View Full Version : North Houston Riders Go Exploring!

04-23-2006, 11:22 PM
This morning I notice that DBDOLAN had posted that he was wanting to go exploring and was curious if any folks wanted to go with him. Well There were four of us DBDOLAN, GeorgiaPeach, BaseBill and I, R1200GSA.

GeorgiaPeach was on her DRZ400, as was BaseBill. At least I think they were 400's. Very nice bikes you guys. DBDOLAN was on his KLR650, but rode it like it was a 400 or smaller :trust:

I was on the new GS Adventure and did my best to keep up :rider:

This is the route that we took today. A mear 175 miles and 4+hours of actual moving time.

I was orignally stating that almost 60% of this ride was on dirt roads, but mathmatically it doesn't add up. But let it be known that we spend ALOT of time on dirt county roads, one might argue that it wasn't really dirt in some spots, more like driving through miles and miles of marbles or golf balls. Alot of fun even if it was a challenge.


I have also attached a GPX file of the route we took that I made using MAPSOURCE.

Check back later for pics of the ride.

But as a tease, know that the ride started for me with being late to the meeting spot because I was held up by a train, later in the day I do get my revenge though.

Unfortunately as our ride was concluding just north of the woodlands after 6 hours of great riding, making new friends, having a good hamburger and all; we witness the aftermath a tragic incident where a Gold Wing Rider was killed (http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9123).

04-23-2006, 11:31 PM
Looks like a fun route. How many miles?

04-24-2006, 06:34 AM
Duke, when I got home and looked at my bike it looked liked I'd been through the Sahara....he, he. Will download pictures today and post.

04-24-2006, 07:48 AM

04-24-2006, 07:50 AM

04-24-2006, 02:09 PM
Sorry, I had to work this morning..... Here we go

So, I too saw Bryan’s post about venturing out on Sunday. A check of the weather says it gonna be hot….should I go or not? Well, I haven’t had the pleasure of Bryan’s company for a while, so I decide to go, hot or not. We met up at the gas station and I met Bryan’s neighbor Bill. Bill has my sister bike, a Suzuki DR-Z 400E, with a street legal kit on it and the Clarke gas tank which affords him 3.9 gals of fuel I believe. So, me with my measly stock tank will be of concern, but it turns out - really not. You’ve already seen the route posted by Duke and we had convenient stops which included gas for me. Checking my mileage, I got between 56 and 61 doing the dirt roads, but the leg on the highway at 72 “Suzuki miles per hour” brought me down to 49 miles per gallon.

Anyway, the route we took led us to Bryan’s famous hill from his previous post. So we made him ride up and down until we were satisfied that he could do it expertly. (I did remove a piece of fence slat from the tire track, in case it had a rusty nail)

Bryan on the road coming up to the hill

Bryan starts climbing…

Still climbing….

Getting further up…

Really close to the top….

Looks like he’s gonna make it with sans face plant…

To the Top!

At the top of the hill waited Duke and Bill. You will see behind them a rural mailbox. Well we started looking at the wildflowers which were still blooming and I noticed all this mail strewn about. Looked like it had been there awhile and was really spread out.

We couldn’t see any house which could have been attached to this particular box, but it had a number on it and it matched the number on the mail, so back in the box it went.
Next time we go by we will have to see if the mail returns to the meadow.

Eventually, we made our way to a road which runs parallel to this train track. We really hoped it went through to a bridge we could see at the very end. Riding these rocks was pretty close to what I imagine riding on golf balls would be like, but it was still fun.

Duke liked the train.

Duke really liked the train….

Duke still looking at the train….Come on…..Duke!

Well there was no need to hurry, because at the end of the road we found this.

And had to turn around and go back the way we came, Bryan and Bill turnaround.

So we ride out, and just after we pass the train again I see Duke in my rearview making a uturn and heading back to the train. Ok, did he drop something???? Still waiting….Oh, here he comes – had to go back for more pictures of the train. Duke, do we need to visit the Lionel Store on the way back? Where are all these pictures anyway? Just kidding, you know that if Bryan had remembered his camera we would have been stopping more than we did. I shouldn’t be so shy about making us stop, because later when I am home, I always berate myself about not taking enough pictures.

Anyway, we did make it to the unnamed gas station hamburger joint in Shiro and the guys had their burgers. It was getting to be 5:30pm by this time and we decided it was time to head for home.

It was on the way home when we passed the accident and saw Ripley on the side helping. We didn’t want to get in the way of the police and it looked like there were enough people there helping so after stopping down the road, we decided to push on. As soon as I got in I called Mark to check in and see when he and Alex were going to get home.

