XXX Attack (And the Grey GSA Goose) on the NEBDR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dorito, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    In just over a weeks time, it will time to get the band together. We’ve decided to play our hand and see what the North East has to offer. To be fair, we’ve spent a few summers in the region. A run to Maine for lobster, ended up on a return voyage via Vermont’s puppy dog trail.
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    For the want to see Bay of Fundy, we rode the scenic Rt1 of Maine’s coastline. Who knew Maine had more coast line than California--3,478-mile “tidal shoreline” miles!
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    Then we summitted Mt Washington and traversed the White Mountains, as we came home from Trans Tiaga. On that day, visibility was a remarkable 100 Miles (for 10 minutes!)
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    So, we don’t expect the route to have too many surprises, but all the same, hold out for a few more incredible spoils.
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    Blaster11 and I have a deep love for a bike that BMW could hardly sell off the factory floor, know at the "X-series". They were the street version, X-moto, the light dual sport, X-Country, and the beloved Enduro, X-Challenge. But now a decade later, it is all but a fine wine. It should be a well-suited to an adventure such as this much like a cat (G650x) plays with a mouse (Trails). Of course, an inevitable consequence of the cat’s game is mouse’s demise. Adventures with dying are bad, so let’s not do that!

    Blaster11 conned both his wingmates into buying an G650Xs also. Fortunately, the only one with any sense in this group, J4S, has decided to ride his R1250GSA. Probably good because with 9+ gallons of fuel, that will be a nice Aux tank for Armyguy’s otherwise petite 2.2 gallon tank. Although to be fair, the Northeast is just too congested that it is doubtful fuel will really be of any concern.

    Anyhow, we have about 9 days planned door-to-door. The ride will be shorter than most we've done, but an easy fit and easily adjusted given the current travel climate. For some of the riders, this will one big Lobster-Roll Ride-to-Eat adventure. For others, perhaps a time to channel their inner photograph shutterbug. And others, a trip into the unknown with the only thought of Wanderlust and how do we start planning for the next season of riding!

    To good friendships!
    Blaster Riding a G650X-Challenge
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    ArmyGuy Also Riding a G650X-Challenge
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    Me on the G650X-Country
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    J4S on the Grey GSA Goose!
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    #1
  2. blaster11

    blaster11 Still having fun!

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    Should be a good trip!
    #2
  3. Armyguy

    Armyguy Been here awhile

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    Bam!! Looking forward to this one.
    #3
  4. RacingBlue

    RacingBlue Been here awhile

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    Austin, Texas
    In! NEBDR is peaking my interest, want to see what someone thinks of it before I try and do it.
    #4
  5. blaster11

    blaster11 Still having fun!

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    Apparently NY has pulled the restrictions for MD residents!
    #5
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  6. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    The X-bikes have been a bit cat-like to prep this time round. By cat-like I mean that they are all the traits you loathe in a feline. Persnickety and precocious. My bike decided to eat the custom rear Ohlins shock...for the third time. So, I will be riding on the stocker shock. Armyguy has had his bike in and out the local northern $tealer$hip for various reasons over the last few months. It has become obvious to me that Armyguy also moonlights his bike to make funny memes...

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    That may have been a little dramatic. However, his front pinion was well on its' way to that photo and the pinon even lost a tooth like a puppy sheds its' baby fangs. The only thing I can figure out is that Blaster just doesn't like to wrench on bikes trailside. But, how boring to discover things like this in the comfort of shaded garage on a lift!

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    Nonetheless clearing out the bike maintenance early, has left plenty o time to pack out. That an the remnants of a Hurricane that rolled through all day with buckets of rain trapping me in the house. This gave me plenty of time to stage a nice pile of stuff only to lament that I need to put 40% of it back since there is no way I could possibly pack all that crap in 2 soft bags and tail pack. It's a motorcycle ride, not a pack camel train. GPS tracks are loaded and for once in my bloody life, I have only a few minor tasks to complete before launch day. What an great feeling and to be so well rested entering a trip!
    #6
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  7. Armyguy

    Armyguy Been here awhile

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    If we reversed it, we maybe could have ridden another season on it.... For the amount of times I've had this in to the shop, I can't imagine how this made it past the steely eyed tech. Thanks Blaster!
    #7
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  8. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Okay, in! :lurk
    #8
  9. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

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    Should be interesting, I have a challenge here in the states and a country in Ireland. Enjoy seeing others on these bikes
    #9
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  10. blaster11

    blaster11 Still having fun!

