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Author Topic: Epic Gravel RIde  (Read 852 times)

barenekd

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Epic Gravel RIde
« on: December 12, 2012, 08:16:15 PM »
Yesterday, Jack and I went out on a last shot ride to beat the rains that are due here today. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but I am finding ways to keep warmer. A sweatshirt and hoodie under my number two warmest Joe Rocket full length jacket and some Tourmaster wind-proof/waterproof gloves that I picked up at the IMS show for $25.00 seemed to take care of the top. As for the bottom, 2 pair of socks under the roadracing boots and  long johns and Jeans were barely adequate, but not terrible. I just had my Fullmer helmet and goggles on early on, but I did have a face mask if it got really cold.
The ride up to our meeting place in DeVore was really chilly going through Carbon Cyn, but warmed up as I headed east and by the time I got to Devore, it was quite comfortable.  But, we knew that the ride to Wrightwood (6,000') and points west would be pretty cool!
By the time we had gotten to the 5,000' mark it was cold and on up to Wrightwood and over to N4 it stayed that way.
We were going down the hill on N4, so we knew it would warm up again
and didn't bother with changing anything. The ride down ws great andthe road were dry for the first time that I had the Pirellis on, so I as getting a good chance  to work them out. They were feeling very good and instilling a great amount of confidence for me in them.
The ride over to Placerita was pretty uneventful. The roads were good and the traffic light, so we just cruised along minding our own business. We got gas in Placerita  and Jack kept the lead going into Little Tujunga and I was tracking him pretty with the new found confidence in the tires and we were ripping right along. Jack kinda blew a couple of corners,but the Pirellis kept me on line. But, don't need to mention that being in the lead is a lot more work that following. It's easy to see the front guy go into a turn and knowing that if he can make it, you can, too! A fun run though and then it was back over to Lower Big Tujunga and back up the hill.
As we went up the weather starting cooling off again. When we reached Angeles Forest, Jack put me back in the lead. We went down to the Crest then started climbing up and the air started to get colder.I was getting a pretty good rhythm going through the long sweepers as we climbed back up towards Newcomb's Ranch. I was getting used to leaning the bike more and more and bashing my toes into the ground a bit more often.  WE got to Newcomb's and stopped for a bite. They have great pulled pork sliders up there.
It was cold enough that I decided to put the face mask on, but the eye cutout wasn't quite wide enough and it was cutting into my peripheral vision to the left. I fettled with it all the way down to Wrightwood and finally took it off, knowing it wasn't going to be cold much farther.
While I were getting ready, a cute Brit bird pulled in in some kind of SUV and asked me if I'd like to trade my bike for her truck. Didn't take me too long to say no! We chatted for a minute or so while Jack was sitting over by the road with his engine running impatiently waiting for me.
Now, you ask me, where's the gravel? Well here it comes. As we are going up the hill out of Nuke'um's, I get another nice rhythm gong albei slghtly slower than I'd been going because the altitude is starting to slow the bike down and the sun is sometimes straight in our eyeballs and I can't see where the road is going! But its still a pretty good clip. Then I'm starting to see a few little white dots in the road and wondering if these are rocks. Well, the number is obviously growing and they are looking more and more like rocks until they start getting into a little more solid masses. We haven't slowed down much, but I am kinda starting to pick my way through the bigger masses. Then my rear wheel steps out a bit and then I really started to pay attention, but still gong for it, the both wheels step out a bit and I figure perhaps it's time to slow down. We slowed down to about 40 and then picked out ways more carefully over to Wrightwood. The stuff was on the road for about 20 miles or so. I guess they had layed it down for the last snow up there and it hadn't gotten brushed off by the traffic yet.
I took the face mask off in Wrightwood and we continued on down the hill to home. I got home after dark so finally go to check out my light in a real night time ride. It was more than adequate. 285 miles.
I did almost get rid of all the wanker stripes in the tires. Less than a quarter inch remains. I didn't think the old RE could lean over that far! I can probably get rid of the rest of them on the next ride!
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

LarsBloodbeard

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 06:18:26 PM »
One of these days I hope to tag along on one of your epic rides.  I'm not sure I could keep up though!

Jack Leis

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 06:23:21 PM »
Quote from Bare:  Jack kinda blew a couple of corners,but the Pirellis .... I didnt think you even could see that being you were SO FAR BACK !
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

barenekd

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 07:50:15 PM »
Quote
I didnt think you even could see that being you were SO FAR BACK !

