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Old 10-07-2010, 03:49 PM   #46
Cpt. Ron
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May be. At least the crews got me at the road crossings before the train tracks, and Javier and Eric can attest that I was on the right track heading into the Pinnacles since they used my pump. From Trona to Death Valley, it was virtually impossible to cheat (but easy enough to get lost and add a LOT of miles).
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:23 PM   #47
hilslamer
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Originally Posted by notmybikemodelname
You might've sent a "manual" OK signal to someone and then not reset the tracking mode.
That's what happened to me...:(
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #48
hilslamer
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Hilslamer's perspective - KOTW, Day 2




I woke up early and layed there a while, listening to a yardful of snoring and chuckling to myself as one by one, people woke up and creaked off of the ground with comically individual groans and pops and clicks and yawns. As I rubbed my eyes and tried to improvise my own individual rise-and-shine sound signature, our host strolled amongst the sleeping bags proclaiming that the coffee was hot and ready:


I did up "camp" quick, and mistakenly left my camera on "review", so the screen killed the rest of the battery. I replaced it but got distracted with breakfast and bike checks and the like, so no more "camp" pics from that morning...duh. It was pretty quiet though, as everyone was clearly tired and sore and some hungover a bit despite a n hour or more later start. Armed with some real breakfast, real rest, real goggles, proper toolkit strap routing, and a day of practice riding the 990 fast again(it's been a street-tired commuter for the past month or more, been riding other toys), I was determined to have a better day of riding today. I filled all three tanks and headed to the start for the day...it was a little chaotic as to how to start, but since it was available we used an abandoned patch of pavement adjacent to the start of the track. I launched, grabbed a couple of gears, made the requisite 90 degree turn on to the first GPS track of the day and popped over the cattleguard onto a sandy two-track. Knowing that sand won't waste tires, I wicked it up and let 'er rip - better than any coffee for a morning pick-me-up!

Following some powerlines, having to turn around once to go around a straight-sided arroyo, Garmin served up one of Rob's tracks hot and fresh - right up the side of "The Hill." It was really loose, partially terraced for erosion control, and the only visible line had about a ~70 degree dogleg to it right where the steepness started. One run, and I quickly discovered that it was also really loose up there, and even softer in the terracing...the 990 with a MEFO Exlporer was a poor choice for this type of hill; they just will no climb without a really aggressive rear tire...I think it could have been done, though...just not with so many miles ahead and so much risk Two more failed but temptingly-close-to-the-top attempts for me and the crowd of other riders that were gathering at the base, as well as the ones with their bikes strewn up the hillside from attempts at the summit, had me looking for alternate ways around. Heinrikbuus rolls up on his XR650 with a full knobbie on the back and crawls right up, as does Crawdaddy on his trials-tired WR250F. Humph:




Rev Kiecker and Johnny_5 and I wandered around a bit, but it was plain that we needed to backtrack to I-15 and pound pavement around this short-but formidable section. So we did, with what I would estimate was a 20+ minute time delay as a result:




Once back on course, we were under some massive powerlines with huge towers that led to the horizon and beyond...but if you zoomed in on the GPS track, there were a few squiggles that probably had to be negotiated at below the 70-80 you coul dhold whil e you could see ahead. I passed a couple of people, and then relaly wicked it up to make up som etime on the leaders. And then promptly blew past the turn OFF of the powerline...and rode a mile or more before realizing that this was a lot of fun but I was not on track at all. Duh, and not for the last time today.

Once I backtracked, and passed the same folks all over again(I could see them chuckle as I went by), I really let the LC8 sing and made some really good time on the big, wide roads. BY then it was getting obvious who was ahead: three or four dustclouds loomed way out on the horizon, mocking me.

After waeving all over this huge plateu, and scaling the catwalk road down the face of a pretty sizeable cliffband, the road flowed up into what looked to be a box canyon. I had put some time on my fellow riders defeated by "The Hill" so I took a pic at the top, looking back down the "box" canyon:

But alas, there was a rocky climb out, and then the same descent right down to a checkpoint and right onto pavement into Mesquite.

