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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by ScotsFire, Dec 10, 2017.
What's going on, Brother?
Just like you, parked for the winter.
Well not JUST like you. It’s well above freezing here.
It’s been a pretty easy winter here, even by Seattle standards. I’m back on the road full time in April.
Near future rides:
Kentucky and that area in April
Moab again in May
Then my big top to bottom trip starts!
this is all inspiring info!
Thanks Spike! There's many folks on the site that have inspired me, so I'm glad that I can pay that forward some.
Though you obviously need to find better sources.
April 4, 2019: Way too early St Joe River Road (Idaho)
Back living in Spokane, at least for a couple of months this spring. Since today was the only day in the next few without rain in the forecast, guess what I decided to do!
I've ridden the St Joe River Road before, but haven't gone over the top of the pass into St Regis MT. Last time I tried, I ran into snow just several miles south of St Regis. Of course this was in late May or early June a couple of years ago, when they didn't have extra snowfalls into March like this year. Needless to say I didn't have my heart set on a successful mission, but that usually doesn't stop me from trying. After going over 4th of July Pass on I90, I headed south on ID HW3 towards St Maries. The back side of Coeur d'Alene Lake is a much more scenic and fun ride, but I hadn't been on the 3 in decades.
After lunch in St Maries, I headed up the River Rd. It was amazingly gravel and sand free, and no snow on the main roads at all. The curves up to Avery were enjoyable, but I was looking forward to beyond that when it gets really good. Unfortunately Shoshone County and/or the Forest Service still has the roads past Avery closed, both the River Road and Moon Pass Rd (which goes to Wallace).
SO I turned around but instead of sticking on the pavement, went back downstream a ways on the south side of the river, which is a dirt road. Or in this case mostly ice and slush.
Getting back to the pavement, it went quickly back into St Maries then west on ID HW5 through Plummer, then the back road to Fairfield WA and back to the Spokane Valley.
Fuel stop in Cd'A. With WA's high gas taxes, it is nearly a quarter per gallon minimum cheaper in ID.
Typical of first ride of the season issues, I couldn't find the attachment straps for my tail bag so had to bungee net my backpack with my camera kit.
Along ID HW3
This pic was taken with my point and shoot. It really doesn't do well with these landscapes.
This one is a little better. Purchased a DSLR and am starting to learn to use it. This is just the automatic jpeg from the camera, so this should get better yet as I begin to learn to manipulate the pics from raw format.
It wasn't sunny due to the overcast and some haze, but still a beautiful day.
Lots of water fowl about.
This is just like South America, right?
I ate lunch at the Cabin City BBQ. My friend Brett and I stopped here in September on another ride. The proprietor remembered my name from then, the first time I'd been there. Food was good, though today's sweet chicken BBQ sammich wasn't nearly as good as the Barnyard from last fall. It has pulled chicken, pulled pork, and brisket on one sandwich. Worth a stop.
Up the St Joe
Avery, up the River Rd.
Moon Pass Rd.
Headed back west from Avery on the shady side of the river.
This was actually the better part of that road. There were several sections where it was that ice/slush layer all the way across for several hundred yards.
I went up the hill from the pavement once I was back on the north bank. It didn't go far till I ran into snow there too.
Lots of fallen rocks too, though there were hardly any on the paved roads.
Looking down to the River Rd.
The roads were pretty firm away from the snow.
Once back through St Maries, on ID HW5.
HW5 is a really fun road for the first 10 miles or so going west from St Maries. I didn't get pics, but it's worth a ride. More so than 3 from I90 to St Maries by a long shot. Probably not quite the ride that the back side of Cd'A Lake is, but still.
The county road from Plummer towards Fairfield was also a pleasant surprise, at least the first few miles. Once out on the Palouse it straightens out quite a bit. The views there were worse than usual too as the winter wheat is just now starting to sprout. It will be gorgeous in a few more weeks.
The other new piece of kit I was playing with was a GoPro. I'll splice together a video of the ride and post that in the next few days.
Overall, it was a great day's ride. Around 220 miles in 7 hours, counting stops. While not the best weather, it was good enough to stretch the legs on the 800GSA, especially on the backtrack pieces that I knew there wouldn't be gravel on. Besides, a long day on the bike in early April is always a treat.
