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Old 08-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #46
tahoeacr
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this is cadilac hill. steeper than it looks

as someone left their ride

word was that a towtruck had to go in and tow it to here. I saw the truck on the way. Not exactly what AAA would send for you

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Old 09-06-2008, 11:22 AM   #47
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Rubicon is tough no doubt but it can be done on a bike. We used to ride from the trailhead over to Lake Tahoe and bac in a day easily. The record from what I've been told is 1 hour 45 minutes one way (on a bike).
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:15 PM   #48
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XRR Rubicon Ride Report

Just a plug for the best all around dirt bike ever made, once you rework the suspension.

Riding the 'whole enchilada' shadowed a High Sierra Motorcycle Club 'ride or die' event. The ride started on a section of the Western States Trail (WST), near Foresthill, CA, went up the Sierras to the Rubicon River, and connected with the Rubicon Trail, ending the day at Lake Tahoe. Any of the three sections is a good day's ride. Stringing them in a day required major endurance. Doing it again after an overnight in Tahoe, was plain nuts.

The 'whole enchilada' invitation included dire warnings, requested riders donate $20 to the Blue Ribbon Coalition, and only required a street-legal dirtbike with a 90-mile gas range. The invite went out over the Internet to the SFDirtbikes and the XR650R Yahoo egroups. On August 20th, 2004, five Honda XR650R riders, an XR600 rider, plus a KTM520 rider that heard about it through Gene from the XR650R list showed up. The idea of camping near Foresthill on Friday died once we heard Gene was staying in a hotel.

By Saturday, we were on the WST by no more than a couple of hours after dawn. The WST is relatively smooth trail and traverses a couple of steep canyons. Its difficulty is due to the switchbacks: Imagine a 20-degree slope on a 4-foot wide trail, and encountering a 180-degree switchback that is 8 feet wide. I have heard it is not quite Idaho, but many times I had to walk my bike to get around. I learned it was also easier to form a wide stance and turn as sharp, and as soon as possible into the switchback, rather than waiting and limiting maneuverability. Slipping out of a turn meant sliding off a cliff.

At the bottom of the second canyon we crossed the hanging bridge. Average speed had been about 7 miles an hour and it was starting to get hot. The other side of this canyon was tough and is dubbed "31 flavors," because it has as many switchbacks. Some of these switchbacks even have rock staircases within the turn. An XR650R can be a lot of work to start, especially when flooded on '31 flavors'. Managing the switchbacks turned into a 2-hour affair of lowering the rear tire from 16 to 8 pounds of pressure, playing with the carburetor's airscrew, and slowly getting up.

After the two canyons, the WST has a handful of flat singletrack sections. That was where a bike started missing and had no power to go up even the mildest of hills. Again, it was an XR650R. In hindsight, using an oiled K&N paper air filter may not be a good idea for the Sierras. The thing was as clogged as a mud pie. We hit the filter against a rock and got 5 spoonfuls of dirt. The ride was over for that bike, and Leo led the way without the air filter, making a right to his truck when we hit pavement at Mosquito Ridge Rd. The remaining 6 riders went left.

On this paved section we were passed by a couple of Sheriff SUVs. A mile later, a couple of "camp hosts" with radios asked us to stop. They were stopping traffic so they could helicopter a Ninja rider out because he had hit a Jeep head-on.

We decided to wait out the accident and eat lunch. Afterwards, the road was still blocked so we tried fireroads. When we came across a huge log I tried to ride around it. I fell on a steep slope and crushed my bike's left radiator. Epoxy putty fixed it and we doubled back and found the accident had cleared. By then Pete realized he was having clutch problems and decided to head back to the truck.

We were down to five riders when we made it to a very long singletrack that crosses the Rubicon River, where we would have to commit. As one rider explained it that night, the Rubicon River in ancient Rome symbolized Caesar's point of no return.

We made our way unto the Rubicon Trail via Wentworth Springs and at the Loon Lake turnoff we had the Rubicon Trail ahead of us and no more than a couple of hours of daylight left. The XR600 was low on gas because of its 3-gallon tank and dirty air filter, so the group decided to ride pavement to Tahoe. The "whole enchilada" in a day would have to wait. We bummed gas for the XR600 from friendly 'jeepers', and made it to Icehouse, a nearby restaurant on the way.

