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Old 03-01-2011, 09:03 AM   #1
whitham_wannabe OP
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Little and Large mini tour.

It’s been a pretty rough winter up in the Pacific NorthWest, lots of snow, cold temperatures and few opportunities to ride. I got tired of walking outside and seeing the GS looking like this ….





What to do? Go see my mate Bondy in San Diego, that’s what! He is always carping on about how glorious the weather is down there, it is always 80 degrees apparently, and a weekend riding around in the desert sun sounds just about perfect.

One short flight later, and I am inspecting my bike for the weekend, Chris’ wife’s XT225. What a, err, cute little thing. I’m about 6’2”, so this should be an interesting experience.




Chris will be riding his GS1150, a more mismatched pair I could hardly think of. Knowing that I would have little room for provisions, I had not brought much with me, but still had to leave half of that behind.




Even my camera wouldn’t fit in the XT’s tiny panniers, but eventually, embracing a minimalist touring strategy and hiding stuff on Chris’ bike when he wasn’t looking we were ready for the off.


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Old 03-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Out on the road on our way to Julian, and the XT isn’t too bad, lots of gear changes and a little cramping from scrunched up legs, but it’s quite good fun … apart from the biting cold. This isn’t what I expected from SoCal … snow started to flurry as we arrived.




So we left again and dropped to more hospitable climes. Chris’ first track was locked. By who? Why? We will never know




On to Pinyon Canyon Trail. Hard packed sand on the way in.




The XT was starting to come into it’s own.




Though still a little small, I could touch my knees together over the seat.




The odd couple




The silver fox.




After a short while we came across the first obstacle, known as the squeeze.




Bounced the XT down, then chucked a couple of rocks in, and the big GS was down too. Chris was happy.




The trail continued on for a short while before taking a sharp turn up hill and over a couple of rocky steps out of the canyon. Chris was so happy to make the first obstacle out that he decided to have a little lie down.




And again after the second.




It should be noted that Chris made every one of the technical bits of the trail, but then the shear weight of the 1150 would drag him to a sandy grave shortly afterwards.




The final technical bit of the trail was a steep descent called the Drop off or Heart Attack Hill. Naturally, the photos flatten it out completely, but it was steep enough on the XT, let alone for poor old Bondy on the Supertanker.




The gully was tight enough that both heads were scraping on the rocks either side.




And finally, relieved at safely reaching the bottom, Chris had another little lie down.


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Old 03-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
Liberia
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XT225 looks good

Thanks for putting up the post. Looks like a nice ride. I had a XT225 for a while and, once I changed a few things so that it would actually start, it was a nice little bike. I'm 6'2" as well but it was still a fun bike.

Thanks again for posting.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:51 AM   #4
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Pretty gnarly ride for the big GS! Thanks for sharing it, looks like a fun ride
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:56 AM   #5
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Once down Heart Attack Hill, the trail still ran for quite a long way, down sandy washes and one final technical rocky climb. I came to grief taking the direct line on this one, and added some ‘character’ to the little XT … sorry Chris!




Sand is Chris’ kryptonite, but he soldiered through admirably.




By this time, I was really starting to enjoy the tiddler, it does everything that is asked of it in a cheerful and entertaining fashion, and laughed at it’s bigger brother through the sand.







The day ended, unfortunately, in a hotel, our spectacular lack of organization necessitating a 60 mile run to find fuel and sustenance. Oh well, we would camp tomorrow night FOR SURE!!
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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So the next day dawned warmish and dryish, so we looped out into the desert awhile then headed back towards SD to pick up some more trails over the hills … a mistake! We rode for a little while in the desert amid the swarming border patrol vehicles.







A couple of kind souls stopped just to make sure we were okay, and one warned us of snow up ahead. Hard to believe as a warm wind wafted over us.




A short while later, labouring the little XT up the hills and wham! It caught us out good and proper. We maintained our fake humour for a little while, and a kind motelier warmed us up with coffee.




Damn, I could’ve stayed in Seattle for this crap!




We decided enough is enough – soaked through and frozen our options were an ultimately unpleasant night’s camping, another hotel stop, or as we were close to home, a few hour run for home and a night out with friends in San Diego.

I guess we’re not that hardcore, because the latter option won out ….
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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Final day on our mini tour, and we decided to go pull some of our old bikes out of storage, pick up our mate Bertie, and go for a little ride around the local area.

Chris had his R80 and my ZX7 Streetfighter in the lock up, so we went over to swap em out.




Sadly, the fighter was a no go – couldn’t breath life into no matter what we tried. Oh well, have to slum it on the R80, I guess!




So we had a pleasant day out, watched footy at the local English pub, saw some seals ….




… some spectacular scenery …




… visited the military cemetery …




… rode around with my mates …




… and watched some parasailing.




All round a good trip, a nice diversion from the PNW, even though the weather was almost exactly the same!

Cheers!
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:07 AM   #8
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So it's your fault that I had snow at my house for the first time in a decade; you brought it with you from the PNW. Nice write up. Those gates are often closed by the forest service folks after we get heavy rains so the roads don't get too chewed up and again during fire season.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #9
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistress of the dual View Post
So it's your fault that I had snow at my house for the first time in a decade; you brought it with you from the PNW. Nice write up. Those gates are often closed by the forest service folks after we get heavy rains so the roads don't get too chewed up and again during fire season.
Yes it is, just sharing the joy! Let me know when you need some rain and I'll come down again ....
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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Great pics! Can't wait till it warms up here in the Northeast!
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:50 PM   #12
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Nice, very nice. I love the mini-panniers on the Yamaha, way cool.
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