Just to catch up a bit... here is my take on Day-1... I posted a few photos from Day 1 earlier in the thread but you can see them all @ http://mototrailadventures.blogspot.com/.
We started out fairly early on our first day of riding. We were all pretty excited to get going and after a few group photos we all jumped on our bikes and rode off in a big hurry... anxious to see what adventures lay ahead. The excitement lasted less than a minute as Mark coasted his dead Husky to the side of the highway. We were literally within sight of the motel
, sitting on the side of the road trying to figure out why the 610 wouldn't run. It turned out to only be a blocked gas tank vent and soon enough we were back out on the road.
Once we got on our way, things went fairly smoothly. We rode up canyons, through sagebrush laden desert and and across some cool ridge lines that provided us with great views. We made it to McDermitt, NV
around lunchtime and were able to fill up on fuel and food.
The rest of the 185 mile day was filled with a lot of rough terrain and a couple steep hill climbs. Our goal was to make it close to Owyhee, NV before setting up camp and ultimately that's what we did. It was getting dark as we set up camp and I was completely exhausted so as soon as my tent was up, I just went to sleep.
During the first long day of riding, I learned an important lesson... Don't overload your bike with tons of crap you don't need. I had never really ridden on a multi-day, unsupported ride before this so I didn't realize how much a small amount of weight makes a big difference. When I loaded up the saddlebags and tail bag, I just kept stuffing items in that I thought might come in handy until the bags were full. I had ended up carrying roughly 70 pounds of extra gear that was not entirely necessary. This overloading caused the little 250 to be quite unstable, especially in rough terrain. It was kind of like riding with the neighbor kid sitting behind me the whole time. It was enough of a hindrance that I started to get very frustrated with my lack of ability to ride like I was used to. I even suggested on the morning of our second day of riding that I might just take the highway back to Denio Junction to unload the extra weight and maybe try to re-connect with the group later during the week. The guys thankfully talked me out of this idea as over the next few days the ride took us to some fantastic places and I was able to relocate some of the heavier items to sit lower on the bike. The lower center of gravity helped keep the bike a bit more stable than before and that combined with me getting used to the extra weight allowed me to be able to make it through the next few days without any major issues.