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Old 12-27-2010, 11:26 AM   #1
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 1,250
“Easy to Moderate” 17 Mile Adventure - North Georgia

The emails started flying around our little riding group, a week or so before Christmas. “Who wants to go on an easy to moderate dual sport ride right before Christmas?” But I remind our group of the fine print: “But as is always the case on these rides, be prepared for anything”

On the way to the mountains to meet up with our group, I receive a call from our Husaberg Factory Team. One of their group is supposed to be leading our ride. The Swedes like to party, and evidently the big Viking in their group was moving slow that morning, so they were all going to be quite a bit late. He suggested that I take the group on a little warm up run to some local trails, where we have permission to ride, then we will meet up. I don’t really know the area as much as the Husaberg team leader, but believe I can handle this first part of the ride.

So, the group assembles for the ride. Spirits are high. It’s a sunny crisp December day.

We head down the country roads, and we make it to the trails, where we have permission to ride. Nice, hilly two track trails, interspersed with some challenging climbs. We are impressed with the trails and having a blast.

After one, particularly long climb up a mountain ridge, we all stop to rest for a moment.

After working up the big hills, riders started stashing gear

Thanks for the pics Shawn!

We decide that we will go a little further and then go back to meet up with the Husaberg boys. That’s when the trip took a nasty turn! J
One of our group’s trusted and respected veterans, Phil, suggested we take a trail that he had seen. He pointed it out and we took off. Fun, fun, rougher two track. We were having a blast. I was leading and a guy we call El Bezerko was right in my hip pocket. We finally came to a fork in the trail and I stopped. Somebody must have stalled or crashed a ways back, because it was just me and Bezerko. We discussed which fork of the trail to take. He said the downhill fork looked more interesting. We weren't all that familiar with the trails in this area. But looked clearly like an official trail. Said he would go check it out before the group arrived.

I waited a while on the group. When they got there, El Bezerko was still not back from the exploration run. So, we deduced that the trail must be a good one, or El Bezerko has crashed off a cliff. In either case, we better go down the trail.

At first, we were all thinking similar thoughts - wow, this is fun - a steep singletrack downhill. A little overgrown, but fun none the less. But then, it became steeper and steeper, until it was just a controlled brake slide. It went on for several hundred yards straight down the mountain. This is when it hit me that this may not actually be a trail - but some kind of water run-off gully that had formed over the years. Hmmm, wonder if there is a cliff at the end??? Finally the trial started decreasing in slope angle a little and I saw El Bezerko and his bike on a little flat spot. With a big grin, he said “I’m glad you guys decided to come on down. I’d hate to be stuck down here by myself”.

Flat spot on the downhill trail

So, we shut off our bikes and started surveying the situation. Where do we go from here? Straight ahead it looks too steep and there are some big downed trees in the way.

Surveying the straight down the mountain route. Doesn’t look doable:

Stan is one of our group’s long term veterans - a very good rider with enduro racing experience. He suggests trying to ride back up the hill. He carfully turns his bike around and makes several runs at the hill - his longest attempt is 20 yards or so. Not going to work.

Stan looking back up the hill before turning his bike around to give it a try:.

Stan, trying to make it back up the hill

El Bezerko thinks he sees an old forest road off to the side, turns his bike around, fires it up and pushes it out of the gully off to one side. We quickly lose sight of him in the thick underbrush as he goes diagonally down the hill , but we see the trees in his path shake as he bumps them and hear his bike rumble in high rpms has he bulldogs through the brush.

We wait with anticipation after his bike revs way up then shuts off. He eventually yells back up to us: “I made it to the old road, come on - follow my path, but be careful the last part it is very steep”

Michael P is closest to the new path and jumps in. I follow behind. MP is braking like a trials rider - going just inches at a time, and using small trees to help balance his bike. He finally jumps off to try and walk it down the steeper part. He lets it roll and hangs on to the bike. When the bike crashed into the old road below. He flipped over the handle bars and I saw the soles of his feet! “It’s steep alright!” he yells with a laugh.

So, we one by one, started trying different techniques for making it down the side hill to the old forest road.

Dennis and Mac, waiting their turn to go down the side hill to the old road

Mac - walking his down

We all respect the new guy, Shawn. Rides a 310 lb. Husky 610, with trials tires and goes everywhere we go with it. It took 3 or 4 of us to help him wrestle it down that hill. In three rides with us, he has broken two blinkers and his mirror, but always has a smile on his face.

