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Old 05-15-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
motoged OP
Studly Adventurer
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Kamloops, BC
Oddometer: 906
Grand Canyon Loop: Ulterior Motives

PROLOGUE:

When in the winter's cold and dark days, riders tend to get that far-away look
.

Looking for a good ride. Looking to have a new adventure. Sometimes, just looking ...

Looking for some escape from the limitations of snow, ice, and too-cold-to-ride temperatures.

Aside from suffering from SRD (Serious Ride Deficiency), other aspects of life's load add to that far-away look....and our survival instinct kicks in and we seek safety and comfort.

A good ride opportunity will often provide that distraction and satiation.


Before long, a guy tends to have this sh-t eatin' grin plastered on his face...




But before we get to decoding "WWTTD", maybe we should get some context.

Maybe it started in mid-January when my search for moto-activity kicked into gear. My 690 needed to have an ECU tuning. I knew that was true as it was one of the main topics on the 690 thread....and those competent rider-wrench-tech guys must be right .

So I put out a thread-posting indicating I would offer whiskey and barbeque to the lucky Inmate who offered such a procedure. True to form, within a day or so I had three offers: one from Edmonton ("Bartron" seemed to be adequately versed with the beast.... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...on+code+orange and he was sort of close as he was only 8 hours drive away in Edmonton) and indicated he was closer to me during summer months; another from Nevada and was a prolific contributor to the 690 thread ("Bobzilla" has too many posts to paste here, but he seemed to be also knowledgeable....but I live 2.5 days of driving from Nevada); and a third from Marysville , Washington and I could get there in 4-5 hours with the bike loaded onto the truck ("Uller" was again a "frequent problem solver" on the 690 thread).

When I responded to BobZ, he indicated that Nevada was a long way to drive for a few hours of motomagic. I agreed, but showed my hand a bit when I quipped that it was a good excuse for a ride. After a few e-mails back and forth, BobZ invited me to join him and a few of his close friends for a week-long Hard Way ride doing a loop around the Grand Canyon.

"Some nights camping", he said, "with a few motel nights in between for relaxing, laundry, and lancing saddle sores."

"There will be some sand", he said as the entire planet has heard by now how I feel about soft sand. But only half the planet has seen the effect silt and deep sand had on me when riding Baja last year (http://www.advrider.com/forums )/showthread.php?t=666961 ):




"Some sand, some single track, some double track and we will be winding our way doing a loop around the Grand Canyon starting from Las Vegas and ending up there a week later. There will be crashes and everybody needs to be totally self-reliant ....carry everything you think you need....tools, tubes, water, camping gear and something to sip on around the fire at night....and bring a chair." were his warnings.

I took the invitation as one of those cosmic confluences and dove in.

So, from late January to mid-April I spent several hours daily Google-Earthing the area and Googling ALL the information I could possibly find.

Oh, the ECU tuning???

I decided that BobZ would be way too busy 2 days before the ride started on April 20th in Vegas to be bothered with tuning the bike....Edmonton was farther away than Marysville, so I accepted Uller's offer and drove down to his place a few weeks later.

Uller was VERY helpful not only with the ECU tuning, but also starting my install of the Cyclops 7" light upgrade. Thanks Brad !!!. This ADV community is chock full of cool folks !!!

So, with the tuning done, I set to prepping the bike for the Grand Canyon Loop. February, March, and the beginning of April was enough time to have several anxiety attacks when I thought about the struggle between "responsibilities" with work, family, and the homestead vs "take several weeks off and enjoy yourself" kinds of thinking.

As my planning developed, I began to fear that I would be riding with guys who always "Ride the Dez" together and who were top-shelf riders. My self-doubts waged war with my hopes for a great ride in an area I had only ever driven past to and from Baja rides... I was pumped. But to avoid total disgrace the first day of the ride, I would need to start to get in better shape and get some "ride-legs" back, as last summer was one with 1/4 of the riding I usually do....

I developed a diet and work-out plan that surely would work....I didn't want to be "That Guy" on this ride. The diet thing was sort of working and the air-trainer set-up on the 10-speed was situated nicely on the deck, but never felt the warmth of my butt on it's prostate-friendly saddle....

The real way to get ready, I thought, would be to arrive in the Utah/Nevada/Arizona triangle early and ride for several days before hooking up with BobZ and his posse. That thought led to several pre-ride plans that ended up with me deciding 4 days in Moab would be a good warm-up act. As some local friends would be there at that time, the plan was consolidated: Drive to Moab and ride for 3-4 days and get a taste of that beautiful area, spend a day getting to Vegas, and have a week off-road with 7 guys I had never met....maybe even do a few days in Death Valley after the Grand Canyon Loop.

Moab is beautiful but I would prefer to ride my 450 there rather than the 690....sand and ledges made me realize that....but that will be a future ride.....


With all that being said, here is a story about 8 guys riding around the Grand Canyon in a clockwise loop starting and ending in Las Vegas.

Yes, a tale imbedded with adversity, friendship, phenomenal terrain, masterful riding, incredible fire-side stories and humour, and even dinosaur footprints......

And.....full of .....Ulterior motives.....

A smattering of what is to come....






















__________________
Ged Schwartz
Kamloops , BC


Baja '05 , Baja 06/07 , Baja 08/09 , BC Alpine Single Track





motoged screwed with this post 05-15-2012 at 10:42 PM Reason: duh !!
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