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Old 07-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #16
HighFive
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Soon enough, we finally got moving up the trail. Everything out here is "UP" as I'm soon to learn. Two miles in, Cyborg has a Senior moment. I have to sit awhile so he can go back to Ground Zero and retrieve his Camelback.



Aaah...here he comes!



Ok....up up & away....let's go! What's that... You forgot the tire pump. Well, go get it Captain...



Aah....here he comes (again)!



Ok....up up & away....let's go! What? Say again...? You forgot to put the Forest Service Permit on your dashboard.

Hhhmmm....naughty boy. I say "let's ride!"

And its all "uphill" from here on.





Kind of like a jungle around here. The trails are real steep, and real loose, and keep getting narrower at every turn.



Don't know where those "fire roads" went, but I'm liking this. Starting to remind me of the Rainbow Trail in Colorado. The slope is steep and the penalty for a right turn is...maybe...death! My competitive juices are beginning to flow.





And this was the "easy stuff". This even looks steep in the photos, don't it? Yeah...it was. But I never took a point (put my foot down).

Here's Captain Rainier on top.....trying to figure out where we were (or weren't).



I had been on point, and he thought we were in the wrong place!

Now, I don't know about you, but there were trails going everywhere....and I just kept picking the ones that went "UP". How on earth could this be the wrong place? Here's a 180 degree view...judge for yourself.







But Captain Marble is still trying to figure it out...



Even calls a buddy to get us "un-lost". We had Cell Coverage at this spot! Secretly, I'm hoping & praying we can stay "Lost" the rest of the day. A huge bald eagle flew right by me at this spot. Ho-chi-momma!!!



HF

p.s. Shouldn't the guy wearing "Blue" pants be riding the Blue bike? At least, I thought so...
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HighFive screwed with this post 07-22-2010 at 06:38 PM
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:05 PM   #17
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SWEET TERRAIN!!! That looks so fun.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:38 PM   #18
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Yeah, yeah, so I had a very distracted day, not usually THAT forgetful but at least the 3rd time back we needed to anyway, coming back from a 16 mile up and back on "unpublished" trails. At least it was nice trail.


HF dodges the bushes and trees













Back on the published trails again. We take a break.


Wonder if HF likes the area?











Most pix were at rest breaks, HF poses




Looks around at the panorama of the Devils Gulch area as we keep heading UP and UP



North


East


SouthEast



Next UP...



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Old 07-22-2010, 07:21 PM   #19
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You know the trail is narrow and the terrain is mighty steep when one foot is on the trail and the other is up on the wall. Take a close look at that last photo above.

I'm telling you this was some of the most radically vertical terrain I've experienced. It was like a constant hillclimb that had no end. Warning: you do NOT want to blunder and fall off these trails. A few times, I stopped to survey a hairpin switchback and could almost touch the trail above me with my hand.

So, the moral of the story is "Don't Screw Up". There will be little forgiveness offered by these mountains. The "Pucker Factor" is probably a bit high, for most. Occasionally, there are washouts that you have to hop across. Just don't miss that 8" wide landing! The downhill side of the trail just crumbles away.....and there ain't nothing below it but 1,000 ft of base jumping!. It could get a little intense....sometimes.





Don't be deceived by those bushes on the downhill side. There wasn't anything beneath them but the 75 degree slope for 1,000 ft or more. About same angle as the dirt wall on the uphill side. Kind of place you sure don't want to glance downhill (taking your eye off the trail) while you're riding.



What the heck were we doing up here anyway, Cyborg. Geez....I've got a daughter camped out in Seattle waiting for me to return...ALIVE!

But honestly, I loved it....every crazy thrilling foot of these trails. I was having a grand time of it. I've decided now, this is definitely more harrowing than most parts of the Rainbow Trail (if you need a reference point). Wow-wee-wow Wow!

HF
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HighFive screwed with this post 07-22-2010 at 07:53 PM
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:58 PM   #20
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We finally cruised into this spot for an overdue lunch break.



Captain Altitude needed more oxygen....to think about what else he forgot today!.



HF
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyborg
HF got back to business setting up the WRR. Honest HF, I was, err, uhm, too busy before you arrived to get the setup done.

You kiddin' me? That's all it takes to get a HighFive tuned suspension? Hey, HF... next time you're passing through Memphis forget meeting for lunch. We're going RIDING!
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:18 PM   #22
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Well now HF, glad you were impressed with the trails. I should tell you that those were the moderate trails in the area, medium on the scale, almost 2-track eh? Remember you didn't want to be beat up or die on the ride.

We didn't ride Devils Gulch trail or even worse, Mission Ridge - those have serious exposure and cliff-penalties. We can do those next time you're up here.

So, from HF's thumbs up at Red Hill intersection I follow him to a ridge run then






to a scenic lunch spot we discovered rounding a corner, getting near 5000 ft





We had a nice view down the hill from where we were sitting.

HF says hey go down there to that big rock and ride that back up...
yeah sure, waaay steeper than it looks, I think not, unless I was on a trials bike.







Now for the scary part, lunch... I had a measly handfull of energy bars for my meal, Clif bars, etc.

HF on the other hand pulls out gourmet fixin's from his pack and proceeds to whip up a fresh sandwich right there trailside, condiments and everything.





then Mountain HF Chef looks at me smugly and with disdain for my meager fare








and then...... WATCH OUT!



Now THAT's a scary sight!

