tuesday, august 27, 2013 - utah bdr abort
i had to make a very difficult decision this morning, and i'm not sure if i made the right call...
stages 6 & 5 were fun. the tiger and i almost got stuck in the wilderness during the stage 4 mud bath as the first of the heavy rains hit. the little yamaha almost got stuck in the muck during stage 3 as the rains continued to pound eastern utah. both bikers opted out of stages 2 and 1 - because of the record rainfall and the red clay, neither of us wanted to risk it.
after a trip to the ATV store this morning to work on the brake line, the ktm 990/store owner put the fear of god in me and basically suggested that it was fool-hearty to take the big bike into colorado from the south, given the 2+ inches that just dumped all over the southern rockies. that, on top of what would be about 700.00 to change all my front brake lines, install new nobby tires, and make changes to the beak of the bike to raise the macgyver'ed fender (the front wheel was hitting my makeshift fender on hard brakes and big bumps) led me to the decision to let PDX Alamo and his yamaha W250R out into the colorado wilderness alone.
i wasn't originally planning on riding the colorado routes, but it was still a tough decision - half of me feels like i abandoned my riding partner, and the other half feels like i set him free to explore unencumbered by a porky bike and nervous pilot. i felt like i was holding him back, and so i let him go, reverting to my original plans to head back west to party up the labor day weekend with friends.
i learned a lot in this short off-road adventure. heidenau k60 scout tires are great in everything - except mud and clay. i'm not even sure a true nobbie would get a 600 lb. bike (including gear) through that muck. and i also learned that a dual-sport bike is not a dirt bike. i'm still in love with my tiger, and have no regrets about my decision to purchase her over a year ago, but these bigger bikes have their limitations based on their weight. additionally, i learned that once you are defeated mentally, you are done for. i lost confidence in my bike's ability to handle the conditions, and even if i hadn't received discouraging advice from local riders, i basically had already checked out of the ride. as in the rest of life, one must accept his or her decisions, and the consequences of those decisions. as the russian science fiction author slavenenski lem said in his famous work solaris - "there are no answers, only decisions."
i feel a little bit disappointed in myself, like i gave up on a challenge. but i have nothing to prove to anyone and do not presume to be some epic, fearless moto adventurer. i feel somewhat better because i know my ex-riding partner will not have to dig my bike out of the muck every 5 minutes. and although it would have been fun to continue our 'man date' through the rockies, i feel like he'll have a better riding experience without me and the tiger in tow. i'm going to find a way to lighten my packing system, and re-attempt colorado next year when the weather is hopefully less soggy.
here's to PDX Alamo and his valient yamaha W250R, and their continued success through the COBDR!