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Old 09-26-2009, 06:49 PM
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rglee rglee is offline
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rglee Curb Monkey
Default Adventure Ride in Morganton, 19, 20 Sep 09

You guys missed yet another great ride...

First, I apologize for the photos. Thanks to Ron and Rod I finally figured out how to hang photos on CarolinaRiders. Now I just got to figure out how to take decent pics!

I rode my DR650 from Fayetteville up to the start point, Steele Creek Campground on Hwy 181, around 1830 Friday. 2 other riders and I set up our tents. Others either hoteled it or had RVs. Picked up the route sheet and signed in. Ran into Jim Jones, an old friend from 3rd SFG, who trailered up a relatively new R1200GS for his first ADV/Dual Sport ride. We rode into town for dinner. Back at Camp I cut up and loaded the route sheet.

Saturday Jim showed up at 0730 as planned. I was still getting ready but we headed to the sign in location at 0800. Turned out only about 40 of the 80 or so riders that had signed up, actually showed up. It'd rained for several days and the forecast didn't look good for the weekend. This was advertised as an Adventure Ride - supposed to be over fairly easy off-road sections and lots of twisty paved roads. The organizers had told people that street-oriented dual sport tires would work fine. There were lots of R1200GSs, a few KTM 990s, a few smaller dual sport bikes, a couple KLRs, a few exotics and me on the lone DR650. I was running Continental TKC80s - about 50/50 dirt/paved compromise and had changed from 1 tooth larger on the countershaft sprocket back to a stock size. Was also experimenting with a new Denali tail and soft luggage rack in prep for next year's section of the TAT. Saturday's route was to be 160 miles and Sunday's 120 miles.

After discussing tire pressures, relative merits of the various bikes, etc, we headed out. After a short 300 meters we hit the first real obstacle - about a 400 meter, muddy (remember, it'd been raining for 3 solid days), rocky, twisty, uphill section. It was broken into 3 sections by 2 relatively level plateaus. The smaller dirt bikes, and the big bikes with very experienced dirt-riders made it up with little problem. The DR motored up like a Sunday walk in the park. But the less experienced guys on big bikes, particularly with street oriented tires made it look like Omaha Beach in WWII. Many were ready to hang it up. But several of us helped 'em get back on their feet and going again... and again... and in some cases, again. And only 159.5 miles to go! We had killed close to an hour. That turned out to be the worst part. The remainder was as advertised - some beautiful scenary along narrow dirt roads or tight, twisty pavement. There was just enough deep ruts, washouts, big rocks and mud to make it interesting. Jim was nice enough to do a not-to-graceful get-off as I followed him with the video camera going on one of the muddy sections.

Late morning it started looking like it was going to clear up but that was only suckering us in. Incredibly thick fog and rain cut visibility to almost 100 feet for 2 hours or so in the afternoon. The route sheet advised us to stop at a particularly high vantage point to enjoy the scenary - we got some fantastic shots of the fog.

As we closed back in on camp, the weather cleared. Then all the riders enjoyed a great BBQ dinner on the campground pavilion. Everything tasted absolutely delicious. Of course, we were all so beat that a fried turd on a stick probably would have tasted good.
Everyone had a great time talking about the day's ride, what they should have done different, and about coming back next year.

The skys continued to clear and we're all thinking that Sunday might be even better. Then, around 2200, while Larry, Eddie and I (the 3 tenters) sipped on our favorite beverage and solved all the world's problems, we started feeling a few light drops of rain. We all refused to mention it - until the bottom fell out - then we dashed to our respective tents.

It rained all night - non-stop after about 0200. I got up around 0630 and started getting prepped to ride. But it kept raining and raining and I was slowly beginning to get wet inside my Olympia riding gear. After the 120 mile ADV ride I would still have 250 miles to get home... and I had to be to work Monday morning. I decided to wimp out, finish breaking camp and head home. Eddie and Larry were going to do the same thing. As I finished packing Jim showed up. He was thinking about doing the same thing.

My hat is off to Jim, Larry and the other guys on big bikes with street tires. They did great hanging in there after that first hill Saturday morning. I think I would said, "the heck with this crap", and headed to the nearest bar if I'd been in that situation.

Like Goldie Locks and the three bears, my XT225 is toooooo small; the R1200GS is toooooo big; but the DR650 is just right! It cruises easily at a real 75 mph on the interstate carrying a big load, is almost magic on the tight twisties, handles dirt amazingly well, and is super reliable (once I get my header problem solved).

Jim told me Monday that he and a couple others did do the 120 miler Sunday though they skipped the first killer hill.

Ready to go...
[IMG][/IMG]

Jim, the GS and DR on the trail.
[IMG][/IMG]

A bit foggy...
[IMG][/IMG]

Me & the DR.
[IMG][/IMG]

Dead GS... but we revived it!
[IMG][/IMG]

These are great events for those that haven't done 'em before. They are challenging, fun and you'll definitely be worn out. The 160 miles Saturday felt like riding about 750 miles all paved though the Adventure Ride was a lot more fun.

Let's RIDE!
__________________
Ride far, ride fast, and always have enough fun to keep a smile on your face
Rick
'13 DR650
'75 Z1
'72 Honda CB350 Vintage Racer (work inprogress)
'69 CB160
'66 CB450
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