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    No problem! They would probably give some lame excuse like they weren't being paid for a overall bike inspection, that's the reason I do my own work.....nobody is going to care more than me about my bike. I am looking forward to the trip and enjoying the time away and finding some good food!
    #10
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  11. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    COVID has been good to Blaster, in the sense that a casino is good for an addict gambler. It's given him to time to peruse the depths of the interwebs, questing for that one *something* that he doesn't currently own. He's decided to try his hand at tree living and bought an Hennessy Hammock. Based on his one-and-only pre-hang, I think he will get about 3 hours of sleep with the rest of hours spent tying knots and then trying to repack it in the cute stuff sack. But on the bright side, Armyguy has offered to video the attempt for us.

    As we enter the trip, Blaster has rated most of us at the 2 or 3 rating. Alas, on my last rafting trip there was an unfortunate "hapenstance" with the new expensive truck keyfob. While I was able to entertain myself for the 2 hours as I waited for rescue, I have also accepted that I am also not in the 1 rating category :rofl

    Stages of friendship
    4-We hang out
    3-We can travel together
    2-I would take a bullet for you
    1-I will speak to you on the phone
    #11
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  12. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    When traveling north, we are usually given two options. Option A is comparable to Dantes 7th Level of Hell as you play your hand at real-life frogger crossing every major city on the eastern seaboard. Option B always seems more platable, as it it much more rural...but eventually you have to cross the Bermuda triangle of the Interstates.

    The area between Harrisburg, PA and I-81 has never treated us especially well. In fact, the last time we rode up it we trailed a god awful stench for miles. Then, we passed the semi-trailer partially engulfed in flames, as it seems atleast one axle had locked the brake up and the smell was the tire and brake pads melting. With the Fire trucks on our tail, we squished by the inferno. That may not have been the best decision as hot embers fell on us.

    So I guess, comparably speaking, today was tame. As usual, Harrisburg is all gnarled up. After coming to a complete standstill for 5 minutes, we decide to go North via Hershey. So much fun to see the street lamp posts which has Hershey Kisses for the shade. Soon enough we rejoin I-81. That is until Armyguy dittle fuel tank is thirsty. We bust off I-81 and find the most incredible traffic jam...

    Really starting to get a bit frosty about I-81...

    Then, traffic jam #3. Now both lanes are stopped on I-81. Nobody moving anywhere. But there is that grassy median. And an exit to freedom. We take it and soon enough trot the backside of Penn National Racetrack. Haven't been down that road since Jun 2000 when I bailed the horse out. And then through Fort Indiantown Gap. If it wasn't raining by now, the photo op would have been fun as they have a bunch of attack helicopters on display on the shoulder of the road. However, not much use getting the big nose camera all yucked up in this miserable weather.

    After another 2 hours in the rain, we finally get to the stopvover point just a bit shy of the BDR start. Tomorrow will be another day. And good riddance to I-81!
    #12
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  13. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Day 1: Hancock, NY into Pine Hill, NY (Track 1, and about 40 miles into Track 2)

    Reserved for later thoughts
    #13
  14. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Steve. We usually book our hotels at lunch. As usual, we see how the day is tracking and how much we feel we should go. But always try to pull into the hotel no later than Beer-30 time. We call the Colonial Inn, and get redirected to Steve, the proprietor. He is a chatty fellow, but doesn't seem to have his reservation book handy, so anyone's guess if he is booked or not. So, we decide plan A is to see if there are any tasty offerings in Fleschmanns, NY as we drive through.

    We pretty much strike out and decide to trek a few miles down to Pine Hill and the Colonial Inn.

    What was advertised on the interwebs
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    This is what greeted us (which I am still not convinced is the same building). A sagging roof line, a yard full of non-operational lawn equipment, and a porch stuffed with an eclectic array of nicknacks from an era gone by. My heart sank.
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    We sat on our bikes debating the merits of our situation. On one hand, it was going to be 40 degrees tonight. Camping could work but with only 1.5 hours to total darkness, doesn't excite us. On the other hand, we've not found anything that might be more tasty than this 4.3 star hotel. Armyguy at least confirms that that Bates hotel is not co-located in Pine Hill.

