• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

My first (and NOT last) trip to Big Bend Ranch & State Park 12/28/11-01/01/12

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
:tab Okay... I finally got all the pics resized and uploaded, so take a leak, grab a drink and get comfy because there are a bunch :trust:

:tab I get an unexpected PM from Roger "Rsquared" Rogers back in November asking if I want to make trip to Big Bend Ranch & State Park with him after Christmas. I'd never ridden at BBRSP but had seen ride reports from the area and it looked interesting. The ride is hosted by the guys at RideDualSport.com. I definitely want to make this ride! The only problem is that I just did a ride in Central Texas (Roll The Bones) In October and am not sure if I can swing the time off. I run it by Beth (wife) and Boss (my Dad) and both agree I can get the time off. So a little planning with Roger, prepping the bike with a new chain and 13/52 sprockets, Giant Loop Mojavi bags, and new tires, and I am good to go. The plan is for Roger to be at my place in Huntsville at 5:00am... a full 5-1/2 hours before my normal wake up time! All I have to do is be awake enough to get the bike and gear in the truck and he'll take care of the driving duties since he's a crazy early morning person anyway...

:tab We pull out right around 5:45am... and make it to Sauceda right around 6:30pm, just before dark. We make a few introductions, claim a bunk spot, and pretty much hit the sack about 5-1/2 hours earlier than my normal sack time :sleep: Ear plugs are a must when sleeping in a bunk house!

:tab I opted for the bunkhouse because I am not wild about camping in really cold weather or sleeping on rocks. I'm thinking there is no heat in the bunkhouse. Like camping, that is no problem so long as you stay under the covers, but then there is that 4:00am run to the little boys room on a COLD floor and having to get out from under the covers come morning... At least the breakfast makes up for it. I don't normally eat breakfast, but I figure I'll need the energy for the riding to come. Breakfast is at least at a nice reasonable time... 8:00am. I am NOT one of those guys that has to be on the bike at the crack of dawn. I like rolling out sometime around 9:00am... ish... So this makes for a good morning for me. I eat a nice relaxed breakfast, gear up, and meet out in the parking lot where we break up into groups.

:tab Apparently, Jbay forgot to grab the key out of his KTM 350 and it bounced out while they were driving to the park... uh oh... No spare!! :doh: He loads it in his truck and brings it over to the bunkhouse before everyone heads out to ride, hoping to find a solution...

Roger saves the day


He hot wires the bike so Jbay's son Matthew will have a ride :thumb:


:tab I have no real plan, other than following someone else. I often end up leading rides even when I don't want to just because no one else will. This time I want to follow! Roger agrees to lead. Mark "Subcomm" joins us, and we head over to the camping area to pick up Jbay and Matthew.

The camping area - maybe a mile from the bunkhouse


A nice soft spot to land if you fall off your bike...


Roger ready to roll with his GoPro mounted on his head


Roger KTM 450 EXC, Matt KTM 350 and Jbay XR650L (Mark is on his CRF 450 - not pictured)


:tab Back in mid November I picked up a slightly used 2010 KTM 530 EXC and this is going to be my first serious ride on it. I am pretty stoked. I did a day of riding trails in the Sam Houston Nat Forest a few weeks back with Roger. The bike was great... I was sucking wind!! Still, the improvement over my KLR 650 is beyond description. So I am eager to see how the bike handles the terrain here in the park, especially since I have it geared like a mountain goat.

:tab I think we briefly mentioned something this morning about exploring over by the Solitario... whatever... I'm just following Roger. The roads start out wide and smooth, graded gravel with sweeping curves. The speed limit is 25mph... It's doable, but it takes some serious effort! :cool2:



We head off to the NE corner of the park and soon find a sign of things to come :rider:


:tab The red circle up and left is Roger taking off, followed by Mark (second red circle). From here on out, the riding only gets better!! In no time at all we are into some steep, off camber, loose and rocky climbs. I'm just not feeling it. I feel like I am bouncing all over the track, barely keeping the bike under control, and I am working WAY too hard. Sometimes it takes me a while to loosen up when we start riding early like this... So I figure I'll just push on and things will get better as I warm up a bit. When I crest the hill I see Mark and Roger waiting further down below, I stop to wait for Jbay and Matt. But it seems like it is taking a while... While waiting I shed a few layers of clothes. Here in the desert it starts out cold, but warms up FAST as soon as the sun starts climbing into the clear sky. While I am stuffing the extra layers into a side bag, Mark doubles back to check on the other guys and soon returns with them in tow...

Mark on his sweet Honda, followed by Matt in the background


While we are stopped, Jeff and MedicJeff show up and join our group. This is MedicJeff on his KTM 450 EXC


:tab With our group now up to seven riders, we start off again. In no time at all we are back to climbing long steep hills. One in particular is long and turns to the right about half way up. I am chugging along in second gear, standing and leaning forward, trying to relax and stay on the gas. The back end is bouncing around like my five year old son when I tell him to sit still... and it catches a rock... The back end steps out right as I am getting on the gas and the bike just spins out from under me, the top of the hill just a few yards away! I step off to the side with little effort but unlike a normal step off, this time something catches my right thumb and tries to fold the fingernail back on top of itself. :huh2: Yes... it HURTS!! I get the bike righted right about the time Jeff comes up behind to assist me. I mention the thumb and he and MedicJeff ask if I want to take the glove off and have a look. I don't. You see, I have this bad habit of going into shock. So long as I don't look, I am good. The inside of the glove is warm, wet, and sticky. Whatever has happened has happened and me looking at it is not going to help. So nothing to do but keep the glove on and keep riding... I'll take a look later when we finish riding for the day.

:tab I get the bike refired and complete the climb, only to drop down the backside of the hill to start another climb, and then another, and another.... One in particular has a wash out about 18 inches deep crossing the road RIGHT at the beginning of the climb, perfectly placed to prevent me getting my momentum up for the start of the climb. I roll it and then hit the gas! The low gearing os working great and the bike accelerates nicely. The clear part of the track is smooth but has a nasty off camber slope to it. The back of the bike is trying to slide down into the rough stuff and drag the rest of the bike with it. The back tire wins and I am soon bouncing off rocks I'd rather avoid. I stay on the gas and eventually manage to clear the hill, roll the back side and start up another that doesn't look so daunting.

:tab The exertion of the previous hills is catching up to me and I get soppy. I lose my momentum, fail to pull in the clutch for a down shift, stall and just tip over. I step off the bike as it lays down. Great... This is a short hill but it is steep! I get the bike up, refire it, and try to resume my climb. The rear spins, kicking gravel out and grinding up the tire. I roll back a little. When I try to stop, the front tire just slides backward despite a fist full of front brake! I ease the clutch out and the tire grips momentarily so I get on the gas. I get short run of maybe a foot or two, but it is enough for me to get up the momentum to get going again. A few more hills and I find Roger, Mark and MedicJeff stopped for a break. I happily join them, feeling like my lungs need to be taking in about twice as much air as they are getting. There is nothing like a few good hill climbs and a few thousand feet of altitude to make one feel like a couch potato... :-|

MedicJeff again


Mark contemplating what lies ahead...


The other Jeff taking a break


A relatively level spot


:tab At this point, Roger listens to me whining about feeling like I am just bouncing all over the place and suggests that I should take a bit of the compression damping out of the forks. He kindly does it for me. We'll see if that helps. We wait about five minutes or so and then Roger doubles back. A few more minutes and MedicJeff doubles back. A few more minutes and they come rolling back with Jbay and Matt in tow, both of whom look a little a little winded, but the looks on their faces tells me they are having fun! We rest a bit more and then take off. The riding becomes less technical, the hills more rolling instead of the steep up/down we've been doing. It is a welcome break as it lets me sit for a while instead of standing. We eventually come upon what looks like an old ranch house with a wind mill. From this point on, the road is well graded again and wide.



Not a lot of green and pretty out here this time of year...