Thanks again to Bryan for keeping me in his rearview for this little adventure. The TKC 80's did really well, although I did have to pull out of a couple of squirrely moments - should have aired down another pound. Oh yeah, and no matter what Bill says, that Honda CRV didn't come that close when I almost turned left in front of it...I said ALMOST.

04-25-2006, 01:11 AM
Great report! Nice pics! I wish that I could have made it. One of these days. My KLX is ready to go!

04-25-2006, 02:26 PM
Nice report and pic's Georgia:clap: That little hill looks bigger in person that it does in the pictures. That is about as big as it get's in our area:doh: where are those train pic's Duke?:trust: From looking at myself on the KLR I look to large for the bike, maybe I need to get a GS.

04-25-2006, 10:46 PM
I promise when I get back home (in california currently), I will complete what I started. Before I called it quits sunday night I had resized all the pictures and when I get home I will post them and complete the ride report, including the pics of me playing with the life size lionel train set!!! (yes I am a sucker for trains...)

I just want to thank the three of you again for letting me join in, Bryan, Georgia and Bill, you made me feel very comfortable and even taught me at thing or two, (thanks Bill on the suspension tip!). The GS is no comparison to the DRZ or the KLR but y'all didn't make it out to be a competition, and I appreciate it. Not too fast, not too slow, just an easy ride about the country side with some excitement in the squirly gravel that really tested my competency with the new ride.


04-27-2006, 12:37 PM
I believe I have the same tires on my f650 (Tourances) that you have on the gs. If I'd been on the f650 I would have been sliding around a whole lot more. As it was, I did a lot of chanting that day "let the front wheel go where it wants to....keep your elbows bent and loose...etc" Although those roads were not half as bad as some Scott has led us to. I will post a good website that has dirt handling tips, it is meant for racers, but a lot of the info applies. I will find it later.

You are a great sport for all the train ribbing I did to you, it made for a fun story. Next ride report you can pick on me, I am usually good fodder for jokes!

Here's one link I found with dirt riding info: http://www.yamaha-motor.com.au/hot_news/index.htm?rider_training.asp

04-27-2006, 01:06 PM
Trains are just cool. Machines are cool. Big things are cool. Big machines are the coolest!

04-29-2006, 06:17 PM
Sorry to take so long in putting this up.

So like I said earlier, dbdolan (bryan) had posted that he was wanting to go exploring and was looking for company, and I decided to join in. Sunday the 23rd was a great day to go riding, not too warm and really pleasant while rolling down the road. I left the house and was making my way to the meet up spot for 12:30, and while on Kurkyendal, I was held up several minutes by a train. :yawn: (dang trains). So I pull up to the Valero station as Bryan, Georgia & Bill were pulling out. Luckily they were the curious sort of people and although hesitantly, Bryan turned around in the parking lot and pulled up next to this fat guy on a fat bike, "Hi, I'm Bryan, you want'a play?" Sure, my name is Duke, i mean... R1200GSA... uh, just call me Duke. I need to fill up, and I will be ready to go... So as the bike is filling up, and taking forever, (8.7 Gal Tank remember?), I introduce my self to Bill and Georgia. Thanks for waiting on me guys (seems like there is a theme starting here ;-) )

Finally I get topped off, and we hit the road...


We make our way up from Spring all the way to Montgomery when the skinny bikes decide they need a drink before we venture too far off the beaten path :-P . They top off thier tanks and I collect some water and ice and fill up my cooler that is on the fat bike, and we head off, with me wondering just where are we actually going to end up today.

This is a nice road, I am really going to enjoy exploring with Bryan... he likes the out of the way blacktops.. this is great, no pot holes to worry about, no gravel, NO DUST... this is going to be a... :yawn: ...adventure day.. yea... adventure day.


Well a stop sign or two later, the situation changes...


again, a couple of stop signs later... this is starting to get FUN!




Now the pictures are only showing part of the story... It appears that we only ride straight, well maintained dirt roads, as I was taking the pictures as we were riding them. But for me, as the fat guy with the fat bike, I can promise you that these roads had many curves and piled up gravel IN THE CURVES, I should have taken a picture of the holes that were pinched out of my seat so you would believe me :trust: ... I know, stand up and you don't have to worry about that type of damage being done.... chalk it up to lessons learned.

We ride a pretty good bit, and eventually stop off at the hill that Bryan likes. We all park and watch Bryan ride the KLR up and down the hill a couple of times and shoot the breeze as we sip our water.


This is when Georgia tries to steal somebody’s mail.


I snapped that picture just before she stuffed her pockets with this mans mail. I have since forwarded this photo to the post master as the three guys that were there asking, no... pleading with her, to not steal this mans SS Check fell on deaf ears. I warned you Georgia, best not answer the door when someone comes knocking :lol2: Seriously, pieces of mail were laying all over the place and Georgia was kind enough to collect it all and replace it in this persons mail box... The girl scouts would be proud of her.

