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Old 07-06-2009, 10:19 PM   #1
osteo OP
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A Pre-Rap, RAP with Rally Connex

Rally Connex is an Adventure Tour Company in the smallish province of Ontario and this year they have organized a 1400km , 4 day tour of riding aRound Algonquin Provincial Park.

There were a few changes to the scheduling which in some ways worked out for the best and in others ... no so much.

Now, I am usually one of the Rally Connex crew, but in this case I acted both as crew member but as this was a new ride for me, I sort of felt like I was doing it as a participant as well!

Below is our story!


The idea was to complete all 1400km in 4 days, and finishing mid afternoon on the last day, so in reality it would be 3.5 days or some pretty solid riding. The terrain was to consist of some pavement, but the majority was to be gravel roads, double track and sled trails going around the entire park. We were forewarned to expect everything, and in truth we pretty much did! water crossings, bush wacking, low speed gravel roads, high speed gravel roads, pavement, scenery... mosquito's that had not eaten in months... everything

To those that do not know of Algonquin Park it is one of the largest provincial parks in Ontario (if not the largest) and for sure the most popular. It boasts tons of lakes, the camping and canoeing is fabulous with more wildlife than one can imagine. Due to it's size and the terrain circumnavigating it can be a challenge and the northern parts one is limited to what roads and trails one can ride on.

Here is the real brief Spot View:


We met up with the guys Thursday evening in the little town of Kinmount. For those of you that don't know Kinmount it is where the highly successful and I should really say, very effective Tekvest is made (my props to TekVest as being a truly Canadian and North American sourced product!!!! TekVest, TekVest makes armour for Polaris, Yamaha, Klim, etc...)

In total there were 6 of us, 5 guys starting early Fri and then the last guy having to work till noon was to meet us as the motel Fri evening.

Normally with the RC events, there is stock and aggressive tire routes, a sweep truck, SAT phones and SPOTS, pretty much everything one would need. For long events like this the support truck carries the gear and meets us every night - not so with this adventure! we were on our own! if we break down on the north side of the park, we had better fix it or it will be a long lonely ride to go pick up the truck over 10hrs away. With that being said, you carried all your gear and spares, etc on your back - in other words PACK LITE!!!

The crew consisted of 4 KTM's, 1 BMW, and 1 Suzuki that started out as a 400SM but had been converted over to the dark and dirty side!

Fri AM

Everybody is looking sort of excited and fresh!


I think Day 1 was probably the toughest, and in thinking back on it I would think that some of those sections would have been easier without the extra gear on the bike (or on your back).

This was down a rock garden that took us to a lake - meaning we had to go back up. Of course it does look easier in the pictures, but even yours truly had a difficult time going back up (which is mighty embarassing I might add!)





As I said, lots of gravel/sand roads - lots of nice high speed and power slides! and then you come to this :



Many of us have seen washouts before or sink holes - 3' deep, a couple feet around, big enough to cause a problem, small enough to avoid.. but not this one!

This silver helmet in the washout is Kevin our fearless leader. He stands 6'4" before helmet and boots - so I give him a good 6'6". As you can see his head is below the level of the road.



This is him walking up the other side:


This is what the damage looked like, soft sand on both sides, wide enough to swallow a 950 Adv whole with room to spare of a few more:


After debating the purpose of life and if the chicken came before the egg it was decided to try to fill in the bottom somewhat so it was not such a sharp 45deg angle and try to cross. With 3 active helpers (1 photographer) we should be able to manage it as the road was over an hour behind us and then another 2-3 hrs to resume the route.

Kevin goes first and makes it look easy!... bugger!


and comes up the other side:


Dan attacks it next, but the washout claims its first victim:






Chris gives it a go (as if he really had a choice!) and also makes it:


Dwight on his 650 Dakar, did pretty good:




And me on the other hand, I guess nerves got me... that is my excuse!
This picture reminds me of the statue for the Marines taken on Iwo Jima (sp?):


A bit of mud and a corduroy road (one thing there are a lot of in the area):


An old settlement. I'm not sure how old it is, I have been by it a few times on various rides, always impressive.