While at the dinner table, I was thinking about not doing the last third of the "whole enchilada". Then Gene and Eric handed me their $20 donations to the BRC, and I suddenly realized we had accomplished a lot. We had already crossed the Rubicon at this point, and we were going to stitch the whole thing together over two days.

After dinner, we rode to Highway 50 and headed up to South Lake Tahoe. It is amazing how much respect dirt bikers get on the pavement when they ride in a large group.

We finally made it to where we were staying in West Lake Tahoe at around 11PM. Leo and Pete were already asleep. Because they did not plan to ride the next day, margaritas were in the blender. In addition to joining us for the night, they had also been kind enough to look for a radiator for my bike, and they prepared a fantastic spaghetti dinner. Mike, another XR650R rider, drove up and joined us that night and brought the much-needed No Toil air filter cleaner for our bikes.

The next morning, Jon cleaned all the air filters, and we ate the spaghetti for lunch. All six riders were off for the Sunday ride by 1PM. The Rubicon Trail seemed easy after the stuff we did the day before, however, I did not wait at one split, and got chronically picked on for that by the group hecklers. The other Rubicon setback was a busted radiator, which was to be expected on this trail. We added epoxy putty, and water, and we were off again. After this, no one wanted to burn daylight at stops.

At the end of the Rubicon, we turned towards Loon Lake. I was following Mike and decided to take another line on a huge granite bowl. The granite bowl was a lot of fun, it was like riding dunes made of cement. It had jumps, perfect traction, it was basically nature's freeway. I could no longer see other riders, and realized no one followed. In looking for the group, I stumbled on two great big bucks in a valley, and then came across a big boulder with a plaque glued to it. It was an epitaph of sorts. It read something like:

1956-2001

Dearly beloved 'so and so'.

Faithful husband,

Loving father,

Outdoor enthusiast,

Jeepster extraordinaire,

Asshole

I had to give it a second look. I was not sure what to make of it.

I then rode up to Loon Lake in hopes of locating the pack, and they saw me and followed. We decided to skip lunch and headed to what was once a canal used to transport floating logs out of the forest. It is now a very sweet way to skirt a canyon and see some breathtaking views. In the past I did not think the trail was difficult, except for a few stone steps that should not amount to much after the Rubicon.

When we got to the first stone step, Eric was leading in front of me. The 3-foot wall in front of us was 4-feet wide and had a steep cliffside ala WST. Eric made it up no problem. I followed and looked back as Gary attacked it but looked nervous. I thought my looking back had made him nervous, so I looked forward and kept going.

Eric and I finally made it to the bridge we had agreed to wait for the crew at. And we waited, and waited, and debated, and debated further if we should go back. But Eric and I just stood and enjoyed the view. We thought we could hear engines coming, but it was just our imagination. The wind through the pines was playing tricks on us. We laughed at how easily we could hear things in the middle of the forest. I certainly wondered what it would take to turn my bike around on such a tight goat trail. I figured if they needed help, as Gene had pointed out earlier during the ride, they would ride up and ask for it.

Over an hour later the crew arrived. They explained that Gary, when going over that 3-foot step, stalled his bike and tipped over. Gary fortunately came to a stop 30 feet below as his bike rolled on top of him, trapping him, while the exhaust started burning his leg. When the three available riders finally made it down they found that lifting the bike off Gary would make it slide down into oblivion. The crew carefully pulled him out, then used a tow strap and in an hour's time arduously inched the bike back up on the trail. The good news was that Gary was all right. We then stopped on every obstacle on the trail.

When we made it back to pavement, Eric wanted to keep riding singletrack until dark. That meant about a half-hour, so the rest of the crew quickly vetoed the notion.

We got back, said our quick goodbyes, and parted ways.


Gene Lane
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Old 09-07-2008, 03:29 PM   #49
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Great report Rustler. I got totally wrapped up in it, like I was there.
They did make digital cameras back in '04.
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Old 09-07-2008, 04:02 PM   #50
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Rubicon!

I once slept in my Range Rover overnite on Cadillac, waiting for the Franken-tow-truck to come fetch me after snapping both rear axles. This series of pics really gave me flash backs.

This is a great trail for a trials bike. You can really enjoy it without too much work!

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Old 09-08-2008, 01:50 AM   #51
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Rubicon Rouges

List,

I saws the thread and could not pass up on the opportunity to post a poem that my Uncle Neil MacDannald wrote after his time on the Rubicon Trail.

Enjoy...

"Rubicon Rogues"
True story by Neil Ralph MacDannald

***

To our trails we come back, though it's not for a lack, of other things to do; The adrenaline will pour, as your muscles get sore, And your mind is born again new;

A days hard ride, with friends at your side, Makes one feel happy, tired, and free; When I get back, and finally hit the sack, I am always happy that I am me;

***
Rubicon Trail:

This day we had picked, knowing our bikes would get nicked, the legendary Rubicon Trail to ride; Some fail to return, as we would soon learn, We started, friends side by side;

The air was quite cold, we rode hard we rode bold, Over the rocks, boulders, and shale; We rode down this path, and realized it's wrath, This is a very difficult trail;

As it started to rain, not one would complain, There was too much fun to be had; We should have turned-round, rain started to pound, I guess we're just crazy a tad;

From the sky came hail, as we rode that trail,
That horribly tough rocky trail;
But no one turned, though all were concerned, That to get back we might fail;

Colder it got, but we're a tough lot,
I thought as it started to snow;
Colder still colder, with snow on my shoulder, And the wind started to blow;

We stopped our troop, just to re-group,
We sheltered under a tree;
The storm raged, “an all nighter" I gauged, As it hammered my friends and me;

“Just another mile”, I said with a smile, And fired RMX my venerable steed; One said “Wait!! It is getting real late, And I've crashed and started to bleed”;

Then he cranked up his ride, and stood by its side...
You see of unwritten code he did think;
“I can make this ride”, he said with great pride, Even though he was on the brink;

Half Way Point:

At shelter halfway, I was heard to say,
“Let's eat, and check our bikes”;
Our return would be slow, through wind driven snow, I wished our tires had spikes;

I was chilled to the bone, but I was not alone, And the daylight quickly passed; It need not be said, we all knew and we dread, This cold night could be our last;

One began to pout, as we started out,
But no one really could blame;
All knew it was far, back to the car,
And a hot meal by the fire's flame;

The going was rough, even our best had it tough, And wind drove the cold like a spike; One of us crashed, when offered food stashed, He just cursed and restarted his bike;

Below the big hill, I sat with a chill,
It was miles back to our camp;
"Go on past, and I'll ride up last",
I said as I sat there all damp;

Everyone helped push, as we climbed through the slush, And cheered when we crested the hill!; But the mood turned grim, as we gazed round the rim, We had many miles to ride still;

One started to cry, and said "I am too tired to try!", So I guess we all took rest on a hill; We then made a bet, as we watched the sunset, And the cold wind started to shrill;

Now low on fuel, this was truly a duel,
At least I could count on my friends;
Danger! I thought, and the more this storm brought, The more each of our help success depends;

I fell on some moss, my being trail boss, Meant I must get up and re-start; The cold wind and snow, made it difficult to go, Our group being torn apart;

Running motors hard, we fought for each yard, Lighting hitting well within sight; Soaked with rain, hiding my pain, With our own demons we must fight;

We might not make it at all, it would only take one fall, Lighting striking very near; It was fun that we sought, but we were being taught, While our group was struck with deep fear;

The going was slow, our strength we began to know, And I could see it in our group; Still with more hills, we had no more spills, I prayed for the safety of our troop; We finally made camp, and pushed up the loading ramp, Our bikes in the back of the truck; Wow what a feat, while beginning to eat, On our side we had plenty of luck;

Of riders with less will, we hear stories still, They begin but they do not return; We just ate our hot meal, and spoke of that hill, And watched the warm fires burn;
As we drove down, and headed toward town, I reflected on our trip; To come home I was lucky, riding gear all mucky, I wish I could offer a tip;

Be yourself and have fun, in the rain or the sun, Enjoy beauty and just smile; Support your friends, be true to all ends, And your life will be full and worthwhile;

To our trails we come back, though it's not for a lack, of other things to do; the adrenaline will pour, as your muscles get sore, And your mind is born again new;

A days hard ride, with friends at your side, Makes one feel happy, tired, and free; When I get back, and finally hit the sack, I am always happy that I am me.

