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Old 02-04-2003, 10:01 PM   #1
RedMenace OP
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January Ride

I was out most of December with a bad back. I think it was the first week of January when I took this ride-it was really the first ride I had taken since my back had given out. I had gotten off work a little early and decided to take the scenic route home. The weather was fairly mild and had been since before Christmas, so I didn't expect to find much snow up on top...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:04 PM   #2
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Things went as I expected; I topped Old Dalles Rd, continued onto Elder Rd. The surface was damp packed sand, with ice on the puddles, the trees rimed with frost...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:12 PM   #3
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The crisp winter air froze my nostrils and the bright sunshine lit the ice flocked trees.
The road remained clear until I got on top of Huskey Rd. There I encounted larger patches of ice and some long stretches of shallow frozen snow in the shady areas.
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:16 PM   #4
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When I reached the junction of Fir Mt Rd, I decided to head South, further up the ridge, rather than take the shorter route down Swyers Drive and home. The roads had been easily passable so far, my back wasn't hurting and for the first time in weeks I was really having fun.
I started to encounter more snow as I went up the mountain...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:26 PM   #5
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I'd gone several miles past where I had started thinking "this isn't such a good idea; I should turn back, or at least stop and chain up". I got about halfway up a steep section when I lost forward moment. That was it I was stuck. I tried rolling back down to a flat spot where I could turn around, but the frozen ruts made that impossible. I had to chain up. I had climbed into the storm clouds and it had gotten cold. I struggled to get the chains on over the knobs. Again I attempted to climb the hill. It was nip and tuck for a while; almost impossible to get going on the steep incline even with the chains. I managed to gain some forward motion by moving my weight back onto the passenger pegs and rocking the throttle. Once I started climbing I didn't dare let off. The rear tire was spinning the entire climb, the chains throwing a huge icy roost...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:37 PM   #6
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Up here we had had some snow, followed by days of torrential rains, and then freezing temperatures. The snow became sodden and then, instead of melting, froze up solid. In places it was 16" deep and hard as concrete.
On top of the plateau, a fine icy dust was falling, freezing to my glasses and frosting my mustache. It was very pretty but made it hard to see the icy tracks I was trying to follow...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:39 PM   #7
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Where the road climbed I didn't dare let off the throttle- to do so would mean losing traction and getting stuck. The ruts were deep enuf to prevent me from turning around. I careened blindly up the road, sliding to from side to side and fetching up hard against the edges of the tracks. It was like a mad carnival ride.
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:40 PM   #8
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The side car fit imperfectly the frozen jeep tracks and I had to choose those which stayed on the road and avoid the ones which slid off the sides ending a confused lumpy hole where those who had preceded me had gotten stuck and winched themselves out...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:43 PM   #9
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I hit 1710 and started down the canyon, congratulating myself on my impending success...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:47 PM   #10
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Now I was in a pickle. it was getting late, my back was getting tired and this tree looked too large to take apart with the bucksaw. I was on a downhill stretch and that combined with the frozen ruts, made turning around an unlikely event. The tree was bigger than I wanted to tackle with my saw...could I hop it with the rig?
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:51 PM   #11
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I built a ramp using bark and branches on either side of the log. Nosing the bike in line with my approach, I gave it the throttle! It hung up midway but the chains bit into the wood and over I went. Once on the other side I realized that I would be up shit creek if I came across another windblow further down...
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:56 PM   #12
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Fortunately, it was clear sailing the rest of the way home. The snow faded from the road a mile down from the fallen tree. I went back up there a week and a half ago and some one had sawn the tree apart. Most of the snow was gone by then. Sunday, I came back this way from the scoot n shoot. All of the snow was gone. We are in for a long dry summer if we don't get some snow pack up here. This is much worse than last year.
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Old 02-04-2003, 11:55 PM   #13
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Great pics and adventure RM, sounds like a heck of a day

I really dig those older tiggers (steamers I guess you call them?), 'especially after I saw a gorgeous one basically just like yours minus the sidecar up close parked at the local eatery - dunno what Triumph was thinking with the newer ones, they seem so awkward and effeminate.
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:00 AM   #14
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Wow, helluva story, Menace.
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Said Grover:
Great pics and adventure RM, sounds like a heck of a day

I really dig those older tiggers (steamers I guess you call them?), 'especially after I saw a gorgeous one basically just like yours minus the sidecar up close parked at the local eatery - dunno what Triumph was thinking with the newer ones, they seem so awkward and effeminate.
I like the style of the Steamers, too. And they do put out plenty of usable power.
The new motors, however, fix some of the problems the earlier models had, such as the alternator and, I would hope, the dificult to service starter gear. I have ridden the new ones. They are GREAT! That motor has gobs of power and the throttle response is awesome.
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RedMenace screwed with this post 11-25-2003 at 06:57 PM
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