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View Full Version : Red Rider And I Ventured Out...


Squeaky
10-15-2007, 01:38 AM
Raul (houstonredrider) and I met bright and early (ok, not that early - 10:05) north of Houston so I could show him some of the local unpaved county and forest service roads. Since purchasing a Vstrom 650 a few short weeks ago, he’s been wanting to get out and explore but has never been offroad in the area. I was to act as a tour guide of sorts. Wait, ME? Uh, I usually just follow…

I got to the gas station and filled up, then looked over his bike as he pointed out what it came with and what he’d done with it so far. He asked me if I had any tips or advice for riding the big bike on loose surfaces - I explained the opposite lean, standing on the pegs, staying loose, and staying off the front brake. These are things I can remember being told when I started, but I honestly don’t remember as much of the details as I should. I just kinda point myself in the right direction and go. I can’t (and shouldn’t) teach that.

I did make mention of HATING sand and to shift your weight to the back to keep the front wheel from plowing. I think. Oh geez, I hope I said back…

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276324-M.jpg

The paved roads grew more narrow the farther we got from suburbia, and painted lines were soon absent. Concrete curbs gave way to loose tumbled rock and pastures surrounded the ribbons of asphalt.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276338-M.jpg

The dust was everywhere. This is when being the leader on dual sport rides works out in your favor - you can ride with your visor open for air while the rider(s) behind you inhale the grit and grime you’ve kicked up. By the time we arrived in Navasota for lunch, there was a coating of the fine powder all over Raul and his bike.

Yes, it’s a black rim.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276364-M.jpg

A beautiful pair of Zuks.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276413-M.jpg

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276453-M.jpg

Raul - thank you for insisting on me handing over the camera. I usually hide behind it but then complain when there aren’t any pictures with me in them….

I figured I could give poor Raul a break after lunch, so I waited until we had a long section without directional changes and sent him on ahead. We did a few runs practicing locking up the back wheel from first and second gear. It’s something I was taught when I started, so I figured I could pass it on. It helps you get used to the feel of the bike doing its own thing - it’s about relinquishing control for a few seconds and trusting that your inputs will have the right effect.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276501-M.jpg

The advantage of being behind the lead rider in a group is the heads-up warnings you get. If you see the rider ahead of you wobble, wobble, plow, POOF! (huge puff of sand getting airborne), it means DON’T follow him into the beach-deep sand with any speed!

I hit the sand and got my own pucker before seeing Raul hit the deck. I deployed the outriggers and brought the beast to a halt, then asked if he was Ok. He was already up and answered yes, so I told him to stay still. I grabbed the camera - which is what any good friend would do after getting the “I’m Ok” from a downed rider.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276536-M.jpg

I almost let my bike’s weight down on my kickstand before realizing my bike was going over . Out comes the kickstand plate, which I’m very glad I put back in the tank bag! As I got to Raul, he was trying to get the bike up but the back end was sliding. I was able to hold the back end still while Raul grunted the weight back up onto the tires. The clutch lever looked like it might have gotten bent, but of all places to land on the ground, this fluffy sand was about the softest he could have picked.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276564-M.jpg

We continued on, and at least one CR listed on the map has either become private property or a property owner is WAY out of line to build where he/she/they did. It’s as if they dropped their house right ON the road. Grr

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276585-M.jpg

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276694-M.jpg

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276772-M.jpg

As we crossed over Hwy 30 southbound into the Sam Houston National Forest, the smell of fire wafted in the air. Raul and I agreed it appeared to be controlled brush fires to clear out the dense underbrush.

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276837-M.jpg

We played hot potato camera

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276854-M.jpg

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276889-M.jpg

Then headed for more of this

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208276959-M.jpg

The surface become less sandy and more rocky the farther east we went. We got to one of the trailhead parking areas and there were a few riders milling about, so we went in to take a break and look around. Nobody I recognized, but there was a pair on a GS and a Strom leaving as we arrived.

We took the opportunity to park the bikes and stretch for a few minutes, and Raul got a call that his presence was requested for dinner in the Woodlands. We’d let the day stretch on long enough, so we remounted and headed for I45, slabbing south. We waved adieu as Raul took his exit, and I wrestled my way through traffic back down into Houston. Mother Nature decided to pitch in on the bike and gear cleaning effort, opening up the skies with showers after I'd entered the loop, not stopping until I was a few blocks from home.

Purple - proposed route
Yellow - track log of today’s ride

http://squeaky.smugmug.com/photos/208358464-M.jpg

234 Miles
Start 09:15
End 18:31

Greasemonkey
10-15-2007, 07:54 AM
How much of that was paved,looks like a good run.

Kinda felt guilty on the c-v ride so I put Brian in the frt.
Had to at least get a little dusty or a mutiny might have occured!!!!

