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Old 05-30-2011, 09:46 AM   #1321
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Thursday evening a bunch of us met up for a pint or two at a pub in Ottawa. It was good to put a face and a name to the advrider pseudo names we all go by. A real mix of folks from all over Canada and the US. I was amazed at some of the distances folks had travelled. 960 km on a dr350 with only stops for fuel

































Check out how clean these bikes are













Stayed at the pub (Darcys) until about 11 before heading home for some sleep before the event started early the next morning.


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Old 05-30-2011, 10:04 AM   #1322
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Friday morning started off cold and wet. On the ride to the meetup point I watched a bike slip on the asphalt in the middle of a busy intersection...hmmmmmm.....not a good sign

Andrew (FreeThebeast) was the official organizer of the event and neither of us are big on public speaking. We met everyone at the meet spot and did a quick "safety" and "welcome" speech to everyone before hitting the road.

FTB looking...intense?




Bikes in the parking lot








Everyone hit the road at their own pace and the rally was on. The first little bit of the main goes down this decommsioned road ouotside of a town called Merrickville.






Rob and myself had exchnaged many emails over the last year about different routes, trucks and bikes. We had a chance to meet and shoot the shit for a bit and watch some folks cruise by






As predicatble it was slick. I caught up to a few guys and as I came around a corner I see a 12gs spinning on its cyclinder head and a pannier lying beside it


Ceruised through Merrickville and meet some lads ata train crossing they asked about the first tech section so I showed them the way and jumped into it. Narrow, MUDDY with fallen down tree's. Took longer than anticipated to get threw it as a big 950 doesnt like cutting therough thick bush to get around fallen tree's My house is about 300 yards through the forest from where I got myself good and stuck with no one around to help. I kept thinking well this is just going to be embarrassing if this is how far I make it....


The entrance to tech01





Meetup with some folks along the route and we rode together for a couple of hours to the beginning of tech02 (Burntlands)














Sweet gloves













Frank....didn't see you the entire event after this photo ?












Met this fellow (below) Nolan. We charged into tech02 and had a great time. Tons of water, cool rock formations, etc. Near the end I came upon a log lying across one of the water crossing. Long story short is I can't lift the front wheel of my 950 when I am in a foot or two of water Splish splash I was taking a bath Ejected from the bike and landed flat on my back in the drink...it was cold. Nolan helped me get the bike back up and running and away we went. I really enjoyed this part of the route and I think Nolan did to as he had a BIG smile on his face.


Met some more folksd after the tech02 and we followed the main for an hour or three. The trail parts of the route were very slick and made for some slow going. On a dry day you can really zip along, today was a slow crawl.


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Old 05-30-2011, 10:04 AM   #1323
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Ohhhh, that was Juames I ran into at the Coburg Gas-station!

I was smiling and nodding like I could hear what you were saying through my helmet and earplugs
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:11 AM   #1324
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One of the lads with us took a slip in the slick stuff and wrenched his shoulder pretty good, Dave hit a rock and broke his gear shift lever in half. It was about 3 pm at this point (the pre arranged bail out time) so I decided to join these two lads and head to the camp ground. This was just before California Road and the subsequent "DEEP" water that wasnt supposed to be very deep. Just for the record I have been riding through it for a few years in ALL conditions and its always been doable. Apparently the beavers were busy last week as the levels were apparently to high for most bikes I'm sure ALOT of photo's and vids were taken as the campfire stories were plentiful.










All day there was one track ahead of me. I REALLY wanted to catch that bike but travelling in a large group slows down the pace. I found out it was Boatman and he was the only one to finish the entire route on day one..including all the tech sections Kudo's to you


Quick fillup and a warm coffe in calabogie before heading to the campground.


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Old 05-30-2011, 10:24 AM   #1325
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Almost saved it!

My biggest pucker moment of the weekend... Now I remember why I got a G450X!

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Old 05-30-2011, 10:25 AM   #1326
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The bail out was set at 3pm. We told folks if you hit 3pm and you arent past this point start to head to the campground. I arrived at 4:30 thinking the place would be packed. It was raining for half the day, the trails were slick...surely many folks called it a quick one and headed to get dry and have a pint. Nope, just me There was Naomi (Beer Goddess) and one other fellow there who didnt have knobby tires and that was it, oh ya and a buddy of mine who drove a van up just to enjoy some brews with the crowd.