We leave the hill side and make our way to Anderson.


It is not to long after we leave Anderson that I achieve a milestone


Turned 1000 miles on the bike after 14 days of ownership!

If it looks like the instrument cluster is dusty.. it is. I finally got the courage up and tried to ride up front, this way the team was not waiting on me to catch up. While riding this road;


I am sorry for the DUST BATH that Bryan and I gave Bill and Georgia, I mean it. When I looked behind me, it was a solid dust cloud and you could not even see those two. I promise I was not chuckling to myself and did not have a smile on my face at all while looking back.

We get to a spot where the skinny bikes have to get another drink and I am really surprised at just how dusty everything got. Check out my rear wheel.


We leave this watering hole and make our way out towards lake gibbins.

It is while we are riding along our tour guide pulls off thinking that the road were on does not cross the lake…

Skinny Bike, Skinny Bike, FAT Bike, Skinny Bike. (I new it was wide, but dang!) It will give a guy a complex….

As you can see we are riding along a set of train tracks, and wouldn’t you know it there is a train that we can just see a good ways off in the distance… In chimes the fat guy… “We riding towards the train?”. I am not sure what the answer was as I was already mounting up to head that way.

Now I do admit that I am a sucker for trains… call it the Big Machines are cool factor, I don’t know, but I have always enjoyed them. Now here we are 4 hours from the house on a new bike and I can actually get close enough to touch the thing… so…. PHOTO OP!!


Yes that is the rest of the guys up in the back ground wondering just what is taking me so long…

Riding along the side of the train on what was mapped as a county road proved to be for me the most difficult ride of the day. The rocks from the tracks had spilled onto what one alleges a road way, and it was like driving on golf balls.


I eventually catch up and we take a breather and take the obligatory group photo.

L-R, Duke (r1200gsa), Georgia (georgiapeach) Bill (basebill) & Bryan (dbdolan)

We mount up and continue down the golf ball road as the GPS says that yes it does cross the lake, until they are stopped by a gate.


So we turn around and head out,


But I have to hold up the group one last time. I figure since the ride started with me being held up by a train, guess the ride could end with me holding the rest of the riders up as I played with a train.

I don’t know why but I REALLY like this picture.


We basically ended our exploring here. We got back to the hard stuff and rode over to Shilo and had a burger. There I get invited to take point and lead the group back down south. So I program the GPS to go home via the fastest route and just follow what the lady tells me.

I thought it interesting that when 149 y’d off the road we were on, Bill decided to take it as he thought it quicker (I assume), and Georgia and Bryan follow me, well follow me by following a 45mph truck out on a Sunday drive all the way to Montgomery. We are able to group up again when 105 goes to four lanes and make our way to 2854 onwards to Honea Egypt road. It is about a mile or so before we turn on Honea Egypt road that Bill re-joins us, or we re-join him?? I am just scooting along when I see this skinny bike enter 2854 about 1/3 mile up the road. I am sure that Bill was doing 45/50 mph for the 25 miles or so that it took to get there from the y in the road that we had to do. Maybe the gps is right about Fastest Routes???

We had the misfortune of seeing the aftermath of the gold wing incident while making our way back to the woodlands, but overall it was a great day.

Thanks guys for letting me tag along.

04-29-2006, 11:37 PM
Great report! Cool pics. I too love heavy machinery..especially trains! What a combination...riding around on a DS bike, train spotting! Love it! And the pic of the GS on the tracks with the locomotive behind it is priceless!
I hope to get a chance to ride out there sometime and check it out. And I really want to have a shot at 'dbdolan' Bryans hillclimb. Looks cool!

05-02-2006, 07:36 AM
I donít know why but I REALLY like this picture.


This is a really cool picture and it was worth the wait. Now about those Social Security checks we found........shhhhh......

05-02-2006, 11:45 AM
I have this adventurous desire to find these places in the pics. Bryan's 'hill climb', and the train tracks. I'm gonna take another ride on the KLX today.


05-04-2006, 10:42 AM
That railroad track running past Gibbons Lake shows as abandoned in my Railroad Atlas, but it does show that it's there. I need to find out how far it runs. The atlas shows it running from Lola to the North down to Nelleva Jct just North of Navasota. It was once owned by TNO (Texas New Orleans RR).
There is another fallen-flag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallen_flag)'abandoned' line running from Navastota, North through Anderson, Roans Prarie, Singleton, Larimer, Bedias, and on into Madosonville where it ends. It was owned by Missouri Pacific. I may just have to do some exploring to see if there is any track bed left behind to follow.:rider: