Yet another good day full of bad decisions

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by mb300, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    AZ and CA
    Been sorting out my Africa Twin suspension for the past couple of months, so I’ve been doing a few short trips to evaluate changes.



    Ride #1: Weekend trip along the San Andreas Fault that was [supposed to be] mostly paved, so I spooned street tires onto it.


    Here’s the scenic ride report from that weekend:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/its-...andreas-fault-mitchb-wafer-adventure.1388591/

    [​IMG]



    *********************
    Ride #2: Did a few changes to the suspension then headed out on July 4th for a local ride:


    Fueled up in Sunland at 945am, then headed up the hill.

    Roads were nice and clear on the south side of the range.

    Then they weren't.

    Lots of rocks and dirt on the road on the north side of the mountain.

    Strange, it's normally like this in the springtime after rain/snow, not in the summer.

    Whatever, just rode carefully and crossed the mountain range, turned around and headed back.

    Did a little dirt section that NSFW told me about and some other exploring. Fiddled with preload and comp/reb adjusters a few times.

    Only took 1 scenic photo on the hill, of a BIG Agave plant:

    [​IMG]

    I'm slowly sorting out the suspension. May have been going a bit quick :)

    [​IMG]

    Attack!
    [​IMG]


    Headed down the mountain and went in search of fried chicken.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Turned my phone back on and it exploded with texts from my GF - was I OK?

    Huh?

    Ahhhh that explains the debris on the road:

    [​IMG]

    I was in the Angeles National Forest due north of LA:

    [​IMG]


    I didn't feel the quake at all. As near as I can tell I was hauling arse across Upper Big Tujunga when it hit. The roads were clean up to this point, and Upper BT is a valley without many cliffs so I didn't see any rocks falling either.

    Bummer that I missed the quake. Glad that I didn't get tossed off the bike tho.

    Was in the car on July 5th when the next one hit too. Oh well.

    Kind of ironic that the last time I was on the bike I traveled along the San Andreas fault...

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Ride #3: A couple of more suspension changes + a heat wave led to a short trip last Sunday (July 14th) to Big Bear. Decided to climb the hill via Cleghorn fire road since I have never been on that one before.

    route.jpg


    Here’s the problem with Cleghorn -- it’s a pretty boring fire road. BUT the good news is there are some fun looking offshoots that parallel the ridge road. High road or low road?

    IMG_20190714_112119_small.jpg


    Took the high road, of course. No problem. Looking back from the top:

    IMG_20190714_112239_small.jpg

    I soon abandoned the fire road and started taking ALL of the offshoots.


    Right about here I thought to myself “I should really have put the TKC80s back on” but the street tires were working OK as long as I stayed out of the silt and loose fluff:

    IMG_20190714_113506_small.jpg


    There were a lot of jeeps and 4 runners out there. Watched this guy tear off his right rear fender flare:

    IMG_20190714_113807_small.jpg

    IMG_20190714_113813_small.jpg


    This climb was a bit chunky, but not as difficult as it looked. Stopped midway for some photos. Looking up from mid way:

    IMG_20190714_114743_small.jpg

    Looking back from midway:

    IMG_20190714_114750_small.jpg
    #2
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  3. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    This series of steep, silty, and slippery step downs was MUCH more difficult than it looked. Engine off, 1st gear, feet down, using the clutch + front brake to inch the bike forward over the steps:

    IMG_20190714_113023_small.jpg

    Made it off the steps intact:

    IMG_20190714_113148_small.jpg


    Scenic, but ridiculously steep section. More engine-off feet-down controlling the rear wheel with the clutch, but eventually it got so steep that the rear wheel gave up traction and just starts sliding… then the locked front starts sliding too. When that happens there is no more stopping to smell the flowers, the bike is going down the hill like it or not. Release the front brake to get it rolling again and surf down the rut till I can find more traction. Sometimes there is no choice but to ride it out. Yee haw!

    IMG_20190714_120259_small.jpg


    More silty slipping and sliding but not nearly as steep. As usual, pictures don’t do it justice:

    IMG_20190714_121254_small.jpg

    These are NOT the right tires for today's ride...
    IMG_20190714_121411_007_small.jpg

    Made it to the pavement, then climbed back up Pilot Rock Truck Trail and took that to Arrowhead. It was getting a bit warm, in the low 90s up on the ridges.


    Stopped at the Cedar Glen Malt Shop and had a great burger:

    IMG_20190714_133425_small.jpg

    Headed down the hill into the heat, slabbed it back towards Wafers house.


    Ambient temperature was 107 degrees near Riverside, and way more humidity than I am used to. It was too damn hot.
    #3
  4. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Great pictorials man.
    Well portrayed :clap
    #4
  5. J-Dash

    J-Dash Been here awhile

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    Agreed! Enjoyed it.
    #5
  6. nicholsm4

    nicholsm4 n00b

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    All is well that ends well! Great post.
    #6
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  7. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing. Ride well. Be well.
    #7
  8. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer Supporter

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    Wickenburg AZ
    Thanks for sharing your ride... :1drink
    #8
  9. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Damn man, can’t believe you tackled that stuff on an AT with frickin street tires :eekers I know the CG of the twin is low, but she’s still a relatively heavy girl...lol. Good on you for hitting that and getting the suspension dialed, really good pics and I seriously dig the desert scenery.

    Thanks for taking the time to post, glad you didn’t have any issues with the quakes :thumb
    #9
  10. Rachit

    Rachit n00b

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    Rochester, MN
    Spectacular ride. Hats off for tackling this terrain
    #10
  11. AZgman

    AZgman Addicted to curves

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    That ride would have been a lot more enjoyable on a 250cc dirt bike. Nice bit of riding on something as big as an AT!
    #11
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  12. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    *********************
    Ride #4: Impulsiveness is not a Positive Attribute

    Original plan: A casual 2-up 90% paved ride with Wafer to go see Vasquez Rocks and then get lunch at The Rock Inn. I invited my riding buddies but neither could attend. Here's the planned route:

    sundayroutevasquezrocks.jpg

    BUT the weather forecast kept calling for hotter and hotter weather, 100f+ on the far side of the mountains.

    No problem, we’ll just be on the road at 6am.

    Waking up at 530am on a Sunday didn’t sound too good to Wafer, so she bailed out on the ride.

    I pulled the passenger pegs back off the bike in the morning (the brackets are an awful design, they are always in the way) and hit the road a little bit later than I wanted.

    Decided to run the route backwards to avoid the heat. Next stop Angeles Crest Hwy...

    ...or not. This ride started out with a bang, or more accurately a squirm:

    IMG_20190721_081505_small.jpg

    That’s the pointy end of the nail sticking out… how the hell did the nail HEAD get into the tire??

    Needed pliers to get it out:

    IMG_20190721_081700_small.jpg


    Hole was like a wizards sleeve - 1st plug slid right in. No way was it going to stay in there. Pulled it out and doubled it up:

    IMG_20190721_082051_small.jpg


    Pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump pump:

    IMG_20190721_082648_small.jpg

    I rode off a couple of curbs and did some figure 8s to see if the plug would hold, all was well.

    Bike is now operational again, but do I continue or head back?

    I was planning on doing Angeles Forest, but that is all 55+ mph twisty roads with cliffs; not the kind of place that is forgiving if you lose tire pressure.

    Decided to start out on a short section of lower speed twisties, then head to the dirt. Here's the route I ended up taking:

    routeactual.jpg

    No problem on the twisty bits so headed into the dirt to wander around. I've never been up in these mountains, so I was just exploring a bit. Saw the aqueduct pipes off in the distance, so I started to head in that direction:

    IMG_20190721_105148_small.jpg


    Nope this fire road is heading west:

    IMG_20190721_105153_small.jpg

    Got back to the main fire road and headed east. It was starting to warm up a little, but nothing too bad:

    IMG_20190721_111414_small.jpg

    This was as far east as I could get:

    IMG_20190721_111630_small.jpg

    (to be continued...)
    #12
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  13. Liko

    Liko Got probe?

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Roswell, NM - Box Elder, SD
    Very familiar with that area.

    Excellent write up.

    The only confusing part was getting a hole in your tire when you HAD your tire repair kit with you. I have not experienced that myself. I either carry it and don't need it or I leave it out and .....

