|09-23-2007, 05:15 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2004
Location: NW Montana
Muddy Hubbart with KLRcelt
Wayne (KLRcelt) and I had been planning all week to go riding today. The forecast was for dropping temperatures and increasing precipitation as the weekend progressed, however. I awoke this morning, opened the window shade, and saw that it was gray and raining steadily. Temps in the 40s. Surely we won't be riding today, I thought. Wayne has been under a lot of stress lately and to top it off, someone stole his leather riding jacket Friday.
He needed some motorcycle therapy.
We'd talked about mounting Jesses on my KLR, so I figured the garage would be a good place for motorcycle therapy today.
Then I found this PM in my inbox:
Truth is, I really wanted to ride today, it was just the cold and wet part I wasn't too excited about. Oh, well. I guess that's what gear is for.
I phoned Wayne and said, "If you wanna ride, we'll ride."
"COOL!" he replied, with all the enthusiasm of an 8 year-old. We should all be in touch with our 8 year-old side more often...
The KTM looked nice and warm and dry in my garage, but it screamed to go riding. It has been fairly neglected this summer, thanks to the rampant fires and road closures in our favorite riding areas. It's been bleeding orange blood all over my garage floor, ever since the XChallenge and I returned from our ~2600 mile trip last weekend.
Your turn to tango, KTM.
Wayne showed up, and didn't even shut off his bike. He was ready to ride.
We headed west on Highway 2, then south off the pavement on Hubbart Dam road. Wayne and I rode out here the first time we met, just last Spring. Funny, it seems we've been riding buddies forever...
Just weeks ago, this entire area was on fire. It is sparsely populated, but those who live here were forced to evacuate themselves and their livestock. Ranchers in other areas kindly took in the evacuees and their animals.
No fires today.
"Shall we go back to more solid ground?" Wayne asked. "Yup," I immediately responded. This stuff was nasty, and cow pies abounded.
If you ever ride with Wayne, you WILL find interesting singletrack to climb.
Don't let the KLR fool you. Wayne still hasn't figured out that it isn't really a full-on dirt bike.
We rode mostly muddy logging roads, and the rains continued. Wayne dodged one very large cow that bolted across the road, and nearly hit a doe that did the same. Rounding a downed tree, he snagged something on the bike and spun 90 degrees to the right, but somehow managed to avoid dropping the bike.
He knows I always have a camera.
Why are we stopping here, Wayne?
Oh, never mind. I see why.
Nothing like a dirt bike in its element.
Guess I was in mine, too.
See Hubbart Reservoir there in the background? It's getting a recharge today.
We kept going until... well, until we were too cold and wet to try to find a way around this gate. (Which of course, isn't to suggest that we found our way around other gates today... )
We rode back in a direction we figured was most likely to hook back up with the highway, and as the road got better we picked up our speed. Wayne's hands were wet, but at our last stop he'd told me they weren't cold. By now I knew they would be.
He didn't hide his glee when I offered him a pair of chemical handwarmers I had in my tank bag.
"My hands are purple!" he said.
We sat there for a few minutes, in the rain, BSing about trip plans for next year , and letting his hands warm up.
Then we hit the pavement again, and rode the 25 miles or so back to town, at 60mph, in the rain.
The KTM began to sputter. I had deliberately not fueled up, as I wanted to empty this tank of old gas before filling up. I tried to reach down and flip to reserve, but my hands were just cold enough that I couldn't do it. The engine died, and I guess I gave Wayne a scare when I pulled off the road. On reserve, it fired right up.
Wayne said he would follow me back to the fuel station just before town, but wouldn't stop there with me as he wanted to go home. "I'm a little damp," he said. Nothing like a little Irish understatement.
I pulled in and fueled up:
Back at home, I pulled out the garden hose and made myself spray the rather large quantity of mud off the bike while it was still soft. It was still raining, and the temperature had dropped - 50F degrees when we left, 45F degrees now. I kept my helmet and gloves on and found that it makes good bike washing gear.
When I finally got indoors and took my gear off, I began to feel cold... really cold. I couldn't decide which I wanted more: the hot shower, or the hot cup of tea I'd made.
So I took the hot tea into the shower with me, and drank it while standing under the lusciously hot stream of water.
Ahhhh, I'm warm now...
(Thanks for another great ride, Wayne!)
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