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-   -   Shredding the BRT! (with video!) (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=915248)

NitroRoo 08-27-2013 07:27 PM

Shredding the BRT! (with video!)
 
Or maybe it would shred us?? Only time would tell. 4 of us cut out of work early last Thursday to tackle the South West section of the BRT on a nice, long weekend.

But first! Let's dispense with the introductions and many many thanks to Error Cooled for putting this route together and making the gps files available for all to enjoy. If you aren't already aware, the Blue Ridge Trail project was started by Error Cooled in 2010, and covers hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails and back roads. If you want more info, check out his thread here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632804

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7085/6...9a95a993_b.jpg

This is my friend Andy and his DRZ400, which he has owned for just over 2 weeks at the time of this trip. It's his first dual sport bike, and he really only has one other short Saturday ride under his belt so far...
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psa0eed360.jpg

And the rest of us: That's me, Matt, and Trevor
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psc3d25423.jpg

But enough with the people, what about the BIKES? I'd be taking my 1984 Honda XL350R. She's kick start only, and has a severe distaste for turn signals. But, she was a good girl and allowed me to install these shiny new ones before we left:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps0fa1d380.jpg

Also on the list: Oil and filter change, new rear tire, new chain & sprockets, and new clutch and throttle cables.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psa8389095.jpg

Look at those nice shiny Hondas! Matt and Trevor both ride XR650L's (Trevors has the oversize tank). We had enough camping and riding gear to setup a small village - yet we all managed to forget something...
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psbe174022.jpg


Andy drove himself to camp, since he was going to have to head back Saturday night. As luck would have it, we actually ended up leaving around the same time, and he caught and passed us on the interstate.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...pse331e9a9.jpg

Virginia!
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps9c2e837b.jpg

So... our plan was to camp at a spot called River Views Campground... we had a reservation, and it looked like it was nice and close to the southernmost (green) portion of the Blue Ridge Trail in Galax, VA. The roads to get there twisted and turned - good thing for gps navigation and cell phones - this place isn't easy to find!
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...pse3e516ca.jpg


but... after taking twists and turns through some beautiful countryside... we were greeted with a rather disappointing site (pun intended). We had done our research. They had a reasonably attractive website, with decent pictures of the grounds... but those pictures did this site no justice. We were told to setup down behind the tractor... in the mud, with piles of overflowing trash bags. :puke1
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps706c4fd3.jpg

Not only that, but our neighbors who were flying the stars and bars were eying us with none-too friendly stares, while the camp host really didn't seem to think we should be staying 'round those parts. :umph :uhoh
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps17bf5020.jpg

Despite having already planned our routes from this spot, and the sun hanging dangerously low on the horizon, we decided to drive another hour North to another campsite we had considered: Stony Fork Campground just North of Wytheville.

On the way there, permanent residents:

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps7daf5dbd.jpg


Camp all setup and JUST before dark, ahhh this is MUCH better, and only 12 bucks a night! - GOOD CALL! :clap:clap
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psf4e7ed57.jpg


After scrambling to setup our tents and unpack before dark, we needed to make a quick run into town for some necessary provisions. Can you tell this was a guys trip? :lol3
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps3eaa1c87.jpg

The bikes were all unstrapped and ready to hit the road first thing in the morning! The next day would prove to be QUITE interesting, and challenging in many ways...
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps825a653e.jpg

Mental3dge 08-27-2013 07:42 PM

I'm in

NitroRoo 08-28-2013 06:34 AM

Day 1...
 
And as with many of our adventures, this one began with mechanical problems. First, Trevor's bike wouldn't fire up at camp. Cranking slow, we chalked it up to the cool mountain weather and the fact that it had sat for over a month - a little push start and we were off!

