuliano, May 4, 2016.

  1. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    So, I've been spending the last couple of weeks with my head buried in maps working out a new Trans-Pennsylvania route that runs vertically, bisecting the state.

    Capture.JPG

    You can read all about the development of this route HERE (link to another post on this site).

    The plan is to prove this route out on Memorial Day Weekend of this year. A couple of friends and I will be leaving the Philly area on Friday night - after work - and heading for a staging area near the southern start of the route.

    This route is over 50% "unimproved" roads (gravel, hard packed dirt, double track, easy single track), with the balance being some very nice twisty and scenic asphalt. Should be big-bike friendly. I don't own a true dual-sport bike yet (but I'm getting ready to purchase a KTM 690 Enduro soon), so my little Ducati Scrambler will have to do. I've taken plenty of "street" bikes on much more gnarly stuff than this, so it should not be a problem. The other 2 bikes in the group will be a 2016 KTM 690 Duke, and a Triumph Tiger 800 XC (gotta have one truly "worthy" vehicle along for this ride).

    The route is 320 miles in length, and due to its unproven status, we expect to be riding north the entire day Saturday and Sunday to complete it. Monday will be slabbing it back home, from its end at the PA/NY state line.

    Our planned ride is open to anyone who has the time and inclination, so contact me if you are interested.
    #1
  2. Jt5419

    Jt5419 Adventurer

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    Be sure to give us a ride report. I have family in Tyrone and am considering heading that way this summer and disappearing for a few days while there. This sounds perfect.
    #2
  3. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Will do... I'll put a link to the ride report in this thread, so look for it.
    #3
  4. wil524

    wil524 n00b

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    Definitely interested in the ride report.
    #4
  5. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Almost all set to prove this route out. Tracks are done, and bike is almost ready.

    As previously mentioned, I do not currently own a proper off-road machine, but this route should be passable by my Ducati Scrambler. It's currently having it's lousy front suspension rectified - new cartridge kit and internals. The "Little Scram" is reasonably light, and has longer than usual suspension travel (at about 6", its not a lot - but much longer than most street bikes). It's current tires (Pirelli MT90 RS) are actually better than most ADV rubber in light dirt and gravel. The ground clearance sucks, though - and I would not attempt anything more than the most trivial of water crossings.

    I also own a Buell XB12STT (it has the same longer suspension as the Ulysses, but in a lighter package), but it currently is shod with street only tires.

    Within the next year or so, I will be purchasing a KTM 690 Enduro, which I plan on making a "proper" - but much lighter - adventure bike out of. It's been a long time since I spent a huge part of my riding off road, but that's where I learned to ride a motorcycle - back in the stone age. My riding has been mostly on asphalt since I caught the road-racing bug back in the early 80's, but at this stage in life I'm planning on spending the majority of my time, going forward, adventure touring.

    It's been a while, but I'm really anxious to get back to my roots (so to speak), and this new trail will be my formal introduction.

    We usually camp on trips such as this (I'm a HUGE fan of "primitive" & "stealth" camping), but due to time constraints we will probably hole up in cheap motels along the way, this time around. My travelling partners and I have a long standing tradition of competing against one another to find the absolute worst motels still in existence.
    #5
  6. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    I'd also be very interested in getting a copy of your track if you're willing to post it up. We're planning a ride from Georgia to the Maine coast this summer and I'm looking for alternatives to the gpsKevin TAT route that goes to NYC.
    #6
  7. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    This track will be publically available to all once I prove it out.

    BTW - If you need stuff from Georgia to Maine, reach out to me - I have a ton.
    #7
  8. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Well, I just got a call from the suspension guru's, the bike is ready to be picked up.

    My Ducati Scrambler is not (and never will be) a proper adventure bike, but I took the opportunity to add more travel anyway. I figured while I was going to do the forks (the stock forks on this bike are an absolute joke - even for the street) I might as well add as much travel as possible.

    In this case that's not much - only about another inch (which brings it to just under 7 inches), but its better than stock. The limiting factor is actually the rear, there isn't room for chain clearance beyond this with the odd swingarm. I usually do my own suspension stuff, but the new cartridge kit required some delicate machine shop work.

