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12 days, 3125mi, thru NM, AZ, and CO

Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#1
I just got back from almost two weeks on the road, had one of the best trips of my life, and thought I'd share some photos. I'm not as poetic at story telling as some of y'all, so bear with me.

I left San Marcos at 530am, having already prepped myself mentally that the first day (getting out of Texas) was going to suck. And it did.
Around Fort Stockton I got my first flat. It was 100* out, pavement was hot as a skillet, and my tires were as soft as butter. I pulled off I10 to the frontage when my rear started to dance back and forth, and discovered my rear flat. I had nothing to prop the bike up, so walked the frontage a bit looking for something suitable til I found a 2x4 about 12" long. I jammed it under the skid plate and I pulled a small piece of metal out, patched it, and rode on.
If any of you reading this now are one of the guys that rode passed me and didn't stop: NOT COOL!!!!
About two hours later I got my second flat. That time I managed to make it to a rest area, and was under shade cover at least.
I pushed on, and stopped just south of Hatch NM at 930pm. I rode to a campground, but the gates were locked. Still on the bike, I looked to my right and there was a guy standing in the dark next to a bike, locked out as well. He was a Scottsman, traveling the world on a 94 SupTen that had already circumnavigated the globe previously. The next morn, I dragged him into Hatch to dine on all things hatch chili. I was then hitting the NMBDR in TOC, and he was headed to SoCal, so we parted ways.
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#2
I forgot to mention the dude I met in Van Horn, riding this moto bicycle to N Carolina. I felt like a pansy when compared to his adventure. Note his lack of gear! As a side note, it was odd being in Van Horn EXACTLY one year to the day after my huge (life changing) wreck on the NMBDR. Anyway...
I jumped on the NMBDR at TOC, and rode the section to Luna, right on the AZ border. No flats, but I did have a couple gnarly get-offs. I chose to ride my white DR650 because it had a Shinko 705 in the rear (great for all the pavement) and taller gearing (great for all the pavement). I knew the tires were going to make the trail sections a little more challenging, but everything is a trade off. On my first get-off, the bike slid down a trail on its right side after slipping on a rock. I ripped off the right side pannier that I got from Trail Boss, which is why in all the forthcoming pics it is not mounted. The fall also ripped my armored moto jeans to the point that it was almost inappropriate to wear them in public. Actually it was, but I had no choice at the time.
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#3
From Luna NM, I rode trails into AZ, slowly making my way to Flagstaff, where Overland Expo was being held. I had not planned any route for this whole trip, I just kinda let things happen as they may. the first couple pics are of McLaws Road, from Holbrook AZ to Winslow. After riding quite a while through desert, the road crossed an unexpected waterway, over a beautiful pony truss bridge. Once in Winslow, I stopped at WalMart and bought some CarHarts to replace my armored jeans. from there I rode into Flagstaff, and went to Overland Expo for the weekend.
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#6
After the Expo, I rode down to Sedona, to bum around off road a little. Pics are from Snebley Rd, Sedona in the distance. From Sedona I had an uneventful ride up to Durango. I spent a couple days riding around Durango area, which, by the way, was in the 70s, while back home it was around 100*...
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#7
While in Durango, my cheapo chain with only 3000mi was rusted and kinking badly. The Fun Center/dealership was of no help, but upon exiting there was a bad to the bone yellow Yama parked next to me. I knew by looking at it, that whomever owned the bike, knew bikes. So I waited for the owner to exit. When he did, he immediately offered for me to use his tools at his place just over the border in NM. So I followed him to his hideout. Once we were done messing with my chain, he offer to take me trail riding. And yes, that is a couch in a cave.
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#8
I am forever grateful to Bob for his kindness!

He asked if I was decent off road, which I foolishly said "yes". I could not kick start his Bultaco, so he stuck me on his old WR250 race bike, and proceeded to drag me through insane single track. It's hard to tell from the pics, but it was VERY steep. I finally had to throw up the white flag, and tell him I was not skilled enough to follow him any more. We went back to his place and smoked and BSed into the night til I had to go to sleep. Bob was kind enough to ask if I needed a knife for the night. I replied "I hope not. What would I need a knife for?" He replied "Cougars". I kept the 2x4 I found in Texas next to me while I slept, so if I was awakened by a wild cat, I had something to throw for it to play fetch.
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#9
Upon waking in the morning, and realizing I had not been eaten, rode back up to Durango for a little more exploring, and practicing changing flat tires. The next day I started my way back to Texas, once again hitting the NMBDR on my way south.
 