Lots of big sky here in the desert


And the road goes on and on...


The group catching up


:tab It is still relatively early in the day and we are not ready to call it quits. I convince Roger that we should explore a road running off to the North. It is also wide and graded, but it is fun because it really flows well. We run a HARD 25mph on this road... Alas, it ends in a locked gate at the park boundary. This is a road I had tried to make a loop of back in 2004 when leading a ride. At that time, we only got as far as the first gate on the main entrance at the West side of the park. The park was not open to the public then. Getting through this gate would let us loop all the way back up to the Case Piedra Rd., across the Bandera Mesa, which could then be run back down to the West side of the park to the main entrance. It would make a good day loop, probably not real technical, but definitely scenic and more suitable to any bikes bigger than the 650cc DS bikes. I don't think I would recommend the hard stuff we were riding earlier for any DS bike over 650cc. It is DEFINITELY NOT a good route for bikes like Vstroms, Versys, 1150/1200 GSs, and the like unless the rider is VERY experienced! Anyway... locked gate... right. So we back tracked and headed toward the bunkhouse on the main road, looking for interesting side roads along the way.

:tab We find a few short roads that run out to camping spots. They are fun but short. The suspension changes to the forks do make a noticeable difference and I feel much more in control instead of just along for the ride...It also helps if I run a little faster on the climbs and descents, just letting the bike absorb the hits. At one of the stops I suggest to Roger that maybe we can make a loop that runs South of the Bunkhouse and then call it a day. So off we go, except that he takes a left turn before the left turn I was thinking off and I don't realize it... The road starts out fun...

I love this stuff...


Then it starts getting rocky and we are back to descents and climbs, Matt coming up to a sharp turn that starts a nice descent


MedicJeff, Roger, Mark and Jeff waiting part way down the hill for the group to reform


:tab So I am cruising along and come to a rise. As is my custom when I cannot see beyond the rise, I roll off the gas so that just as I crest the rise, I am carrying very little speed. I have learned that it is not uncommon for these kinds of roads to make VERY sharp turns on the backside of hills. As I crest this particular hill, I see Jeff laying in a bush on the side of the road, his DRZ laying on its side in the road, and Jeff moving like he has that confused what in the world is going on thing happening inside his helmet... I roll to the bottom of the short gulley, park and head over to help him. He seems to be favoring his right leg as if it is hurting. I'm thinking this could be bad. We are not terribly far from the main road, but the main road IS terribly far from anything else. Help would be a long time coming if he is not able to ride out! As I reach him, he gets up and is able to stand and walk. He says nothing hurts too bad and he thinks he's okay. So we get the bike up and try to restart it. It's flooded as expected and he has to crank it a bit before it clears, but then it catches... and it is making a very odd noise... :ponder:

:tab Jeff kills the engine and mentions the noise. Sounds to me like the starter gear is not disengaging. Hit turns the ignition back on and when he pulls in the clutch the bike starts even though he didn't hit the starter button... what the!? He kills it again, plays with it a bit, and it seems like the starter button is screwed up somehow. Anyway, he finally gets it running without the noise and is able to resume riding.

I don't know what is special about that bush on the left, but Jeff thought it worthy of a CLOSE personal inspection...


James and Matt wait patiently for us to get going again


:tab We find the lead part of the group waiting not far ahead. We stop for a break and they set to figuring out what is going on with Jeff's bike and working up a solution.

Roger, MedicJeff, Jeff, and Mark putting together a little impromptu maintenance day. Would it be an official DS ride without one?


Behind that mask is an ear to ear grin, Matt is having a blast!


MedicJeff thinks, "Dude, I have NEVER seen that happen before!" The little circuit board inside the switch cracked away from its mount and was causing the starter to stay activated.


About this time, I am looking at the GPS and I realize we are not on the road I had intended for us to take. We are on the North end of the Fresno Canyon Rd.




:tab We decide to forgo this route for today, find the right road, and head for the Bunkhouse. We'll come back for this tomorrow when we are fresh. The road we were originally trying to find is the East side of the Llano loop, which we find just a short ways back to the West on the main road. We turn South and head off across the desert. The road is mostly flat and easy, but soon we are in the deep loose gravel. The dust is thick and at times I can't even see the road right in front of me! It is a mix of river bed gravel, sand, and some mild silt. I love it. Roger picks up the pace and off we go! It doesn't take long to reach the end of the road, an intersection of the Madrid Falls road, where we turn North and quickly arrive back at the Bunkhouse for some front porch bench racing and relaxing.

Brad seems to always be explaining something to someone... I would benefit greatly from this later in the evening...


Base camp for the weekend




A real nice area next to the bunkhouse with picnic tables, grills, a BBQ smoker pit, and a great fire circle with wood


Ask Brad what he paid for this KTM... seriously.... It is borderline criminal, hehe... It has so many goodies even he doesn't know what all it has on it!


:tab Dinner is served at 6:00pm. I have to say the fajitas are about the best I've ever had!! The rice, beans, salad... all of it is just incredibly good!

A few shots of the main common area in the Bunkhouse




:tab After dinner, the park manager, Barrett, gives a really good presentation. He covers all the common sense rules like obeying the speed limit, not setting the place on fire, not molesting the local wildlife and fauna, not collecting stuff to take home, etc... Then he gives us pointers on places to visit in the park, which roads are good, and some of the history of the park/region. The best part is the map he prepared for us. He has all the roads highlighted, loops shown, difficulty ratings, and more! This is when we find out that the stuff we did earlier today is the "gnarliest stuff in the park!" Nothing like jumping in feet first!! I grab a few pics of the map so I can have it handy for the next few days of riding.

We did the two upper right loops today, the dead end road to the North (you can see the loop I was talking about here, going up Bandera Mesa). We did all the little short roads in that area and the North part of the long green road just West of The Solitario (Fresno Canyon Rd). Then we did the Llano loop, the little pink one South of the Ranger station, which is where the Bunkhouse is located.


The left red road is King Kong Hill, I think the right one is Suicide Hill(?). The much talked about Guale 1 & 2 overlooks are at the end of the green road in the lower left corner.


The Jackson and Los Alamos loops are what we did today, we never made it down into the Solitario area


The Cienega Loop. We plan to do this the last day. It is in the FAR NW corner of the park.


:tab After the presentation, I approach Barrett and mention that I had been out here some years back wanting to make that loop up to Bandera Mesa and that we reached the locked gate earlier today. To my surprise, he mentions that if we had told him ahead of time that we wanted to ride that road, he could have had the gate unlocked for us!! :clap: So that is definitely something I will have to remember when I go back out next time... and there WILL be a next time! After hanging out for a while visiting with other folks and popping some ibuprofen, we decide to call it a night around 10:00pm.

:tab Oh yeah... that thumbnail? It ripped away around the front of the thumb and there was some mild bleeding. There is a bright white crease line from side to side about a third of the way back where it bent pretty good. However, it DID NOT detach all the way back to that point!! Doesn't look like I'll lose it, but it is TENDER!!! I still can't figure out what in the world I caught it on as the bike was falling away from me... strange... :scratch:

[Day two in the works...]
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
2,072
Location
Temple, Texas
Thanks for the great trip reports and pictures! Did you say that one of the riders lost one of the new 350 KTMs off the back of a trailer on the way there?! That had to hurt...
 

greeneggs&ham

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
1,325
Location
KYLE, TX
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Crabtree
Thanks Scott, great report. I have been wondering how you liked you new steed, and how the trip was. Glad there was only minor bleeding. How did Jeff make out, is the leg OK? Do you like that gearing, 13/52 would be about 4/1. That should give you a great granny gear 1st. How do you like it at 70 mph?
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Thanks for the great trip reports and pictures! Did you say that one of the riders lost one of the new 350 KTMs off the back of a trailer on the way there?! That had to hurt...
:tab He lost the KEY to the bike, NOT the bike itself! :lol2: That would hurt!!

Thanks Scott, great report. I have been wondering how you liked you new steed, and how the trip was. Glad there was only minor bleeding. How did Jeff make out, is the leg OK? Do you like that gearing, 13/52 would be about 4/1. That should give you a great granny gear 1st. How do you like it at 70 mph?
:tab Jeff was fine. The gearing worked well for the technical stuff but is a tad low for anything over about 55-60mph. I think if I were going to be running much over that, I would go for the 14/50 that many people like. With the 13/52, first gear is almost optional. In fact, on the deep loose stuff I usually started in 2nd gear just to avoid having to up shift so soon. It makes it much easier to get up enough speed to get on top of the loose stuff. Where the low first came in handy is on the hill climbs where I might lose my momentum if I got tossed off line or where there was a tight turn in the climb. I could do a quick downshift, slip into first to get the speed back up and then a quick up shift back to second to keep going. That saved me a few times. On a lot of the less steep stuff, I was usually running third/fourth gear. In the deep gravel/sand, I think I hit fifth and sixth a few times :trust:

:tab We have been getting hammered with the post holiday rush at work. On top of that, another engineer at a competitor is on a cruise for a week and we are his back up when he is gone. So we are also getting hit with his catch up work as well. So I haven't had much time to work on the report. I'll try to get up more tonight.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2006
Messages
2,502
Location
Huntsville,Tx
First Name
Jack
On my first trip to Big Bend some 20 years ago, a friend leading us out there made this comment before we got there, and I never forgot it.

"God made Big Bend, then he made people who would love it. When you get there, you'll know immediately if you are one if them or not"--Bobby Sharp
That friend and his words come to mind every time I hear about BB.

Great pics Scott. Looks like you guys had a blast.
 

Rsquared

Un-Supervised Slacker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
1,371
Location
Tx
Scott it’s awfully hard to follow a ride report like yours… Well done.

Oh well, this is it.

At this point in my life the majority of my riding is strictly off-road, mostly single-track type riding, but I try to make a few dual-sport rides each year, usually Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, or East Texas. I’ve read several ride reports about the Big Bend area, but this was my first time to ride there and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The first morning we looked at the map and decided to try the Northeast corner in the Solitario area. Leaving the bunkhouse we headed over to the Leyva camp ground to group up, from there we followed the GPS trac. The first few miles were on wide smooth graded dirt roads and I thought great, three days of riding on dirt roads…:doh: Was I ever wrong. The road soon turned into challenging two-track, with ruts, rocks, deep wash-outs, rolling hills and my personal favorite, black sand (which is just crazy fun). I’ve been on numerous group rides, but this was my first with the Ride Dual Sport folks and I’ve gotta say they are a Class Act.

Here’s a few of the pictures I took.

Jackson Pens area.
IMG_0013.jpg


(Subcom) Mark, (Tourmeister) Scott, and (Medicjeff) Jeff.
IMG_0016.jpg


(Jbay) James's son Matt.
IMG_0021.jpg


Fresno Canyon, home of the black sand. :lol2:
IMG_0027-1.jpg


Scott, Mark, and James.
IMG_0036.jpg


IMG_0042.jpg


IMG_0043.jpg


IMG_0054.jpg


Matt having fun.
IMG_0056-1.jpg


Mark ready to go.
IMG_0059-1.jpg


Scott enjoying the view.
IMG_0072.jpg


Matt making the climb.
IMG_0077.jpg


Victory!
IMG_0081-1.jpg


The Cinega Loop.
IMG_0094-1.jpg


Left to right. Mark, Mark and Scott.
IMG_0095-2.jpg


Break time.
IMG_0101.jpg


IMG_0103.jpg


Guale 2. A must see.
IMG_0114-1.jpg


IMG_0116.jpg



Also, I got a new Go-Pro helmet camera for Christmas and I’ve attached a link for my very first ride videos, so please keep in mind, this is my first try at this. Also, the camera just can’t show the view from Guale 2, you just have to stand there and soak it in…
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y1Pwi-bK8Y"]Big Bend Ranch - YouTube[/ame]
This one’s kind of long and probably boring, unless you’re the one getting to twist the grip…
(Did I mention that I like black sand?)
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggFKWdQiCW0"]Fresno Creek - YouTube[/ame]
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Great vids Roger!

That creek ride was just fantastic!! Matt was never lost... just slightly misplaced :-P
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
2,556
Location
Waco
Matt had a great time, on the first day I thought we were going to Tres Papalotes and the "Road to Nowhere", which would be a scenic and fairly easy ride

instead we wound up on the Los Alamos loop :flip:, so it was trial by fire; we stayed a few days and it was plenty of great riding, here are a few photos...

DSC_0033.jpg


DSC_0030.jpg


DSC_0034.jpg


DSC_0024.jpg
 

cdc

Registered Lurker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
2,981
Location
Katy, TX
First Name
Camilo
Last Name
Diaz
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
Messages
32
Location
Austin, TX
What made Big Ultimate Terlingua Tour (B.U.T.T) @ Big Bend Ranch State Park especially good this year is how riders of varying experience meshed so well. Newer dirt riders were supported, encouraged and coached by our seasoned pros. Everyone managed to take in BBRSP, even the wives present, who went hiking.
Now in our 3rd year, the B.U.T.T has fostered a great relationship with the park Superintendent Barrett Durst. He is a younger more adventurous person who welcomes responsible riders. I keep the B.U.T.T ride to a maximum of 15 to 20 bikes in order to allow everyone to get to know each other, not overwhelm the park staff and kitchen and to reduce the risk of accident/injury.
I feel as though the event reached a new milestone by attracting riders who have a deep commitment to motorcycling like Rsquared, Tourmeister and Subcomm. Their praise of the ride and the park meant a lot to me. We rode the Cienega Mountians together.
The first tracks through this pristine mountain range were forged by IZZ, here he is an entrance to Cienega Mountains on his TransAlp during the 2010 ride.
Gravity.jpg


Using IZZ's tracks, two groups did the Cienega loop this year!
I was privileged to do Cienega with Portero72, Rsquared, Subcomm and Tourmeister. All of who are far better riders than I, highly experienced and rock solid individuals who showed great skill in navigating the Cienega loop. Plus, they were very patient and helpful in our first attempt at getting in and out of the mountain. Thanks dudes!

Tourmeister in action!
2011_BBRSP_BUTT_052.jpg


Rsquared going at it!
2011_BBRSP_BUTT_054.jpg


Tourmeister, Subcomm and Rsquared during our break mid-way through Cienega.
2011_BBRSP_BUTT_059.jpg


Cienega has many challenging climbs, decents, washouts, deep sand and the 4X4 roads are very unused.
I am fairly certain, we are some of the first to ever ride the Cienega Mountains.
2011_BBRSP_BUTT_055.jpg


2011_BBRSP_BUTT_056.jpg


I wish I had more photos, but I was pretty busy keeping the bike rolling! We stayed on the main loop through the mountains, but there are other roads to explore. Now that I have a better idea of the mileage, effort and fuel requirements - I would really like to do an extended tour of the Cienega Mtns.
As it was we burned 91 miles in 5 hours. The views are stunning and the riding is of a different flavor than the central portion (Sauceda) of the park.
At Cienega you roll high on the tops of the mountains, at Sauceda you snake in and out of the mountain valleys and river beds. This was one of THE BEST riding experiences of my life!
2011_BBRSP_BUTT_057.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
11,227
Location
Arlington
First Name
Tim
Last Name
Shelfer
Fantastic, and great pictures. Thanks.

I've been in the BB many times, but never with a bike. This looks like way too much fun. This tempting me to buy a bike. It's been years........
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Alrighty then... Let me get back to banging out this report!

:tab Lesse... day of the week...? I think its Friday... Time kind of has a way of losing meaning out here in the desert. I think that is a big part of what I love about coming out here. Not worrying about what day it is kind of takes off the stress of thinking about what needs to get done by when, what didn't get done, blah blah blah... All I really care about is that next hill and the view that will spring forth as I crest it!