True story.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:03 AM   #52
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Go Soon. US Forest may close the Rubicon

I did it on an XR600 while my buddy drove his jeep. The difficult sections usually had an easy way around. However, when it gets tuff its tuff. The big loose rocks are a bitch. But it was a truly assume ride. We did it during the week and I would recommend that. Also, don't wait too long into the summer. We went as soon as it was passible with snow still around. Looking back it was worth it, but some of the times I was wondering why I was there.

But you better hurry to get your trip run, as the Forest Service is going to close the trail down. The decision is set for April 23rd, 2009.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:19 AM   #53
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I've never ridden (off road) up in that area.......was tinkering with the idea of riding IceHouse/Rubicon on Friday the 5th of June (looks like the kind of terrain we deal with down here in Big Bear)......thought that would be a fun/challenging route to take from Placerville to North Shore on Friday before Tahoeacr's gig on Sat/Sun.....I was planning on riding my ADV 620 but this thread has me rethinking it.......perhaps I oughta ride the 520 with a backpack rather than the 620 with saddlebags?.....will it even be passable in early June or will snow be an issue? Any/all suggestions welcome....
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:49 PM   #54
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Chris,

My son and I rode it out and back in one day on our Trials bikes a few years ago, pretty easy.

620, not so much, I think.

I'd be putting a new Trials rear on the back of the 520 and running about 10 lbs (or less) for that run.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:37 PM   #55
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Laugh Yep - 520 it is.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickf
I'd be putting a new Trials rear on the back of the 520 and running about 10 lbs (or less) for that run.
Yep, that sounds like the right approach.......and I just happen to have a new Pirelli MT43 4.0 Trials Tire sitting in the garage.....picked up the tire, heavy duty tube, and another rim lock to set the 520 up for Big Bear, etc. this summer....looks like I'll be spooning it on earlier than planned .....whoops, I mean my SON will be spooning it on for me sooner than I had planned (the boy's gotta earn his keep! )
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawdaddy
Yep, that sounds like the right approach.......and I just happen to have a new Pirelli MT43 4.0 Trials Tire sitting in the garage.....picked up the tire, heavy duty tube, and another rim lock to set the 520 up for Big Bear, etc. this summer....looks like I'll be spooning it on earlier than planned .....whoops, I mean my SON will be spooning it on for me sooner than I had planned (the boy's gotta earn his keep! )
Chris-
I use to work for the company that guides ATV rides on the Rubicon when I lived in Tahoe full-time. The hard parts of the trail are like The Squeeze, The Ledges, and The Drop all rolled into one...and more of them. I am sure you will have fun doing it, and I hope you are still around on Sunday of the Tahoe gathering, I would love to thank you personally for your guidance in Anza a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to you, a super fun overnight tour.
Looking forward to your Rubicon tales-
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:43 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtndragon
Chris-
I use to work for the company that guides ATV rides on the Rubicon when I lived in Tahoe full-time. The hard parts of the trail are like The Squeeze, The Ledges, and The Drop all rolled into one...and more of them. I am sure you will have fun doing it, and I hope you are still around on Sunday of the Tahoe gathering, I would love to thank you personally for your guidance in Anza a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to you, a super fun overnight tour.
Looking forward to your Rubicon tales-
The plan is to ride assorted stuff up to Tahoe on Friday......meet/greet/ride with the ADV crew on Sat and hang out Sat night.....we'll probably ride back to Placerville on Sunday.....may reverse track on the Rubicon or check out some of the stuff off 88/Morman Immigrant Trail......we'll see.....plans still in flux....but we're kinda time limited unfortunately.....

Glad the Anza tracks worked out for you.....we rode a loop in the opposite direction today.....go here for the tracks:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455084
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:49 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssorange
But you better hurry to get your trip run, as the Forest Service is going to close the trail down. The decision is set for April 23rd, 2009.
It's not the Forest Service. It's the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The issue is impacts to the watershed from sediment and human waste.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:06 AM   #59
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Quote:
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It's not the Forest Service. It's the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The issue is impacts to the watershed from sediment and human waste.
You got it. And it's why Spider Lake camping has been shut down for a few years; to many people not willing to pack out what they brought in.

It is also why the Gatekeeper got dynamited- too many gathering around to watch the carnage.

The Sierras are some of the toughest country in the US, but also very fragile in terms of ecosystems.
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:23 PM   #60
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I rode the Rubicon last Fall on my 525. A lightweight bike is the way to go. It would be great fun on a trials bike. You can check out my pics here.
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