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Old 08-16-2013, 03:19 PM   #151
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I've been reading Zina's version of the report too. It makes for twice the reading and two different perspectives. I like it. More people need to do that

Also the shot of her Wayne and their pooch on the Ural could probably single handedly sell hundreds of Urals
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:13 PM   #152
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Been reading Zina's RR also and saw the video of you flying the chair with her in it. Good for you. Not many people get to experience "THE RIDE". Always happy to see a group of riders get together and enjoy themselves.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #153
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Fantastic RR!

Favorite quote of the RR so far:
Originally Posted by rebelpacket View Post

Peace and Love will get you only so far, gas and tires get you the rest of the way.

Also great photography. These are a couple of my favorites, definitely front page worthy!

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Old 08-17-2013, 03:08 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by rebelpacket View Post

Her smile says it all!

Front page material!

Originally Posted by Ginger Beard View Post
Motorcycling has become something where a bunch of terrified cunts wont so much as ride to the corner store without wearing a Storm Trooper helmet and covering themselves in dayglow Nancy suits.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:24 PM   #155
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Day 16

When I first planned for this trip, I thought “Oh, I’ll just camp everywhere, all the time”. What a stupid thought. The regenerative qualities of a hotel room are amazing after a wet day in the dirt.

I took the early part of the morning to do a little service. I replaced the air filter with a fresh one, and cleaned dirty ones with some gasoline from the jerry can. Oil levels in the engine, transmission and final drive? Check.

While waiting for the cleaned filters to dry in the sun, Wayne and I conversed more about world problems, motorcycles, and how to fabricate a burrito-only diet. We seem to find all sorts of things to talk about, and I've really enjoyed Waynes perspective on things.

Brimming with motel waffles, coffee, and the promise mountain passes, we set out from Salida on US-285.

Didn’t take us long to taste the dirt today. Just 8 short miles to the start of Marshall Pass. Another railroad-grade road, still damp from yesterday’s storms, we rallied up it in close formation leaving wide tracks of churned dirt.

Pulling strongly on the railroad grade in third gear, the Ural seemed oblivious to the altitude we climbed. I only had to downshift for a few rocky washouts and sharp turns.

Nearing the summit of Marshall Pass, things opened up a bit, revealing the land around us. Lola did not want to miss any views.

Despite my undying love for Montana, I must admit that Colorado has been the most scenic portion of our trip thus far. The density of these mountain ranges is hard to comprehend, and some of the roads that go through them are the best we’ve seen yet.

Another day, and another crossing of the divide. I left a little human-filtered coffee for the Atlantic, while Lola donated some of her own to the Pacific.

Shaded, twisting railroad grade awaited us down the other side of Marshall Pass. Some of the bordering aspen through here made “Aspen Alley” in Wyoming look insignificant. Riding through here in the fall is something I surely need to do.

Just miles and miles of beautiful road through aspen forests. You can keep your exotic beaches and water parks, just give me some railroad grade through the rocky mountains.

The hotel room last night revived Lola’s spirits a bit too, standing up and leaning into the unending corkscrews of the pass. Ever wonder what the ride is like for Lola? Imagine standing on all fours in the back of your buddies aging pickup truck while careening around these roads.

Near the bottom of the pass, near Sargents, CO, the road opens up quite a bit. Threading through valleys with a long lines of sight; the cherry on top of a perfect moto morning.

After a bottle of the most expensive grapefruit juice I’ve ever had, we left the overpriced country store and set out for La Garita, rolling on pavement for a short while before picking up county roads.

More beautiful, beautiful, dirt roads for the start of our afternoon.

I can not appropriately express in words, how sublime the feeling is humming along these roads. With a variety of bends, sights and views through these valleys, I quickly lost track of time, mileage and any other form of measurement.

I sensed Lola was feeling the days good vibes as well. She started looking through the turns, leaning into each turn with eagerness. Sometimes when I look over at her right before we enter a turn turn, her little nub-for-a-tail wags furiously for a second or two, until we start the turn-in.

We made excellent time through the Rio Grande on these roads. The landscape had gradually changed from the damp, heavily wooded forest over Marshall Pass, to a more desert oriented landscape.

Greenery still abounds, though the patches of brown, crispy vegetation are already starting to spread. Strange, unpredictable rock formations seem to jump out of the ground all along the road, like nail-heads on a well-weathered deck.

Cool mountain temperatures, makes for very comfortable riding. That said, the UV index is off the charts whenever the sun breaks through the occasional cloud. This is a perfect time for beards; Natural sunscreen for the face. Sadly, not all beards are created equal. Those of us in the un-equal side have to slather on sunscreen a couple times per day.

I have a personal fetish for these faded USFS signs. Somehow the new painted metal signs don’t properly convey the same remote and rugged feeling as the forests they adorn. Signs like these, look right at home.

We’d often leap-frog each other throughout the day taking photos, biohazard breaks and setting our own pace. Kept down the dust inhalation for mammals and motorcycles alike, as well as providing each of us with our own individual experiences of the trip. Sometimes that aspect can be lost in group trips, but thankfully not here.

We exited the Rio Grande national forest, and rode through a gorgeous canyon for several miles on our way into La Garita. Hellgate was especially impressive; big, black and grey rock jutting up in all directions.

I quietly pondered how many pioneers had passed through here before me, nervously watching the top of the rocks for ambushes.

After re-grouping with Wayne and Zina, we pressed on hoping to find someone to make us sandwiches in La Garita.

Wayne and Zina did most of the track work for this trip. They did such a good job, it really felt like cheating. Just wake up and ride the magenta line! We are all running Garmin 60CSx’s with the same tracks. This is my first trip with this GPS though, and after I ironed out some issues on the way up to Canada, its been smooth sailing ever since.

Back on pavement for a short stretch into La Garita. Zina and Wayne had some equipment issues they need to address.

The disadvantage of stopping for lunch around noon is, with the sun directly overhead, shade is often a rare luxury. We found this area of partial shade for our rigs and quickly jammed underneath it.

"I thought my boots had shrunk with the rain yesterday!" Wayne exclaimed while retelling his orthotic woes. While the rest of us were having a great morning, Wayne’s feet were in agony. He and Zina both have the same make, model, and color boots. When they saddled up in the morning, Wayne put on Zina’s boots by accident.

Wayne immediately began to feel better, now that the shackles of Zina’s accidental foot-binding program had been cut. The cash store in La Garita is a great little place. Plenty of provisions, a great deli and good people.

I got the special, which was basically a grilled cheese, with turkey breast and roasted green chills. Pretty good! Everyone got a couple slices of watermelon with their meal too, which was a nice bonus.

We all took advantage of the free-wifi and cell-phone coverage during our stop. Kait is going through a bit of crisis with her employer, so I took some shade-time to catch up with her about it before we went off the grid again.

Rolling out of La Garita, the change into a much drier landscape was readily apparent. With only partly cloudy skies in this lower elevation, the temperatures were much higher too.

Suddenly, the track took a left turn onto some very different roads. Whooped and rutted two-track that seemed to parallel the good road we just were on.

This section must have had the morning to dry out, as it was passable. I don't think we'd be able to do it if it was raining. The areas with puddles were very slick, causing the Ural to fishtail violently (even going through them at 10-15 mph).

We came up around a pretty significant washout in the middle of the trail. Judging by the condition of it, it likely happened with yesterdays rainfall.

Wayne went to the right of the washout, and you can see his tracks to the right of Simon. The banks along the washout are incredibly soft, and even the venerable desert racer had to duck-paddle a little to get up the other side.

"There will be no style-points awarded for this maneuver!" I warned Wayne right before crossing. I didn't even mess around trying it in single-wheel-drive, electing to put it into 2WD right out of the gate. The ground all around the washout was incredibly soft, causing the Ural to sink in. With a good measure of clutching and some momentum, we jumped up the far bank in a shower of wet sand.

The rest of the two-track was in fairly good shape, and put us back onto graded dirt roads into Del Norte. Just before coming into town, there is a detour around (what we presume to be) a new runway at the airport. Plenty of signage though, you won't get lost.

After topping up all our tanks and jerry cans, we headed over to the store in Del Norte to get provisions. Wayne got stuck watching the dogs again, while Zina and I shopped.

A bit of pavement out of Del Norte, back into the Rio Grande N.F.

Lola seems to be transfixed on something in the distance…

… and its just the buffalo. Lola doesn't like cows much, and judging by the tongue lashing she gave these guys as we passed, furry bison don't do much for her either.