In Mesquite, I gassed up again, removed my outer jacket because I was hot, and refilled my drink bladder with all the fluids I'd lost wrestling my bike off of "The Hill" three times. Riding through Mesquite and back towards what looked like dirt, I saw a truck marked "Ranger" and one of the support crew chatting with the happy-green-jeans chick that was clearly wondering why all these crazies on big huge bikes were heading off into the desert. I wove away in an "I don't know who you are..." kind of way, thinking maybe they were getting busted or something..only to be waved back and reminded to keep the dust down near the houses adjacent to an open patch of desert that the GPS track headed across.

I knew that eventually on this ride, there would be a set of whoops, somewhere. With the abundance of OHV's anymore, heavily used trails and roads just get them - they are the result of long-travel suspension, big hp, and aggressive riding on soft terrain. And KTM 990 adventures just don't like them, especially with short-travel suspension. And I know this, so I proceeded to ride them slowly but dilligently, knowing I could make up the time when they ended with motor and balls and powerslides.

And they ended, for as far as I could look in front of me at the time, and so I wicked it up again. Only for the ground to soften again, and the whoops get proportionately deeper. And as I slowed a bit and looked ahead, I noticed Rev Keicker stopped in them...taking a picture? Nope, picking himself up. You just don't haul a 990 down that fast from any speed, in the dirt, and this was no exception...three good swaps and on the last one I was out of travel to the steering stop...and, crash. Rev is fast on the camera - I got up and took my helmet off and smiled for it:




That was probably my worst crash ever on my 990, and I will forever now respect whoops more than ever on that bike. Note to self:It is NOT a Super Enduro, or a dirt bike. No really bad damage other than a crushed overflow tank, broken blinker or two and a rung bell, on my part. Yank the bars back straight, remind myself that I'm not even halfway for the day, and to slow down...

After stitching all over the desert some more, some at warp speed, we hit a bit of pavement again on the way out of BeaverDam, AZ and then past another checkpoint and back on the dirt. More dirt, more turnoffs, and eventually to a very strangely made road...with the highest denstiy of off-camber, blind-rise, cliff-at-the-edge turns I have ever ridden. And eventually, one of them bit me:


As the front wheel slid off of the road, I caught pothole there just right that popped the front end up right when I needed it to just dig in and furrow and stop me...and down the hill I went. I honestly though I was just gonn be able to ride it out down the hill, but quickly realized that there was a sizeable band of rocks/cliffs below me...but that a bush and rock I was headed for was going to stop me anyway. Me AND the bike, more importantly. ANother shot, from about 90 degrees from the last one:




RAZR, YZlvr and Rev Kiecker came along in a group and I waved them down...we teamed the bike right back up the hill, and I surveyed the damage. the entire headlight/instrument cluster was shifted about 1.5 inches to the right, and the tripleclamps were dragging the fascia on the inside...and it wasn't going to budge by the looks of it. So I thank everyone, enjoy the scenery, suit back up and ride away even more cautiously.

Next was some climbing: smooth mountain roads, with some great scenery:


Another bit of pavement, past a couple of reserviors...and a stop in Enterprize UT. Tired and a little kooky from the swapper in the whoops, I stopped into the local deli and got some real food and a drink, and resigns to just finish today...just finish.


Then, the aproach to the climb into Brian Head, UT. Bounding across the prarielands:


And then some steep roads, intot he aspens:



By this time I had resigned to just finish today, so I stopped and took some landscape shots too:


I think I rolled into the lodge there 9th or so, with my tail between my legs and a very crooked bike:



Of course the beers came out and we all sat around and told stories, etc:



But honestly, I was ready for a shower and margarita and a bed. I don't crash a lot, and two hard ones within the span of a couple of hours had my confidence a little low. And, I don't like fixing bikes in the field. Things would seem better in the morning, I'm sure.


Cross-country was my roomie for the night:

and just as soon as he gave me a key I started up the stairs with my bag o'clothes.


Dinnertime rolled around and the group carpooled up to the local Mexican joint for dinner:













Our fearless leader speaks of the days antics, and briefs us on the schedule for the R&R day:



And back to the hotel for some drinks by the pool/jacuzzi:


And true to the day's luck, I staggered back to the room to crash and realized my key was missing...back at the pool, where I had gone for a swim earlier to practice my unsunchronized swimming, there it was:

Tomorrow will be a welcome day or BR&R&R(Bike Repair and Rest and Relaxation, in that order!).
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:26 PM   #49
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Hey Tim, you see any other crash marks there? I'm pretty sure I bought that turn too. Mean mofo, one of the half dozen occasions I saw jesus on this ride

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Old 10-07-2010, 07:36 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Broken Spoke
Hey Tim, you see any other crash marks there? I'm pretty sure I bought that turn too. Mean mofo, one of the half dozen occasions I saw jesus on this ride

This was the section I told alot of you about that just comes out of nowhere and bitch slaps you if you don"t pay attention
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:47 PM   #51
RAZR
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video soooon
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:57 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by notmybikemodelname
This was the section I told alot of you about that just comes out of nowhere and bitch slaps you if you don"t pay attention


This is right around the area where I bent my bar mounts real bad!
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #53
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This is right around the area where I bent my bar mounts real bad!

pebbles on top of ice is what this road was.

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Old 10-08-2010, 03:32 PM   #54
xrjohnny
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still dreaming of 2 track

This was seriously fun! Great terrain, people, tracks, weather, food, accommodations (Javi's and Brian Head) and experiences! I learned so many things about me, my bike, GPS nav, etc. It was so rough in some areas that I *welcomed* long stretches of deep sand. Rob's routes were just a bit evil, perfect to keep us monkies in line. Since I was crazed just trying to keep up, I only got off a few pix. One of my fav's is attached.

Once again, thanks to all the support crew: you guys made me feel like royalty even if I was running last!

See ya next year!

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Old 10-08-2010, 04:12 PM   #55
Cpt. Ron
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Cpt. Ron's prep and Day 1

Holy Shitballs!

Thatís how BrokenSpoke settled my nerves on the starting line at dawn on Day 1. It made me laugh and made me realize we were all feeling this. It allowed me to play around a bit myself, acting like Hawkeye Hillbilly with my legs twitching and that distant stare. This was going to be good. This is what weíve waited for. This is what we paid for. And now weíre here. Come on, letís light this candle!

I almost didnít make it myself. I had planned for months to have the bike ready weeks ahead of time. To have all of my stuff packed the weekend before departure. That never happened. I was still repairing the bike the weekend before, and packing up shit the morning of departure. And thus, I forgot stuff. But that wasnít the near deal breaker. It was the idiot in the Explorer going north on South Kelso Valley Road looking at the scenery instead of paying attention to the road. Lucky for me, he swerved back onto his side right before our front corners would meet. Shit, all this way to be taken out by a cage. Fuck me.

Tuesday evening is a blur of activity. People are running late, nobody is really in charge, and where the hell is Rob? Iím not surprised. This is an inaugural event. Iíve got stuff to pack, my new MoJavi Bag to mount and tracks to load. After all of that is done, dinner is consumed and people are hitting the hay, Iím still up for a couple of hours memorizing the route in my mind and writing notes for my roadbook holder. I was nervous of relying solely on a gps, so not only did I memorize most of the route and wrote down notes, I had a backup gps in my backpack. Yup, belts AND suspenders. But this was part of my master plan.

I consider myself a decent rider and can get through just about anything. But I donít think Iím the fastest or smoothest. I have endurance and drive and know how to fix my own bike. And I can navigate well with the gps. I knew that that some of these guys will be much faster than me. So my plan was to ride smooth, donít crash or get lost, and to minimize my stops. Thatís one thing I learned doing a Saddlesore 1000. Every stop adds minutes to the ET, even just to pee. If you have to stop, do it on a slow section or an intersection where you have to slow down anyway. And try to plan your gas stops ahead of time.

We take off down the hill from Trailtrickís place. The sun is starting to come up, there are several riders ahead of us, and we have a slippery road to navigate in the dust and I have a front heavy load of fuel. Lovely. I talk to myself as I ride. Ride the bike, Ron! Smooth Ron! Stuff like that. It helps me to get out of the moment and get the big picture. You need that for a trip like this. This section with that guy in front of you is a small part of ride, so take your time and ride smoothly. Hero moves early in an event like this can take you out of the overall if it doesnít work in your favor.

After getting on a true trail, people start to get their rhythm. The big bikes are going slower due to the turns and sand. The lighter bikes are shining at the moment. We hit our first navigation problem at a locked gate. People wandering everywhere. I trust no one. I look at the terrain, remember where weíre supposed to go, and make a decision. Nobody follows (at least not for a while). I see the first checkpoint at the highway. Cool beans. Back into the dirt, I see some dust ahead, confirming what my gps tells me. And then thereís a headlight coming towards me. They say itís the wrong way. OkaaaayyÖ

Not really. The trail doesnít follow the gps track exactly, but weíre going in the general direction. This is desert riding, so just make it work. The misguided riders pass me back on an adjacent trail, and Iím on their tail. Oh, thatís Johnny5. Oh, sheís pulling over (with her first flat). Sheís got it covered and I continue on. Dropping into a small canyon that I remember from my planning session, I make the left towards Garlock. And thatís where Henrikís blows past. Great. Bop along on some more sandy tracks, seeing some misguided tire tracks and drop down to another highway crossing with another checkpoint.

Parallel the highway, then traintracks for a while, it appears that many miss the turn north to follow the highway. Fine by me. By this time, weíre strung out pretty good, so thereís little dust to eat. Just ride your ride. Heading into the Pinnacles, Iím getting worked pretty good on the whoops. Iím in shape. It just happens to be that round is the WRONG shape for this ride. I just roll the whoops and continue, reminding myself itís a small part of the ride. Thereís lots more to come.

Trailtrick and YZLver are stopped in the heat of the sun with a flat at the China Lake Road crossing. They ask for my pump. Iím relieved to take a break from the whoops, but worried about the lost time. Oh well, karma can be a bitch if you donít pay up front. While Javier pumps away on his split spare tube, I take advantage of the break to ask Eric to grab my sunglasses out of the backpack. A few more minutes and others start to pass. Crap. A second tube later, and my pump returns to my bag and Iím on the way to Trona. Fill the tank to the rim, buy some water and refill the water bladder (using a nifty trick so I donít have to remove the backpack.) Within 7 minutes Iím on the road again.

The escape route is not someplace to have a full 6.125 gallons of fuel between your legs, especially when the gas cap leaks. Lots of rocks, lots of bouncing. No matter, keep riding. The heat will only get worse before it gets better. By this time, Iím all alone, no dust in sight ahead or behind. Crap those guys are fast.

I finally take time to take my first pic looking down into the Panamint Valley.




The babyheads going into Panamint Valley were loose, and trail was tight. Not a bush or tree in sight, but lots of rocks. Come on Ron, keep it in second, keep rolling. Donít stop. Many more miles to go. At the top of Mengel Pass, here comes Javier and Eric. Shit, how long have they been tailing me? Theyíre soon gone and Iím by myself again going down Warm Springs Canyon. This is familiar territory to me, so Iím not worried about navigation. The heat on the other hand, is worrisome. I make an executive decision to take a stop at the spring to douse myself with water, eat some food, and drink plenty.



