Dates: May 25 - May 31
Riders: FYYFF, h8chain, m1jeep, Riddler990, Rruugger, Browneye, TBarstow, Loner, Buster714 & Frank
In order to write my ride report, I need to go back a while. A year to be precise. When Joel anoounced last years ride, I was dying to join but I couldn't
, for the obvious reason, my GF's birthday on Memorial Day . But I made a promise that day, I would make it the next year, no matter what I needed to do...
So I start working on my evil plan. I kept talking about the ride day and night and made sure she understand how sad I was to miss that amazing, once in a life time ride. And once you are back, I made sure she saw all the amazing pictures from the ride and made sure she saw me crying over those pictures.
So finally I got what I asked for, the green light for 2012 Grand Canyon ride. YAY!!!
Then finally Joel announced this year's Grand Canyon Ride. I jumped on it and begin getting ready right away. Bike was in good condition, I ordered new summer riding gear, Klim Dakar pants and gloves, Klim Revolt Pullover, shin guards and an Acerbis Koerta Pressure Suit. I also needed dry food since we would be out camping for 4 night in a row. That was the kind of adventure I wanted to have for a long time.
Finally departure day was here. Riddler was kind enough to offer us a ride on his Suburban and trailer. We were gonna meet at his house and put 5 bikes (my and Rruugger's 990, Rich's DR650, Loner and Riddler's 950SE's) on his trailer to meet rest of the crew at Masquite, NV.
I and Rich met around 7:15 and head over to Riddler's place in Burbank. We were so excited since this would be our longest riding/camping trip ever.
When we got to Riddler's house, we were the last one to arrive. Other 3 bikes were already on the trailer. We loaded our's and we were ready to roll.
We stopped by at a local Starbucks (of course) and got something to eat/drink for breakfast. Our lunch would be at Mad Greek, Baker.
Our trip to Masquite was unbelievably comfy thanks to Jon (Riddler990) and his Suburban. Only thing missing in the Suburban was a hot stewardess. We watched Erzberg Enduro Race
on DVD and got pumped up for the upcoming ride. They say only 1% of the riders can finish that race every year. That wouldn't be the case in our ride because we never leave a rider behind.
There were many accidents on our way to Masquite. A car was on fire right before Las Vegas, a huge RV's driver window was shattered by the mirror, an other RV was laying in the middle of the highway with a blown up front tire and worst of all a truck was turned over by the high winds and the trailer was all over the high way. Thank God nobody was seriously injured. We got to our hotel (Virgin River Casino and Resort) around 3 o'clock. Chris (Browneye) was already there along with Aram (Buster714), Joel and Frank.
We got together around 7:00pm for dinner. We went to a Los Lupes Mexican Restaurant, had some beer and Margaritas. Didn't want to stay late because our plan was to hit the road at 8:00am in the morning. I dont have pictures of the night. But I know Joel has some since I stole them from him.
Saturday morning was the big day. Tim Barstow meet us too and we were ready for an epic adventure. We gassed up and hit the road towards Elbow Canyon.
Everybody was too excited and didn't know what was coming.
Frank was riding his new 690 and he was fully loaded. Two hard cases on the sides and one huge dufflebag on the back.
Elbow Canyon started nice and easy. Just some rocks here and there. But it got harder and harder every mile.
Our first casualty was Rich, I wasnt there but he said he was adjusting the extra weight on the back. We regrouped once again. Weather was perfect...
This was the last time we saw the whole group together. Uphill got steeper and rockier. And noobs gone wild...
So many loose hill climbs that we need to stop and recon.
I went down 3 times on Elbow Canyon climb, I had help for the first two but not this one. I waited for 10 minutes, nobody showed up and I felt bad seeing her laying down like that. I picked her up alone. HULK
That was pretty much the last hard section. I jumped on it and cruised away to the top. On the way I saw Joel's bike on his side but no sign of Joel. He was up the hill two turns away from the bike. Under a shade, kick'... Top of the hill was niceeeee.... Breezy and clear.
I was so tired picking up and riding Joel's bike hahahahahah so I took a break once I hit top of the hill. Set up my butterfly chair and kicked back for a while.
About 30 mins later rest of the crew begin to show up. But there was no sign of Joel and Tim.
I was energized again and decided to walk down to see what's going on. 3 turns down the hill I saw Tim and Joel. Joel's bike was headed down hill instead of up. I told Tim that I'll take care of it and he was gone before I finished my sentence. He must be tired.
I turned around the bike and took it up to a nice flat hard pack place for Joel. He was exhausted. I have to confess that I had great respect for Joel and Paul on this ride. I found out that they are both 59 years old and still rocking... Congrats... Hope I can do the same at their age.
At the top of the hill Rich and Paul were ready to roll.
After spending almost 3 hours on an 18 mile stretch, rest of the road was much easier and faster. Of course scenery was breathtaking all the way.
Whatever I write I am always missing something. Going down the hill towards Bar 10, Joel and Paul somehow got lost. Paul didn't have a GPS but I wanted to know Joel's excuese. His front suspension bleeder was broken and he didn't have front suspension all the way on Elbow Canyon. I though he took off to take care of it at Saint George. But I was wrong. He should tell his story...
We were doing doing great time and flying on some dirt super highway when I picked up a nail.
Thanks to Tim it took me only 15 minutes to change the flat. But an other 20 to put the tire on. But that's OK because meanwhile Aram, Tim and Rich made some new friends. An other story.
Finally we made it to Bar 10 with couple of hours delay. But the first group (Riddler990, Rruugger, Browneye and Frank) was still there, waiting for us. Still no sign of Joel and Paul.
They took off to claim the camp grounds at Toro Weap. That worked out perfect since we were not supposed to ride in to the camp as a big group.
Meanwhile we had out lunch, got some rest, check the bikes and refueled at $7/gal.
Tim is checking his chain:
I asked the manager/owner of Bar 10 if we can use their wifi to track our lost friends. And they were very helpful. I checked Joel's Spot and they were headed to Bar 10 as well. Only 30-40 miles away. We took our time to wait for them. Finally they arrived and had their lunch. By this time we were about 3 hours behind schedule. But who cares, we were having a blast...
We took off and hit the road to make it to the camp before sun down.
Rich's new AdvMonster LED's were working great.
Camp site at Toro Weap was amazing. You have to see it because it is hard to explain. You feel like you are on a different planet. Ground is solid rock, huge boulders around and a magnificent sky full of millions of stars...
Paul's tent at night.
Sorry I dont have anymore pictures from day 1. I was tired and couldnt even go for the night photo shoot with Tim. But he had some great night shots.
I know I am still missing tons of stories and details on day 1. Please fill in your stories with pictures.
Thanks to everyone that ride and kept an eye on us (Jim) on this trip.
More and more and more report and pictures to come...