Cagiva 549
10-15-2007, 08:55 AM
Is 253 where they put there house in the middle of the road , I know there is one there just off 3090 . Looks like fun . SEYA

Squeaky
10-15-2007, 10:09 AM
Is 253 where they put there house in the middle of the road , I know there is one there just off 3090 . Looks like fun . SEYA

It was on CR187 between 285/185 and 224. There was an open gate but no signs about it being provate property so we went in. There was also a Dead End sign down where we'd turned onto it from 185 but the map said it continued so we tried it out.

Tourmeister
10-15-2007, 12:22 PM
It was on CR187 between 285/185 and 224. There was an open gate but no signs about it being provate property so we went in. There was also a Dead End sign down where we'd turned onto it from 185 but the map said it continued so we tried it out.

Yeah, I tried that one from both sides a long time back... I am pretty sure it has been reverted to private property and the maps have not been updated.

Hemibee
10-15-2007, 04:39 PM
Looks like y'all had fun and I enjoyed reading your report. You did the right thing or at least the thing a true friend would do............ take a picture of your friend when they are down. :rofl:

I kept looking for the dust or dirt y'all were supposed to be riding in. Couldn't find it in any of the pictures. Here is what a little dust looks like. Mopower and a few of his ride partners kicking up a little dust (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2074166332237668949&hl=en)

Ok, thread hi-jack over, I now return you to your normally scheduled thread.

Tourmeister
10-15-2007, 05:25 PM
Here is what a little dust looks like. Mopower and a few of his ride partners kicking up a little dust (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2074166332237668949&hl=en)

Ok, thread hi-jack over, I now return you to your normally scheduled thread.

That would be almost as much dust as I saw this weekend while running around the back roads of East Texas... :brainsnap Most of the time, I could not see the rider directly in front of me. To get out of the dust, I usually had to drop back about a half mile or more. It got real bad when you had no idea which way the road right in front of you was going to go :eek2: So much dust went up my nose it was coming out my ears this morning when I got busy with the Q-Tips!!

Outlander
10-15-2007, 10:01 PM
It was a great ride. Thanks Rebecca for taking the time to plan the rute and for leading. I think that for being the first time offroad I did fairly well.
We only found a couple of tricky spots: the sand trap where I felt and another one. They both also happend to be just after the two time she wave me to pass :ponder:

I hooked a camera support that worked very well. Too bad I kept the camera on all the time between shoots and video that the LCD screen drained all the battery in no time.

The beginning, College Park Dr. Note how clean the windshield was.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w115/houstonredrider/IMGP0811.jpg

Squicky sellecting the trip sound track. I was funny to see her shaking her head with the music during the ride.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w115/houstonredrider/IMGP0813.jpg

Here comes the dirt, there goes the battery

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w115/houstonredrider/IMGP0819.jpg


Very good time. Thanks

Cagiva 549
10-16-2007, 07:39 AM
I am going to tell you a dirt riding secret now so you dont have to spend many years learning it the hard way , When leading a dirt bike ride and you come to a difficult section that doesn't have an easy line to travel thru you slow down and wave somebody past so you will know where NOT to go . And get your camera out . SEYA

Squeaky
10-18-2007, 11:42 PM
I am going to tell you a dirt riding secret now so you dont have to spend many years learning it the hard way , When leading a dirt bike ride and you come to a difficult section that doesn't have an easy line to travel thru you slow down and wave somebody past so you will know where NOT to go . And get your camera out . SEYA

Hey now... Raul already thinks I "sacrificed him" to the sand gods twice, but I promise it wasn't intentional! :giveup:

Raul - at that intersection, I was actually digging in the tank bag for my camera. I'd forgotten to take it out and put the lanyard around my neck before we got underway.

I think you did great out there! No matter what, you stayed positive and just kept going - which is one of the most important parts of learning. I'm not a teacher, just a guide (and not a great one at that, but only one u-turn wasn't too bad).

Can't wait 'till next time!

Vrn_james
10-21-2007, 11:11 PM
Raul, That is not the first time that kick stand "Malfunctioned" It failed me the frist long trip I took on her, It had nothing to do with the fact I didnt put it all the way down. Hope you enjoy her, I really miss her...

Outlander
10-23-2007, 10:59 PM
Raul, That is not the first time that kick stand "Malfunctioned" It failed me the frist long trip I took on her, It had nothing to do with the fact I didnt put it all the way down. Hope you enjoy her, I really miss her...

It was not the kick stand that caused the failure. It was the part that Becca described as:

"If you see the rider ahead of you wobble, wobble, plow, POOF! (huge puff of sand getting airborne), it means DON’T follow him into the beach-deep sand with any speed! "
I actually lost control of the bike in the sand trap.

I already had a close call with the kick stand but I am loving this bike, the CBR is raw sex, the Wee is more the gf that will share your adventures.