Normally in the forest and dirt, I don’t bother leashing Lola. However, in towns (some with strict leash-laws) I put a leash on her and wrap it around my leg. Its a soft wrap, so in the event of an accident, she gets thrown from the rig, rather than dragged along.

The dirt wasn't that far off, and we soon found ourselves making our way up along a ridge. Well maintained, but clearly a popular road, the washboards were out in full force.

Riding along with the steady, jarring beat of the washboards, south-western Colorado scenery did not disappoint.

The road was not a railroad grade, but was fairly gradual in all. The quality of the road suffered a bit the higher we rode; Surely this road gets quite a bit of snow on it over the winters in this high alpine environment.

Now we are all getting nice and high. The Ural is still running great after the mixture adjustment a few days ago.

Just when I thought we had entered the desert, and the lush, high-mountain meadows were a thing of the pass, we got these views. Regretfully I did not stop and make a cup of coffee here, and revel in the view. Looking back I can't find a good reason why I didn’t.

Further on, the road calmed down a bit allowing a more mellow ride once again. You don’t really pilot a Ural like you would a motorcycle. You really ride it. Calm roads turn the Ural into a sedate, purring kitten.

Rough, rocky roads transform the Ural into an angry bear, fresh out of hibernation. While trying to turn the rig, the handlebars bounce off the rocks and punch your hands violently. When you eventually tighten your grip to quell the onslaught, it instead attempts to rip your arms from your sockets.

Through varying road surfaces, the history of this area is still standing, decaying slowly with the seasons.

Lost and abandoned dreams of striking it rich remain on hillsides, and close to water sources.

Rickety old buildings are not all our forefathers left behind. Galactic Resources LTD ran the Summitville Mine until 1992, when the EPA found that thousands of gallons of toxic mining water was leaking into the watershed.

Most of the rock here is high in metal and acidity already, as evidenced by the brightly colored mountainsides. With many abandoned early mines in the area, and the later open pit mining at Summitville, PH levels in the local water literally burn test strips.

Lola is happy to have the doggles off for a stretch, but wishes the road was kinder to her aging bones and joints. Some sections are very good.

A lot of sharp, descending corners with some submerged rocks to keep us uncomfortable. By the time this trip is done, my shoulders are going to rival any body-builder’s. Who cares if the rest of me is saggy? From the chest up, I’m going to look good.

The surrounding views on this bumpy ride do make the suffering worthwhile. I stared transfixed at this fortress of rocky cliffs and outcroppings for a moment before slamming into a large pothole slapped me back to reality. You are on a Russian motorcycle with 3.5 inches of suspension travel. Focus Alex.

Coming down from the tourist mountain town, I came up behind a Cadillac Escalade with Texas plates, and really big shiny rims. They were crawling down at an agonizing 15-20 miles per hour. I waited for a straight spot and attempted to pass, only to have them driver swerve into me.

Furious at the attempted side-swipe, I rolled off the throttle and gave the lumbering SUV a little space. I waited until there was a tight right-hand corner with a clear line of sight to make my move. Clicking into second gear, I wound the throttle to the stop, and passed the Escalade on the left around the corner.

Once I was past I slowed down slightly, turned around and pointed directly at the driver with the scowl on his face. My pointer finger folded in, while my middle finger extended into a perfect salute.

Further down the mountain things got much greener, and the roads much smoother. The twisting rocky roads had done their damage though. My entire body felt like someone had just rolled me down the stairway to heaven.

My trusty sidekick was feeling the pain too. Despite moo-cows, kamikaze-road-running marmots and hundreds of new smells, she’d had enough.

We hit the pavement on Rt 17 into Chama to gas up; Our goal being to camp in New Mexico. Unfortunately, the Chama loop was an additional 30-some-odd miles (there and back) just to gas up. We had to roll up La Manga Pass, which turned into a 35 mph drone for Lola (now fast asleep in the sidecar) and I.

By the time we had gassed up in Chama, it was getting on 6:30pm. Our original plan had us driving back the way we came for 17 miles, before turning onto the trail and dry camping. I turned wearily to Wayne and Zina. "Guys, I’ve had it." I wearily pointed to a fee-based campground across the street and they just nodded. "Someone had to say it" Wayne remarked through a grin.

Being saints on motorcycles, Zina and Wayne got a campsite while I washed a handful of aspirin down with some Red Bull.

Despite being primarily an RV park, this camp spot in Chama had some very nice tent-only options which other folk were taking advantage of. I set up the tent and Lola’s bed, where she disappeared for the remainder of the night.

Amidst chuckles and jokes about how the 30 year old "kid" broke down before the elders on the trip, I repaid Wayne and Zina’s compassion with another steaming hot bowl of canned digestive distress. Regardless of the morning repercussions associated with the dish, everyone seemed to think it was worth it.

I crawled into the tent shortly after darkness fell. I quickly faded into a deep sleep while Lola kicked her feet around in the middle of a dream. Poor girl has to ride in the sidecar all day, and then ride it all night in her dreams.

Days Mileage: 242 miles
Total Mileage: 2,926 miles
Buy it, use it, break it, fix it.
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Old 08-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by jeepinbanditrider View Post
I've been reading Zina's version of the report too. It makes for twice the reading and two different perspectives. I like it. More people need to do that

Also the shot of her Wayne and their pooch on the Ural could probably single handedly sell hundreds of Urals
Where is this ride report?

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Old 08-17-2013, 04:50 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Storm Shadow View Post
Where is this ride report?

Sent from my Stream using Tapatalk 2
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Old 08-17-2013, 06:51 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by rebelpacket View Post

Ears in low drag mode.

Drag brakes.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #159
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Thumb Great report!

Thanks for the report rebel, I'm loving it. Very nicely written, great style. I love the pictures and the writing!

With respect to bumpy roads, you wrote:
Originally Posted by rebelpacket View Post
When you eventually tighten your grip to quell the onslaught, it instead attempts to rip your arms from your sockets.
The steering damper knob on the Ural is your friend here.

It's more sensitive than folks realize (it's not an an/off device), it needs small but semi-frequent adjustments. Give it little nudges in tighter for the bumpy stuff, it'll save your arms. Then loosen it up a sixteenth of a turn for less bumps or to free up the steering a bit from some quick turns.

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Old 08-17-2013, 10:19 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by FirstPath View Post
Just got into work and enjoy starting my day with a cup of joe and catching your latest ride report. I have a trip coming so I'm looking forward to it.

I am impressed with how all of you are keeping your head in the game. Making smart decisions about environment, terrain and weather, minimizing risks and really watching out for each other and your four legged friends. What an inspiring adventure!!
Thanks FirstPath! I usually start my day (early) with a cup of joe, and start writing up a report. It seems the ride is in three stages; Planning. Execution. Re-living through writing.

Its been great travelling with Zina and Wayne. We all don't have anything to prove to ourselves. This is a vacation for us and our pooches. There is no reason to beat ourselves, our dogs, or our motorcycles up for no reason.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by McRuss View Post
The road does not really go over mountains as much as a high plain, much like that you encountered in Wyoming. You drop down into Salida but remain pretty much level most of the way. But then you probably already knew that.
Interesting. I did not know that. From the topo maps, it looked pretty high. I must have read them wrong. The snotty dirt stuff isn't a problem on the Ural (to a point), but it can be real troublesome on any bike. We wanted to stick to the same route for eachother.

You should give one of the 750's a spin some time. IMZ-Ural has come a long way, and the new ones are nothing like the old ones. Reliable, fun and (in comparison) more powerful.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:51 PM   #162
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Zina's Report(s)

So everyone knows, Zina has her side of the story available on her website, here:

She also has a write-up of their first trip with Simon, on the western portion of the TAT, here:

And the prep work for the first trip (lots of fabrication):

Her TAT story is definitely worth a read. The three of them went up and over some really intense terrain, day in and day out. The CDT was like a long dirt commute in comparison.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:30 AM   #163
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Just wanted to chime in real quick and let you know how much I appreciate all of your hard work in sharing your report. There are very few that I look forward to reading as much as yours.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:05 PM   #164
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I've catched up on Zina's report.

Another perspective and in the same league. Lovely pictures and a witty caption to tell the tale. Short videos are equally fun.
Two great ride reports. We're spoiled.

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Old 08-18-2013, 07:12 PM   #165
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Howdy rebelpacket,

Thanks for taking us along on your sojourn

Something to file away for future reference, if you should ever again lose the final drive dip stick, a "sparkplug" will screw right in that tapped hole and seal it up just dandy, as this won't vent the final drive when running hard it may cause some fluid to seep out, keep a close eye on the level of the gear lube.
Dave, aka "Mr. Cob"

My photos, Join Smugmug, use this coupon ( )
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