Tour of Idaho

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by wazzu, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. wazzu

    wazzu Pocky

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    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 week’s 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.

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    2) SuperSprox sprockets and a new X-ring chain.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.
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    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.
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    You fire road south for a few miles then hit the Utah border.
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    The first few miles are really easy fire roads with cool scenery.
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    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!
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    Running these ridges was great.
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    More Fun!
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    Some weather rolls in, ridge lines are not as fun in a thunder storm.
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    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 can’t get going again. You can’t 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.
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    Here are Martin and Dan, the founding fathers of the TID.
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    Here is the GPS summary of the day, 1/10th the way done!
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    Here is a map showing my route and track for Day 1.
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    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.
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    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 hadn’t 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.
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    I look off to the North and see Big Southern Butte, this is near the end of today’s 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.
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    Amber waves of grain.
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    Bombing it to the next range. Great sets of switch backs on some rarely used fire roads.
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    Idaho has wind mills that don’t turn also.
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    Once you get past American Falls there is a 30 mile sand section. Whoops and dunes!
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    Abandoned water tower on the RR.
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    Abandoned farm.
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    Lots of this.
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    Getting closer.
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    Made it. Great view from the top, it is REALLY windy up here.
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    Here is the wagon trail I had come down earlier.
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    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).
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    Route and track for the day.
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    Challenge points for the day, I missed #4 badger peak, I did not take the correct turn out.
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    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.
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    What is a submarine without a torpedo?
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    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 70’s! 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 Martin’s 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.
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    Heading into the sunrise at Arco Pass.
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    Really neat geology.
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    Grouping back up.
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    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.
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    The views are spectacular.
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    I would recommend not doing this trail in reverse, but it is great fun clockwise. Down the other side.
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    I did not get a shot of the bolder field you ride through on the way down.
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    Then there is a lot more of this.
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    Later in the day you climb railroad ridge to Chinese Wall, 10,300ft.
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    Then a nice drop down the other side, really nice trail.
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    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 someone’s 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.
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    The day ends at Challis. Here is the GPS summary for the day.
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    We don’t do the side ride to Frog Lake so we miss one challenge point.
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    Route and Tracks for the day.
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    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.
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    More vistas
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    The group
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    Moose Creek
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    Check out the sign.
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    We drop into the Salmon River
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    Less welcome signs
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    An old ore car at Shoup, I about fell on my butt when this thing started moving.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    You see these signs all over the area. I did not see one bear on the trip, but I had some bear spray.
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    Scenery
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    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?
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    Next on to Elk City and the end of Day 4.
    GPS summary:
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    Route and Track:
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    Challenge Points
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    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.
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    Dropping down the almost 4000ft to the Selway is a cool ride.
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    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.
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    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.
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    I can’t 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    I hustle ( don’t 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.
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    At sunset I have 100 miles to go.
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    I am in a real hurry now no more photos the rest of the day. I am praying that I don’t 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:
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    Route and Track:
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    Challenge points for the day, I get all 12.
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    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 Idaho’s 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.
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    About 85 miles in I get another rear flat.
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    The valve stem is separated from the tube, with no extra tube I ride out the 25 miles to highway 95 and Athol.
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    I give up for the day and call for a ride.
    GPS stats for the day:
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    I get rested up and eat a good meal and decide to finish up. I drive the 3 hours back to Coeur d’Alene the next morning, stop at Coeur d’Alene 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)
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    The rest of the ride is pretty easy with some nice views of the lakes and Mt. Spokane ski area
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    Notice the TID Challenge sticker and the new fresh meat on the rear.
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    I make it to the top of the road at Wig-Wam.
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    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
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    Route and Track for both days.
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    Challenge points.
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    End of Day 7.

    Epilogue
    Challenge point and mileage summary.
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    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 don’t 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!
    #1
  2. Mr. Fisherman

    Mr. Fisherman PROUD 2B Riff Raff!

    Joined:
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    12,455
    Location:
    Drinking from the Stanley Cup!
    Great report. Thanks for sharing.
    #2
  3. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
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    2,282
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Nice to see your report here! Looks like you had a good time.

    Congratulations of doing the Tour of Idaho!:clap
    #3
  4. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    903
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Well done!! Thanks for writing this up.
    #4
  5. Idahombre

    Idahombre Likes easy girls!

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    72
    Location:
    North Idaho
    Congrats on your TOI Challenge finish. I would go with the giant loop, Mojavi. Get that weight off your back. The Bridgestone H/D tubes are the only way to go on a long ride thats mixed tarmac/dirt. The bibs will come apart if they get to hot on the pavement for extended periods, then your really up a creek. I live just outside of Athol, wish I could have helped you out. I know what you are saying about the gps. I have the same issues. I'm looking to forward to riding the TOI. I was planning on it this year but people kept dangling things like Vegas to Reno and the Baja 1000 in front of me and I took it, hook line and sinker. I really like your gps set up. I use the CSX60. I'm considering switching to a setup similar to yours. Since you live in Bend, head down to the Astro Lounge. The owner, Josh and I have rode in Baja. He makes a heck of a hamburger.

    Jimmy
    #5
  6. wazzu

    wazzu Pocky

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    Bend, OR
    Thanks, Although I had a large looking backpack most of the weight was water weight (camel back), I put all the heavy stuff in the tank bag. I was thinking more along the lines of taking the camping gear, staying the first night in Pocatello and leave the camping gear in the hotel and picking it up at the end of day 1 to make the technical stuff in day 1 easier. You could also dump it for the massacre mountain loop, the toughest might be the sand whoops with all that weight (they were some of the most difficult sand riding I have done with soft sand and the whoops were so close I found it hard to get a rhythm going).

