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Old 09-13-2010, 04:55 PM   #1
drewjb7 OP
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Orange in the Greens or How many times can you screw up and still have a good time?

Day One: We don’t need no stinkin’ GPS…
(Nod to “The Commitments” for the interview idea)
Q: So, Mr. Drewjb7, how many years have you been riding then?
A: Over 40 years.
Q: And how many of those have you been doing dual-sport style riding?
A: Well, bought a R100GS about twelve years ago, took it some places it had no business going, then got a DRZ400 five years ago. Then last October I decided to do myself some real harm and bought a 2005 KTM 450 EXC.
A: With all that experience you must be able to plan a multi-day dual-sport ride quite well.
Q: You would think so, wouldn’t you?
A: Let’s get to the point. Exactly how many different ways did you manage to eff-up on your recent ride?
Q: Well, let me see…




Left Newton for Northampton in the AM. Going to let the 376C find me some dirt on the way. GPS is working fine but the XM weather isn’t. Damn. Must be that super-clever right angle cable I added.

Q: You did test that new cable before you started, didn’t you?
A: Er, no…

First rest stop. Headed for some Mass dirt. Plugged the XM antenna cable directly into the GPS (pita) but then it started working. Way cool. Can see a couple of storm cells but I’m on the northern edge, maybe a little rain but not for long.

Mass dirt

Coming out of the woods, the GPS is telling me “Route Waypoint Memory Full”. Pull over, press “Enter” and the thing shuts down and restarts again. Same drill a few more times. Try hard power down and power up, same thing again. Try jumping to the menu to delete the route but can’t get there fast
enough. Try some other stupid things that don’t work. Finally give up. Pull out the Delorme Atlas maps and head in the general direction the planned route was going to take me.

Quabbin area...

Moto Art

Quabbin Park...

Used to be a town there...

Destination for Day One was Northampton. LovelyWife goes to something called the Sports and Fitness Camp every year for a week. Basically, summer camp for grown-ups. I usually time a moto trip to visit her and then go off to get lost in the woods. After some exploring around the Quabbin, I head towards Noho. Holy crap! Miserable friggin traffic jam. After twenty minutes of crawling a few feet a minute, bike is fine but I’m melting down. There’s a right turn. I don’t care where it goes, I’m taking it.

In a quarter mile, I’m on a dirt road next to a corn field. Take a break and cool off. Follow the dirt road along the Connecticut River a ways. It dead ends but I’m recovered. The way around the traffic is twenty miles extra riding but it’s easy riding and well worth it. At one point, there’s a straight stretch of road and some slower cars ahead. Let’s see what she’ll do in sixth. Holy sh*t! This is a dirt bike?

Escape from traffic hell...

Dinner, beer, a night in the dorm with LovelyWife. End of day one
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:09 PM   #2
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:37 AM   #3
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Looks good Bring on Day 2
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
drewjb7 OP
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Orange in the Greens: Day Two

Day Two: What would you do?

Q: So, Mr. Drewjb7, you were prepared to continue your travels without the aid of a GPS?
A: Well, not exactly…
Q: What do you mean by that?
A: Well, see I have this other GPS that I left at home, an eTrex Vista Cx.
Q: You had another functioning GPS that you left behind? Why was that?
A: I thought the 376C would be OK.
Q: And the other GPS takes up a lot of space?
A: No, very little.
Q: Don’t you think it would have been a good idea to bring it along as a back-up?
A: Er, yeah…

Up at 4:30. Sure I could keep going without a GPS but damn, I like having my little eTrex when I’m back in the woods and don’t have a clue where I am on the map. LovelyWife is fine with me using her car to go fetch the GPS if I really want to. So I do. Back home by 7:00, an hour to download my routes and waypoints, take a shower, eat some breakfast, back in Noho by 10:30, on the road again by 11:30. Was it worth it? I got by for a lot of years with map and compass. It’s just more fun with a GPS. What would you have done?

KTM at college:

Programming a route or is that a track?

Leaving Noho, the working GPS doesn’t seem to know where it is. Try manual locate, auto locate, no go. Crap. 4 hours of driving to retrieve the damn thing and I’m still on the maps. I find some good Mass dirt, loop back on myself, figure out where I am on the map, check the GPS and it finally has figured out where it is!

Q: So now that you finally have a functioning GPS, how were you planning to use it?
A: Well, I had developed some routes in Mapsource that I was going to follow to explore a lot of the roads in the Green Mountain National Forest.
Q: So did you begin to do that?
A: Not exactly…
Q: And why not?
A: When I went to select one of the routes, none of them were there.
Q: Didn’t you tell us earlier you had downloaded the routes to the GPS?
A: Well, yeah, but I guess when you already have the maximum number of routes and you download new ones, it doesn’t overwrite, it just ignores the download.
Q: But surely you must have checked to make sure the downloads worked?
A: Er, no…

Weather starts turning wet, been a long day on four wheels, decide to make it a relatively short one on two.

Motel still life.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:05 AM   #5
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Brilliant m8..Keep it up
"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter -- and therefore, unsafe."

Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death. ~Hunter S Thompson

A zest for living must include a willingness to die. ~R.A. Heinlein
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #6
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Good Interview...
Sounds like this is an autobiographical self introspection?

Very educational.

I'm a New England Native and I miss the small towns and trees.
Thanks for reminding me of home.

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:52 AM   #7
drewjb7 OP
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Thanks for the comments.

Originally Posted by Questor
Good Interview...
Sounds like this is an autobiographical self introspection?

Basically a recap of my mad mental ramblings while riding.

Very educational.

I'm a New England Native and I miss the small towns and trees.
Thanks for reminding me of home.

I know what you mean. I lived in the southwest for a year and couldn't believe how green everything was when I got back east.

Day 3 up later.