Stan - and buddies showing the most used buddy technique

But, decides to do the last part on his own

Dennis - true to form, wanted to try to ride his down on his own. Ran into Michael P who was filming at the bottom and nearly knocked him into the ravine

So, now we all make it down to what Chris was calling an “old road bed”, Old?!?!?! I think it may not have been used since the 50’s as some kind of old moonshiner’s road.

After Dennis’s impressive display riding down the hill with no help, he promptly slow speed crashes into a big hole J

The first part of the old road is full of wet muck, rocks, roots and old logs. For the next 30 minutes or so, I think the group makes it maybe 50 yards at most.

Wheel sucking muck under the leaves:

Farva, in the brown coat, received the "Rookie of the Year honors, as this was his first dual sport ride ever with our group. He was riding an old clapped out XR250, that he had to kick start everytime and it was acting finicky. He never complained once, although, he called the bike a few colorful names! He made it the entire way. Hat's off to you Farva!

Whew! We are hoping the next 50 yards will be easier! J

So, now we stop long enough to realize that we are officially lost. These woods are thick and it looks like there is no easy way out. No wonder Eric Rudolf was able to evade police for so long in the forest not too far away from here.

More to come

mikem9 screwed with this post 03-15-2012 at 02:25 AM
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:44 PM   #2
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Going deep into the woods!!
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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OK, enough of this easy stuff. Where's the moderate stuff???

Hi Shawn
I ride, Therefore I Am.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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mike thanks for the invite but looks like I picked a good one to miss
Quote from Pj "if loud pipes save lives imagine what learning to ride that thing would do!!!"

quote from 4runner "but,if you really need a 80/20 , which most of us do and won't admit it,"
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:08 PM   #5
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
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We finally got everyone through the mud bogs. So, here we are on the remnants of an old road of some sort, very steep on both sides of us and thick woods and brush everywhere. According to the GPS, it looked like a road out was only a few miles away, but the challenge would be getting there. I’ve never laughed so much on a ride. Every few feet, someone was in some kind of new predicament.

Good group - not one complainer in the bunch. A lot of laughs, but we knew we had to be finding a way out or it would get serious - temps were dropping that night.

The next hour or so on the old road bed. And this was the clearest path

Crazy El Bezerko was still blazing trail, until he dropped his bike off the ledge. I think he actually enjoys this kind of thing:

Pulling his bike out

The old road would take some sharp uphill turns we’d have to help the bikes up

We went on for a ways on this old road bed and finally the woods opened up some. We thought we were home free

We were now in a fairly open section of the woods in a little canyon valley, near a creek. But as we kept going up the creek, the valley walls became steeper and closer in. As we headed up the trail, we finally ran into a steep section with downed trees. No practical way around them. We had reached a deadend.

We’d have to backtrack and find an alternate route. Someone remembered an alternate turn off about halfway back, but it went up a pretty steep hill.

More to come.

mikem9 screwed with this post 12-27-2010 at 03:22 PM
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:10 PM   #6
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Location: Milton, GA
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Thumb What?!?

All that whining and only one downhill and one mud hole? Sorry I missed it because you know that is my favorite stuff...if you could add some rocks it would be even better!
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:31 PM   #7
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Atleast you got an invite. Just kidding Mike, I had to work anyway and need to get the dualsport up and running. Looks like you needed someone to do some scouting and cutting before diving in and bushwhacking. Now tell Michael P. and Phil C. I said hello.
Originally Posted by kdscoates View Post
mike thanks for the invite but looks like I picked a good one to miss
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:32 PM   #8
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
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Crusty - we were wondering where you were? . And, yes, there were plenty of rocks for you.

Crane, Factory Frank and Coates - come on next time!

Phil C., is one of our longest term veterans in the group. He’s one of the best riders I’ve ever seen in the woods, and a heck of a nice guy. We were sitting on the side of a little hill down in the wooded valley and I was behind him on my bike. Saw a route to the right of him that I wanted to try. Had enough room to pass, I thought. Hit a log under the leaves which kicked my backend around and smacked Phil’s bike. He highsided down the hill and went tumbling. Rookie move on my part. His bike had trouble starting and continued having trouble for the rest of the day. Sorry Phil! (serves you right for suggesting the spur trail! J)

So, we all turned around and headed back for the uphill turnoff that someone thought they remembered.