    Without further ado, Blaster trots off to get a tour. And somehow, after seeing every dead critter stuffed and mounted in the lobby...he is smitten.
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    The hotel is ancient, and has some oddities. Every surface is not flat, to include the floor. J4S has a shared bathroom, but encouraged by Steve to "get some action" with as he hands him the second key. Then Armyguy walks into the lobby as a women with a Parakeet bird on her head walks down the stairs. Be a gentile, he comments on her 'nice bird', to which she replies she had forgotten it was still on her head. It is still unclear if the bird was alive or stuffed, but all the weird the same. Blaster warned me not to take this picture, as he was afraid of what might show up later in the photos. I don't see any ghosts, did you?

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    Walking down to dinner that night, Pine Hill has an interesting hippy-type vibe. All the locals on sitting out on their porches, friendly as can be. Some have the backyard firepits ablazing.

    Hot breakfast was included, and we bid ourselves goodbye to Steve and set off for track 2/3.
    #14
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  15. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Day 3: Pine Hill, NY to Lee, MA

    The weather is certainly brisk as we were riders up by 0730. We weren't out on the trail for less than 30 minutes before we hit the long rocky down hill of Vly Mountain. It seemed we all had out different attack methods, and all were more successful than mine. I had the misfortune of stopping on a hill before a small rocky step down. Not wanting to smash a perfectly good skid plate, I dismounted and walked the bike over. But it did make for a heck of remount. It's not terribly steep, nor terribly rocky...but those two factors with the overall length >1 mile does make for a sporting section of the track.

    But whether you think you can do this, or you can't do it...you were probably right! A bit later on the trail, spirits are quite high!

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    A bit later on the trail, we run pass this covered bridge. Okay, so it is a bridge to nowhere. It was unique for its' time period as the center beam is continuous and arched. Turns out to be a bit of an engineering marvel!

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    I do like how we mark trailheads around these parts..
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    There is quite a bit of tarmac at the end of track 2. And perhaps a bit to urban for us as we get through Catskill. A word to wise is not to use the Ezpass lane on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge (Catskill). The lane gates are bit lazy sensing the bikes. The track on the far side seems a bit nauseating with the number quick turns, which interrupt the flow of the previous days. Being a Saturday on a holiday weekend in such a congested area, also means the parks are stuffed with people, more people and everywhere people!

    We pass this neat old steel furnace
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    This place is filled to the brim with waterfalls to boot!
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    #15
  16. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Day 3: Lee, MA to Wilimington, VT About 140 miles

    Today must have been a good day. If you count the day by amount of ice packs needed to rest. This is a 2 knee and one shoulder kinda ride.
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    The Paddock at the Viking Inn
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    So we left Lee, and decided to take the detour to the Mt Greyson.
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    Never knew about the Civilian Conservation Corps (1930-1940s) to put young men to work. Then most left the CCC and were conscripted into WW2. I feel as if a group of young men imagine where their legos left off. Look at this ornate structure they built on the summit.
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    The summit was packed today, so we decided not to stay.

    But a nice overlook
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    My Moose Imitation!
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    The two class IV roads were much like a baby head infested river bed. They are mostly ATV trails, which are somewhat heavily traveled. The thumper motor was in its' element. The Grey Goose looked like a goose taking flight. It would run real fast, then neck in/out, then a few flaps of wings..then finally flight! I think that one gets about 5 pickups on a heavy bike before the fun meter is pegged. But, what a super trooper he was!

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    Some nice rolling hills
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    #16
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  17. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Day 4: Track 4 Complete. Into Barynard, VT

    Said in your best Mister T voice, you can call a German a lot things but apparently you shouldn't call them late. And so the day started. We head out to complete track 4 and end up at the trailhead for the second Class IV road. Not 1/4 mile into, my bike putters to a stop. No amount of cranking it can bring it back to life.

    As the story unfolds, I have apparently ripped off the ring for the side stand switch. It is much like a Pinto car (e.g No-go). We flop the bike on the side and gain easy access to the switch. Too bad the interwebs are full of wrong information, because the Brown + White wire will start the bike, but it will stall out as soon as you put in gear. A quick change to the correct wires, with the aide of some electrical tape and dikes from J4S, the Red & White wires permanently connected and the switch bypassed.

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    Over halfway into the Class IV, but not sure if the side stand fix is perfect, we track back and out the main track. Having confidence some 40 miles later, we are back to the next Class IV. I have to say the track today was the most disappointing. There wasn't much too ooo and ahh over that I wanted to stop and photograph. It seemed more like we were just riding around peoples neighborhoods. The road was hard pack and you probably could have hosted the Tour de France bicycle race on it, it was so smooth and hard.

    Then on the other extreme was was the Class IVs. These were just boulder ridden torn up ATV/Snowmobile trails. While certainly it was rideable, you had to be precise and enjoy bouncing among the rocks. At times, it seemed as if we were actually riding in a river bed. Loose round rocks moving everywhere! I think that after the harsh criticism of the MABDR, the design team had something to "prove".

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    J4S gave it one heck of a go. Here he is demonstrating that you can lose the ass-end of a GSA in divot. Blaster to rescue collecting rocks and building up the exit. I was helpful too as I would huck the rocks under the bike, but only after ricocheting them off the brandnew Touratech skidplate...much like a dong rings a bell.
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    While it does take some finesse to find restaurants, it seems to be especially difficult during COVID. Today, we ended up at at a little gas station for lunch and Blaster partook in a Dog Dick HotDog. Learned something new today.

    So 4 states down (NY, CT, MA, VT) and two left to go.
    #17
  18. AT Rick

    AT Rick wanderlust is a thing

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    Dog dick dog?

    I've never camped that rough.
    #18
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  19. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Rotflol I busted that switch ring on 4th of July looking for camp spot. Best part it rendered kickstand useless, you couldn't open it so next 40min I spent on the ground cutting it off with hacksaw while M7 was holding bike and watching fried chicken getting cold and beer getting warm..
    #19
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  20. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    Day 5: Track 5 complete, 75 miles into Track 6 (Into Plymouth, NH)

    So, sometimes you have to sacrifice to the motorcycle gods. Armyguy starts the day realizing his kickstand is missing the nub that helps you locate it with your foot. But he has a quite calm about him, and has accepted the demise.

    We start off track 5 a bit gun shy given the rock gardens we rode yesterday. Nonetheless, we give it another go today. If I was a bit upset about yesterday's track, today's route was absolutely desirable. We picked up the track near Mt Hunger C-4 and, had a heck of good time. We sent the X bikes to test it out, then rode another victory gallop with the Grey Goose. In fact, we didn't find a bad C4 on today's track and the Grey Goose had a darn good hoot also.

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    The Gery Goose has all these fancy smancy suspension settings. It is such a damn shame that the only way he knows that the bike isn't in low is when he gracefully comes to halt. Then balances for 10 seconds, then scratches at the ground like a chicken looking for grub. Only to realize that he and the bike will soon be cuddling on terrafirma shortly as the ground is many inches below his foot.

    Blaster has all but convinced himself that his clutch is on the way out. As we climb a few hills, the RPMs are revving really too high. He is delighted to realize that a rock has lodged itself between the clutch case and the cable....and he didn't even take the rock home nor take a photo. Such a pitty!

    https://www.facebook.com/586184849/videos/pcb.10158656580104850/10158656577074850/

    Armyguy has really bonded with his steed. So much infact when I chide him that Blaster has just sold his bike to a random stranger that he is chatting to, his face gets all sullen. Almost the same reaction if we had kicked his dog.
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    During California Superbike School, they often talk about riding at a speed your can maintain. While you certainly can wick it up to 100% of your ability, it takes incredible mental stamina to stay at that speed. Instead, ride at a speed 70-80% of your ability. This is the same technique that Blaster and I use on the long trips. Sort of like the Bugs Bunny cartoon of the Turtle and the Hare. We fully realize we are no longer turtles, but Blaster asks what kind of Hare am I? A Jackrabbit or a Cottontail? I let him know I am more roundish, like a meat bunny :-)

    So then came lunch. We had just passed a covered bridge and we were near and interstate running north and south. Those sound like pretty big descriptors when we have been riding dirt roads for the last 5 days. AMIRIGHT?

    We average about 30 miles/hr. Imagine my surprise when I realize that we are 75 miles east of where were at lunch. Another interstate and another covered bridge! And we have four C-4s to ride. Time slips by and we are going to miss the cardinal rule to be off the road by Beer-Thirty. We decide to trudge on, but 1 hour before sunset we will just slab into the hotel we booked at lunch. When that time comes, it seems that we are still going to be 1+ hours after sunset. That is simply no good in moose country.

    So plan b. A fool and his money are quickly parted. The next hotel we pass we check in...paying my stupid tax for 2 rooms is my penance for not looking closer at the map. But it was an amazing execution of plan b, and ending an incredible day.
    #20