Hmmm.....for the next three hours or so I was very nervous. Folks started coming in with stories of drowned bikes. Not bike but drowned bikes. Corey comes in and says it turning into a gong show. he explains the water crossing is too high. He made it across but the next 5? bikes behind him sunk and he spent two hours driaing floats, etc only to see more coming at it like lemmings so he got out while he could and powered in to the campground. Crap! Do I head back (an hour away) and bring beers ? All of a sudden reports started coming in form others who were arriving that all bikes got going again When you put a route together and unleash it you hope for the best as you cannot control certain elements of it, that being said I was wondering if I was going to get lynched that night in my sleep

Cooked some grub and we sat around some campfires into the wee hours telling stories that kept getting better with each beer we consumed. The bottles of whiskey that started to get passed around perhpas put me over the edge and into a deep sleep






































I bet I didnt feel as bad as this fellow in the morning







All in all Day One was a good one I think. The campground was alright, everyone seemed stoked and happy, the rain hel off for the evening which made for some quality campfire time






Notable mention was Nolan. He was with Corey and company and when they turned in he rode on with the intent to finish the route. Showing up well after dark at the campsite and....I'll let him tell his own tale


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Old 05-30-2011, 10:27 AM   #1327
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Originally Posted by LordRJD View Post
My biggest pucker moment of the weekend... Now I remember why I got a G450X!



AWESOME
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:48 AM   #1328
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Day Two started off with a quyick packup and everyone hit the road at their own pace. The first hour or so fo the route was great. Some fun narrow roads through the forest. There was a washout about midway.






I rode the rest of the road with Boatman and we had a fun pace going for the conditions. Really enjoyed that little section There was pile up at one point behind us, something about a klr hitting the brakes, my buddy Dave on his ktm getting caught in it and gettiong hit from behind by another klr ? klr's


Heading down the paved highway there were about 15 of us, I entered the next dirt road and traveled solo for a while. Here the gps tyrack was incorrect. It showed a trail heading left but there was no trail as its about 2 km's further up the Lingham Hydro line. Not sure how that happened as the track was based ona ride Juames and myself did last summer ????? Ran into OntarioGS out there and we rode the trails into the town of Flinton and beyond to the Hastings Heritage Trail. OntarioGS bailed out and headed home as he lived just around the corner. A small beaver dam was next on the agenda. I walked it and while standing there the rain started. Looking around I thought to heck with this, I'm cold and wet and almost out of gas. Jumped the highway for a bit and found some fuel and headed the short distance to the town of Bancroft. Grabbed a Big Mac meal to go and headed to the campground at Silent Lake. A great day for me

Just after the washout in the morning














Saturday night I had a blast. Thanks to everyone and their stories and positive vibe. The drinks flowed and the prizes were given away.

Neduro, Max BMW and others through in some swag. Prizes were given to those who finished the route, took the most bails, had an epic, etc

Boatman getting a prize for finishing Friday entire route







Beers and whiskey flowed and it appeared as if everyone was having a great time. I think it was around 1:30 am when I hit the hay. Notable mention goes to my buddy Dave. When we were at the campsite I asked why he wasnt setting his tent up, he explains all of his gear (clothes, cell, tent, food, etc) was in Johnnies van and he was waiting for him to arrive. Johnny was only doing one night I explain. The REAL adventure begins when you are sitting in cold/wet gear with abslutly nothing. I'll add to it that his bike wouldnt keep running for nmore than a few miles before the carb needed draining. Drift10 (Jim) came to the rescue (THANKS JIM) and gave Dave a 101 on how to remove your carbs and they found some sludge in there that fixed things up. AWESOME job Jim Folks donated socks, pants, shirts, tents, etc to Dave and he enjoyed a relatively warm night.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:56 AM   #1329
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Well, to try and answer those questions... And keep in mind, this is coming from a guy who started out trail riding, enduros which were nasty mud bogs, fresh cut single track, etc and a Hare Scramble racing washout. I'm trying to get out of that world and into adventure riding. Needless to say, none of the technical sections really seemed very hard.

I found the first half of Friday a bit boring. From Richmond to Carleton Place, lots of arrow straight roads with 90 intersections, and much of it with slightly scary pea-gravel, and not a lot to see. The only interesting section was Scotch Line Road. I guess if this piece of the route was specifically used to highlight the history of some of the towns it passes through, that could be OK. But frankly, I'd love to see an optional bypass for the whole thing. With the rain we got, I was definitely thinking "Damn, I should have taken the truck, this sucks." But, that feeling didn't last too long.

Burntlands was a fun and interesting trail, I enjoyed that a lot. Actually, I wish I had just driven right to Carleton Place first thing in the morning, then started following the route, because I ended up missing out on lots of good stuff (K&P) because we ran out of time.