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Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#11
More pics from the NMBDR headed south. And of course flat number 5 for the trip. FYI- the 2x4 I found on I10 in Texas made the entire trip with me, and was used every time I got a flat.

This was one of the best trips I have been on. The weather was perfect. Aside from the flats, I didn't break down. I did 3125 miles, spent $180 on fuel, and $200 on food. I did buy a new rear tire and tube in Durango, and was a bit annoyed that the salesman gave me a senior citizen discount after I asked for it (I'm 41). In all fairness, he did look me over and commented I didn't look like a Senior Citizen , to which I replied that I use copious amounts of face cream.

Hope y'all enjoyed living vicariously through my ride report. Get out there and ride your own ride!
 

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Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
748
Location
Denton
#12
Great report, mostly back home for me. One day I hope to ride that once the kids get older and the wife signs off on it. Anything you would have done differently on the tire situation. That's a lot of flats.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#13
Ahh yes, the "wife" situation. Im not even going to comment publicly on that issue....

Tires? I met up with a couple friends at Overland Expo, and one asked me the same thing. At that time I only had two flats! I replied that going into this trip, I mentally prepared myself for this type of thing. Meaning: It's called ADV riding for a reason. I EXPECT to get flats. I EXPECT to fall down/crash. Therefore, when it actually happens, it's not a surprise, or such a bummer. It's just part of ADV riding. Each time I go out, whether on a 6 hour ride or a two week ride, I view it as a shakedown run for the next ride. My equipment gets refined each time, I pack a little better each time, and I change a tire a little quicker each time. I could change the rear to tubeless I suppose, but I think 5 flats in 3125 miles was a bit of a fluke. ORRRRR..... the ADV gods wanted me to practice a little more.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
748
Location
Denton
#14
That's a good way to mentally prepare for sure. I need to get better at changing tires and tubes. I guess the side of I10 in the sun with a 2x4 is a good way to learn. . Tubeless seems like a good way to go so you can plug and keep moving. Or you can run heavy off road tires with super thick sidewalls and then air in the tire is optional. . Great report and pictures.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,267
Location
Huntsville
#17
That IS a lot of flats! :huh2:

I don't think I've ever had more than maybe two on my own bike in a single trip. However, I have been on some group rides that seemed to have a flat every time we rounded a corner! :brainsnap

That is totally cool that you hooked up with Bob and got to ride with him. I love that kind of stuff.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,452
Location
Sugar Land, TX
#21
I was at overland too. Met the fellow in the sidecar with his pup. Nice guy, friends of Ara and Spirit, who he called his inspiration.

Tons of cool stuff to see and do at overland. I basically wandered, sorta buzzed on a friend's whiskey, enjoying the overload of everything overland.

If you go next year give me a shout. I'm in Phoenix.
 
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
136
Location
New Braunfels, TX
#23
And I was feeling all sorry for myself for getting three flats in one month. Five on one trip? That just seems like ridiculously bad luck. But you have fortitude and a good attitude about it.

Do you think anything could have prevented your flats? Were you using any product like Rideon or anything like that?

Reading this really makes me want to go ahead and work on sealing my bike's rims and running tubeless.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,907
Location
Bryan, TX
#25
I've been on literally hundreds of single and group off road rides. Knock on wood and throw salt over my shoulder. We have never fixed a flat beside the road or trail. Same goes for on road rides!!! Nice report.
 

StromXTc

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
1,163
Location
George West
#26
Fix in flats...i did it in the cold 2 Christmas ago. You can do it when you have to. I used a Mesquite branch for a crutch and spooned the tire with the axle bolt.

Thanks for sharing, no tent ...nice if you can do it.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#27
Were you using any product like Rideon or anything like that?
I had Slime in the tires, and was surprised on a couple of the flats that it didn't work.




no tent ...nice if you can do it.
I used to carry a tent, but never set it up (seriously- NEVER set it up), so just stopped carrying one. My current modus operandi is to lay my 12x12 tarp out, roll the bike on to one edge ( to hold it down if wind kicks up), then set up my pad and bag next to the bike, leaving about half the tarp available to taco over myself if it rains. If I know it is going to rain hard, then I'm not going to camp that night anyway, I'll get a motel.

