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Old 05-31-2010, 08:34 PM   #1
jamajo OP
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The "I Love my TW200" Loess Hills Ride Report

This is my first ride report, and my TW’s first trip out of Nebraska. Just an afternoon of dirt riding, but I hope you enjoy it!

I’ve been wanting to ride my TW on something besides the straight gravel roads around here, so I talked Mason into taking me to the Loess Hills in Iowa. The Loess Hills are beautiful, rolling hills in western Iowa near the Missouri River. They are a unique formation caused by glaciers (wikipedia has a great page on it, if you’re interested in the details). Mostly what they are to me is a place with a few hills and curves in the roads, something that’s in short supply in our neck of the plains.

So, we loaded up the TW200 and Mason’s KTM 525EXC and headed out.



Pisgah, Iowa, in the middle of the Loess Hills area north of Missouri Valley, seemed like a good place to start from. We unloaded the bikes in the City Park and headed to the diner for a quick lunch.



Obligatory food photo:



tuna and noodles - it was their special, which to us meant "quick" so we could get to riding.

Stopped at the Loess Hills Visitor Center for some maps and then headed north out of Pisgah. Didn’t really have a plan for the ride, just trying to find something interesting to ride. What we found first was a scenic overlook at Preparation Canyon State Park.



So far, we’d been mostly riding on some gravel roads, big gnarly gravel that wasn’t much fun to ride. We live on a road like that, so didn’t need to drive 100 miles to do that.

But when we saw the "Minimum Maintenance Road" sign, it was a no-brainer to turn there (should have taken a picture of the sign - I’ll get it next time).
This is Olive Ave looking back after we’d ridden down it. I tried to stop at the top and take a picture, but the TW wasn’t willing to wait for me to do that.



These minimum maintenance roads are dirt, or more like dust or silt. It can be kind of deep and loose in places. It was dry this day, luckily.

Another shot from down in the bottom of one of the roads (can’t remember which one this was). How these trees hold on in this stuff is amazing to me.



We stopped often for water breaks because it was hot and windy.



These were taken on the western edge of the hills, looking towards the Missouri River and Nebraska.





Little Sioux Scout Ranch where there was a devastating tornado in 2008 that killed four scouts. Looks like lots of rebuilding has been done, and just recently re-opened from what the locals told us.



Just some trees.




Another tree clinging to the side of these dusty, silty hills. There is almost no substance to the dirt here.



Me and my TW. I love this bike. I had an ‘87 many years ago, sold it and then missed it, so bought this one a few years ago. It will go through anything and makes me look like I know what I’m doing!



This is Kelsey Ave. It goes down just as steep on the other side. And then up again. And then back down again. And, then - well, you get the idea.



This is Mason taking the TW up first, just to make sure it would make it up the hill. No Problem!



He brought it back down and I rode it up and over. This road had a lot of what I referred to as "floofy" dirt, but the TW just rode right through it!

Another picture from somewhere inside Kelsey Ave.



This is Hillside Ave - picture doesn’t do it justice. This road was pretty rough, but the TW just plugged along totally unfazed by ruts, limbs, deep floofy dirt, whatever. I love this bike (did I say that already?). There was a big, rutted downhill at the end of what you can see in this picture.



I had a great time, and the TW made it so easy for me to take on everything we came across.

Mason was a good sport, because me and my TW are not real fast.

He did say (about his KTM) "This bike isn’t made for this kind of riding."

Me: "what’s it made for?"

Him: "going fast"


There are tons more roads that we didn’t get to, so we’ll be going back. Lots of steep hills, some curves, and great views.

And the funny thing is we didn’t see another dirt bike all day, which surprised us because it’s so much more fun than the flat, straight gravel roads of most of the surrounding countryside.

So if you’re ever in western Iowa ...

umm, wait a minute ... maybe we should keep this little secret to ourselves ...

Never mind, it was a terrible place to ride, you don’t want to go there.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
Warren
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Awesome! Great pictures.

Glad you're enjoying the little TW!
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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Great stuff! Guess I'm going to have to ride over there sometime. The trusty TW sounds like it did very well (almost as well as the rider).
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:49 PM   #4
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Have you heard of Timber Ridge? When I lived in Omaha back in the late 70's/80's we used to ride there. I think it was near Castana, IA (don't remember for sure). Besides the cornfield behind our house and the river (Missouri) it was the only place to ride. At the time it seemed huge for a 14 year old to ride.

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Old 05-31-2010, 08:53 PM   #5
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Tw

I loved my TW also,,,,,
Maybe I should not have sold it......
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzuki Phil
Have you heard of Timber Ridge? When I lived in Omaha back in the late 70's/80's we used to ride there. I think it was near Castana, IA (don't remember for sure). Besides the cornfield behind our house and the river (Missouri) it was the only place to ride. At the time it seemed huge for a 14 year old to ride.

SP
Mason says he's heard of it, and that it's really nice. We'll have to see what we can find out about it. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
Klay
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Thanks for the look at the Loess Hills.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:47 AM   #8
MetalBender
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I'd have to agree that there is alot of great roads for DS' around Pisgah. You do know that the Old Home Filler Up and Keep On Truckin' Cafe you ate at is a bit famous right? The original sign is still out front. And the tenderlions are the best I've had. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4EUrTTPnKQ
After stopping in a dozen times or so we found this out.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:52 AM   #9
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I'm surprised Kjharn and I didn't cross paths with you; we were hitting the same roads on Saturday. Glad you had a good ride.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:14 AM   #10
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Cool! Looks like fun!
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamajo
Another picture from somewhere inside Kelsey Ave.

Never thought of describing a road that way, but that does fit!


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Old 06-01-2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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Great report and fine pic's. These little guys are fun.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:40 AM   #13
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Thanks for the comments! It was a lot of fun. I can hardly wait to go back!
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:43 AM   #14
Buffalo Bill
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Thumb Nice Stuff.............

That looked like great fun.....Thanks for the RR

..........Tell Mason, he should have been riding a KLR....
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamajo
Thanks for the comments! It was a lot of fun. I can hardly wait to go back!
I guess Loess is more?
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