Unfortunately we only made it about 10 miles down the road, to our first gas stop, when more problems showed up. His bike started randomly leaking fuel out of the float bowl drain. I've never seen anything like it. It would dump out... then stop occasionally, then start dumping fuel out again. We checked to make sure the drain screw was in all the way - it was... :dunno

Andy and I ran over to the local Napa and picked up some hose clamps and vacuum caps to seal off the drain. Problem solved? Curious if anyone here has had this problem - even after taking the carb apart - we can't figure out how it was leaking - and it was definitely coming out of the drain, not running down the side of the carb. :ear

The bike was still cranking slower than any of us liked, so we decided to run over to walmart to install a new battery while we were still close to civilization. By the time Trevor and I had paid for the new one, Matt and Andy had yanked the old one. They made quick work of installing the new battery in the Walmart parking lot.


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps4cc175bd.jpg


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps0d1a45f2.jpg

The skies were looking dark as we rolled out of town, and soon after we were getting rained on. Not a heavy rain, just a steady, soaking rain. We found ourselves on the highway to hell - turns out it's gravel. :lol3
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps444b7706.jpg

...and that is where Trevor's bike decided to act up, again. Are we noticing a theme here yet? :bluduh I think Trevor was more mad about it than any of us, but we had also plotted a fairly ambitious route for the day. Since we swapped camp sites, we were going to be riding an extra 50 miles or so. And when a lot of that is singletrack - well, that can take a while.

This time, instead of leaking out of the drain (which we had plugged), his float was now sticking (or something was clogging the valve), and his bike was flooding out and leaking gas out of the carb vent tube. Unfortunately we didn't have a good stubby screwdriver to drop the float bowl, so we drained it, blew threw the vent, tapped on the carb, and got the leak stopped (for now...)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps6f402cb6.jpg

Wet gravel roads, and more rain were in our future.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psabe7cb8c.jpg

We rode for nearly 2 hours through the rain. Only Andy and myself had any kind of semi-waterproof gear. Poor Trevor and Matt were as soaked as you can possibly get. With temps in the 60's, we were all a bit chilly.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...pse7990f8a.jpg

Trevor dumped about 1/2 a gallon out of each boot.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psd4ee01b4.jpg

After quite an eventful morning - we finally rolled into Damascus around 2pm - a few hours later than we were originally hoping. We gassed up quick and ran across the street for a quick bite at Subway. Not our first choice but we knew that with potentially more bike problems and plenty of off-road ahead, we better get a move on.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psd2bd875d.jpg

From here we were in a constant state of struggle. Either with the trail, or with, you guessed it, Trevor's bike. Poor Trevor wanted to kick the pig down the side of the mountain. :kboom We just kept nursing it along.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psb90bbf39.jpg

I don't think any of us quite knew what to expect with the Iron Mountain trail. We had heard plenty of people say it was tough, but we has also heard about this Rave guy who did it on a GS - so it can't be THAT bad, right? :wink:

Wish I had gotten more pictures of the obstacles - but pretty much right off the bat you are bounced off some rocks, across a stream, and up some very tight, rough singletrack. Eventually the trail broke out into this little meadow, and we were all happy that we had made it this far - especially Andy.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps498c1c52.jpg

Apparently I couldn't believe what we had gotten ourselves into :lol3
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psaab4cd11.jpg


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...pse3ee9b82.jpg

After riding through tight woods for a while, it was nice to break out into a little clearing. Not really sure how little clearings like this form - but it was a nice spot full of butterflies.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps090ccd29.jpg

Unfortunately we were so rushed trying to survive the trail, keep Trevor's bike going, and get back before dark - we really didn't get a ton of pictures of the obstacles on day 1. We just rode over them as fast as we possibly could.

When we were finally out of the singletrack, we passed this overlook and decided we should finally stop and take a look at something. After a full day of riding, hiking up these stairs was fun.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps3e105066.jpg

and the view from the top was WELL worth the hike. 360 degree views like this? Yes please! :clap
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps9fe7eebf.jpg

We disturbed some buzzards who were roosting at the overlook, and they circled around us for a while. I guess we were invading their space.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...pse5393125.jpg

What I want to know is - who hauled up all the rocks and the concrete?!
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psa9c4949d.jpg

Trevor finally got to relax a little. His bike had made it this far - we were going to make it back to camp.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psec39f27a.jpg

The shadows were getting long and the temps were dipping again. We snapped a few more pics and hopped back on the bikes.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps0339664a.jpg