    I could get a little bit more ground clearance if I swap out the rims for 19"/18" (front/rear) from the stock 18"/17" setup - but I don't think its worth it for the 1/2" additional rise.

    It's not meant to be my primary adv vehicle anyway, the KTM 690 Enduro cannot come soon enough.
    #8
  9. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Huge difference with the new Andreanni cartridges up front - I guess it better be cause the stock setup was so horrible. The extra inch of travel is also a welcome addition.

    The "prove-out" ride is on in about 3 weeks, I'm counting the days.
    #9
  10. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    You may want to make reservations for your motel stays, mem day weekend is huge throughout central and northern pa, and you may find it tough to get a room. Camping would be even worse, the 3 day weekends bring out all the yayhoos to litter up the campsites. Sounds like a great ride, and I'm sure I'll give it a try, maybe in the late fall.
    #10
  11. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Will be very interested in your route when you get it "proved"-------sounds great.
    I could go with you---but don't ride or travel on Memorial Weekends.
    Just laid it out as a track---goes thru some neat areas.

    Thanks so much !!!
    BigDog
    #11
  12. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Yup, I kind of anticipate this. Still, I'll take my chances - the crappy motels we tend to stay at don't fill up often.

    If worse comes to worst, I'm sure we can find lodging under a billboard somewhere. :D
    #12
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  13. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    One more week for this...

    The bike is almost ready. I have a set of Hepco & Becker engine guards on the way - not that I would need them (hopefully) for this ride, but I've got a much longer trip coming up in June (Philly area to Little Switzerland, NC on mostly forest roads), and these will be decent piece of mind for that.
    #13
  14. JLRzr

    JLRzr Been here awhile

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    I don't know how to do it.. but I like the way you lay out your routes. I live in South Central PA and I will grab if you post gps tracks up (the NC trip too).
    #14
  15. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    It's a ton of work - up front - but I'm a huge "map junkie".

    I've been obsessed with motorcycle routes / roads for well ove 20 years now, but have only recently turned my attention to routing offroad. On road stuff is MUCH easier, but here is a brief synopsis on how I approach routing for the "unimproved" stuff...

    1. I start with BaseCamp and Garmin's 24K Topo maps - these contain a ton of trails and gravel and dirt roads. The nice thing about the 24k series of maps is that all the trails and dirt roads are "routable", which makes things much easier.
    2. The next thing I do is overlay raster versions of the various "public use" maps available in the areas. Most government agencies (and ALL the national forests) have public use maps available for download - free of charge. These maps contain MUCH more important detail of the trails, roads (and their legaility) in the areas. I take theses raster maps and "georeference" them using a great piece of software names "mapc2map". This orients them geographically in space, and I'm then able to import them into Basecamp - here is a screen shot for example... 1.JPG
    3. After finishing with this process, I convert my route to a track and view it in Google Earth. This gives even more detail, and verification.
    4. When I'm happy with what I have, I end up with both a track and a route - but most GPS units have limitations on the number of points contained within a route for navigation (tracks ususally don't have a problem) - so I need to take one more step. I then use Javawa RTWtool to process my route. It can take a route, and filter down the number of points to anything you specify - form my Montana, this would be the 50 point maximum (for route navigation).
    5. Then all I have to do is reimport my revised route back into Basecamp. I transfer both the route and track to my Montana (I like navigating via route to get "turn by turn", but have the track visible in case I need to detour).
    #15
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  16. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Well, just mounted the Hepco & Becker engine guards - threw on a set of SW-Motech footpegs for good measure...

    IMG_0688.JPG

    One week and counting...
    #16
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  17. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Just got done revising this track (thanks brokenhiplegarm for the input!). about 35 miles have been added, this is what it looks like now...

    Capture.JPG

    One week to go!!
    #17
  18. Innovator525

    Innovator525 Adventurer

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    Affirmative on the interest for this ride.
    #18
  19. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    That brings up to five! See you all next week.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #19
  20. tonyjuliano

    tonyjuliano Grumpy Santa

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    Okay... Just about ready for this!

    I'll post a link to the ride report for anyone who is interested, tonight.
    #20