:tab We wake to a cold morning, a cold bunkhouse, but a great hot breakfast!! After the riding yesterday, I really decide I ought to load up so I'll have the energy for today. The plan for today is to hit the Fresno Creek Canyon. It is an out and back run, but it is supposed to be really fun. Before leaving on this trip, I installed a new Shorai Litium Ion battery in the KTM. It is supposed to have LOTS of cranking power for those cold starts. Today will certainly be a test of that! I head outside where people are gearing up, warming up their bikes, and figuring out who is going where and with whom? I've learned that my bike has a routine. I pull the choke full open, crank it over a few times, close the choke, crank again and it fires to life, idling perfect. The new battery spins the motor nicely, no sluggishness at all. It also weighs practically nothing compared to the old lead/acid battery it replaced. Best of all, it is supposed to be able to sit for about a year without having to ever worry about it being put on a charger to maintain the charge!

:tab As the bikes warm up, I finish getting all my gear together. I hate being cold so I will layer up for the start of the ride and shed some layers later. Matt and James had so much fun with us yesterday they decide to run with us again today. MedicJeff and Jeff head out with one of the other groups. Mark sticks with us again as well. So five for the ride today. After getting everyone together, we head Northeast on the main road to the start of Fresno Rd. It starts off as a run across a fairly flat and high plain, then it starts in with the rolling up and down hills. We reach the place where Jeff did his "bush inspection" yesterday and keep going. Just beyond that point comes a longgg descent into the valley below. At the bottom, we are greeted with the deep black gravel/sand so common in this area.

Roger takes point


Followed by Mark


Then Matt


:tab I take off after Matt and James brings up the rear. The "road" alternates between the creek bed and trails that run up on the bank, paralleling the creek bed, often times crossing the creek and always coming back to the creek. So there really is no way to make any wrong turns, but sometimes the obstacles in the creek bed are bad enough that it is easier to take the trail. There are some places where we just have to take the trail as there is no passable place in the creek bed. So we get some mild rocky climbs and descents. I really watch for the rocks in the gravel. Clipping one of these at speed would not be pretty... There are also places where the bike can get real squirrely as I cross over some of the numerous large chunks of flat rock that jut out of the gravel at all manner of angles. These make for NASTY edge traps that could grab the front tire and toss me like a rag doll if I hit them wrong. There is also the issue that the rear tire is often spinning while in the gravel and the sudden traction on a slab of rock can be unnerving if I'm not paying attention. So I try REAL hard to pay attention!! Somewhere along the line I skip ahead of Matt and pick up the pace a little. The KTM really likes going faster in this stuff than slow... I swear! :mrgreen:

Mark and Roger waiting to regroup so we don't lose anyone


Some of the rocks I REALLY don't want to get intimate with... :eek2:


It doesn't look to bad, but if you go slow, the tires really sink in and the bike flops all over the place. Mark stopped for a break


Matt is getting the hang of this really quick, oh to be young again...


She waits in eager expectation...


Yes, those are cager tracks. The rangers drive around here in F150s and a Suburban!


Matt getting some much needed rehydration.


:tab Even though it is not real hot this time of year, I work up a good sweat while riding and have to keep hitting the Camel Bak. Then there is just the cotton mouth issue from sucking in so much dust! :brainsnap

This is typical of the guide markers all throughout the park, most roads/trails are well marked.


Mark gets on the gas to complete a turn. Steering in this stuff is done by weighting the pegs and getting on the gas. The front just wants push and plow if you try to steer with the handlebars.


Looks nice and smooth doesn't it... :trust:


And finally we reach the end of the road, all too soon...


Roger approaching the last turn


And completing it with the throttle


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_qLcSM9IJU"]Matt riding Fresno Creek Canyon at Big Bend Ranch State Park - YouTube[/ame]

Matt standing victoriously over the conquered river bed


James rolls up a few minutes after Roger


A sign for those that read and BIG rocks blocking the path for those that don't


:tab So after last nights presentation by Barrett, I was talking with one of the other Rangers that was present. I asked about volcanic activity in the area and he told me this area is thought to have last been active about 27 million years ago. I dunno how they figure that stuff out...

Maybe the count the rings in the rocks? :-P


:tab So, these next few pics are not all cool motorcycle stuff. It's just a bunch of rocks. Most were all within about twenty feet of each other. What struck me was how varied the rock types were given that they are probably all here naturally seeing as how I doubt the park staff trucked them in here. Anyway, being the nerd/geek that I am, this kind of stuff catches my interest and I thought I'd share some shots with anyone else that might suffer my same condition.

This one looks like a bunch of small rocks CRAMMED together under real high pressure


This one looks like it has impressions all over it from bits and pieces of sea shells and other oddities


Bits of iron ore in here? Looks like it is all glued together with Elmer's Glue


Hard to see here, but this one looks like it has a lot of bits and pieces of some kind of quartz or crystalline structure




At first, I thought this might be part of an old road bed with concrete on it. Upon closer inspection it really looks like this is just a natural occurrence where two layers were fused together under intense pressure/heat maybe.


Kind of makes me think of a crater/pock marked asteroid


:tab A lot of the rocks and visible strata around here look like they were liquid and flowing at one time, then hardened as they cooled. Others look like layer upon layer of deposited sediment. I'm thinking it would be really cool to find some Geologist stud that also rides dual sport bikes and can conduct a "Field trip" in this area! So if you are reading this and you are an adventure filled geologist, speak up!

:tab After a nice rest, it is time to get moving. James has already headed out so he can get a head start on everyone. Him and the XL just aren't grooving with the deep gravel and it looks like it is just wearing him out! I feel his pain. I have been there on the KLR, loaded like a pack mule, slogging thru deep river washes in the desert East of Phoenix in 100+ temps... Even after only a few hundred yards I thought my heart was going to explode!! I can laugh about it now, but I was hating it in a BIG way then, hehe. Anyway, I take off and Roger follows. The plan is to capture some video of me running the creek bed. [He posted it back in his report a few posts before this]. Mark and Matt will be bringing up the rear. Having run the creek once, I have a better idea of where the "gotchas" are and so I enjoy the ride back up a bit more :trust: Roger settles in behind me and we soon hit a good rhythm, flowing through the rocks and clumps of desert scrub. After a few minutes of running good, we catch and pass James in a nice wide area.

:tab Eventually, I take a trail I don't remember coming down. What clues me in is the MUD PUDDLES!! We certainly saw none of those on the run down! So Roger and I stop to wait for the others. Mark soon arrives and while we are stopped, we see a helmet above the scrub and hear a bike running up the creek bed. Thinking it is Matt, we take off again. We stop at a point where we think we are ahead of him and wait... and wait... then James arrives but still no Matt... Hmmm...? Did he get ahead of us? :scratch:

Roger waiting where the trail dumps back into the creek bed


Looking back up the trail from where we had just come


These are some of the rock edges I mentioned earlier that can be nasty "gotchas"!