Once we got back into Wytheville, we gassed up the bikes, and headed straight back for camp. Final stats for the day:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps91ad5069.jpg

We made it back around 8:30 with just about no light left in the sky. Just so happens Matt is a chef when he isn't riding, and he cooked up some AMAZING steaks, mashed potatoes, and collards over the fire that evening. No pics of the food - but MAN was it delicious! :tb
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psd9568b3c.jpg

NitroRoo 08-28-2013 08:32 AM

Get your :lurk ready - this is loooooooonggg (but oh so entertaining) :norton

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error cooled 08-28-2013 09:25 AM

Awesome....

Having owned several RFVC kick start Hondas (XL600R, XR350R, XR600R) I gotta give you props - especially on a dual carbed 84 on Iron Mtn :freaky

Looking forward to more...

NitroRoo 08-28-2013 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by error cooled (Post 22201355)
Awesome....

Having owned several RFVC kick start Hondas (XL600R, XR350R, XR600R) I gotta give you props - especially on a dual carbed 84 on Iron Mtn :freaky

Looking forward to more...

:thumb Thanks for following along and thanks again for putting together the route - we had a freaking blast out there! :beer

ben2go 08-28-2013 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NitroRoo (Post 22200917)
Get your :lurk ready - this is loooooooonggg (but oh so entertaining) :norton

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Good vid.Ya'll just left Andy in the dust er mud. :lol3

Rave 08-28-2013 07:04 PM

Great ride report man and great video as well. I did watch most of it. I appreciate the comments about the "GS rider". We had it a little better when we rode through, as the last rain was a day before, and it had dried up a little. You guys were riding through some soupy mud the whole way. I like how you thought you were out of the Iron Mountain Trail when you hit the gravel road. We thought the same thing, and then we hit that second section just like you guys.... and that's when it goes from fun to work.

I'm really interested in seeing what day 2 was like. My friend and I had to stop about where you guys did, but I definitely want to ride out the rest.

Happy Trails.

Rave

GTV630 08-29-2013 04:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ben2go (Post 22204069)
Good vid.Ya'll just left Andy in the dust er mud. :lol3

Man, that's cold! I figure for the first time doing something like that one tip over wasn't that bad. By day two, I was figuring things out and kept up much better.

zoldar 08-29-2013 04:57 AM

Awesome! Hopefully I can make the next one.

NitroRoo 08-29-2013 05:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rave (Post 22205851)
Great ride report man and great video as well. I did watch most of it. I appreciate the comments about the "GS rider". We had it a little better when we rode through, as the last rain was a day before, and it had dried up a little. You guys were riding through some soupy mud the whole way. I like how you thought you were out of the Iron Mountain Trail when you hit the gravel road. We thought the same thing, and then we hit that second section just like you guys.... and that's when it goes from fun to work.

I'm really interested in seeing what day 2 was like. My friend and I had to stop about where you guys did, but I definitely want to ride out the rest.

Happy Trails.

Rave

:bow Seriously ballsy to take a GS down that trail. I would try it, but not if it was MY bike :lol3

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTV630 (Post 22207789)
Man, that's cold! I figure for the first time doing something like that one tip over wasn't that bad. By day two, I was figuring things out and kept up much better.

Hey welcome to ADV! :freaky Ya gotta have some thick skin if you want to hang out on this forum :deal One of the best motorcycle forums on the net as far as I'm concerned though. We were all impressed with how well you did having virtually no experience. I guess for our next adventure we'll have to turn up the heat a little more :wink:

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoldar (Post 22207924)
Awesome! Hopefully I can make the next one.

:thumb

NitroRoo 08-29-2013 05:50 AM

As soon as we got up Saturday morning we busted out the tools and tore into Trevor's bike. We were all so worn out from the previous day, that none of us really minded getting a bit later of a start - and we certainly didn't want a repeat performance from the XR (although it had behaved itself for the last several hours of the day before).