Krabill might also know the fear of getting between HF and his sandwich, after camping with him before... even the bears run,
and you know HF always see's a bear, more on that later.



Livin large on the Cascades trails, I'm tellin' ya.

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Old 07-22-2010, 10:30 PM   #23
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High Five mentioned he had never ridden a KTM EXC 200 before, so I let him have a go at it after lunch. Notice the Giant Loop Mo-Javi on the KTM. I didn't even notice the weight on the bike. Tucks in close, rugged, doesn't get in the way and waterproof. I like it.











I then tried to keep up with the heavier (almost EVERY bike is heavier than a KTM 200) but very capable WR250R...
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyborg
Krabill might also know the fear of getting between HF and his sandwich, after camping with him before... even the bears run, and you know HF always see's a bear, more on that later.
Actually . . . I'm usually the one screaming (okay - whining) for a lunch stop
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:24 AM   #25
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Me too. Looks like a beautiful riding area. Does remind me of the Rainbow trail.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:33 AM   #26
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Dude....even I wouldn't ride a Trials bike "down there & back"! It was an 80 degree slope down to that rock with a free fall drop just past it.

HF
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:54 AM   #27
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After lots of wrenching tweaks, I finally seemed to get Cyborg's WRR suspension & geometry dialed in muy muy better....she would actually hold a straight line now. I guess since I hadn't fallen off a cliff face and had been able to keep a decent pace, Captain Orange suddenly decides he wants to turn Blue.

Now, I must admit, that the Yamaha WR250R is my all time most favorite bike in the whole world! And, while Cyborg's stock suspension is sadly inferior to my "Go Race" version, his motor is oooo-la-la! Listen what I'm telling you....alll WRR owners. Smooth as butter off bottom, no FI snatch, no herky jerky, no hesitation.....and a terrific pulling power curve. I simply could not get over how nice this WRR motor ran. We meticulously compared mental notes of the mods. Cyborg has performed all the standard "HF mods" which I have documented at WWW.WRRdualsport.com.

The only difference is the FI Tuner. He has a PCIII version instead of the FMF unit. And whatever "curve" he is running, is spot perfect in every way. Makes the motor feel like a different bike....in a real good way. Its just fantastic. Enough so, I'm gonna order one for myself, install his curve, and see if I get the same result. Stay tuned over at my WRRdualsport.com site.


Enough commercial....back to the trail which surprisingly continued "UP".












We stop up here for a rest (already), and Captain Blue is explaining how much harder the trail has become. Apparently, the terrain has suddenly changed and we are now officially riding "much harder" trails. I was thankful for the All Points Bulletin regarding this issue, because I had let my guard down at this point. I honestly thought the trail had become much easier. I didn't take any Points here, but Cyborg is dabbing all over the place. I had to score him a "3" in this section. But I thought wise to keep that to myself (at the time).....seeing how he was my fine host for this grand adventure and all.

Now, I've ridden a lot of nasty high mountain hairpins in my day. But they are usually on the "inside" of the mountain turn. There's a whole new breed of them lurking in these here hills. The hairpins go around the "outside" of the turn. And there ain't nothing off the edge of the trail....except a few smiling flowers and lots of loose shale.









I was never sure if Cyborg would still be on the trail or not, when I got around these turns....seeing how he was on such a big heavy street bike like that.....and the trails had got so "much harder" now. Like I said earlier, "no right turn"....kind of reminds me of Travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus and the sign he has next to his training pit (if you saw that one). Careful now...its a mile below!

Revelation is something you always knew, just never realized. This turn is where two significant things happened: #1) I realized this KTM 200 EXC 2-stroke is my all time most favorite bike in the whole world!


HF
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HighFive screwed with this post 07-23-2010 at 11:11 AM
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:36 PM   #28
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Dabs!? I should tell you that HF is a long time trials competitor, so he tracks that kind of thing. Yes the trails became harder because I had just gotten off the lightweight "cheater"-bike KTM and back on the significantly heavier WRR with stock suspension. I did sit down and take dabs as I was forced into first gear even at 12/47 on the WRR, to claw up steep loose/rocky hillclimbs, where on the KTM200 I would have just surfed right up them standing. The KTM also had fully worked MotoPro suspension and Scotts damper, so it was as sweet as it gets for tight single trail. However, you would never want to ride a KTM200 very far on paved roads, whereas on the WRR you could ride tough trails all day, with more effort of course, then ride 3 hours home and be reasonably comfortable the whole time -- therein lies the beauty of the 'lil WR250R.



That being said I couldn't get HF off the KTM EXC!






A little more riding and we passed some interesting rock formations






We then reach our high point. There was more UP to be had, but due to time constraints we had to turn back for the day






In this picture on the horizon you can see the far desert country on the East side of the Columbia River from here.



That's another 45 minutes east on the paved road, and there you have rocks, sand, sagebrush and heat!





Back to our stopping point, HF looks happy





and looks around a bit










On the other side of our perch, I point out Mt. Rainier










The required bike shot, with steep cliffs falling off on several sides.







A really good ride so far, perfect weather too. No trail racing, just enjoying the day and the ride.







About this time I start whining that I'm older than HF and tired and need that light KTM to get back down the mountain. HF's not having any of it, but since they are technically my bikes, he has to give in...
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:05 PM   #29
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I remember riding with another trials guy one time and he was ribbing one of the other guys about putting his feet down. His reply was "they're my feet, I'll put em down if I want to".
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:11 PM   #30
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That's what footpegs are for
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