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View Full Version : 07/07/07 Was It Lucky?


tx246
07-16-2007, 04:58 PM
Are you wondering about the title? Well, there is a reason for everything and you will just have to keep reading to find out.

It starts with the wife going out of town and leaving me to my own devices. Sounds good doesn’t it? I immediately make my weekend MOTO 24/2. That’s motorcycles 24hrs for 2 days. The rough plan was to ride the legendary trails of the Red River Motorcycle Park on Saturday. Sunday was set aside for some backroad dualsport action. What more could a guy ask for?

Im up early on Saturday morning getting my stuff together. My ride for the day is my trusty 00 Honda CR 250. Over time, me and this bike have covered lots of track and trails. The trailer is hitched and we make our way north out of the metroplex. When I say we, I mean me, James and his two sons. We arrive and quickly sign in after a nice chat with Lewis.

Its hot, but bearable, and NOT raining. The trails are in great shape as we head over to the East side first for a quick lap. Right off, I notice the bike is louder than usual but chalk it up to a jet change that I made Friday night. I went richer for those who care to know. Everybody is riding well. Both of James’ sons haven’t been riding in awhile. One due to injury and one due to playing football. Alex broke his arm playing baseball (instead of a moto crash). Does anybody else see the irony? We come in for our lunch/bs session and catch up with some of our regular Muenster crew. All of them are characters and worth many pages but not right now.

Lunch is over and we want to get in a ride on the West side. Bikes fueled and dropped into gear, we make for the River. Is this bike getting louder? Power is good, but man that noise cant be good. I stop and tell the group that it is probably in my bike's best interest for me to head back. As they go on, I turn around to make my way back. About the time they cant see me, my motor says I QUIT. It could be worse. Im on a road and on a relatively high elevation but Im 2 miles from the truck. I push for the next 20 min and leave my bike with the first group I see. I told them if they could start it, they could have it.

At this point Im not really upset. She has been a great bike and has carried me to some of my best memories. I chill and wait for the rest of the group to come back. I don’t wait too long as the heat is sucking the will to live much less ride. We all take refuge in lawn chairs under the shade and continue with the benchracing from lunch. Remember those characters? Well, one of them is named Daryl and it seems he recently had an incident. Apparently his Dodge Ram is so powerful that it can pull a 22ft camping trailer down I-35 without wheels. Don’t ask me how the wheels came off. It took a lady pulling up beside him and motioning him to stop. Now that is some funny stuff and I used it unmercifully in giving him a hard time. I shouldn’t have done that.

The day ends and we load up all the bikes including my mortally wounded CR. The plan is to go to Lindsey and get some BBQ. While pulling through Muenster, James lets out a shout. Turns out my CR has come unhooked on one side and has halfway fallen off the trailer. The bike is perfectly parallel to the road and Im muttering a prayer that it doesn’t fall off before we get off the road. The truck comes to a stop and we get out to see the carnage. The bike doesn’t suffer any external damage other than having little balls of rubber all over it where the footpeg landed on the rotating trailer tire and cut it down Nascar style. Do I hear Daryl laughing? Spare installed and bike restrapped, we continue with our evening. The dinner was great and I managed not to choke or get food poisoning. At this point, I was getting paranoid. It was onward to the house to finalize details for Sundays ride.

DAMAGE FOR SATURDAY

1. TERMINAL ENGINE FAILURE
2. BIKE FALLING OFF THE TRAILER
3. BLOWN UP TRAILER TIRE


Sunday will be different…..


Calls and emails lead me to believe that there will be five for the dualsport portion of the weekend. There is me, Lust, James(HAM), Chris(photojojo), and Lee. The bikes are mild to wild. There is me on a DRZ, Lust is riding my vintage 84XT 600, Ham is riding his purty KLR, photojojo has the fire breathing XR650R and Lee is riding Milwaukee’s finest in the form of a Buell Ulysses. Can you say dualsport buffet? Oh, and two of these guys are dualsport virgins.

The planned route meanders north and west of Denton. Counties covered are Denton, Wise, Montague, and Cooke. I had a route in the GPS but as always it gets canned at some point. Everybody was rarin’ to go and it didn’t take long to break away from the city and get into the country. Ive ridden most of what we were about to ride and have managed to keep the dirt/pavement ratio to about 70/30.