A few of my buddies give me flack about the non tent thing, citing bears for a reason for use of a tent. To thing that a bear or cougar is discouraged from eating you due to a millimeter of fabric is akin to thinking a fat guy won't eat a candy bar because there is a wrapper around it.
 

StromXTc

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
1,163
Location
George West
#28
I had Slime in the tires, and was surprised on a couple of the flats that it didn't work.






I used to carry a tent, but never set it up (seriously- NEVER set it up), so just stopped carrying one. My current modus operandi is to lay my 12x12 tarp out, roll the bike on to one edge ( to hold it down if wind kicks up), then set up my pad and bag next to the bike, leaving about half the tarp available to taco over myself if it rains. If I know it is going to rain hard, then I'm not going to camp that night anyway, I'll get a motel.

A few of my buddies give me flack about the non tent thing, citing bears for a reason for use of a tent. To thing that a bear or cougar is discouraged from eating you due to a millimeter of fabric is akin to thinking a fat guy won't eat a candy bar because there is a wrapper around it.
good copy, i think the tent thing would just serve as a deterrent to a large predator since they would not recognize the tent so much as a food source (could certainly smell however especially if you have some kind of food smells) dont get me wrong, you dont want to test my hypothesis please. this texas taco, as you call it;-) is a great idea to keep the damp off (not so much out west however). i expect these are the kinds of things presented at the show you went to.
 
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Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
748
Location
Denton
#29
I'm with you on the tent thing. Years of boy scout backpacking and I never used a tent. Tarp was way lighter and quicker to set up in a rain storm if caught out in it.
I had Slime in the tires, and was surprised on a couple of the flats that it didn't work.






I used to carry a tent, but never set it up (seriously- NEVER set it up), so just stopped carrying one. My current modus operandi is to lay my 12x12 tarp out, roll the bike on to one edge ( to hold it down if wind kicks up), then set up my pad and bag next to the bike, leaving about half the tarp available to taco over myself if it rains. If I know it is going to rain hard, then I'm not going to camp that night anyway, I'll get a motel.

A few of my buddies give me flack about the non tent thing, citing bears for a reason for use of a tent. To thing that a bear or cougar is discouraged from eating you due to a millimeter of fabric is akin to thinking a fat guy won't eat a candy bar because there is a wrapper around it.
Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

misterk

Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
851
Location
Colleyville
#30
Great report, thanks. I will say you are a flat magnet lol

I have been trying to get to ox the last 2 years, but something always comes up. This year it was he Kenny Chesney concert in Arlington.

You are tough as ducks guts sleeping rolled in a tarp. I would be thinking about the woolly buggers crawling in my ears, nose and mouth while I slept. :)
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2016
Messages
203
Location
San Juans
#33
I started with a TKC80 on the front, and Shinko 705 at the rear. The TKC gives enough grip on gravel, the 705 is more a road tire (great for all the pavement getting out of Texas) and is real fun in the gravel (think flat track drift turns). The 705 sucked for certain super rocky downhill sections though. When in Durango, I swapped the beat rear for a TKC80 to match the front.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
121
Location
Granbury, Texas
#35
I forgot to mention the dude I met in Van Horn, riding this moto bicycle to N Carolina. I felt like a pansy when compared to his adventure. Note his lack of gear! As a side note, it was odd being in Van Horn EXACTLY one year to the day after my huge (life changing) wreck on the NMBDR. Anyway...
I jumped on the NMBDR at TOC, and rode the section to Luna, right on the AZ border. No flats, but I did have a couple gnarly get-offs. I chose to ride my white DR650 because it had a Shinko 705 in the rear (great for all the pavement) and taller gearing (great for all the pavement). I knew the tires were going to make the trail sections a little more challenging, but everything is a trade off. On my first get-off, the bike slid down a trail on its right side after slipping on a rock. I ripped off the right side pannier that I got from Trail Boss, which is why in all the forthcoming pics it is not mounted. The fall also ripped my armored moto jeans to the point that it was almost inappropriate to wear them in public. Actually it was, but I had no choice at the time.
I have read of a ex British serviceman just post WW2 who rode around the world on a moped. He certainly has a bigger set than most anybody I have ever met.
 
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