    Thanks!
    #13
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  14. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    (ride #4 continued)

    Locked gate = no problem; there was a fireroad about 1/2 mile back that headed north, I’ll take that instead.


    Turned around and headed north on the new fireroad. Got to a steep section, but it wasn’t THAT steep, and I could see the trail follow the ridgeline below me, and it surely intersects with those powerlines off in the distance, and those cool pipes are over there. Off we go:

    IMG_20190721_112321_small.jpg



    Turns out that is WAS that steep. And loose. If I needed to go back up that hill it would have been a bit tricky. That’s OK, it should be all downhill from here, as long as I don’t trap myself in a gully.


    The fireroad quickly narrowed down to 2-track then down to some awesome almost-singletrack:

    IMG_20190721_113036_small.jpg

    IMG_20190721_113333_small.jpg

    There were a couple more steep loose sections but nothing that I couldn’t inch my way down with the engine off:

    IMG_20190721_113456_small.jpg



    IMG_20190721_113734_small.jpg

    And a hill or two as well:

    IMG_20190721_114455_small.jpg

    It was getting a bit warm, but the heat doesn’t bother me much. I’m prepared with lots of water, lots of food, emergency reflective blankets, yadda yadda yadda. And in all honesty I wasn’t more than 3 or 4 miles from civilization at any given time. As long as I didn’t end up pinned under the bike I’d be fine.

    97f:

    IMG_20190721_114506_01_small.jpg

    (to be continued.....)

    Attached Files:

    #14
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  15. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    (ride #4 continued)

    All was well right up until this point. I crested a hill and it dropped off STEEP. Wicked steep. And I was instantly too far down the hill to be able to turn around, so like it or not I was headed down that hill. Had to get off the bike and bulldog it down for at least 50 to 100 feet, making sure my feet were placed carefully each step before I inched the bike forward using the front brake. Clutch was out the whole time. It was *steep*.

    I wish I could have gotten a photo on the hill, but there was no way that was going to happen. Here’s a photo from the top, that's silt in the ruts:

    IMG_20190721_114659_small.jpg


    And here is a photo looking back at the wall I just walked the bike down. A 2D photo doesn’t convey how steep this is in any way shape or form:

    IMG_20190721_115329_small.jpg


    There was ZERO chance of making that hill on my AT if I needed to turn around. I’m a pretty proficient dirt bike rider, and that hill would have given me a challenge on my KTM.

    It was now a 1 way trip, there was no going back.

    It was still 'only' 97 degrees out, but now I was feeling the heat. Funny how that works. I started thinking about who I knew in the area who could help drag my bike up a hill if I got trapped. Or if I made it to the fireroad and found the gate locked, how far would I have to walk to get cell service to call my buddies to bring bolt cutters.

    There were a couple more chunky hill climbs:

    IMG_20190721_115511_small.jpg

    …and an overgrown section:

    IMG_20190721_115805_small.jpg


    …. and shortly thereafter freedom was at hand:

    IMG_20190721_120420_small.jpg


    …pfffft who needs cell service:

    IMG_20190721_120827_small.jpg


    Gate was open at the bottom of the hill! I headed off to the restaurant and celebrated with a giant burger:

    IMG_20190721_125950_small.jpg




    Another good day in the books. Oh yeah, don't do this ride on street tires, they don't work on steep loose terrain:

    IMG_20190721_121803_small.jpg
    #15
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  16. marlopez

    marlopez Adventurer

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    Were in the same area I’d be happy to join you on a ride next time you hit that route again.
    #16
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  17. OBIWAN

    OBIWAN Been here awhile

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    I thought the AT had inner tubes. How can you just plug the tire and that works? Did you have to repair/replace the tube?
    #17
  18. mb300

    mb300 Been here awhile

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    Step 1 - buy Africa Twin

    Step 2 - throw away stock Dunlops, convert wheels to tubeless, put real tires on bike.
    #18
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  19. AZgman

    AZgman Addicted to curves

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    You dodged a bullet on that ride. You have big balls mister!
    #19
  20. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    Balls as big as watermelon, and cast iron, you must have.
    #20