I lead and am keeping an eye on Lee in the back as his bike is a quasi dualsport with street tires to match. I was concerned about the Buell because in the beginning, we covered some county roads paved with marbles.


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Lee and the Buell...complete with marbles

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Lust and the Indiana Jones era Motorcycle

Not much later we get into a much cooler and shadier spot. A bit like the Hill Country if you ask me. We get off the bikes and check it out.

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Lust pulling up to the Grotto

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Lee and me milling around

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HAM getting behind the scenery

Soon after we get back on the bikes, I make a routing error and turn back down a road that we had just come from. There is a good sized chunk of road that is missing and I run over it on purpose. Hey, im on a dirtbike for crying out loud. BAM! Followed by EEECH! I gingerly grab the brakes and come to a stop. I look behind me and my rear fender is sitting 3 inches off the tire. I thought I had snapped my shockshaft. Well crap! This is where it becomes an adventure tour.

First thing we do is roll the lowrider to some shade.
http://chrisjennings.smugmug.com/photos/170991605-S.jpg
There is poison ivy in there somewhere.....dont ask


We do a rudimentary inspection and find the spring cup has detached itself from the spring. Without a long drawn out story, the short of it is that the spring is not retained on the shock in a manner that will hold the bike up….ie no rear suspension. All the parts are there. It seems a clip that holds it together popped off. To fix it requires removing the rear shock/reassembling the shock/put shock back on bike. Rough estimate I give them is an hour. Hey, Ive rebuilt and recharged shocks at Clayton’s finest Quick Stop. We are 30 miles or so from the rescue vehicles. On top of that, I really don’t want to ride on the back of another guy’s bike. Lee saves me by pointing out that it would take us at least that long to go get a truck and come back. Everybody agrees that we should take the DRZs rear suspender off. We commence to getting on with the operation.

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Surveying the situation

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Lust making fun of me

Right here I want to say that photojojo has got the tool kit thing down. Nurse photojojo had everything the doctor asked for. My meager kit will get tires off but with his tools I could of split cases.

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Sorry about the knuckles HAM

There was some grunting, prying, and dodging fire ants but the operation was successful. Thanks crew. It did take a bit longer (15min) but it was already noon. Photojojo asks about lunch and I said it would be a bit later. He laughed, as he pointed out that lunches never happen at lunchtime on dualsport rides. So true.

With the DRZ on her feet, we make ready to continue but say bye to Lee as he had some commitments later that afternoon. Lee (virgin number 1) did a great job on riding that Buell and thanks for the cookie break while working on the Zook.

We head on towards our lunch destination, which is St Jo. We run the Lazy E road out of Hardy and it doesn’t ever disappoint. The sun is out but as long as we keep moving, it is all good. Before we know it we make St Jo and head for …….

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DQ doing well

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HAM on the left with photojojo on the right.

We all get a bite to eat and enjoy the air conditioning. The lunch rush is over before we get there and there aren’t many people left. We finally get up and top off gas tanks across the street. The dualsport mantra is get gas whenever you can.

After the pit stop in St. Jo we continue north and take Talley Rd to Bonita. We continue on the northern course until we run into the Red River. We make our way to Illinois Bend and invade Oklahoma via the Indian Bridge. The Red is flowing pretty good but is in its banks. We take some pictures before moving on.

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Red on Red photojojos ride

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gawking

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Goofing with our shadows.....kinda looks like Utah dirt huh?


We parallel the river eastward until we get here...
http://chrisjennings.smugmug.com/photos/173671043-S.jpg

Some of you may recognize it if you like to ride offroad in these here parts. Down this creek lays some of the best single track in the state of Texas. Stay out quads!

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Lust on the left and HAM on the right

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photojojo taking a break

Lust is digging my XT and is having a killer time on his first dualsport ride. The quote is classic. “I cant believe we can ride dirtbikes on the street. It seems so wrong(while smiling the evil grin).”


