View Full Version : Fannin county part 2

05-28-2006, 11:33 AM
On New Years day 2006 I instigated a dual sport ride to check out some of the lesser traveled roads in Fannin county. There were two people that responded to that call to arms, Sprocket and Sleepy Weasel. On that ride we got a little late start, ate lunch late and were all pretty much worn out by the time we got to the lunch stop. So we decided to all slab it home and cut the ride short.

Good Morning was the title of the PM I got when I logged into twtex.com when I got to work Wednesday morning. It was Mcleod asking what my plans were for the weekend.

oldbmw: to ride
Mcleod: me to
Oldbmw: where?
Mcleod: Not sure
Mcleod: maybe Red River Dirt Trails
Oldbmw (quietly muttered at his terminal): That new to you XR650L is gonna kill you!
Oldbmw: I've been wanting to finish a Fannin county dirt road ride. Wanna do that?
Mcleod: Ok sounds good

And the stage was set. I pm'd a couple of people including the original riders to make sure they saw the post about finishing the ride. Sprocket and Sleepy Weasel both were able to clear their social calendars for an early 8:00 AM start at the McDonald's in Bonham.

After the last ride I posted a report much like this one, and Bonham resident Hop noticed we were riding in his neck of the woods and gave me explicit instructions to let him know the next time we headed over to his hood. So he was on the list of pm's I sent out alerting to the ride thread.

Well 6:00 AM comes pretty quick when you hit the sack at midnight, but that's ok. I gear up and go out to the garage to kick my baby. I had 50 miles on the clock when I left the house so I thought I would just fill up in Whiteright where I was meeting up with Mcleod. Well about 10 miles from Whiteright the DR sputters and instantly dies, I pull over, check the vacuum cap that has been known to fall of killing the bike, it's still there. I can't be out of gas, I've only got 57 miles on this tank, but I put it on reserve and try. Kick 1, kick 2, she thumps to life.

I pass a gas station but I'm only 5 miles from whiteright and I should get at least 15-20 miles on reserve. 4 1/2 miles later, sputter, sputter die. WHAT? I can't be out of gas in 7 miles. I've seen this bike get 90 miles on a tank. I guess maybe I have been flogging it a bit harder that usual lately. Lean it over to the petcock side and she starts right up.

Ok the plan was to ride dirt to Bonham with Mcleod and then hook up with the other guys. I fill up, eat a quick biscuit and were off. The route I picked out sucked until we crossed highway 82 then it was pretty good. We were trucking along and suddenly I see we passed a turn.

oldbmw: did you see a road back there?
Mckeoad: nope.

We turn around and where the road is supposed to be is a faint glimmer of what used to be pavement and a locked gate. So a quick re-route and were on our way.

We finally get to McDonald's and Sleepy Weasel is there waiting on us. Turns out Sleepy ate to many sardines and drank to many margaritas the night before and was having some stomach problems. I checked my voice mail and Sprocket's bike had no spark so he was out, his friend Andre however was heading our way and should be there about 8:15. 8:45 and Sleepy Weasel emerges from the bathroom ( ok maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration) But there is still no Andre. I say OK we'll give him until 9:00 to get here since Sprocket said he was coming.

I'm getting ready to put my helmet on and then Andre pulls up. Sleepy decides his stomach is not up to the task at hand and decides to hoof it back. Sorry buddy, you missed a great ride.

We hit the road following mostly the same route we did the first time but most of the dead ends taken out...well except for one. We hit the open gate with the sign that says no trespassing, violators will be prosecuted. Andre says it does not say will be shot so he's all for going on. I decide that I don't have the ready cash to get bailed out of jail so we turn around.

These were good roads on the first half just like I remember them. Can't wait till the second half.

Honey Grove is not that far away and we are pretty much right on schedule for meeting Hop for lunch where he will join us for the second half of the ride.

At this point I think I should replay some of the conversation I had with Hop.

Hop: I don't have a dual sport bike anymore but I can meet you guys in Honey grove and then ride with you.
Oldbmw:?? uhh, ok ??
Hop: My MZ does pretty good on gravel, I'll just ride in the back.
Oldbmw:?? uhh, ok ??
Hop: we can ride your route until we get close to my house then you can ride some of the trails I've got cut out there.
Oldbmw: ?? uhh, ok ??

Now I'll take my street bike down gravel roads but I'm not sure I would take off on DS ride with a bunch of guys I've never met on it.

