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Old 10-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
Ryder West OP
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Location: PNW Marysville WA
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Question New ADV rider in Marysvile needs offroad practice routes

Hey Ya'll PNW ADV riders!!! I recently got the bug to explore more than just the paved roads. I have been riding for nearly 25 years but have (almost) never ridden off road. I am looking for some local roads near my home in Marysville WA that I can get some off-road experience. Ultimately, the short term goal is to gain enough experience to challenge the WABDR and then beyond. To start, I am looking for some off-road day rides that are less challenging but want to test my skills with more challenging stuff as I become more comfortable.

Do any of you have any suggestions on some routes that you have traveled and what skill level you would recommend?

My bike of choice is a R1200GSA.

Ryder

Ryder West screwed with this post 10-06-2013 at 11:24 AM Reason: spelling
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #2
wannatard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryder West View Post
Hey Ya'll PNW ADV riders!!! I recently got the bug to explore more than just the paved roads. I have been riding for nearly 25 years but have (almost) never ridden off road. I am looking for some local roads near my home in Marysville WA that I can get some off-road experience. Ultimately, the short term goal is to gain enough experience to challenge the WABDR and then beyond. To start, I am looking for some off-road day rides that are less challenging but want to test my skills with more challenging stuff as I become more comfortable.

Do any of you have any suggestions on some routes that you have traveled and what skill level you would recommend?

My bike of choice is a R1200GSA.

Ryder
One of my favorite rides to introduce my friends to the dirt would be the mountain loop highway. Runs from Darington to Granite Falls and I prefer running it north to south.
Oh, and welcome to the dirty side:)
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
BillMoore
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And if you want to try something just a little bit more challenging (but not much) there are several forest roads that you can explore off the Mountain Loop Highway from the gravel section between Barlow Pass and Darrington. Several of them go a few miles before they dead-end, a couple of them only go a few hundred yards, but they are fun to explore.

The gravel road up to the trailhead of Mt. Pilchuck also has a side forest road you can explore that goes for a mile or two and ends at a campsite, but that one is a little more challenging (still not really technical, just some 2 track with a couple of small whoops).
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:01 PM   #4
Abarhan
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Sounds like we need to arrange a ride out that way before the snow comes.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
Ryder West OP
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It's been many years since I've ridden the "complete" Mt. Loop Hwy. Once many years ago on my Sportster S to N. Until recently, that would have been the end of the road. Definitely on my hit list as well as those "other" side roads that have been catching my eye as of late.

Thanks guys.

Can anyone chime in on Hwy 2 or 90. Possibly some roads off 530?
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
Ryder West OP
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Absolutely!

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Originally Posted by Abarhan View Post
Sounds like we need to arrange a ride out that way before the snow comes.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
Abarhan
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There is only a 10% chance of rain this weekend... I'll be down to start in Everett/Lake stevens for breakfast/ coffee and ride south to north and maybe back the same or make a loop out of it. Let me know.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #8
MoxieGirl
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I also have a GSA and just did the Mt. Loop Hwy last weekend, wish the gravel part was longer. :)

I also rode the WABDR this summer, not on my GSA but on my 650. It was awesome.

The snow is nearing but there are many FS roads that you could ride on your GSA in Leavenworth, Cashmere area.

If you are on FB, you should send a member request to GS riders of Ride West (you do not have to have a GS to join). We often post rides and events there.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
Ryder West OP
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Unfortunately I am out of town the next two weekends. Don't know at this point what I will be able to work in for a ride before the weather hits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abarhan View Post
There is only a 10% chance of rain this weekend... I'll be down to start in Everett/Lake stevens for breakfast/ coffee and ride south to north and maybe back the same or make a loop out of it. Let me know.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #10
Abarhan
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There will be other weekends, it will just be colder and there could be that white stuff around. Im still going if anyone else wants to join.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #11
DeFens
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Snow is definitely hitting the high country, so a lot of the GS-friendly roads will be closing up soon. I live in the Hwy. 2 corridor, east of Monroe. I have an R1200GS, an F650GS Dakar, and a Husaberg FE390, all of which are good for the roads I'll list here.