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Old 09-15-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
drewjb7 OP
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Orange in the Greens: Day Three

Day Three: Can somebody tell me where they put Route 100?

Convenience store breakfast, not bad at all. Weather is still crap. Change of plans, stay on mostly pavement, head north to my brother’s place, play in the dirt tomorrow.

It’s not easy being green.

Outside of Ludlow, on 100/103. Looking for junction where 100 heads north. Not finding it. Looking for a friggin road sign to tell me which road I’m on. Go friggin forever before there’s finally a sign. 103. Damn. I’m going to Rutland. I don’t want to go to Rutland. It’s raining harder. Riding in the rain sucks. But I do have to say that the KTM doesn’t seem to care. Wet, dry, pavement, dirt, it just goes.

Wet pit stop

Rutland congestion but the sun comes out. Stop for gas. Getting better than 50 mpg. I drop my helmet on the pavement and start swearing like I just hit my thumb with a hammer. The elderly lady at the next pump stares off into space. I apologize for my intemperate language. She pretends I exist in a parallel universe that is invisible to hers. Fair enough.
I examine my soggy maps. 100 isn’t really all that far away. I can fix my mistake without too much more highway. So I do. And the weather still isn’t bad. So I can change my plan once again. Vermont dirt after all.

Can somebody please move that red car that’s messing up my “Welcome to the Greens” shot?

Bearing tree (noticed during a venture into the woods for a pee break)

Couldn't capture it in the pic but the numbers are filled in. Never saw one of these before. I have no clue.

Zen Interpretive sign.

Mist, no gorillas

Lots of this...

Rest break. Note fanny pack on top of gear...

Is that a dead animal in the road?

Er, guess not.

More wandering...

Rain finally returns and I go green again. Stop at a store near my brothers to get food and beer. Just about don’t make it back on the bike. Does somebody make a step stool that folds up really small?

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:04 AM   #9
drewjb7 OP
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Orange in the Greens: Day Four

Day Four: Into the Woods

Slow start, lots of looking at maps. Weather is gray but no raindrops. Planning a mostly dirt day, some roads I know, some new ones. Check out campgrounds and camp tonight (I hope, at last.)

Ripton Road

Route 125 has been turned into a dirt road by construction. Fine for me, white knuckles for the folks on Gold wings towing trailers.
About to embark on The Natural Turnpike. Three Harley guys looking a little dazed and confused. The least frazzled looking one waves me down.
“Do you know where we can find some gas around here?”
I look at the maps and describe how they can get out to 125. Should be some gas once they get there.
One of the other Harley guys listens to my directions. “I wonder where the hell I went wrong. At least you got the right bike for these roads.”
I wonder how much dirt these guys just rode. I wish them happy gas hunting and move on.
Vermont road signage.

FR 235. Into the woods.

Orange and Black KTM in its natural habitat.

Q: So, Mr. Drewjb7, you finally got to do some woods riding?
A: Yes, not too challenging on the KTM but fun.
Q: And how did your equipment hold up?
A: Um, well there was one minor malfunction…
Q: Would you care to elaborate?
A: At a stop I noticed the gear had loosened slightly but the bugs were coming after me pretty bad so I figured it could wait until I got back out to the road.
Q: And that’s what you did?
A: Not exactly… After a bit I kind of felt something was not right so I stopped and looked… No major damage done, retightened and added the bungee net… OK after that.
Q: So you had the bungee net with you all along and weren’t using it? Why was that?
A: Um… didn’t think I needed it…
Q: Wrong about that, weren’t you?
A: Um… yeah…



Couldn’t seem to find Moosalamoo Campground. Gotta love that name. Pulled over to look at an info board with a map on it. Met ADVRider Urban Cowboy on his XChallenge and his riding companion on her DR650. They’d been riding the Gaps. He told me the campground was further down the road which I’d begun to suspect. Took the road to the Silver Lake trail, lots of loose gravel. Clicked up the damper a couple of notches, no worries. Steering dampers are the balls. Need to get one for the DRZ.

Wildlife you ask? Not much. So I decided to stick this in here. Disclaimer: from last year on the DRZ but in the Greens (Kelly Stand Road.) If you look closely you can see Sasquatch in the background…


(Wasn't quite sure how to get a video in here, hope it works)

How far to push today? I want to camp but where? I’ve marked some of the roads where there is supposed to be campsites. I try Bingo Brook Road. Bingo!

Short road into the campsite

Lucky number 6

Camping essentials, beer and bug spray...

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Old 09-17-2010, 09:29 AM   #10
drewjb7 OP
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Orange in the Greens: Day Five

Day Five: Home
Good morning!

No motion without coffee...

Got through breakfast when it started to rain in earnest. Decided to head for home on pavement. If the rain let up I could play on the dirt some more but it didn’t. Quite amazed what a fine road bike the EXC makes and no “oh-sh*t” moments from the Maxxis Desert IT tires on wet pavement either.

Pulled over at a turn out for bladder relief and granola bar. An SUV full of family pulls over and Dad lowers his window.
“Everything OK?” he asks.
“Oh, yeah. Just taking a break.”
“That what I thought but just wanted to check.” He waves and rides off. Unsolicited friendliness. Hard to get used to when you’re from the big city.

Near Rindge NH

Home, wet, sore, safe.

Q: And so Mr. Drewjb7, in answer to our original question, just how many times did you eff-up on this trip?
A: Do I really have to count. Let’s just say a lot.
Q: And did you learn anything from your mistakes?
A: Probably not.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share with our audience (if there is any)?
A: The KTM is a surprisingly good road bike, I won’t ever begin to approach its limits off road and the Green Mountains have lots more good stuff to explore.
Q: Thank you for those profound insights. Goodnight and Good luck.
A: Same to you buddy.

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