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Old 09-07-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
Trail Boss OP
World's fastest slowrider
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin
Oddometer: 688
2nd Annual Beyond EPIC Labor Day Weekend Extravaganza

The Beyond EPIC ride is a dual sport adventure ride held over the Labor Day Weekend. It started last year with a two day tour of the Texas Hill Country. This year we returned to the hill country for another 2 days, but with an alternate route. Plans for future years include adding more days and moving the location around year to year.

By my count 42 riders total attended the 2nd Annual Beyond EPIC Labor Day Weekend Extravaganza. Quite an increase from last year's 12 total attendees.

I took 120 pics this weekend. I'm not going to post all of them here, so if you want to see the unposted ones, click here

While the name of this event is meant to be humorous, in the spirit of the name I decided to make this year's event more EPIC than normal. I planned a route that included crossing the James River, south of Mason, TX, deep in the Texas hill country. There is a low water crossing on the James that is wide and very treacherous due to being unbelievably slick with algae and silt. Many a rider have been tested and bested by this crossing, including me. I've crossed the river twice before, once successfully. As my buddy Anthony said while we were discussing it early in the day, "there's gonna be carnage everywhere." Ominous.

So, how did it go? Read on.

You ought not tackle something so ominous without a good breakfast. Our day started at Jim's Restaurant at the world famous "Y" in Oak Hill. About 20 riders or so showed up early for a hearty breakfast and some tire kicking prior to the official start.






Once the riders meeting was done, we broke into 5 groups and headed west on pavement in search of the days first dirt. I'm happy to report that CR 310 & CR 315 (Click Road) are still dirt roads. Good dirt roads.

Let's check and see if the riding was any good. "Hey brother, how's the riding?"


"Rich, don't think I ain't watching you." - Tricepilot


The KLRs were out in abundance this year. The KLR is quite a bike, IMHO.


Every break included plenty of bike admiration.


Rumor has it that Honda used to make an Adventure bike. I've heard it called the "Translap", but, really, it's a Transalp. You don't see too many around. There were 2 on this trip, including this hot red number. Think Honda will ever get back on the adventure bandwagon?


Libertarians are welcome on any of my riders.


There's some fun dirt riding out in the hill country.


In all the years I've been doing this, I've never seen this accessory on a bike. When asked about it, the owner replied, "You never know when you might need a machete." I have to admit, he's got a point.


Four hours of riding completed and time for lunch at Cooper's BBQ in Mason. Definitely not the large, well-oiled operation of the Cooper's in Llano, 36 riders all arriving within a 30 minute window slightly overwhelmed this Cooper's.


Though smaller than it's cousin restaurant to the east, the format here is much the same. Start by picking your meat from the pit.


No plate necessary. Some butcher paper keeps things together.


Lunch completed, it was time to tackle the James River.

more to follow...
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The rider formerly known as Richard_

"Nice bike. Have you taken her to Mexico? All bikes want their owners to take them there" - tricepilot


Texas Adventure
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
Trail Boss OP
World's fastest slowrider
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin
Oddometer: 688
The James River Crossing encapsulated in a single picture.





Okay, not really. That pic tells a pretty good story, but there's more to it that that.

When we arrived at the crossing, I pulled to a stop so we could have a look. Most of the riders had not crossed here before so we spent a short period of time eyeballing the situation and talking about a successful strategy for crossing.

Then Stephen, the youngest rider, on a XR650L, plunged in first, riding with youthful enthusiasm and vigor (and a bit of speed). About a 1/3 of the way across the silt got the better of him and he layed her down in the deep water.


Try as he might, the mighty XR wouldn't restart. After a while, he got some assistance and pushed the bike the rest of the way across.

Tricepilot and I followed shortly. Creeping along with out outriggers (feet) out, we slowly made our way across. The Wee nearly got away from me a few times, but I made it across without dropping her in the water. So did Tricepilot.

I parked the bike, emptied the water out of my boots, grabbed my camera and headed into the river to get photos of the coming carnage. By this time, a few other folks had made it across, some were picking up their bikes, and others were just getting started on the crossing.















If you want to see all the carnage, click here.


After it was all said and done, some crossed successfully and some needed a bit of assistance. Eventually, though, we all ended up on the other side of the river with our bikes. It was Beyond EPIC.
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The rider formerly known as Richard_

"Nice bike. Have you taken her to Mexico? All bikes want their owners to take them there" - tricepilot


Texas Adventure
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #3
Trail Boss OP
World's fastest slowrider
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin
Oddometer: 688
The water crossing was behind us now but there was still good dirt in front of us. We spent the next few hours riding west towards Junction, zigzagging across the Blue Mountains, enjoying the riding.




What do you do with the heads of the catfish you catch? Hang them from the fencepost.


We could see rain off in the distance. It was raining over in Junction and a few drops hit us as we rode, but we missed most of the storm. Once in Junction it was time to for a little beer drinking and story telling.

Rusty heading out to on a beer run on the Transalp


Waiting for Rusty to get back


Bob and I enjoyed dinner and a cold beer at Isaack's Restaurant


We weren't the only riders enjoying a cold drink at Isaack's


Later, we assembled at the grassy knoll for some serious war stories, beer drinking, and cigar smoking.

Things are just getting started.


Jammin' Jerry enjoying a fine cigar


That light post is 8 foot tall. Now you know why we call him Big A.


Young guns


Stuntman Jeff


Nothing like a good cigar after a long day on the bike.


About 10 p.m. I was done. I wandered off to my room in need of sleep but looking forward to tomorrow.
__________________
The rider formerly known as Richard_

"Nice bike. Have you taken her to Mexico? All bikes want their owners to take them there" - tricepilot


Texas Adventure
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:47 PM   #4
Trail Boss OP
World's fastest slowrider
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Austin
Oddometer: 688
Sunday morning was glorious. The sky was clear and the air was crisp. The weatherman said we might have some afternoon rain, but the morning sure looked good.

Starting the day with a cup of joe


The riders meeting was scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Yesterday most riders were early. Today most didn't show up. I'm sure the previous evening's libations may have had an influence...

Today's route included Old Junction Road, White Mountain Road, and Cedar Creek Road - three of the finest dual sport roads in the hill country. Of the three, Cedar Creek has an abundance of water crossings, which are always a good photo opportunity.





Zip ties - one of the 2 essential things to carry in your tool kit (the other is duct tape). Zip ties held this crash damaged KLR piece together for the rest of the ride.


During a short break at a convenience store in Rocksprings, I spotted this contraption. A camping trailer towed behind a trike.


The trailer explains it's lot in life



After four hours of riding we reached Camp Wood and lunch. BJ's Cafe and Sweet Shop looked to be the hot ticket as most of the ride groups ended up here.




I'm just not sure about this. It looks like a trailer and a shack mated and this was the off-spring. At least it has an air conditioner.


And an extra pallet.


"Hmmm, where should I ride next?"


"Would you get that d*mn adventure bike out of the way, our scooters need gas."



Lunch signaled the end of the dirt riding for this trip. It was 2:30 p.m. and 3 1/2 hours back to Austin. And the rain was upon us. We donned our rain suits and headed east. An hour of fantastic riding on the the superb twisty roads 337 and 16 delivered us to Kerrville. From there is was a straight shot home. We dodged rain most of the way.

And, as they say, that was that. Once again it had been Beyond EPIC. I had a great time and am ready for MexTrek next month.
__________________
The rider formerly known as Richard_

"Nice bike. Have you taken her to Mexico? All bikes want their owners to take them there" - tricepilot


Texas Adventure
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