Saturday was awesome. Well, the routing was a bit off as we discussed, I think we can look at the tracks I actually used ( clean up the back tracking we did looking for the route) as I think I was one of the few who actually went on the route as it went into Lingham Lake trail, but managed to NOT actually go on the technical route. So, I have a track. Likewise, I'll have to look through my track logs and see if I have something you can use to show the bypass. If not, I can get one. It's a great piece of trail. Similar to some of the other hydro lines we ran, but just... better. It tends to have less mud and more exposed rock than the other hydro lines we used. I do question the ability of anybody to get a heavy bike through the bypass, but I was surprised by other things I saw this weekend, so who knows. The bypass has some deep water in it with large rocks in the bottom, as well as wet, slick rock climbs. I've done it on my 250F on a trail ride in September (read: dry) , but I just can't imagine getting a big bike through there.

This is the only section where I had a fuel issue. My bike typically only has about a 160km range until you are walking, and I HAD to go off-route to get fuel. There were lots of other areas that were tight, however. I know I put 7.2L in in Bancroft, and the tank only holds 7.5. I thought it was tight going from Bancroft to Silent Lake, then the afternoon loop with the technical, then down to Coe Hill, I was at 160km by that point. Really scared when the fuel station wasn't where the GPS said it was (1km further down the road). But somehow it only took 6.something L. I know I was hyper-miling it on the way to Coe Hill because I knew it was tight.

Now, that afternoon section was awesome. I think only the two of us did it. Best section of the whole weekend. It had a bit of everything. Some nice highway cruising, wicked gravel roads which were smooth with great curves, wide, and just the right type of gravel (grippy compacted crushed stone, not pea gravel). Then some mud roads, and some sloppy muddy trail, but nothing as bad as some others in that area that are just aweful. The bypass was interesting. Not too hard for me, except I was riding on an injurred knee and terrified of falling highside on my left side because it felt like my knee would just collapse if I put too much force on it. But I was also on a light bike with no gear on it. I don't know how you got a 1200 through there unless you walked it with assistance from other riders.

Ted told me about the washout on Tallan Lake Road, was worried about my fuel, so I thought I was going to have to go back to Bancroft for gas, then just burn down Hwy 62 to Madoc and then home. But, I think it was Juames that told me about Jeff Road, which I ended up using and made it to Coe Hill no problem.

Old Hastings Road was awesome. I was taking it easy since I was alone, actually wish I'd gone slower as there were lots of interesting things to see. The house just after the bridge was a fascinating Mad-Scientist-Pack-Rat-Artsy-Fartsy looking thing. I wanted to get a picture of it, but the owner was out front and I didn't know what he would think. Seemed like a nice guy though as he waved to me.

But this road kinda highlight something to me... I'd been feeling it all weekend but this really brought it home. Seems it would be pretty hard to actually do the scheduled route each day safely and legally. I'm sure people's opinions on this issue differ. I thought I was travelling at pretty high speeds much of the time, but others were going much faster, and it was definitely necessary to complete the route. Part of the problem is with the large group, and the inevitable crashes, breakdowns and socializing, etc... and nobody wanted to leave anybody behind. We did lose a lot of time there. But still... I saw particularly on Old Hastings Road, a lot of tracks well into the oncoming lane around completely blind left hand corners. I kept wondering when I was going to come up on an accident scene.

We all make our own decisions, and I'm not trying to lecture, just stating for anybody next year, don't go in expecting to complete the entire route, and you better damn well know how to navigate beyond just following the track laid out. You will have to improvise as most people did. But some people didn't do so well. I saw lots of people coming the wrong way, lost, and looking for somebody to guide them even on the easy road sections.

Which gets back to the GPS issue. Nuvi/Zuma/etc just do NOT work. You need a "real" GPS with topo software loaded.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:57 AM   #1330
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Obviously, only the muddy,rocky, deep water crossings made my video. There were some sedate parts of the ride as well . I had a great time riding with everyone I came across and learned a few things about how to use my GPS (I'll try to find the campsite by 9PM next year and not worry people... sorry!!!) kudos to everyone who put together a "World Class" experience with some real adventure. I LOVED IT



Roaming Rally, Eastern Ontario May,2011 from Nolan Watts on Vimeo.