One thing I can say was it started to rain and I figured the mosquito's would die down... I think it made them pissed as they were brutal




I had heard about those mosquito patches that allow a slow dose of Vit B1 into the skin (transdermal patch). I picked some up for OsteoWife's Dad and he finds that they work well for him, but he lives in town. We think that when they tested these patches it was on domesticated mosquito's, as it made absolutely no difference to the rabid creatures we encountered!

The end of the day had us pull into ??? (for the life of my I can't recall the name... started with an S!) Actually we were late, real late. The kitchen was to close at 7p and we pulled in at 7pm. But they knew we were coming and were sort of still expecting us.

Dinner was prime rib with all the appropriate fixings (no I did not take a picture!), fabulous!!!





Clothes dryer! (that is a tekvest on the bottom right)




Day 3 had us waking up and taking Maurice's Trail, if you were not awake by the time the trail started you sure were by the time you go to this point! it was rough, and first thing in the morning after a big breakfast, it was rougher!


So, how much fun were we having?!


On a side note, I tried the new Wolfman Enduro Saddle bags and Enduro Duffel and was very impressed. The saddle bags did not move one bit, they were solid and I did not really notice them being there. My only complaint was that I should have put some clear 3M decal on my rear side panels of the bike as the slight movement of the saddle bags over the 4 days wore my decals pretty badly. The other thing is the duffel bag is not waterproof. I sort of knew that, but with the amount of rain we had on Day 3 and 4, I was not pleased (good thing I brought garbage bags).

The guys coming in:


Yup, so much for taking it easy first thing!


Intrepid explorers :


At the east edge of Algonquin is the Barron Canyon, pretty impressive:




but you had to take this to get to it:

And talk about crapping your pants... the amount of dust tossed up b the bikes was nuts. I found the best place to be was on the wheel of the guy in front of me and standing so I was just above his dust. We were clipping along at a pretty good speed and 2 cops pass us going the other way. As I look at them they pull over.

Now here in Ontario they passed a new law to curb reckless driving and racing and any standing, wheelies, etc... on motorcycles constitutes either careless or reckless driving charges. So, needless to say, I was just crapping my pants ... so I immediately sit down and just wait for them to turn and pull me over - but then think with all the dust and 6 similiar bikes would they really know who it was

Well they did not come for me, thankfully as I don't think I was the only one of us, but it sure could have been ugly

Up at the Canyon:










Eventually we left the Canyon behind and got to some flatter ground. This water crossing has been in a few RAP trips over the years. If we were 2 weeks earlier I think it would have been more of a submarine trip for the 450 and 530exc's that were present.








Trail Tech X2 HID lights all the way!! if you were ever sitting on the fence, consider this your shove!


I'm not sure if Flueger is crying or scratching his nose! but another trail side repair attempt. He almost popped the rear end over (hit a rock I think) and somehow snapped the pivot bolt for the rear brake. He had the entire mechanism apart in less than 5min, but it is a special Austrian one of piece that no one carried as a spare so no rear brakes for him. I think he will fabricate a bracket so that he can use a common (high tensile) bolt instead.


The Horseflies were bad - you can laugh all you want


Some of us can do this better than others!


The end of Day 2 brings us here, on the edge of the Ottawa River. Across the water was Quebec!




And yet another repair - seems the head bolts needed a bit of torquing.


I went inside to pack up some stuff and within 10min they had the job done!


2 things you always want when sleeping with some guy you have never slept with before (haha!! ) - o.k, let me re-phrase!! 2 things you want when sharing a room with some other guy:
a) they don't snore
b) they don't smell like too much rotten B.O. which happens on long rides

In this case, he snores, but as far as I could tell (and I did not get too close) he didn't smell overly bad!


Day 3 started out nice, nice trails, a bit of bushwacking, sled trails...


But eventually the rain caught up to us and we slogged it through the rain. We ended up having lunch at some little town and I was so embarrased to sit in this restaurant with all our gear dripping wet. We soaked the chairs, there were puddles under our boots! We apologized to the server but she said not to worry they are used to it with the sleds in the winter!

With that being said, not many pic's from me that day, except at the monuments! The guy that owns this place I am told is a bit strange!

These 3 stood 20-30' high!


They were everywhere! apparently he has a mold near his house. He pours the concrete and somehow lifts and transports them to where he wants them on his property. There has to be 30 or more scattered everywhere.