:tab Mark volunteered to run back a ways down the creek bed to see if he can find Matt. A few minutes later he returns without Matt. At this point, we decide that I will run ahead, just in case Matt got ahead of us. James will keep moving as well. Mark will hang out at the intersection where we are now and Roger will run all the way back to the end of the road, then double back to make sure he doesn't miss Matt. I take off and after about 10 minutes climb out of the creek bed and meet up with the Ranger I spoke with last night about the volcanic stuff. He's headed down the road in a Suburban... Wow... Anyway, Matt has not passed him, and there are no other trails through this area, so I know he's behind me. The Ranger points out a rock outcropping above the road that is a point of interest mentioned at last nights meeting. I can't remember the name, but it is Spanish for "Hands Above". He reminds me to stay on the walking matts that lead up to the spot as this is an environmentally sensitive spot... Okay. I park the KTM where the other guys won't miss it when they arrive but where they won't run it over as they come over the hill, and then I walk up to the "cave". This is really just a recess in a large rock formation and not really a cave. It is nice and shady and quite cool. At the very back of it there are hand prints on the ceiling, supposedly 3000-4000 years old... You know... like Great Pyramids of Egypt old... Not sure how they know this... :ponder:

Looks more like a few stoned teenagers in the 60's might have been having some fun




A great example of the fluid look of so many of the rock formations around here, this is the back wall of the recess


This rock is about 3-1/2 to 4 feet in diameter and sitting at the outside edge of the overhanging rock. The slash marks are supposed to be from the primitive folks sharpening their tools, or maybe some alien having fun with his laser cutter... hard to tell... :shrug:




The "cave", the hands are on the ceiling at the end of the matts


The view back to the South down the canyon, the "sharpening" stone in the foreground


:tab I stand around for a few minutes, straining my ears for the sounds of bikes... Nothing. I eat a few snacks and suck down some water... Still nothing. Well, not wanting to let a nice cool shady spot go to waste, I settle down on the matts for a nice nap :sleep: The temperature is perfect and there is just a slight cool dry breeze. I close my eyes and see visions of gravel and rocks flying at me as I weave back and forth dodging the nasty stuff. I'm telling you this kind of riding REALLY gets in your head!! I was having the same thing happen last night every time I tried to close my eyes and go to sleep! I'd see myself hurtling down steep rocky descents and dodging big loose rocks on steep climbs.

:tab Speaking of things that get in your head... I was talking with Brad last night after dinner... :lol2: I had been struggling with those off camber slopes on hill climbs and descents, the kind that try to drop you down into the loose nasty part of the road. Brad explained the proper technique of pushing the bike INTO the slope and your body away from the slope. I was trying to do the opposite and having horrible results! Like so much of dirt bike riding, this seemed counter intuitive, but I was determined to give it a try when the chance presented itself. I have long since decided that the "Skill" of dirt bike riding is suppressing the screaming hysterics of your brain telling you to slow down, sit down, stick out the legs, and many other things that are the WRONG thing to do, and forcing yourself to do what is the right thing to do. This takes serious concentration and trust in the techniques. When I get tired, my brain starts to win the war and I start screwing up again!

:tab Is that the sound of a bike I hear...?

:tab I roll over and hop up to see Mark stopped near my bike, looking around wandering where on Earth I might be. I give him a holler when he gets his helmet off and motion for him to join me in the cool shade. Soon the others are joining us. Roger has found Matt and James gives him a BIG hug, no doubt greatly relieved to see him in one piece and unharmed. :kiss:

:tab After a good break, we get moving again. We're pretty much done with the deep gravel and are back into the ups and downs of the hills. I soon get chance to practice the off camber technique Brad explained. Now, there are times when I am riding that I will literally yell at myself inside the helmet to get me to do what I know I need to be doing but my body is NOT doing. I find this really helps to focus my attention! So I am engrossed in a steep off camber hill climb and all of a sudden BRAD is in my head yelling at me to push the bike into the hill and push my body away as I get on the gas. It works perfect and I grind my way to the top of the climb! Awesome, another skill tucked into my tool chest!! Thanks Brad :thumb:

:tab A few minutes later I come up a short climb where the road levels out a bit and find Roger and Mark sitting at the bottom of what looks to be a longgg climb with a nice tight turn about half way up. This was challenging coming down. Some folks seem to like going down versus going up. I like going up. After all if things really start getting hairy, I can usually just slow down and stop. On the other hand, if I am going down and things start getting dicey, it is MUCH harder to scrub off speed! Well, I'm in a groove, so I pause momentarily by Roger and Mark, then head for the hill. Right away it gets steep and I am standing, leaning over the bars, trying to keep the tank firm between my bent knees, and keep on the gas. Half way to the turn I am pondering how I should approach it. One area where my skills are still lacking is in making tight turns on hard packed surfaces covered with loose rocks/gravel, and that is exactly what I am careening toward! I decide to drop a gear, run a hair wide, stab the left foot down just as my speed scrubs off, then nail the gas. The bike pivots around my foot as the rear slides and I pick it up, pointing toward the top of the hill, rocks flying out form under the grinding rear tire. The suspension changes are really making the bike feel great. While stopped earlier I took out a bit more on the front compression and even some on the rear compression (low speed). This really cuts down on the back end kicking up into my backside when it goes over good bumps. Now I feel way more in control, almost like the bike is flowing uphill... I reach the top, park and grab my camera.

Roger and Mark contemplating the climb - Did I mention it was a long one? Only about 1/3 of the climb is in this picture...


Roger watches as Marks makes the climb, you can kind of see his dust on the left side of the picture, the sharp turn being just out of the left side of the shot


Mark, just after the turn, making the final section of the climb




Roger heading up the first leg of the climb


Roger accelerates away from the sharp turn


On the gas with the back end kicking around in the loose rocks


Perfect form... Not so steep here


:tab Matt and James follow Roger a few minutes later, both showing great form and having no apparent troubles.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyMr5e87b4U&feature=player_embedded"]Climbing out of Fresno Creek Canyon - YouTube[/ame]

From here the ride back to the main road is nice and easy. We decide to head back to the Bunkhouse to refuel and take a break. Then the plan is to head South from the Bunkhouse and try to find King Kong Hill...
 
Last edited:

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Just curious, what were the range in size of bikes? 250 - 650cc?
:tab I think the smallest I saw was Matt's KTM 350. Patrice's wife, Sarah, was riding a DRZ 400. Wait... Dahveed was on a WR250R (The fuel injected Yammy). So yeah, basically 250-650cc. I don't recall seeing anything bigger than a 650. You could probably get away with a BMW GS 800, but it would be a handful in the rougher stuff.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Okay, back to riding!!

:tab So we had a great time on Fresno Canyon Rd., and it's time for a quick break at the Bunkhouse. We gas up the bikes, relax on the front porch a bit, eat some snacks and rehydrate. What to do next...?? While we are hanging out, Jeff and Jeff show up. We decide that we are going to run South, look for King Kong Hill and a few of the overlooks. Once everyone is remounted, we head South on the Madrid Falls Rd., which is the road running down the West side of the small Llano Loop shown on the maps.

:tab Almost immediately the road becomes the loose sand/gravel. The dust is thick and hangs in the air. There is a slight breeze, but it never seems to blow ACROSS the road to clear out the dust! So I hang back and space out pretty far to give it a chance to settle. I prefer being able to see and fixate on big rocks before I run into them... :flip: I can see the mountains in the distance and right now we are running over what seems like rolling plains. This soon gives way to steeper "foot hills" of sorts and then the real fun begins. Remember those sections on the maps that were highlighted in red? Those were the ones that Barrett mentioned as being real difficult. We're down in a narrow little valley and I can see the hill looming. I make a tight turn and then the climbing begins. It is rough and loose, occasionally off camber, and there are some turns to negotiate, but the KTM is hitting it like a mountain goat. I soon see the crest and think the worst is over. Then I reach the crest...

:tab It seems this hill is actually several hills. There is a short descent behind the crest I've just reached, another turn, and then a long climb that curves all the way up and around the side of the next bigger hill. Away I go... Second and third gear are working really great for these climbs. I am able to keep enough speed to maintain good stability without stuff coming at me faster than my brain can process, and I am not worrying about lugging down the engine and stalling. I can see the top, and I can see that there are a few sections coming up that get pretty steep. I stay on the gas and keep leaning forward. The back end is skipping all over the place but keeps grabbing enough to keep me moving. The last little bit gets even steeper and then I roll to the top to find Roger, Mark, and MedicJeff waiting. Then comes ffejtable. James and Matt are bringing up the rear.

Jeff looking happy to have made it to the top! You can see the road we came from just above he head. The Bunkhouse is back toward the Mesa on the right side of the shot. There is a thin line of green right at the lower left of the Mesa that is the trees around the bunkhouse.


