I posted this in the RR section... but in case you missed it...
If you've been putting off getting a Rekluse in your bike, you'll want to avoid this thread, because it brings out all the positives of the nifty clutch in a big-bore bike.
I'd just gotten back from the Wallowa ride, and there was a PM in my box from Heath. To paraphrase, it read something like this: "I found a single track that's likely to get you and/or your bike maimed ~ you interested?" "Of course I am...", I replied. So, we set a date and time... and we were off. I filled up with 1.5 gallons of fuel, which proved to be just enough to get me through the loop, without the extra 30 lbs of a full tank (I was heavy enough as it was, and Heath is on his shiny new DRZ400.)
I hadn't been on the single track yet this season, so I knew I was in for a rough day trying to keep up with Heath on his new bike (which is 150 lbs lighter, and sprung for single track).
I got my gear together, and though "Single track = traveling light, and not needing the warm gear". Wrong.
I needed to change out my tires that afternoon, because the Wallowa trip finished-off my knobbies. Unfortunatly, all I had sitting in my shop were Kings. Bad news. Oh well... how bad could it be, right? Wrong.
I showed up a few minutes early, to warm up on trail #4 while I waited for Heath.
All we knew of this trail is that it looked fun, and it'd be a challenge. Neither of us knew where it led to, nor where it'd spit us out. So... armed with a map, GPS, and a compass, we took off.
We started of up Boise Ridge Road, and found the turn-off.
It seemed like it took all of a minute and a half for the trail to degrade into this.
I though to myself, "That's not too bad..." Wrong. 30 seconds later, the trail disappeared into a stream ~ literally.
And it only went downhill from there.
Heath stopped to make sure all was well, and it was clear that he knew better than to think his boots were going to stay dry, as he was walking up the middle of the stream. I however, had not given up hope of staying dry... and had thus far not had to dab my foot down.
I can speak highly enough of the Rekluse in this terrain. It was the difference between making this trail a PITA nightmare, vs. really enjoying it. To be able to navigate through the basketball sized rocks, logs, and trees, without ever having to work the clutch is amazing. Not to mention that you never stall it out, and never loose momentum and dump the bike over.
The KLR-eating ruts...
This was the first 'real obsticle' for us to overcome. There was a lot in the middle of the stream for us to 'hop'. It proved to be considerably more easy for Heath on his 606-suited DRZ than my Kings-suited KLR.
We got them both over, and continued in our travels... thinking... "How much worse could it get?"
It was about this point in the game, when it started to snow on us. Lightly at first, and then more heavy as the day/evening wore on.
Well, there's your answer. A freshly-fallen gi-norm-ous log across our path. There was no way we were moving it, or going around it. The only option was to see if the bike would fit under it.
When I saw this, all my hopes of staying dry were diminished, and I accepted the fact that I was going to get soaking wet in the snow today.
Heath's DRZ went under it fairly well, by tipping it at a 45 degree angle and working it through.
However, my pig of a maching was not so easy. Much taller, much heavier. In the end, we had to get it at about a 10 degree angle, and drag it through. Not pretty nor easy... but effective.
This is called 'Adverture Riding', right? This is after we got through to the other side, and took a few minutres to wring-out our gear and bikes.
We continued on through the stream/trail.
Near the bottom of the mountail, the trail opend up, and returned to dirt.
We messed around for a bit in the open play area, before continuing up the trail.
Upon resuming our travels, Heath went shooting up the trail... thinking the trail went left when in fact it went right. The result was a near-handle-bar experiance.
Getting out of the ravine was pretty nasty. Loose, steep climbs, with tight corners. Heath took it well on his DRZ. I was praising the engineers of the Rekluse the whole climb out ~ I'd have been miserable/hosed without it.
Once we got out of the canyon, we stopped to take in the scene. It was really quite nice ~ for about 20 minutes ~ until the snow returned.
As we climbed, it started to get white. My thoughts were, "What a great time to be running Kings. Lucky me.".
The Kings were aired down as far as I dared in the very rocky terrain (12 and 15 psi)... so all there was left to do, was to laugh and enjoy the ride.
The views were outstanding.
We rode hard for another half-hour. And when we stopped, we could see cabins... so we knew we were getting closer to a main road.
I thought it was Robbie Creek from up here... but once we got down to the road, it turned out to be Clear Creek.
We got to Clear Creak and started heading home. However, 1/2 way home... Eagleson "Rd" was calling our name... so we took a quick breather, and started up it.
By this time, the snow was sticking in the higher elevations. Lucky us.
Traction was still surprisingly reasonable... because it was still soft under the snow.
Just as our ride is ending... I see my arch nemisis. This climb is loose, steep, and unpredictable. I try is a dozen times a year... and am successful about 1/2 of those attempts.
There doesn't seem to be any predictability to this trail ~~ flip a coin... heads I make it, tails I don't.
I landed on tails this time.
In closing, this was the most adventuresome ride I'd hade since last year... and it's surely in my top 5 rides for "You shouldn't be taking a KLR down that."