Were eating lunch and an XR650R pulls into the parking lot. who's this? The rider gets off and asks if we are the Fannin county DS ride. I said you betcha buddy. Turns out Mudshark came up from Frisco to join us.

We get to a dirt road that has grass growing up the middle ( i just love roads with grass in the middle) so I stop and tell Hop who is hanging in the number two spot behind me on his street bike that I'm gonna go ahead and set up to take some pictures.

I find the spot I like, get my camera out and Mcleod is already blazing down the two track. I get him coming around the corner, then I hear him hit the ground. Don't worry I got pics, there coming up.

All the roads were pretty good, the second half had more pavement in it but the dirt was pretty good complete with one semi-dry low water crossing with a good size drop off heading into it that came as a complete surprise, especially to Hop. Did I mention Hop was on a street bike?

I just knew hop was behind me and he was going to fall on this one. I stopped as fast as I could signaling for him to slow down so I could get my camera out and get the picture. He must not have seen me telling him to slow down because as soon as I got off my bike he was next to me with wet pants.

Well everybody made it through the water crossing we stopped soon after for a shady rest. And a look at the map to figure out how close we where to Hop's house. We got our bearings and were on our way. At Highway 271 Hop took the lead and turned down a gravel road. Did I mention Hop just did 50 miles of dirt and gravel on a street bike? When he got in front and knew where he was going he did it even faster.

We rode his TIGHT trails mostly only suitable for a mountain bike. Of course Hop was able to switch to a more suitable bike for the trails, a KTM 400. When We were done we all headed to Bonham where we were to split ways. Mcleod and I headed back towards Whiteright and Mudshark headed to Frisco. Andre had left earlier before we got to hop's house.

It turned out to be a great ride, the weather was never really an issue, and the route is absolutely worth doing again so if anybody wants to hit some Fannin county dirt just let me know.


Once Andre shows up on his KLR that makes it an official ride.


We stop at the spot where they grow dirt.


Yep that's a street tire next to a line of knobbies.


Mcleod just before his bike decides it's tired and wants a rest.


Sleeping bike


Hop on his street bike.






Locked gate rest stop.


Mudshark makes a couple of quick adjustments.


That's all folks.

05-28-2006, 12:10 PM
Great report Chris, thanks for a fun day.
Next time count me in, I'll have to get up early enough to do the first half
with you :mrgreen:

05-28-2006, 02:39 PM
Great write up. Just one clarification my pants were only wet because of the puddle at the bottom of the drop not because of any fear activated leakage. Also I did see him motion to slow down its just hard to slow down from speed with street tires on gravel.

05-29-2006, 02:22 AM
No toilet pic? Ride never happened... :whatever:

05-29-2006, 08:33 AM
look closely in the locked gate pic, someone is using natures toilet.

05-29-2006, 09:01 PM
Yes, but there is no pic of it :-P

05-29-2006, 09:03 PM
Yes, but there is no pic of it :-P

What, do you think I'm some kind of weirdo? Nevermind don't answer that.

05-29-2006, 10:13 PM
Awesome write up Chris.. Hop's place is awesome, tight and twisty. The amazing part is that he mowed that trail with a push mower.:eek2:

I haven't a clue what I did in that corner execpt that it was wrong. Each time I go out I get more experience. You can't do that watching the discovery channell.

Thanks again, it was a wonderful ride.

05-29-2006, 11:29 PM
Don't try to lean the bike and body together like you do on the road. That is a sure way to lowside. You need to keep your weight forward and over the contact patch of the front end. This way if the back end slides around, the front keeps tracking until the rear gets back in line... usually... :flip:

05-30-2006, 08:32 AM
Awesome write up Chris.. Hop's place is awesome, tight and twisty. The amazing part is that he mowed that trail with a push mower.:eek2:

The open areas were mowed with a riding mower or a walk behind brush mower. The stuff in the trees was mowed with a push mower as well as the 2 miles or so of stuff that you did not see because its too tight to take the big bikes on. I can ride my wifes TTR 225 or my KTM300 on all of them but I still have to stop to angle through some of the trees and cut a few of the corners where the trees are just too close together. If you ever want to ride mountain bikes on them let me know, I ride almost every Sunday in Bonham State park and on my trails.

05-30-2006, 05:35 PM
Ahhh good stuff:dude:

05-31-2006, 01:44 PM
Nice report fellas...looks like you're putting that DR to good use oldbmw!