How often does a man really have an adventure? I mean the average man? Sure there are some riders on this forum who have become semi-famous for their extreme rides in far foreign lands.
But you, the one reading this, how often does that happen for you?
Me, I've had a few. Seven Day rafting trips in Alaska fishing for King Salmon,
Two weeks in the San Juan Islands on my own sailboat:
Being rescued from what was suppose to be an overnight snowmobile ride in Eureka, AK.
But for the majority of us, if we are honest, such adventures are not that common. That's what keeps me glued to the ride reports on this forum.
It was time for me to have another one. I'll be turning 50 in a year and want to have some off road adventures on two wheels while I still can. In addition, if the federal government continues its course, much of the Oregon Desert may be off limits to motorized vehicles in the near future.
So, one wintry day last February I began to concoct my own plan of adventure. The ride reports about the Oregon Desert caught my attention and I wanted to plan my own.
At the time, I was riding a 1993 TW200. I had bought it 5 years ago it to just run back and forth the two miles to work. I hadn't owned a motorcycle since college days. However, I fell in love with riding again and in 5 years put 10,000 miles on the little bike.
July 2009, I completed a 3 day ride from Portland back to central Oregon where I live. That report I posted on the TW200 Forum.
I was hungry for a much longer ride.
I began really scouring ride reports and the Benchmark Oregon Atlas. My GPS software was getting a good workout also, or maybe I was getting a good workout trying to figure it out. I received tracks from a few others and began to work a route plan.
I posted my thoughts on this forum, the TW200 forum and on Benddualsport.com. On those other two sites my online name is jclovesu. I had done a few rides with guys from those two sites. It was early yet and I didn't get any real interest in going.
Fast-forward to May of this year. I had been casually reading about other dual sport motorcycles, thinking of adding something a little more long-distance worthy to my collection. The more I read the more a Suzuki DR350SE seemed to be what I was looking for. Now, I'm a self-confessed Craigslist junkie. One Sunday morning I spotted 1997 DR, one owner, low miles, $1,600. I just couldn't pass it up and grabbed it before the rest of the Craigslist wolves did.
Now my ride planning just changed dramatically. Not only that, but I had to get this new bike adventure ready. I'll skip all the details, but lets just say that a lot of work was done on the bike between May and September 5th
, my planned day of exit.
I posted the change of ride and now was getting some interest. Pretty soon Mark and Jonathan from the Benddualsport forum were at my home for a Sunday route planning session. They were IN!! Mark rides a beautiful KTM 640 Adventure and Jonathan rides a really customized for off road BMW F650 Dakar. I was still going to be the small bike this trip.
I think three is about the perfect size group. You don't have to wait long at a stop for everyone to catch up and if someone gets hurt there is one to stay with them and one to ride out.
Now I know you're probably saying, “just get on with the ride report”, but this is my first one on ADV so I may be a little too detailed. Just deal with it. If you're the picture's only type of person, you already know how to scroll down.
Our plan was to have a general sense of all the places we wanted to go. Have GPS tracks and waypoints for many of them along with good maps, but not plan what each day would look like. Ride until we found a place we wanted to camp at and then see what developed the next day. We didn't want to “have” to be anywhere at any certain time.
The list of potential places to go and see were:
Worlds largest Western Juniper
Hart Mountain Wildlife Refuge and Hot Springs
Beaty Butte and cave spring
Three Forks on the Owyhee
Then some of the OBCDR back to Bend
Getting the bike ready took too much of my time. Finally the new tires, sprockets, chain and skid plate arrived Friday and we were to leave Sunday. I still had to work Saturday, but everything got done.
One of the most difficult things was deciding what NOT to take. I tend to take way too much stuff and didn't want to do that this time. Even at the last minute I was pulling things out of the packs and putting them back in the garage
Here's a track of what our final route ended up being: