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Big Bend - a guide for all motorcyclists

Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,466
Location
Sulphur Springs
I rode Old Ore Road, north to south, three days ago, Friday, 5/18. 28 miles, including Dagger Flats Rd and it took me three hours. I rode a heavily loaded KLR with Shinko 705s (50/50) tires. I never felt the tires were an issue but the weight of the bike was. I was an IDIOT to take that path solo. Do NOT do that! I dropped it only once but had several close misses. There are no soft places out there.

The most difficult section was not the mudhole where I fell early on, it was the hill south of Ernst Tinaja. Loose rock with treacherous ruts. You can not relax on that ride. Thankfully, a park ranger named Susan, at the Persimmon Gap gate, where I entered the park had the smarts, after I asked about Old Ore, to tell me she did not know of anyone else heading that way that day, and gave me her name and phone number on a slip of paper with instructions to call her when I got out, or she would send someone looking for me. I can't tell you how much comfort that gave me as I scrabbled through that hilly, rocky, loose, sharp rock trail. When I called her from the store at the Village, I told her I have not looked forward to calling a young lady as much as I looked forward to calling her in a long time.

Bottom line- DO NOT go off-road in the Big Bend by yourself. I was lucky to make it through relatively unscathed. I could have been hurt. I could have had a mechanical problem. I thanked Jesus, Kawasaki engineers, and Ben Franklin (for bifocal glasses), among others, for my safe passage. and take several quarts of water.

If I had been on a 250cc with knobbies, with another rider, it probably would have been fun, but, by myself, I was just thinking, "Man, you are stupid" and scared most of the time.

Learn from my mistake.
Yeah but aint it a GREAT ROAD :rider:
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
62
Location
Buda, TX
We always ride in pairs. Lots of water, and we also let some one know where we are going. If alone, I ride my VStrom 1000 on the pavement. I am glad you are OK.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
39
Location
Crockett, TX
One more tidbit. I spent the night before last night in Presidio (the garden spot of Texas) and, at the earliest light of dawn, rode NW on FM170 to Ruidosa, and made a right turn, about 0645, onto Pinto Canyon Road. I got to pavement on top about 70 minutes later. It has been recently graded and the loose rock dropped in various spots caused me the most trouble. Also, travelling SW to NE, a half hour after dawn, will add a difficulty factor when your left hand is raised, sheilding your eyes from El Sol. Other than those few trivial issues, I would rate it a top ten dual sport road. A beautiful area. I saw javelina crossing along the way. And to the guy who said a two-up Goldthing went up it, pulling a trailer, I would have to see that to believe it. From what I saw, I can't see how that would be possible with the creek crossings, wet and dry.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
62
Location
Buda, TX
Love Pinto Canyon Road. The loop leaving Study Butte to Marfa via Pinto Canyon Road to Alpine back to Study Butte is 270 miles. I have done that ride a couple of times.

Sometimes grading a road makes it worse. We have the beginnings of a canyon behind our propery in Terlingua where the road grading diverted a creek to the road bed. We lost a creek that fed our trees, and no longer have a road on the east side of our propery.

The sun can be brutal out there. I drove my Vstrom during Mid November 2010 directlly into the sun on the 20+ mile gravel road at Big Bend Ranch State park back to 170. My windshield was bolted on high setting, and covered with white dust. At sunset that time of year, the sun hugs the horizon for the last hour. I ended up driving 1 handed to shield my eyes, too. I had to raise the helmet shield as it was power white. It was the worst ride of my life. I would have pulled over, but I was leading about 100 cars as it was closing time after a celebration. I just couldnt bear the thought of waiting out all those cars and then riding that road in the dark in a dust cloud. I bought a Mastadt soon as I got home.

What ever happened to decorative sun strips you could buy for a faceshield? Electrical tape looks awful, but it works if you can keep the shield down. I am thinking of putting a tape strip at the bottom of the shield so I can protect my eyes with the shield up.

One more tidbit. I spent the night before last night in Presidio (the garden spot of Texas) and, at the earliest light of dawn, rode NW on FM170 to Ruidosa, and made a right turn, about 0645, onto Pinto Canyon Road. I got to pavement on top about 70 minutes later. It has been recently graded and the loose rock dropped in various spots caused me the most trouble. Also, travelling SW to NE, a half hour after dawn, will add a difficulty factor when your left hand is raised, sheilding your eyes from El Sol. Other than those few trivial issues, I would rate it a top ten dual sport road. A beautiful area. I saw javelina crossing along the way. And to the guy who said a two-up Goldthing went up it, pulling a trailer, I would have to see that to believe it. From what I saw, I can't see how that would be possible with the creek crossings, wet and dry.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
39
Location
Crockett, TX
Big Bend is an awesome place to ride. The best on/off road place on Texas. I am glad it is so far away. That keeps it pristine.
 

TNC

Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
117
Location
Abilene, TX
I rode Old Ore Road, north to south, three days ago, Friday, 5/18. 28 miles, including Dagger Flats Rd and it took me three hours. I rode a heavily loaded KLR with Shinko 705s (50/50) tires. I never felt the tires were an issue but the weight of the bike was. I was an IDIOT to take that path solo. Do NOT do that! I dropped it only once but had several close misses. There are no soft places out there.

The most difficult section was not the mudhole where I fell early on, it was the hill south of Ernst Tinaja. Loose rock with treacherous ruts. You can not relax on that ride. Thankfully, a park ranger named Susan, at the Persimmon Gap gate, where I entered the park had the smarts, after I asked about Old Ore, to tell me she did not know of anyone else heading that way that day, and gave me her name and phone number on a slip of paper with instructions to call her when I got out, or she would send someone looking for me. I can't tell you how much comfort that gave me as I scrabbled through that hilly, rocky, loose, sharp rock trail. When I called her from the store at the Village, I told her I have not looked forward to calling a young lady as much as I looked forward to calling her in a long time.

Bottom line- DO NOT go off-road in the Big Bend by yourself. I was lucky to make it through relatively unscathed. I could have been hurt. I could have had a mechanical problem. I thanked Jesus, Kawasaki engineers, and Ben Franklin (for bifocal glasses), among others, for my safe passage. and take several quarts of water.

If I had been on a 250cc with knobbies, with another rider, it probably would have been fun, but, by myself, I was just thinking, "Man, you are stupid" and scared most of the time.

Learn from my mistake.
If I waited for someone to ride with over the years in places like Big Bend, southern Utah, Colorado, and many other remote trails and 2-tracks out west, I wouldn't have experienced even half of the great rides and experiences over my lifetime.

Now, I'm not stupid or reckless. When you're alone, ride within a smaller envelope of speed and/or terrain gnarliness. Keep your bike prepped and as reliable as possible. Carry a cell phone. Carry a SPOT with good, knowledgeable contacts back home or elsewhere. Carry a good GPS.

I've come to spots in a singletrack trail or very rough 2-track out west where I've let common sense dictate turning around or another route. When I come upon such places on a route, I often get off the bike and walk the spot to get the best assessment...better to walk a few paces like that than have to walk out 10 or miles in MX boots when I break something on the bike in a crash...if I'm lucky enough that a broken bike is the worst case scenario. Again...a SPOT can be worth its weight in gold...or boot leather...or your health...in a bad situation. A SPOT is not a license to get stupid, but it can be a big bonus in a breakdown far from help or an injury where assistance is needed. I've schooled my wife, family, and friends in what to do in certain message scenarios with the SPOT.

Even without a SPOT in past years, I rode in some of the most remote areas out west that you could imagine...even way before cell phones. What are you going to do?...die on the couch watching Oprah?:lol2:

Constantly work on your riding skills to build confidence and ability. Use your head when a particularly tough trail section pops up. In some cases, survival is the best choice over ego. Take advantage of technology available in the devices out there to provide a "way out" when the boogeyman and gremlins jump up. It's fun riding with others...and safer. But between not doing it and taking some risk, my priorities rank enjoying off road riding pretty high up there. And you know what?...sometimes the pleasure of riding alone in remote areas provides an experience unavailable in anything else life has to offer.
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
8
Location
Dublin, TX
Hi Richard,
I just saw your post that you started in 2009 and would like to buy your guide book.

Looks like you still have it available. Is the price still $25? I would like to pay with a check since I don't want to use PP.

TJ
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
386
Location
North Texas
Hey Richard, sorry I posted this yesterday in the wrong thread. I accidently put it the Hill Country thread. But anyway, I wanted to let you know I got the guide and the maps. I've had a chance to read it and it really is a great resource for someone who has never ridden dual sport in BB. We are doing this ride in later April and will follow your guidance for our first trip. Thanks for doing this. Highly recommended.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Messages
19
Location
Waxahachie
Trail Boss, Is the Big Bend guid still available. I'm new to the site and have been planning a trip to BB. The guide will be of great help.

Thanks
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Messages
121
Location
Austin
Just wanted to say thanks for the guide books and super fast delivery. I'm looking forward to putting them to good use!
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2013
Messages
1
Location
Houston TX
I am a old North Carolina boy (69) who now lives in the Houstion. I now ride a Goldwing after totaling a Harley. My wife still works so I like to go take road trips and camp on my bike.
 

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