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Old 05-30-2011, 11:00 AM   #1331
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Pics from Saturday night


Skibum (who travelled from Newfoundland for the event and Dave)





Tired and happy is the best description for the folks who stayed up late























It was well after 1 am when I packed it in and hit the hay. ANother fun day
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:16 AM   #1332
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Obviously, only the muddy,rocky, deep water crossings made my video. There were some sedate parts of the ride as well . I had a great time riding with everyone I came across and learned a few things about how to use my GPS (I'll try to find the campsite by 9PM next year and not worry people... sorry!!!) kudos to everyone who put together a "World Class" experience with some real adventure. I LOVED IT




Roaming Rally, Eastern Ontario May,2011 from Nolan Watts on Vimeo.




There are several prizes from Twisted Throttle that did not make it in the mail before the event. The best vid, best pic, best epic story, etc WILL have some swag sent to them


So far I nominate this vid as being a top nominee

Nicely put together
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:31 AM   #1333
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Wow... front page candidate stuff right there! Great shot!

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From the Old Hastings Road. What a discovery! Right in my back yard, and I was not aware of this gem!

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Old 05-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #1334
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very cool vid loved it

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Old 05-30-2011, 11:38 AM   #1335
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Hmmm.....for the next three hours or so I was very nervous. Folks started coming in with stories of drowned bikes. Not bike but drowned bikes. Corey comes in and says it turning into a gong show. he explains the water crossing is too high. He made it across but the next 5? bikes behind him sunk and he spent two hours driaing floats, etc only to see more coming at it like lemmings so he got out while he could and powered in to the campground. Crap! Do I head back (an hour away) and bring beers ? All of a sudden reports started coming in form others who were arriving that all bikes got going again When you put a route together and unleash it you hope for the best as you cannot control certain elements of it, that being said I was wondering if I was going to get lynched that night in my sleep
Oh, I almost forgot about that part. I got there with 3 other guys I'd been riding with and saw the water. I decided to walk it and it was pretty deep, about crotch deep. I've done worse on my 250F (chest deep), but the 250X is about 5" shorter, and I chickened out. Well, it didn't help that 2 of the 3 guys I were with attempted it and watered out. Then Flanny showed up behind me and said there was a way around. So, I followed him. Once they got back on route, they continued on. I decided to backtrack to the other side of the water hole and see how things were going. On the way in, there was only a single track visible coming out. I'm guessing that was Boatman. By the time I got to the water, the 3 guys I was with had just finished dewatering the bikes. There were about 5-6 other guys there who also just finished fixing their bikes, the same guys who were there when we first arrived at the hole. I asked and was told that nobody had left the scene, and nobody else had attempted the water crossing since. A few had arrived, looked at the water, and turned around. "Discretion is the better part of valor."

I am also just now reminded of what happened on Saturday to me. Well... it starts off Thursday. I had assumed I was going to take the truck due to the weather, and no luggage system for the bike, and was preparing the Rover most of the day. Sometime after noon, I looked at the forecast, and saw it seemed to be getting better. I really didn't want to be odd-man-out so I decided to take the bike after all. I still had not figured out how I was going to pack all my gear. Like a ray of sunshine from the heavens, I discovered a long lost black cordura bag sitting on the shelf in my garage. I don't remember what if was from, I think it was something for the truck or camping equipment, came with that bag that I never used for it's intended purpose. But, it was the right size and shape, so I went with it. That's why you saw that POS slung over my fender.

All weekend, that damn bag was shifting around, sagging, and getting holes worn in it from the heavy bits bouncing around inside. Well, after I got gas Madoc (the off-route part), the two guys I was with and myself decided not to backtrack to get on the Hastings Heritage Trail right away. We decided to burn up Hwy 62 until the trail approached the Hwy. Little did we know what was happening to the rest of you at that beaver dam. Eventually we found a side road off of 62 that intersected the trail and we jumped on. The other two guys loved this section of trail. Nice, easy cruising, just like being on a highway but... off-road. I almost hit a deer (I saw a total of 3 on Saturday!). We came upon a section of trail that was flooded.

Now, I mentioned to a couple of people that I travelled the length of the Hastings Trail last June on my 250X when it was brand new. Even with the slick tires on it. That was fun! So, here is the section of trail early June last year.



Wait until you see what it was like this weekend! I didn't get a picture, but the other guys did, hopefully they post it up.

So, back to the bag... We bypassed the flooded section, then jumped back on and kept going north. As you approach Bancroft, the trail turns to sand, and is all whooped out due to local traffic. At some point, my bag gave up the ghost. The guys disappeared out of my mirrors, and I feared one of them crashed due to the whoops. I see them walking around and one of them is holding a pot set that looks like mine, and another is holding the stove.... WTH? Yard Sale! Some duct tape, gorrilla tape, and careful lashing got us back on the go. I picked up another shitty black corduroy bag in Bancroft. Not a lot of options.
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