This area was a little weird as they were arranged in some sort of circle. Some had chains hanging down the centre... sacrificial chains?


Ever want to be puked out by a concrete mouth?!


And some had offspring!


Shortly after that, the rain continued and 2 of the guys decided to make a run for home. They had 1.5hrs of solid pavement to get back to the trucks ... I know there would have been no way I could have done it in the rain. As it was I was frozen and the hotel being 30min away was calling me.

I ended up with a different room mate (no snoring and no smell!!) but the room... goodness! I'm not sure who was painting, but they could have stopped!


I will say, the lady that was behind the counter than evening was a jewel. She was well aware that we rode in the rain and offered us the commercial dryer to dry out our gear!!!

The next morning with 250km to go, 2 more guys bailed. Flueger with his lack of rear brakes decided to take the slab and the Dakar 650 went with him. So, that left me with Dirtinblood to complete and see what sort of mischief we could try to stay out of!

It turned out to be a beautiful day with rain hitting us once really hard for about 10min and then that was it:






We got to see a bit of white water canoeing




And where once there was 6, now there is 2







Would I do it again? Hell yeah!!! each day had it's tough sections, but in reality nothing overly more aggressive than what we experience with the usual Rally Connex Aggressive routes. What does kick you soundly in the pants is the relentless day after day. Doing 1 day is not bad, doing 2 days of 300km is also not so bad, but day 3 and then day 4 quickly add up. When then when you factor in rain, or also in my case some pretty serious tendonitis in my left elbow (thanks to all the clutch work) and then some carpel tunnel (wrist) pain for good measure and waking at 2am in pain, the day seemed to get longer by the minute! I was looking forward to home for sure!

But, as I said, I'd do it again!!! I'd just wear a bug net!

D


p.s. - RC is planning on doing this ride again in Sept, check for updates here: RAP
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osteo screwed with this post 07-07-2009 at 09:07 PM
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
leonphelps
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wow...great pics!
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:02 PM   #3
Ooobah-Moto
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Sweet pics doods!!!!

....what are the odd's a competent 950 rider could clear all the sections?!
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
xdbx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ooobah-Moto
Sweet pics doods!!!!

....what are the odd's a competent 950 rider could clear all the sections?!
I have no idea, but I'm willing to try. I'll join you on my 950
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
osteo OP
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Originally Posted by Ooobah-Moto
Sweet pics doods!!!!

....what are the odd's a competent 950 rider could clear all the sections?!
Well, if I had my 950 still (and not the 1/2 Beast) then I would have done it on the 950 and cried when I came to that washout! but I'm sure I would have prevailed!

I will say, it will be a good amount of work for sure, not for the faint of heart!

D
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:47 PM   #6
GB
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The Pre looks good.. are you also going to post the actual ride too?

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Old 07-07-2009, 08:33 PM   #7
Country Doc
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Originally Posted by xdbx
I have no idea, but I'm willing to try. I'll join you on my 950
I think it would be do-able on a 950, but pretty exhausting.

I was on the DRZ, and I was absolutely BEAT by the end of the day.

I'm not sure I would have enjoyed myself nearly as much, fighting a 950 through some of the sections. However, there are lots of open stretches where you can relax, lots of gravel road, it's quite varied terrain.

I had to bail at the end of day 3 as work issues started to press a little sooner than anticipated, but I can tell you that although I was very tired on the Monday, I still wished I was on the trails with Dennis and Kevin to finish the ride. Looks like you guys had great weather too! Good stuff!

I'll throw in a few of my pics, but as you can see, Dennis did a great job shooting the ride.

Looking forward to the next one!





























Cheers,
dc
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:06 PM   #8
osteo OP
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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
The Pre looks good.. are you also going to post the actual ride too?

Someone may post the actual ride, but it won't be me, I won't be attending.

Dan, those pic's are great! That dragonfly hit me at over 50km/hr and when I removed it it was still alive!

D
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"If it is small enough to eat in a single meal, don't worry about it, hit it!. If it is too large to eat in one sitting, get the hell away from it!" Jack Splash commenting on animals on the trail.

Rally Connex Adventures
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Make It Stick Media

Adventure Has No Destination

08' KTM 450 EXC - The Half Beast -
04' Yamaha TTR250 (for the wife)
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