And this is after feeling better. My wife said I look like shit. Thanks hon. From here, itís a trudge to Pahrump. I keep the speeds mostly legal on the asphalt, but once out of Tecopa and on that wonderful dirt highway heading east, I start to open it up. Low and behold, I see dust clouds across the dry lake bed ahead of me. Hey, maybe I can catch themÖ.



Yeah right. Maybe at the gas station. I fill up again and do the water trick. Iím back on the road in less than 8 minutes, heading toward Wheeler Pass. What a fun road going northeast. Curvy and banked, this is a road Iíd come back to ride again. I catch Javier and Eric again due to a missed turn, but wave them forward. No need to make them work to pass me again. That will be the last I see of them until Moapa. Going down the east side, I catch the dude on the XR400 (sorry, I forget your name). He appears wore out, saying his bike stalled. But he waves me on. The turn to the powerline road was a bit interesting with the prison right there, but I didnít stick around long enough to find out for sure. Just go. And go I did. Right into one of the washouts. Holy shit that hurt. We're talking real flying W. I wonder if the truckers on the highway got a good laugh. At least the fuel load is reduced.
Once on the highway, itís a drone. God I hate this. Iím not geared to go real fast, and I donít want the attention. And my ass hurts. And Iím hot. And Iím hungry. AndÖ.Shut up. Just ride. OK, Iíll sing to myself. No, donít do that. Youíll only end up with a Sesame Street song stuck in your head for mile after mile. And then I miss the exit. Just take the next one. What a clusterÖ..I swear I lost ten minutes just with that rigmaroleÖ.

With my planning, Iím able to pass the gas in North Vegas and head straight for the dirt. The RR crossing had me confused until I saw two others on the other side. OK then, my gps isnít wrong. One of them is Baja Joe, fixing his taillight. Me and the other take off across the desert looking for the right road. We find it and take off. Not soon after, my front goes flat. The autopsy shows the inner bladder of my Tubliss system was punctured, most likely from a cactus I ran over just after the RR tracks. I wave them on, Iíve got it handled.



After cursing and working for 20 minutes, Iím back on the trail. And not another rider in sight the whole time. Kind of eerie. Hereís where I claim Mighty Mouse status. While the others took the highway (as Rob intended), I follow the powerline road that parallels the highway just to the south for quite a few miles. I notice that no one else rode here. So I had the silt all to myself. At least two miles of it. Whatever, this a dualsport ride, Iím going to ride dirt damn it. Back on the highway for a bit, then the final turn to the south (and a little more sand) before the end in Moapa.




Eleven hours door-to-door, and off the bike only five times (two of those for gas). Yeah, Iíll take a beer. And a bag of ice please, ma'am. My knee is killing me. Oh that's right, I've got to change tires and wheels. Aw come on, do I really have to? I'm tired. I just want to lay down for a little bit. Just a little bit....
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:53 PM   #56
notmybikemodelname OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt. Ron
Holy Shitballs!

Eleven hours door-to-door, and off the bike only five times (two of those for gas). Yeah, Iíll take a beer. And a bag of ice please, ma'am. My knee is killing me. Oh that's right, I've got to change tires and wheels. Aw come on, do I really have to? I'm tired. I just want to lay down for a little bit. Just a little bit....
Very Nice!
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:57 PM   #57
herrhelmet
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Send me your vids

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herrhelmet screwed with this post 10-08-2010 at 06:04 PM
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:48 PM   #58
NSFW
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nice artwork!

any trailers or sneak preview?............


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Old 10-08-2010, 05:53 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by h8chains
nice artwork!

any trailers or sneak preview?............


Airborndad is still splicing the trailer together. He had to cut it up in the middle of Trona Wildrose road. And you saw the best sneak preview on SpotWalla.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:05 PM   #60
herrhelmet
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Airborndad is still splicing the trailer together. He had to cut it up in the middle of Trona Wildrose road. And you saw the best sneak preview on SpotWalla.

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