Are you kiddin'? When you blew one of them, all I needed to do was grab a handful of throttle and I could've blown by you before you even got back across the line!
That corner was so tight that I wouldn't have known you had blown it unless I was really close.
Too far back...Bah! ;)
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

Jack Leis

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 07:53:00 PM »
Bare, your a legend in your own mind.
I would much rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow    Jack

boggy

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 08:14:21 PM »
Too funny.

One of these days you guys got to pick out a corner and take turns with a camera so we can see some action shots.

2007 AVL
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barenekd

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 07:57:56 PM »
Our only corner shot. This was last year.
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

boggy

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 03:46:16 PM »
Nice! Great shot.  Curb-side of the road looks like nasty business.
2007 AVL
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barenekd

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 05:41:18 PM »
Quote
Curb-side of the road looks like nasty business

Yeah, it's probably 100' or so to the bottom of that gulch. The next turn is a left handed hairpin about 60 yards down the road. Coming up the road at that turn is where the Enfield went off the edge last year. That was the final turn for the SkidMasters. Fortunately trees stopped the bike from going down very far.
This pic is about 40 yds down from where the first pic was taken.
Bare
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 05:48:28 PM by barenekd »
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

boggy

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 03:09:35 PM »
Holy crap. That looks like a crime scene. I knew you crashed but I must have missed the post.  Was there a lot of damage?  Tank get really messed up?  I think I recall you came away in pretty good form.
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM

barenekd

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 12:45:07 AM »
Yeah, I slid on my butt a ways and had a small scratch on my knee. My wallet saved my butt! I didn't go ever the edge with the bike though.
The bike really didn't pick up much additional damage than was caused by the rear ending I had gotten a couple of weeks before. That already had the muffler and tank on the insurance list. The only thing that was missed were the barends. The casquette got scratched up a bit and wasn't on the claim, but I just patched and repainted it. This one wasn't reported to my insurance company, or anyone else for that matter.
The picture was actually taken a day after when we went back to get it. It laid in the hole for 24 hours, but you couldn't see it from the road, so I figured it would be pretty safe. It's not a heavily traveled road anyway. I even had a bit of a problem finding it! The rope that's on it is what we used to drag it up and out out. That probably caused more damage than the initial drop! Broke it once.
The crash was because a bunch of guys on Ducatis and other sport caught me going into the corner, and I didn't want to slow them down, so I tried to match their speed through the corner, but the handy dandy SkidMaster didn't seem to care for that ploy and washed out. The SkidMaster was the first thing to go after the getoff. Anyway the guys stopped and did give my a ride up to Wrightwood. They didn't have anything to pull it out with and AAA wasn't interested since I didn't have Motorcycle coverage.
I did get my Triple A upgraded to motorcycles, though, which did work out as I needed a tow of about 50 miles when I blew a fuse. And I ran out of gas once.
Bare
 
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

boggy

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2012, 03:13:06 PM »
You've had quite a run on that 500. 24 hours laying on it's side and things are still good - Tough little bikes.

Really good editorial in the first few pages of Cycle World by Mark Hoyer, by the way, regarding crashing bikes and the instinct to get right back on and ride.
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM

barenekd

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2012, 10:40:20 PM »
The biggest thing that saved the bike was that I had just put an AGM battery in it a couple of weeks previously. If it had still had the stock battery in it. It would've probably leaked all over the bike since the battery top of everything.
I read that article by Hoyer. I have to agree. I have rarely not been able to get back on the bike on the spot, but sometimes S^%t happens. I can't say I plan on living forever, but I do plan on living until I die!
I guess the shortest time off the bike that I couldn't jump right back on is when a guy T-boned a Suzuki VX800 that I had. He missed my body, I raised my leg up so the car went under it, but I flew over the car and landed on my head and shoulder. I laid there for a minute or to mainly just to scare the hell outta the guy, then I got up and gave him hell. The meat wagon showed and offered me ride to the hospital. I went over  and got some Xrays and they said I had cracked my collarbone, so they put my arm in a sling. I had to walk home a couple of miles as the bike was totaled. I lost the sling on the walk home. When I got there I drug out my GB-500 and rode that 40 miles to a Norton Club meeting.
I got a Ducati outta that deal.
Bare
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer
2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
http://www.controllineplans.com

boggy

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Re: Epic Gravel RIde
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 04:31:57 PM »
I can't say I plan on living forever, but I do plan on living until I die!

Amen to that.
2007 AVL
2006 DRZ400SM