A few favorites out here include:

Sultan Basin road to Olney Pass and Spada lake. Exit Hwy 2, just east of Sultan.

Money Creek Road - Exit at the turnoff for Money Creek campground, and continue south for a few hundred yards. The old Cascade Highway and Miller River loops are closed due to washouts, but Money Creek is kind of fun.

Beckler River Road and side roads - Exit just beyond the town of Skykomish. Lots of gravel road. Most is friendly enough, although the drop-offs on the Johnson Ridge road leave not a lot of room for gawking around; you have to pay attention!

The old Stevens Pass highway - near the Iron Goat trailhead. Cross the pedestrian bridge (doable even with panniers on the R1200GS) and take the old, deteriorated, switchbacked road to the summit. Quite a nice ride, really. If you want to extend the ride and the snow is gone, continue on Hwy 2 over the summit to Smithbrook, cross the highway and continue over Nason Ridge and down into Lake Wenatchee. Good gravel all the way. Near the end you'll encounter pavement with a road-closed sign. It's closed because about a hundred trees fell across the road a couple years ago. However, a path has been cleared through the trees - although the road is officially closed, the locals certainly use it, and there's no problem riding a bike through.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #12
TwoCamSam
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I was wondering if there was a way through to Lake Wenatchee. It looked like people had been moving the fencing the last time I was out there. Stevens to Lake Wenatchee is a good route for beginners and is even better if you continue on over into Entiat and then again over into Chelan.
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:28 PM   #13
SOP Dirt-Rider
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Pssor

http://pssor.com/pssor-home

Training is always a good thing. There is also an 3 day ADV Camp which includes closed course training and mini seminars covering other aspects of ADV riding. I was a student long before I became an instructor for PSSOR, I liked it so much I couldn't resist
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
Ryder West OP
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I was recently at the Touratech distributor in Seattle talking to a couple of the guys. They also mentioned that the pssor camps and seminars are a great source for gaining off road knowledge and skills.

They were also very knowledgeable about the WABDR route and answered many of my questions. The conversation eventually turned to discussion of the Touratech rally that takes place in June near Plain WA. They mentioned that there are all sorts of pre scouted routes in varying difficulty levels that one can ride on a guided tour or go solo. Sounds like a great place to go to gain experience and meet people of a like mind.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:42 AM   #15
Ryder West OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeFens View Post
Snow is definitely hitting the high country, so a lot of the GS-friendly roads will be closing up soon. I live in the Hwy. 2 corridor, east of Monroe. I have an R1200GS, an F650GS Dakar, and a Husaberg FE390, all of which are good for the roads I'll list here.

A few favorites out here include:

Sultan Basin road to Olney Pass and Spada lake. Exit Hwy 2, just east of Sultan.

Money Creek Road - Exit at the turnoff for Money Creek campground, and continue south for a few hundred yards. The old Cascade Highway and Miller River loops are closed due to washouts, but Money Creek is kind of fun.

Beckler River Road and side roads - Exit just beyond the town of Skykomish. Lots of gravel road. Most is friendly enough, although the drop-offs on the Johnson Ridge road leave not a lot of room for gawking around; you have to pay attention!

The old Stevens Pass highway - near the Iron Goat trailhead. Cross the pedestrian bridge (doable even with panniers on the R1200GS) and take the old, deteriorated, switchbacked road to the summit. Quite a nice ride, really. If you want to extend the ride and the snow is gone, continue on Hwy 2 over the summit to Smithbrook, cross the highway and continue over Nason Ridge and down into Lake Wenatchee. Good gravel all the way. Near the end you'll encounter pavement with a road-closed sign. It's closed because about a hundred trees fell across the road a couple years ago. However, a path has been cleared through the trees - although the road is officially closed, the locals certainly use it, and there's no problem riding a bike through.
The old Stevens Pass highway sounds very exciting. Might have to wait until spring and the snow clears (as my schedule is ridicules right now) but I'm definitely going to hit this next year.
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