We pulled the carb, dropped the float bowl, and proceeded to spray the heck out of it with carb cleaner. We still aren't sure how or why it was leaking out of the float bowl drain, but we pulled that screw and cleaned it thoroughly as well - strange problem :scratch
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps34637429.jpg

Once we got the carb cleaned and the bike back together, we headed east on 717 out of the campground to pick up the trail where it crosses over. All of us were pretty excited to be back on the bikes - and Trevor's was running better than ever.

This is the part of the trail that takes you up and over I-77. It starts out as a dirt/gravel road, but soon tightens up with growth and becomes a rock scramble with streams literally running down the trail in some parts. We were all too busy bouncing off boulders to take pics - but a video is coming
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps943705e3.jpg

For lunch we were just playing it by ear. We rode through Bastian and didn't see any place to eat. Thankfully we checked our phones and found a pizza place on the north side of town. They had just recently opened and it was REALLY good (especially since it was almost 3pm by the time we finally got to eat!)
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps4fcbdf25.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps1feb1286.jpg

From Bastian we rode back up the scenic hwy, back across 77 and then up some more gravel roads. This seems like a pretty popular spot to stop and take a pic:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psfcd9a238.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps744611a6.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psef266f53.jpg

Then came Hogback Mtn Road. O.M.G. This road is essentially a dirt road with a severe mud bog every 100 yards or so. The fun part is: you never know how deep it's going to be! You might splash through a shallow puddle, or, as Matt and I discovered, your bike might get swallowed :eek1

The first one that really got me I missed getting on video :cry I rode in and about halfway through this monster puddle I could tell it was going to be bad. The front end sank and the rear quickly followed. I was straddling the bike paddling through the muck - exhaust was just about underwater. I had the engine revved out trying to keep it alive (and free of water) and somehow managed to push the bike through and up out the other side without stopping. I don't think I've ever been that close to being stuck and actually made it out. Really wish I had gotten that on camera.

Our bikes came out the other side just a little bit muddy :D
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps1d7358e2.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psea961e4c.jpg


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psfc3c94c0.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps4ffcb64a.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psab591b4d.jpg

I was impressed that you couldn't see a spot of black on my exhaust, it was completely brown
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps3fbbcd5b.jpg

From here we made it all the way to the Wilburn Grocery Store on HWY 100, then we just took 100 to 42 back into Bland, VA. Before heading all the way back to camp we stopped in bland to gas up and pick up a few more things.

After two days of bouncing down trails and over rocks, my kickstand was having a hard time staying up. It would bounce halfway down and then smack a rock and go back up. I guess this was a bit unnerving to watch from behind, so the guys suggested we just zip tie it up. That kept it in check for the rest of the ride - I just had to get a bit creative with my parking.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps58c675ac.jpg

Goin for the holeshot:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psd17adb03.jpg

Testing out the cornering on this beast.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psa719af4b.jpg

We strapped some more essential supplies to Trevor's bike.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psc42d8780.jpg

From Bland it was just a quick jaunt down I77 a few miles back to 717, and back to camp. The cool thing about doing this was we got to ride through the tunnel - the one that we had been on top of earlier that day. A few of us also got to test out the top speeds of our steeds. This is 100% all the little red pig can do, downhill. :lol3
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...psbdcb94ea.jpg

Once we got back to camp, Andy had to pack up and head out. We said our goodbyes (I think we were all exhausted) and he hit the road.

After nearly 150 miles that day, it was time for some grub. We whipped up some hobo meals. Steak tips, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions and some cheddar all wrapped up in a foil packet and cooked over the coals. :dg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y20...ps00196ff1.jpg

The air was really crisp and cool that night, we all slept like babies.

VStromNC 08-29-2013 08:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoldar (Post 22207924)
Awesome! Hopefully I can make the next one.

Same here. I live in S. Charlotte but would love to join next ride over a long weekend!

Jon

ben2go 08-29-2013 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTV630 (Post 22207789)
Man, that's cold! I figure for the first time doing something like that one tip over wasn't that bad. By day two, I was figuring things out and kept up much better.

:clap WTG! Ready to go back?

pieeye 08-29-2013 07:09 PM

In! :clap:freaky

Ps. Watch that Matt guy. He's been know to be a bad influence! :hide


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