    The 276 with the touratech mount is awesome, I can't believe how much the 276s/378s still go for used on ebay but they work well for off-road riding. ( except for the tiny 512k max memory cards and not having reliable static compass) I will have to see how folks warm up to the Montana (touch screens suck with gloves) I would switch to the external antenna first thing the built in one is not very good and is susceptible to damage.

    Can't blame you for doing those races over the TID that would be fun. I was down in TJ working during the start of last years race and I watched a bunch of teams cross the border, I was jealous.

    I have never been to the Astro Lounge I will have to stop by.

    -Wade
    #6
  7. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,542
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Great ride report! I've only done a few isolated sections of the TOI - would love to do what you did someday - tackle the whole thing solo.
    #7
  8. shortbus4x4

    shortbus4x4 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    101
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene ID
    Nice report. I am moving up to ID this month, can hardly wait until next years riding season.
    #8
  9. leelikesbikes

    leelikesbikes Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    wally world
    get a Timbersled Mtn Horse snowbike conversion, they make em near sandpoint, then you don't have to wait till next years riding season!:clap
    #9
  10. wazzu

    wazzu Pocky

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    25
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    Bend, OR
    Yep, that was me. I dropped off the north side jeep trail where you headed for a little while to look it over. I came back up to the top and couple of kids on old YZs came up the hill the one in back was not wearing goggles nor looking where he was going and we bumped bars, and both wound up on the ground.
    #10
  11. motorcyclejazz

    motorcyclejazz Banned

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    209
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    Pocatello, ID
    Well done Wade. I looked over this briefly when you first posted it but today is the first chance I've had to give it the attention it deserves. Your adventure embodies the spirit of the Tour of Idaho. Welcome to the T1 alumni association. You have a single digit membership number.

    Next year we are adding over 100 miles of single track to the Tour. We are looking for a way to break up the trail between Challis and Lowell into two days. We'll have the maps posted on motorcyclejazz.com soon.

    Good on ya man!
    #11
  12. wazzu

    wazzu Pocky

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    25
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    Bend, OR
    Thanks Martin,

    It was one of the greatest experiences of have ever done. I am looking forward to reviewing the changes for 2012, nice reading for the winter.

    -Wade
    #12
  13. barnyard

    barnyard Verbal tactician Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Location:
    central Mn
    That kind of ride really captures my imagination. Thanks for posting it up.
    #13
  14. motorcyclejazz

    motorcyclejazz Banned

    Joined:
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    Wade earned a share of our Person of the Year award based on the adventure that he shared with everyone here. We set up the Tour of Idaho Challenge to be something that you could be proud of if you finished. Wade did and he ought to be. Salute! He also earned the #3 Tour Jersey - only the 4th person to ever completely finish the Tour.
    #14
  15. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
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    Tumalo, Oregon
    Excellent job Wade - I had forgotten about your report on this epic trip, well done! :freaky

    I think me and the Washington fellows might take the 'challenge' next year instead of Nevada.
    #15
  16. SureRide

    SureRide Banned

    Joined:
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    Far East Ern PA
    Hey thanks for taking the time to share, what scenery.
    #16
  17. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,453
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Hey Wade----boy you really hung in there and had a very good and satisfying ride-----you should be proud.

    It was a pleasure reading about your ride--how you prepared---what bike you rode----and you finished it.

    I've never attempted the Pete King Trail or the Massacre mountain loop----the pete king trail was closed the first time I rode it. Also my first time I got injured and had to go home---a first for me after 40 years of riding.

    But the second time me and friend rode it------we started at the Mexican border and rode it all the way to Canada---a trip
    I'll never forget.

    I got to me Martin on the last ride also----we had lunch and a long talk---Martin has changed the route so much ---added some really neat stuff----stuff that's not easy----I may have to try it again for all those challenge points and new trails.

    If I'll do ----------I'll bring a plated dirt bike instead of a dual-sport as Martin has recommends.

    Thanks you Wade---and thanks to Martin !!!!!

    Me on my 610 Husky on the TID--what beautiful scenery.
    BigDog

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    #17
  18. brad21

    brad21 We have a pool... and a pond.

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
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    :clap:freaky:clap
    #18
  19. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Sep 25, 2002
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    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Awesome trip!
    #19
  20. motorcyclejazz

    motorcyclejazz Banned

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    Location:
    Pocatello, ID
    This past season was the best ever for the Tour of Idaho - especially T1. About a dozen groups who'd done reasonable prep started out and several of those groups came very close to finishing. Two groups in particular, the Texas/Nebraska posse, and the Colorado/Utah boys, did an outstanding job of overcoming some major obstacles only to come up just a little short of challenge points in the end. As the word spreads more people are showing up with proper bikes (dirt bikes, not dual sports), some orienteering skill, and the right equipment (everything you think you need minus half of it) but most important - as Wade demonstrated - the right attitude.

    For 2012 the Tour we are adding over 100 miles of single track that replaces existing dirt and jeep roads. The reason that the tour "changes" every year is that we work with local agencies to find better ways to route it. Some of the trails we will be using in 2012 simply were not available four or five years ago. Others we discovered after spending a lot of time looking. Although the Tour is only completely open for a few months we spend most of the year working on finding the best route. As we continue to discover and/or develop more single/double track trails the Tour will continue to evolve.
    #20