[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][COLOR=white]

We finally found the alternate route turn off. And, as we had imagined, it was a very steep and long hill. Took us an hour or more to get everyone up it.

The group was spread out all over the hill in little groups of two or three riders, trying to help each other.

Can you see the third rider at the top? They are pulling a bike under a tree which has fallen across the hill.

I remember coming up one extra steep section, coming over a rise, giving it all the bike had to give and feathering the clutch on my 450. I look up and one of our riders surprises me as he is standing pointing out an alternate path because there was a big tree down further up. As a looked to the left at the alternate route, there was one rider (a good one) whose bike was pointing back downhill and stuck in some little trees. (evidently he had looped out sideways on this little detour and landed in these trees). That will get your adrenaline going.

Spotter pointing out the alternate path to riders

El Bazerko helping a rider though a tough section on the hill. Sans Helmet

About halfway up the hill, I offered Farva some free unsolicited advice about feathering the clutch to help control wheel spin and the keeping the front end down. About 30 yards later, I looped my bike big time while trying to cross an uphill log. Don’t you just love it when that happens? He said something like “I see what you are talking about”

Picking up my bike after looping it.

Finally after quite a while, everyone made it up the long hill. It eventually ran back into the original trails. It was getting late in the day so we took off towards the trucks.

Everyone was happy to make it back to the main trails

Don, is a new guy to our group. Good rider and nice guy. Was all fired up about being able to ride at pace again. Didn’t see an uphill rock and hit it hard. Sent him flying. Broke some ribs, but was a trouper about it - didn’t complain. The kind of guy I like to ride with.

El Bazerko, coming to check on Don

So, we made it back to the trucks. We left at around 10:30 am and it was now about 4:30 pm. Only 17 miles or so on the odometers. We were worn out - but a good tired. This is what it’s all about sometimes. The challenge of men and machines tackling tough terrain together. Epic day!

And, in case you were wondering about the Husaberg Factory Team, they said they went looking for us and could hear us far off at times, but couldn't find us. We found them here - just worried sick! :)

The bench racing and after ride glow at the pub was especially good that evening.

Thanks Shawn and Michael P for the pics! Much appreciated. To the group - Enjoyed riding with all you guys!

mikem9 screwed with this post 03-15-2012 at 02:37 AM
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:50 PM   #9
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Nice report!

All I can say is, if we had only been 17 miles and it wasn't dark we would still be rolling. Thanks for taking me along with the photo's Mike. I feel like I was with ya anyway.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:55 PM   #10
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Great RR. thx for the story and pics.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:23 PM   #11
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Great ride.

I've been on a few of those.

Couple years back my Buddy and I did something similar in N. GA. He was borrowing my KLX650R and I was on my KTM520. We got off the trail and ended up trail blazing for a couple hours. It started storming on us and everything got slick and muddy. It ended up being me riding both bikes up the hills as he helped tug and pull. We were both flat worn out by the time we found our way out.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:29 PM   #12
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Damn, boys!! Now THAT is an adventure...

I really wish I could have joined you that day.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:47 PM   #13
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Thank the two wheeled God's I met you after this ride.

Icelander, Twisty, Spacelord, and many more did 11 miles from 8am-2pm one day and that included the 4+ miles to get to the 2pm lunch
Yes, I'd love to try
What ever happens to be in the stable at the current time.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:04 PM   #14
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: North Georgia
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Great ride! Next time though, when I sign up for a ride with this group, remind me to pack a lunch…..and a chainsawJ

It was a team effort to get me and the husky thru the day. I think everyone in the group helped me pick up my bike at least once.
Thanks guys, can’t wait to do it blinkers and mirrors on orderJ
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:01 AM   #15
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Nice job! Good thing you had a group with you!
One time I went off the trail and slid down the mountain to the top of a 30 foot cliff. I could only go back up but my WR250f started and had no damage I only had one option and that was go back up but there as you know is no traction. My buddy did not see where I was and even after all the yelling for him I had to hike up and look for help. By the time it was over it took 3 strangers and I to get it up! The WR250f was fine but I was just glad my buddy found those guys.

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