You can see the first crest just to the right of Jeff's head, that short diagonal line. Most of the climb is not seen here because it is down behind the hill.




Taking it all in...


That little red circle down there is Matt on his KTM 350


Here he's working on one of the steeper sections...


Matt's brain is winning the fight between what the body needs to be doing and what the brain wants to do, this makes him bounce around and he goes off line...


But he sticks with it and is still going!!


Working the last steep section... almost there!!


And he stalls... but he's still upright! :thumb:


Refired, he makes the last little bit of the climb and stops for a well earned rest :clap:


Here comes James on the XR650L


Looking good here, no Yucca inspections...


No, he's not running into that Yucca, it's in the foreground :lol2:


Almost to the stop and luggs to a stall, but those LONG legs keep him upright!


Almost there...


VICTORY!!


And we all take a nice break... was that King Kong Hill... :scratch:




A typical view out here, looking so smooth and easy from afar... but very different when you get up close and personal with it!


:tab We get moving again and the riding is much easier for now. We take a small side road that leads to a dead end where there is a large empty water tank minus the wind mill. The road continues but is closed to motorized traffic. It sure looks like it would be fun!!



:tab So now we are wondering where we are, was that really King Kong Hill, did we miss a turn, where do we go next, "Hey look! There's nice shade over here by the water tank!". I consult the map pictures on my camera and we figure out that we did not do King Kong Hill. We did miss a turn. We're at Pilas de los Muchacos. I don't know Spanish but I'm wondering if this means something like "Place of the Lost Boys..."? :cool2: We head back to the main road and will just follow it to the end, which is supposed to be a good over look of the Flat Irons of the Solitario and of Fresno Canyon, the Choro Vista Overlook. I like shade... But that wasn't on the map...

The run to the overlook is fun and not too hard. We basically running around on a ridge and the vista is at the end. So we stop to take in the sights...


A closer look at the "flat irons"


Some people never grow up... Roger still likes playing King of The Hill :-P


:tab So now it is getting later in the afternoon and folks are starting to get tired. We decide to call it a day and just make our way back to the Bunkhouse. The pace running back is a little quicker than the pace come out. That long hill seems pretty easy on the way down. Funny how that works...

MedicJeff waiting for the rest of the group after the long descent


Yours truly...


Me and Matt


:tab The ride back to the Bunkhouse is quick and uneventful. We find everyone hanging out around the parking lot and front porch. Tonite's dinner is supposed to be Brisket and I AM starving! I go ahead and hit the ibuprofen now because I am a bit sore from using muscles that aren't used to being worked so much. Soon the cowbell rings and we herd into line for dinner. It is FANTASTIC!! The pecan pie desert is quite good as well. I eat wayyy more than I normally eat in one sitting and I can feel a serious food coma coming on. After dinner everyone settles in on the couches in the common room to watch Dust To Glory. If you ride dualsport and you don't own a copy of this movie, you need to get one NOW! It is a great documentary about the Baja 1000. I have it and have watched it countless times. This time the food, ibuprofen, the comfy couch, and fatigue win out. I drift in and out of twitchy half sleep for most of the movie before finally heading to bed when it is over. Tomorrow we head for the NW section of the park to do the Cienega Loop. I drift off to visions of rocks, cactus, yuccas, and the romping sound of my KTM's motor... :sleep:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
:tab I wake to Roger shaking my legs to make sure I don't miss breakfast. Despite some of the intense snoring last night, I slept pretty good. Still, I can feel the cumulative effects of several days of good riding starting to catch up with me, both in terms of fatigue and stiffness/soreness. But hey, I didn't drive 13 hours to get here so I could sit around and whine... I came to RIDE! :rider: We get yet another great breakfast to start our day. I gear up and head for the parking lot. It is not quite as cold this morning and the wind is already blowing pretty good. Today, we head for the remote Cienega loop. Apparently, very few people have ridden that part of the park and it promises to be an adventure. James and Matt bugged out and headed for home, Jeff and Jeff are riding with a different group today, heading to the Road To Nowhere. So it looks like it will be me, Roger and Mark. That's cool because our riding paces all seem to groove well together. It's a long drive on the main road to get out of the park, so we get started.

Looking West toward Presidio


:tab I hang to the back and let Roger and Mark get ahead of me, partly because the dust is so bad on the main road, but also because I am just feeling stiff and uncomfortable in the loose gravel corners. Once my muscles loosen up and my brain starts firing on all cylinders, I'll be good. For now though, I just take in the scenery and enjoy the ride.

It is about a 30-40 minute ride just to get back to the park entrance


:tab We eventually make it to Casa Piedra Rd., and turn North. Like the park road, this is well maintained and wide. It is also crazy dusty. Even though the road is well maintained, meaning no seriously nasty washes across the road, there is still a LOT of loose gravel ranging from pebble size up to about 1-1/2" in diameter. It tends to get piled up in corners. Now I am finally starting to relax and get in a groove with the bike, sliding the rear in the corners and hitting the gas coming out. This road is great for getting into a rhythm but still has the occasional surprise if you are not paying attention! We are looking for a trail head, using GPS tracks made by someone else (Izzy?) last year. We stop a few times in an attempt to get our bearings, then crest a hill and find Patrice and Mark at the trail head. We convince them that we should all ride together and head off into the unknown, Patrice in the lead.

:tab We only go a short distance and the track turns to deep sand and we enter into a dry river area, well... mostly dry. There is a tiny bit of water, not really even enough to qualify as a water crossing, and then more sand/gravel. Then come the hill climbs. The road looks like it has been here a LONG time but hasn't seen any traffic in almost as long a time. The hills are high but rolling, so the climbs and descents are long but not too bad. Over all, we are gaining in altitude constantly as the entire area slopes upward as we near the mountains to the West. At one point we come upon some cows in the road and they take off running... down the road... for a long time... Finally, they get tired of running and veer off into the brush, glancing back at us with slightly perturbed looks on their faces. We reach an intersection and stop for a break and to check the route.

Getting closer to the steeper hills and more fun!


Mark, Patrice and Mark


:tab Once we settle on the direction, I take off in the lead. I like not having to worry about navigating the route, but the price of following is dust. So every now and then I like to run out ahead of the group just so I can enjoy a clear view of the road and scenery. If I get very far ahead or encounter an intersection or particularly rough section, I wait for the group to make sure we all get through in the right direction. So far on this ride, EVERYONE has been really good about making sure the GROUP is taken care of and no one is lost/overlooked. I really like that about these kinds of rides, whether I am the one doing the looking after or being looked after!

Patrice on his wife's DRZ 400, which he is really enjoying!


Mark and Roger finishing off a long climb


Patrice taking in the view... It looks relatively level, but what you are really seeing is the tops of all the hills and not the valleys.


:tab Just beyond where the road vanishes in the picture above, there is a long steep descent. I take the lead. The road is quite rutted and there are some nasty big rocks to dodge. At the base of the descent is a rough wash with even bigger rocks. I slow, pick my line, hit the rock I am trying to miss, lose my momentum, and since James is not with us I take over the Yucca inspection duties! :doh: Right as I come to a stop, the bike leans left and I lay over into a BIG Yucca, one of the long spiked leaves finding its way between my goggles and helmet to jab me in the cheek!! :eek2: That burns! I drop into first gear, hit the gas, spin the back tire and wiggle my way out of the wash to start a good rocky climb that winds its way up the next hill... Good times!! :dude:

:tab Eventually we enter a dry creek bed and decide to stop for a break. It is starting to get warm and the sun beats down on us. Good shade is hard to find. I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to start packing a small tarp or something that can be fashioned into a lean to for shade for these desert rides. Some years back when I was riding in the Mesa Desert East of Phoenix, it was 100+ degrees and three of us were trying to cram under a spindly bush just to get SOME shade and relief from the pounding sun. I've learned that if I park the bike just right, I can lay next to it and be in the shade. This may seem like much ado about nothing since the ambient air temperature is only in the 70's, but that radiant heat can really get you! Then there's the whole thin hair sunburned scalp thing... :huh2:

Mark doing some trail side repairs to his XR650L... a few well placed zip ties and all is good!


