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Adventure Quest - NW Arkansas May 23-24, 2009

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Rich
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Gibbens
Adventure Quest
May 23 - 24, 2009 (Memorial Day Weekend)
Clarksville, AR

What better way to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy than by seeking adventure on Memorial Day weekend?

Northwest Arkansas gets a lot of attention from motorcyclists. Deservedly so. The paved roads in that part of the state almost appear to have been designed specifically for riding, with miles of twisties, mountain scenery, and not a lot of other vehicle traffic. No wonder riders keep going back again and again.

Well, I've heard the paved road aren't the only great thing about northwest Arkansas; the dual sport riding there is reported to be just as good. I've ridden the paved roads there on my street bike but have not yet had an opportunity to test out the dual sport riding, so it's time to fix that. Let's get together over Memorial Day weekend and explore the adventure riding opportunities in the Ozark Mountains.

The Plan: Meet up on Saturday morning, 8 a.m., May 23, 2009, in the parking lot of the Day's Inn, Clarksville, AR. Ride all day Saturday and Sunday. Head home on Monday.

Ride HQ: Day's Inn
Interstate 40, exit 55
Clarksville, AR
479-754-8555
Group rate: $41 per night for a single, $45 per night for a double.
To get the group rate you need to call the hotel and tell them you are with the Gibbens riding group. If the person on the phone doesn't know about the group rate tell them we worked the rate out with Ankur, the owner.

Riders Meeting: 8 a.m., Day's Inn parking lot

Sleeping: I'm staying at the Day's Inn and that's where we will meet each morning for the riders meeting. There are lots of other hotel choices in Clarksville in case the Day's Inn is full.

Maps and GPS: I've had map sets of the national forest made for this event. A set consists of four 11x17 color map sheets and is $5 per set. Or riders can buy an Ozark National Forest map from the national forest service for about $9-10. I've plotted out 6 routes on the GPS and the files are posted on my web site.

What should you ride? Your dual sport bike. Will there be routes suitable for both the big adventure bikes and the dual sport bikes? Not really, at least not in my limited experience. The non-paved roads in the area seem to consist of easy class 1 dirt / gravel roads and hard, rocky class 3 dirt roads. There isn't much class 2 riding. For this reason, if you want to ride off-pavement I recommend a dual sport bike, not one of the big adventure bikes. While you can ride an Adventure bike on class 3 it is a heck of a lot of work and not much fun, in my opinion. I'll be on my DRZ-400, not my Wee, for this very reason.

What if all I have is a big Adventure bike? Should I stay home? Well, you could stick to the pavement. Seriously, the paved roads in northwest Arkansas are world-class twisties and are destination worthy all by themselves. Or, if you don't mind riding class 1 dirt/gravel, then there are ample dirt roads to play on. But, if you want more of a challenge and are looking for class 2, then this isn't the ride for you.

My intent is not to discourage adventure bike riders from attending. It is simply to let you know that the non-paved stuff in this area is pretty much either easy or hard, with little moderately difficult (i.e. class 2) available.

Routes: I've planned 6 different routes for us to explore. I haven't ridden any of these routes yet, so this will be a ride of exploration. Here are the routes in .gpx format. Right click and save to your hard drive. When you open any of the routes, don't recalculate them. Quite a few of the roads are not on the map so I used direct routing (vs auto routing) on these routes. If your GPS recalculates the route you will most likely not display correctly. The 6 Routes



Who's in? If you plan to attend please let me know and I'll add you to the attendance list.

Richard
Stuntman Jeff (the rider formerly known as Tiger Jeff)
Rick M
Tourmeister
bigdon55
revog
ole buddy
Okie
Hood Ornament
Sean
Gary
Calgary-Yogi
ajvanderlee
je2000 (tentative)
Texas DR
iphorde
stingray
jagster (maybe)
six50rider
jbay
mff
Baja Boo Custer
Norman Thornhill
Norbx40
Norton Mike
Norton Steve
AttoirRe
flcbrxx
Terry
John
Joe
 
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Tourmeister

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Awesome riding in that area... just so long as you don't get three inches of rain the night before you get there... :doh: :lol2: It was still fun though :flip:
 

Rick M

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Rick M and Big A are in . See ya there .:rider: :eat::rider: :eat: :rider: :rofl:
 

Tourmeister

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:tab Well... yeah... There's that problem too :doh: Just be sure to hug the INSIDE of the corners in case someone comes around the corner from the opposite direction and is hogging the road! I was doing that, but they were taking up the WHOLE road :eek2:

:tab Seriously though, the riding up there is excellent! :rider:
 

Tourmeister

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I am not a 100% definite, but I would say pushing 80% :trust:

I would say most any dual sport is suitable so long as you stick to the maintained or used roads. Last time I was up there DS'ing in the Clarksville area, we got into some stuff that was pretty rough even on the 650's. Anything bigger would have been darned near impossible except for the most skilled rider. This "road" was on the GPS... However, we rode past it real slow 3-4 times trying to locate the turn off into the woods before we finally found it. We spent an entire day going about 35 miles... LOTS of water crossings. It was a blast, but once we got back to the hotel, most of us were totally whooped. The hot tub was nice though :trust:
 
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I'll be there. I'm taking Friday off so I can arrive before dark. Anyone from the Abilene area want to go? I lived in Arkansas for one year so I speak the language.
Count me in 100%
 
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I'm in. Thanks for maps of big bend. Can't make the next ride, bad timing. Anyhow I'll be attending Ark for sure. Ride there every year for Talihina fall color. can't wait
 

Tourmeister

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I should add that I will be trailering up from Huntsville. So I am willing to take up to three other people/bikes with me to help defray fuel costs. Will be leaving 7:00am Friday morning. So you will want to get here Thursday evening to load bikes. There are several good hotels within a few blocks of my house, Holiday Inn Express being the closest and brand spanking new.
 
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I was in AR last summer for a MX school in Amity (not too far from Hot Springs). I did a lot of driving around and saw a lot of the countryside, and all I could think of was, "wow! I've got to come back here someday on my KLR".

I did not get up as far north as Clarksville. But, based on topo maps I've looked at, it appears that the riding may be better in that area (more hills?), than the areas I saw last summer.

I've spoken to Rich, and I am tentatively in for this trip.
 
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Tourmeister

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By the way, I was just about to reserve a room at the days on the internet when I noticed this at the end of the screen:

All reservations made at the "Buy Now And Save 15 Rate" require a valid credit card to pre-pay for the reservation and any applicable local and state taxes. There will be no credit or refund for early departures,cancellations, no shows, or changes in your reservation for any reason.Guests will not receive any refund or credit. Guest must present credit card used to pay for this reservation at check in.

So if you are reserving a room, just in case you can go, but with the idea that you will cancel if you can't go... BEWARE!

[edit]However, if you call and make the reservation over the phone and get Richard's rate, you can cancel anytime up to 4:00pm on the 22nd.
 
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Thinking about it. Would trailer out with an extra set of wheels. Might do a motard day and an off-road day. Anyone other street riders going?
 
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Oh man, I just saw that it was 8 hours away. Then I just looked at the photos from last year. That's what I'm looking for...
 
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I'd go on this one, but too close to a week riding double and single-tracks in western Tennessee forests and mountains. Priorities. ;-)
 
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