At this point we turn south and turn it up a bit and the road spits us out a bit north of St. Jo on 677. It is here that photojojo notices the darkening skies to the east and decides to make a run for home. He turns right and we point with our left hand at the stop sign and head back to the north. I am greeted with a turkey running down the middle of the pavement like he is on a training run. You know the Im running because I have to not because Im scared of you kind of run. I idle up to the Marathon Turkey and he moves over for me. We are side by side for 50 yds before he fades left across the other lane and hops over the fence. Next is one of those cool road signs. You know, the one that has the truck tilted at 45 degrees.


One of North Texas’ best views is right here but Im enjoying it too much to take the dang picture….sorry. You will just have to see it for yourself. We continue into the bottom of the valley and make our way across and up the next ridge. These ridges are very similar to the ones in southeast Oklahoma. Its scenic and lots of elevation changes. There are some very tempting ponds as it is now the hottest part of the day.

http://chrisjennings.smugmug.com/photos/173671177-S.jpg http://chrisjennings.smugmug.com/photos/173671230-S.jpg
Backside of the Breaks


The three of us wind our way eastward in the general direction of Moss Lake. This scenic impoundment is owned by the city of Gainesville. The countryside is turning to rolling prairie as we are headed to Marysville. It has not rained in a couple of days and the roads are dusty. Im leading and don’t see Ham’s headlight for a while. I come around a corner and drop a bit to a low water crossing. It is shady and I pull over to the right after the crossing. Lust has been right behind me and pulls up. Motors shut off and we are jabbering when we see the rare vehicle. Up to this point, we hadn’t seen one in almost an hour. As they slow down to cross the water, I hear a metallic crunch behind me. Lust and I swivel our heads at the same time to see Ham riding his KLR on its right side sliding towards us and the drop off at the same time. Thankfully, the bike finishes its slide on the road and not in the 6ft deep pile of rocks and water. Ham jumps up and is on adrenaline. I have heard you can walk on broken legs if there is enough adrenaline. He assures me that he is OK. At that point I pull out the camera and take a few shots of the crime scene. You can tell he locked up the back on the dry but when that skidding rear tire hit the water, it was over.

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Skid

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Dropoff

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Bike on Ground

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Lust checking out the accident scene

We get the bike up and it lost a mirror, turn signal, and some pride. She starts right back up and we continue. Soon we are at downtown Marysville.

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Nice little church

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Break in Marysville


We hang a right and make our direction easterly. We haven’t left the church more than a mile when we come across the hounds of ****. I really do mean hounds in the big plural sense. There must have been 20 dogs lying in the road. Worse yet, they look like they haven’t had a square meal in months. By the way they chased us, I think they would have consumed us in short order if they managed to drag us down. I almost went back for a picture but didn’t. With the way my luck has gone this weekend, I wasn’t going to push it.

That storm that photojojo was trying to outrun was making a beeline in our direction. Moss Lake was tossed as a destination in favor of getting out of the way of lightning bolts, rain and tornadic activity. The storm had a jump on us but we were determined to outrun it. The wind was crazy. Im a windsurfer and crazy wind is usually a good thing. In this case it was too much of a good thing. It was very cool watching that prairie undulate with the gusts, but hiding in a drainage pipe was not desirable so we continued at high speed back towards Muenster. We pulled into the parking lot of The Center and made our way to the front door when it let loose. Apparently, Mr. Storm was mad at losing the race because the rain went horizontal and turned the normally four lane Hwy 82 into a two lane with a river on each side. On top of that it was white-capping in the parking lot. While the bikes were being powerwashed by Mother Nature, we grabbed something to eat.

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Pic of rain......notice the flag

I call my wife, who is now home from her trip, and was expecting me to be done by now. I explain the situation and have her look up some radar images. Information she gives is inconclusive and I give her the news that it will be late before we make it home. I then call weather expert GoatTrail Green and he gives me the skinny. He says sit tight and it should let up in 30-45min. Yeah right, it’s a friggin hurricane out there. Guess what showed up an hour later? You guessed it, the sun.

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Pic in the parking lot.


We strap on our helmets and it is around 7:00pm. The rain has cooled things a bit and makes for an enjoyable ride home. Route takes us slightly west to avoid the rough looking weather. The horses smell the barn as we make tracks to get home. I do stop to take a picture of this weather beaten house.