Patrice just soaking up the desert goodness... Yes, that is the "road" disappearing into the scrub brush on the right side of the shot...


Lots of deep gravel and loose rocks just waiting to point your front wheel where you don't want to go when you least expect it...


:tab After a nice break, we mount up and get moving again. I REALLY like the creek bed stuff so I take off in the lead. There are times where I am not 100% sure which way the actual trail/road is supposed to go, but then I spot tire tracks from the guys that came out here yesterday and know I'm either on the right track or about to get lost at the same place they did! Either way, I am having a great time and keep going. The bike is just floating over this stuff like I am riding on a cushion of air. Rocks I would have been feverishly avoiding on the KLR just vanish under my wheels with little concern. The hand guards are working over time pushing overhanging thorny branches of all sorts away from me. The rocky creek bed soon gives way to a sandy track running through the scrub and eventually comes to another intersection where there is a windmill and water tank.

:tab After a brief stop to let everyone gather up and some consultation, it is decided that the route goes right. Off I go. More deep sand with quite a few tight turns and some washes to cross, then it's rocky two track climbing a nice hill. Maybe a half mile or so from the intersection, I stop after the climb at a nice vista. The other guys catch up, consult the tracks, and decide we should have gone the other way... So we turn around and cruise back. By now I am really clicking with the bike and just having a blast. I am very relaxed, riding smooth, and am focused on only what I need to be paying attention to instead of EVERYTHING. That is a big part of riding well, learning what can safely be ignored so that you free up processing power to pay attention and react to what really matters. This is something new riders struggle with, whether on the street or the dirt. The problem on the dirt is that the bike is generally more stable if you carry a bit of speed, but this means more stuff coming at you faster and it can overload the brain's ability to process what is happening. So you ride slower, which makes the bike less stable, which freaks out your brain, which makes you do the wrong things at the wrong time. This is why training and seeking out advice from more experienced riders is so important! Anyway, in this moment, it is all flowing for me and it feels great.

:tab We get back to the intersection and go the right way. I take the lead again. The road is mostly sand/dust with some scattered rocks. As I cross over a railroad track, I spot a small fox running in the road ahead of me. He's the size of a small dog, maybe 12-15 inches high, 24" long and has a big BUSHY tail. He runs down the road a bit until he realizes I am right behind him and then vanishes into the underbrush. Shortly after the tracks I come to another intersection.

A deep washout gulley. I bet this is a site to see when the rains move through here!




:tab The road goes left and right around the gulley. We're not sure which way to go. I see the road going left on my GPS as eventually reaching back to the Casa Piedra Rd., but the tracks go the other way. The day before, Jody (one of the guys that rode this loop the first day) mentioned that when in doubt, trust the roads over the track. We eventually decide to go right. The road becomes deep loose sand and the bike just likes to plow through it. Right away there are several really tight corners around some big ruts and washes so I can't keep the speed up. This is where steering with the throttle really becomes a must, just point and shoot. RIGHT at the inside of each corner there is some kind of huge bush with long branches and LONG spikey thorns on each branch!! The hand guards shove them out of the way and my heavy duty riding suit absorbs what doesn't get moved. After maybe a hundred yards, we drop into a large wide dry river bed with REALLY deep loose gravel. AWESOME!

:tab There's only one problem... We don't see any tire tracks from the previous groups and no signs of anything that looks like a road... Patrice and I putter around the area but don't see anything obvious. So we run back to the intersection and ride a short way the other direction. There are truck/jeep tracks, but nothing that looks like bike tracks. We sit a few minutes, trying to figure out what to do, then I head back to the river bed where the other guys are waiting. While I was gone, Roger found the road. So I double back again, find Patrice, and let him know about the road. So by the time this is all over with I have gotten to rip through all the loose sand and river bed gravel four or five times. I could play around here all afternoon, but the day is getting on and we still have a long ride to get back to the Bunkhouse.

:tab The "road" is actually on the far side of the river where a line of Cottonwood trees runs. Roger leads the way. It's really cool looking when we get up into the trees. The road is mostly deep sand/silt here and we are looking at a short steep climb. I get out the camera...

Roger making it look easy as usual...


Patrice follows


Then Mark


and Mark


:tab And finally I head up the hill. It has a great berm to drive off of right at the top where the road bends to the left. But the guys are all stopped waiting for me so I can't really get throttle happy on it. Now we are back to the typical two track rocky road that wanders up, over and around the gentle rolling hills. We come to a few more intersections requiring some "navigating" and eventually find our way back to the Casa Piedra Rd., at the Northern trail head. Here we split off from Patrice and Mark. We make the run back to the Bunkhouse on the main road. This time I am flowing through the corners nice and smooth, unlike this morning.

:tab We finally reach the Bunkhouse and relax on the front porch. The plan is to ride out to Guale 1 and 2 overlooks because everyone has said these are a must do. We gas up the bikes, eat some snacks, and spend a little time relaxing. Now, there are times when one should listen to the signals he is getting from his body. This was one of them and I don't listen. By the time we get back on the bikes and start for the road that heads to the overlooks, I am tired. I was fine until we sat on the porch and started relaxing. At first, I don't really realize how tired I am. Then we turn off the main road and start South on the unimproved road. Like so many of the other roads, it starts out fairly easy, just rolling up and down as it makes its way over to the bigger hills. I notice that I am not in that flow like I had been earlier. It's the last day of riding. I'm tired. So I decide to back down the pace and "take it easy."

:tab Anyone that has ever ridden very long knows that there is typically a pace that is the comfortable pace. This is the pace where your brain is used to processing information and reacting to surprises. Ride over this pace and you significantly increase the chances of getting hurt. Unfortunately, the same is true of trying to ride under that pace, like if you are hanging behind a rider whose comfortable pace is slower than yours, or... you decide to "take it easy"... You see where this is going right...? :twitch:

:tab So I am just plodding along, Mark riding a ways behind me, and I cross a shallow wash, not unlike the hundreds of other washes we've been crossing the last few days. As I am climbing out the far side on the shallow slope, I feel the back of the bike kick and in an instant the rear is trying to lead the way and I am going sideways at about 30-35mph... Uh... :eek2: There is an old saying among dirt riders, "When in doubt, GAS IT!" Well, like many old sayings, this is not an absolute. In this case when I instinctively grab more throttle, the back tire just sweeps the road clean of rocks/gravel as I low side on my left side. All I can see is the cloud of dust right in my face, almost like being closed in a bubble. I can hear the grinding of me and the bike sliding on the gravel, some of it kind of big!! I separate from the bike and slide a few feet further on the road, stopping and just rolling onto my right side...

:tab There's always that few moments after a get off where the brain is kind of rebooting... taking inventory of what has just happened and trying to get reoriented. The adrenaline is gushing through the veins. There is no pain yet... Damage reports aren't making it from the lower decks to the command center. Then systems start coming back online. Reports start flooding in. Damage assessments start to register. Awareness starts to move outward from the command center to the surroundings. "Are you okay!?" asks Mark. Uh.... well... I think so... :brainsnap My left foot is a bit tender, but nothing else is screaming at me for attention. I sit up and gather my wits as Mark picks up the bike. I pull some cactus needles out of my arm... I don't remember hitting a cactus, but then it all happened so fast... Dang... I never should have slowed down!! :headbang

:tab I get on my feet, put some weight on the left foot, bend the end of the foot up and down, and everything seems to work without any exceptional pain. The bike looks fine and Mark helps me get it back on the road. The left hand guard is boogered because the bolt near the triple clamp mount just stripped right out. It's nothing a few big zip ties can't take care of. About this time Roger has returned and is curious about what happened. Mark looks over my riding suit and there is no apparent damage. I love this suit. I have no recall of any kind of pain from hitting the ground, even when landing on and sliding on all those rough rocks. The armor has great coverage and does its work very well. Had I been wearing the typical dirt gear, I have a feeling my arms, hips, thighs, and the sides of my rib cage might have been rashed up pretty bad. As it is, my left foot feels slightly sprained and likely bruised. With the bike good to go, I remount and we continue.