Chilling in the warmth:
More hiding in the shade.
May 2, 2019: Enroute to Moab UT
Left for Moab at just after Oh-dark thirty. This is the first trip taking a bike on a receiver rack. Also first significant riding I will do with my WR450F.
Taking a buddy's bicycle down for him as he's riding his Strom down.
The drive was long but pretty easy. The winds were the worst part, and were a very strong west (cross of course) wind as soon as I dropped in to the Great Basin. Snow showers in the mountains pretty much the whole way, but nothing on me. This was novel as every time in the past I've come down to Moab I have gotten snowed on.
I stopped in SLC for the night and will be in Moab before lunch, so there will be some riding to be had!
May 3, 2019: Sand Flat Rd, La Sal Loop (just a little), Fischer Valley Trail/Onion Creek - 87 mile loop from Moab
Left SLC real early, and after some admin work and a couple of coffee stops got into Moab around 1030. The weather all day long was perfect; cloud free sun, warm but not hot temps (in Moab anyway) and simply gorgeous.
Moab the town is seems the normal in-season crowded, but at least it aren't any of the huge organized multi-day events right now.
After figuring out a sleep spot for the night (my planned reservations start on the 4th) I unloaded the WR and went scouting. Most of this trip will be with a group of riders from all over the country, and I had been tasked with finding a newer route. I did part of todays ride last year, but didn't really know where we were or how to get back there. Fortunately, after research, this loop, at least to where Onion Creek dumps into the Colorado River, is part of the UTBDR. So I had thought I had downloaded that GPS track into my GPS, but of course I did something wrong and I can't find it. I've never let not knowing where I was at or going stop me from riding before, so won't start now.
Sand Flat Rd. This is also the entryway to the Slickrock trails. If you are just passing through you don't need to pay the entry into the Sand Flat Recreation Area where these trails are at.
Once up the road a little bit, there are much fewer people, and the vegetation changes as you gain altitude.
This was the first real ride I've taken on the WR450F, so I had the typical stops to figure out luggage and such. I also seemed to stop every couple minutes for more pictures.
Not all the arches here are very big...
One thing I hadn't planned adequately for was the altitude gain. Moab is right around 4000 ft. I hit two peak altitudes, 8200 and 8500 (with a 6200 valley between those), so while the significant ups and downs were awesome to ride, I got a little chilled in just a tee shirt under my mesh riding jacket.
This part of the La Sal loop is paved, and is an excellent ride for street bikes. There was quite a bit of sand and gravel still on the road surface, and my WR isn't exactly the best for paved twisties, so I hit the curves pretty conservatively.
Several other riders out too!
May 4, 2019 Pt II
There is an overlook that has dinosaur tracks in the rock, but it also has some great views.
The aforementioned tracks. Pretty cool, if you're into that.
The road went back to dirt just past that, and was rougher on this side of the mountain.
But the scenery stayed spectacular.
It was awesome riding, especially on the lighter bike. I'd do all this on my F800GSA, but it would be angry with me afterwards.
I'll try to get some video up too. It shows the challenging road surfaces much better than the stills.
The spring flowers were out.
The winter here must have been as harsh as it was most places across the US this year. Ruts and washouts were worse than I've seen before. The road down along (and in) Onion Creek showed this quite a bit.
The deepening sun made for some neat shadows.
The "bad" part about this route, especially for lighter dual sports, is that around thirty of the 90 miles are paved. Despite this, it is still quite enjoyable to follow the Colorado back into Moab.
This was an outstanding first day of riding around Moab. Several more to follow!
May 3, 2019: Videos
Please let me know if you like these, or other suggestions for them. I'm just now starting to play with video so still have lots to learn.
Sand Flat Rd, just east from Slickrock.
Little more of Sand Flat Rd.
La Sal Loop
Looks very good.
I hope you are in for riding this again.
May 4, 2019 - Lockhart Basin
I have wanted to try this route since I heard about it, but as it's more technical than most of the rides the Moab group take, thought I should give it a try outside of the planned rides. Lockhart is the main reason I came to Moab earlier than the group. Am I ever glad I did!