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Pic of little house on the prairie

The late evening light makes things much more scenic on the road home. Except for a quick stop to fix a hanging license plate on the DRZ, everything is smooth. We cut through Sanger to hit the last of the dirt roads home and we run into one last obstacle.

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Lust checking out the last obstacle.

We have been on the road for 12hrs but nobody really wants to call it quits. It has been that kind of day. Mileage for the day reads 235 and everybody is wearing the dust beard so common in dualsporting. Tires hit my driveway at 8:45pm and the bikes are silenced one final time. Everybody is worn out but grinning. Goodbyes and handshakes were followed by everybody going their separate ways.


Evil juju, bad karma, male suerte or whatever you want to call it was still following me on Sunday.

SUNDAY EVIDENCE

1. SHOCK SPRING COMING UNDONE
2. HAM’S CRASH AT THE CREEK
3. DOGS TRYING TO RIP ME OFF THE BIKE
4. HURRICANE MUENSTER


In spite of all the negative, it was still a rocking good time. Im really not superstitious, but when the day is 07/07/07, you really do expect a little help from Lady Luck. The funny thing is that she could have been pulling her best and things might have been worse. For example the CR could of died on the INT, the CR could of fallen off the trailer at speed, HAM’s crash could of resulted in an injury, the dogs could of pulled me down and eaten me, we might of gotten clobbered by the storm. Either way, it was a great weekend.

Thanks to all that attended and a special thanks for photojojo who hosted the pics

Tourmeister
07-16-2007, 05:52 PM
Of the pics that I can see, all are tiny thumbnails, making it impossible for my pathetic eyes to see any detail. It would appear that I can only see the images for about the first half of the report.

No images after this one, just text :shrug:
http://chrisjennings.smugmug.com/photos/171006994-Ti.jpg

tx246
07-16-2007, 06:11 PM
Boo Boo on my part. When I went back to fix it, I couldnt keep the Smug Mug on the toolbar. Should be good for ya now.

Tourmeister
07-16-2007, 07:43 PM
Ahhh... MUCH better :clap:

donroger1
07-16-2007, 08:56 PM
You have a wonderful way with words. (and pictures too!)
I need a dual-sport!!!

Tracker
07-16-2007, 10:12 PM
Great report. Am glad to learn that James and his boys are actually 3 people, not one.

Hemibee
07-16-2007, 11:31 PM
Great report. Am glad to learn that James and his boys are actually 3 people, not one.

:rofl: Especially since one of the boys had a broken arm. :rofl:

thumper
07-17-2007, 10:12 AM
Great pics Gene. Thanks for sharing. I believe I rode past that "no quads area" before. Hmm...I'll have to add that to my "check it out list". Best Single Track...Hmmm.:trust:

anaconda
07-17-2007, 03:42 PM
Great report!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Dirtrideroader
07-17-2007, 04:41 PM
Ok, this is a little off the subject, but ties into the title.
We were in Rome on the 7th, there must have been 500 weddings going on around town. There were brides and grooms taking pictures everywhere. Don't know if that is normal for this time of year or if there were a lot of weddings planned for that day because of the date.

Great ride report. I especially like the pictures. I am becoming a visual person. Must be the ADD.

Goat Trail Green
07-18-2007, 01:25 PM
Excellent Gene

I am glad I was able to help on the weather but, I sure do wish I would have been there riding with you both days !!

Mike Green

FirstMan
07-18-2007, 04:55 PM
That sounds like a rough 2 days. Wish I could have been there! :rider:

ham
07-21-2007, 10:50 PM
Great report i only broke blinker and mirror.Next time i will have boots on zip tyes and a photojojo tool kit went on that day close to 300 miles klr650 49miles to the gallon lot of fun on $15.00 plus food ready to ride any time guys:rider:

lust450
07-26-2007, 03:46 PM
thanx for the the ride gene!!!! lets go again soon!

Photojojo
07-27-2007, 08:12 AM
Hey Lust, you get a DS bike yet?

lust450
07-27-2007, 12:01 PM
no, i have not jojo im still bumming genes. i cant wait to go again!!!!