Bill and Erik joined me, but we got a pretty late start, not leaving Moab till 3pm. No problem. Another thread said they competed the ride in 3 1/2 hours. We'd be back in plenty of time to join those arriving in the afternoon for the next day's "official" start to the rides for margaritas. (yeah right)
We rode the route south to north, which is by far easier. Though this is relative. The most challenging obstacles are much more difficult approaching from the north. In fact nearly all the really challenging stuff in in the last few miles of Lockhart. This means that when going in the direction we were, we had ridden nearly 100 miles before we got to the tough stuff. Hitting it when already getting tired isn't the best recipe for success, but that's ok, it will be getting dark when we get to them too.
The first "half" of the ride is almost all pavement, though we did follow the UTBDR track that cuts the corner between US 191 and UT 211. Erik and I topped off our fuel at Needles Outpost, he by necessity.
Once on the trail, we saw several campers and ATV-ers in the first couple of miles... Then no one. It was as remote as advertised. And beautiful. As I said, it really wasn't that technical for most of the trail. Not easy by any stretch, but we were having a great time. It took Bill and Erik a while to get used to me stopping for pictures, but Bill said he liked the reminder to take his own. We didn't really stop for very long at any one time though and were making pretty good time. Unfortunately, we didn't have that much time left, before it got dark anyway. We eventually quit stopping altogether to try to get off the trail before full dark, though we didn't pull into Moab till almost 9. So much for 3.5 hours.
Erik and Bill. Both great riders (better than me).
It got rougher the further in we got. But still we made pretty good time.
At the time, I was thinking that the shadows made for some neat photos. I didn't do the math on why the shadows were so cool yet.
A rare pic of me as I'm usually riding alone or the one taking photos.
So at this point, we realized that light was fast disappearing, so we hauled ourselves through the toughest parts, stopping only to pick bikes up and console ourselves.
We didn't have any bad offs, just laying bikes over on obstacles. But even these didn't require much as each of us was able to right our bike on our own.
I apologize for not having more pics of this, the best, part. I'll try to get back next year to fix it.
May 4, 2019 Lockhart Basin Videos
Here's some GoPro footage I took along the way.
The front section.
Behind Bill. Trying to keep up.
Chasing Erik now.
Behind both now.
May 4, 2019: Potash Rd, Schafer Switchbacks, and Long Canyon
This was the "official" first group ride. @simbaboy nearly always picks this route for the first ride as it is relatively easy and a good refresher for previous riders, and an introduction of what to expect for newbies. Either way, the scenery is spectacular and it makes for a pretty great ride. (So great that we ended up going up and/or down Potash like four times in the week.)
Lots of folks for this first excursion, 14 to be exact. Which is kind of misleading as each of these are "your ride." We all go at our own pace, usually in small groups. We try to provide some accountability and safety, but the primary reason we end up all together at once in a while is mainly social.
Around half of the people on this informal "group ride" each year are new, the rest returners. Normally, there's one or two nimrods who just don't quite get it as regards to pacing, group dynamics, or riding styles that end up being more hassle than they are worth (you know who you are... well actually you don't, that's the problem) but this year, there wasn't any of that. Everyone was simply a pleasure to have around. Except probably me of course.
Other than me busting out to get pics, Bill liked to be out front. Probably tired of chasing people at his day job.
Some of "the rest."
Lot's of stops for pics.
The Colorado River is always pretty.
It's a big place...
...With some little details.
Looking up Shafer Switchbacks
Or maybe fish stories anyway.
Starting down Long Canyon. You don't want to miss any of the corners.
A short video compilation of the ride (less Shafer Switchbacks; I'll try to get this put together in one video in the near future.)
Overall a great "first" day with the group.
Robert is a good friend-- I hope to have him join and lead us every year.
"If I am on this continent, I will be there" is a frequent utterance by him. I hope he is on this continent a lot.
Nice GoPro videos--I will mount mine like yours.
Dang--sometimes I ride slow (compared to Tom)
It was awesome riding with you. Thanks to you and Eric for setting the tone for the week with our Lockhart ride, something I will never forget. Not to be out done by Top of the World.
Doubtful for next year for me (Continental Divide Ride planned) but Kane Creek looks like a fun ride if that falls through.
Thanks for the memories!