:tab Upshifts are a tender affair. When I try to lift the tip of the foot up, it hurts. So I just lift the whole leg. Standing is no problem and doesn't hurt. But now, almost like a switch has been flipped, I seem to have lost my MOJO!! :-? Every little rock seems like a massive boulder! I can't seem to get my eyes up off the front fender. I am back to feeling like the front of the bike is just bouncing all over the place out of control. Fatigue has just landed like a crushing weight on my whole body. I find myself trying to sit more than stand when I really ought to be standing. My brain is winning the struggle between ought to do and want to do... I press on, talking to myself in the helmet, "GET YOUR EYES UP! STAND UP! YOU CAN DO THIS AND YOU KNOW IT! GET BACK ON THE GAS! RELAX!" It helps. I am still tired but my focus does come back enough that I am not scaring myself silly.

:tab The remainder of the riding is nothing exceptionally technical, just more of the typical up and down climbs and descents that are everywhere in the park. I finally settle down and get busy with the job of riding. We reach the turn for Guale 1 and head down the road. It is just short section that leads to a small camping area surrounded by hills, nothing much to look at though. :shrug: So we head back to the main road and keep going. There are a few more climbs and then we finally reach the Guale 2 over look... COOL! Now this was worth all the pain and suffering to get here. :clap:

The big view...


A close up of the canyon, Mexico in the distance


Most of the rock where we are is the rough volcanic stuff, chews up tires where it is in the roads...


Yours truly enjoying the scenery


Roger soaking it in... and that is really what you have to do, just stand there and soak it in...


My trusty KTM 530 EXC... We have now bonded :mrgreen:


:tab As we start to gather back around the bikes, it becomes apparent that I am not the only one that has physically and mentally hit a wall. I can just see it in the body language and facial expressions of Mark and Roger. We are all three ready to just get back to the Bunkhouse and call it a day. It's not that far of a ride, but there is no shortage of places to get into trouble of one is not paying attention or is off his game. So off we go...

:tab I take the back of the group and go easy. At many of the climbs, I sit and watch the other guys, looking for trouble spots and also just resting. I beat my brain into submission and make my body do what it needs to do, standing for the climbs, keeping my eyes up, staying on the gas, not trying to dodge every single rock that is the size of a baseball or bigger, and basically just letting the bike do its thing. We finally reach the smoother and more level road section that leads back out to the main road. When we finally roll into the parking lot of the Bunkhouse a great feeling of relief and satisfaction rolls over me. I am struck by just how incredible the riding has been the last few days, how challenging some of it has been, and how much fun I have had riding it with all these guys. We get parked and start the process of decompressing from the ride. I start with a cold beer on the front porch. Roger starts with a shower. The ankle is tender, but it is not serious. A small price to pay for such a great view. Most of the other riders have congregated around the porch and the story telling has already begun. I watch them as they move about. I am not the only one moving slow and looking tired. But it is a good tired, born of doing what you love to do with all that you have in you...

:tab When is that dinner bell gonna ring...? :eat:

:tab Dinner is a great batch of Enchiladas, something I normally don't care for, but which in this case are superb! I still can't get over how good the food has been here. It is well worth the price and convenience. After dinner, I head for the showers. By the time I quit soaking in the hot water and put on some clean clothes, everyone has moved outside to the big fire circle. The stars are so bright they just leap out of the sky at me. The fire is already big and burning. As I approach, I see Brad engrossed in some kind of dramatic story telling session. I grab a bench spot and listen in. I don't really catch much of the story as I am lost in thoughts of the last few days and the knowledge that tomorrow we drive 13 hours home and it is back to the daily routine.

:tab Roger and I get everything loaded in the truck except for the bare minimum of stuff we'll need in the morning. The plan is to head out when he wakes up, which is typically the freakishly early hour of 4:30am! We roll out at 4:45am and start the long drive back to the main highway. The sunrise as we head for Marfa and the Border Checkpoint is beautiful. We enjoy a nice ride home and get to Huntsville around 5:30, unload my stuff nice and quick, then Roger heads home. As great as the riding is and as much as I enjoy hanging out with all the other riders, it is always good to get back home to Beth and the kids.

:tab I'll post up some reflections on the trip, bike, gear, etc,... soon.

:tab Thanks for letting me tag along! Till next time...
 

greeneggs&ham

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
1,325
Location
KYLE, TX
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Crabtree
You may not realize it yet, but you will be a better rider for this trip. I believe that the body and mind become much more in sync, when riding to exhaustion. This is just my opinion but your mind will adapt and learn what is smooth and easy, much quicker on a 6 to 8 hr ride than 8 one hour rides. Your confidence will increase and you have become one with the bike.
Great ride report, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. Sam
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
2,227
Location
Ten Sleep, WY
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Smith
Great report Scott! I really liked BBRSP. Man if only you could link up the bottom of Fresno Canyon to the road to the south west, what is it...



That would be a great loop, really wanted to try it last time I was down there but didn't want to spoil any good will with BBRSP staff.

I loved the Fresno Canyon gravel as well, sooo much fun at speed on a capable bike, preferably with a steering damper :trust:

Definitely makes a difference to weight the uphill peg on off-camber hills, bike sticks to the hill like a leech.

Love that whited-out 450 R-Squared.

I wouldn't recommend anything over 650 cc on some of those roads either. We were sitting at the bottom of the hill before "King Kong" when an old guy and his son came by... I think he was on a Transalp and the son was on an 1150 GS or something. They were managing but not having near the fun we were. (Until I destroyed my ankle and got to ride King Kong with one useless leg...)

I'm glad you were able to dial back your compression damping and make the bike a bit more manageable. I think my 450 is actually pretty soft, but they're not Supercrossers and it seems to be more forgiving at warp speed, that's for sure. No need to pull a Quinn Cody. :giveup:

I'd be really curious to hear a report from the young guy on the 350 EXC. Fuel injected, no?

I'm bummed I never had a chance to ride the Cienega loop, that looked great!

I really liked your description of the last evening, pulling into the bunkhouse and basking in the fatigue around the fire. Love that feeling :clap:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
:tab So I thought I would toss in a few thoughts and reflections on the weekend of riding.

:tab I really enjoyed the small total attendance group size. I tried to visit with everyone but still managed not to really sit and get to know a few folks. As much as I love the riding and exploring, I really do enjoy getting to know folks from all walks of life.

:tab I also enjoyed the remoteness of the location. There is something about being in an environment so radically different from my daily environment which really enforces the "break" from the routine. I can go on other trips where I am in a different place, but that place really isn't all that much different than anywhere else, with a store on the corner, cell service, gas stations, etc,... Not so for the BBRSP. Of course this has a down side as well. Not only are we remote from our daily lives and all the things we take for granted, but we are remote from help in the event someone gets hurt. I was thinking about this a lot during the first day of riding. Barrett reinforced it during his presentation after dinner that night. I tried hard to keep it in mind while riding. Riding of this kind lends itself to unexpected events and potentially serious injury. Sarah experienced this. I experienced this. Another rider (Mike? on the DRZ) experienced this. We all got off pretty lightly. But it could also have been worse...

:tab I am a BIG believer in good gear. I wear a Motorport riding suit. Jacket / Pants. They were not cheap. Total cost with quite a few custom alterations/features was about $1200. They were made to my size and I had extra stuff done to make them useable for street and dirt. I've been wearing them for about five years now and unfortunately have crash tested them a few times. However, I have NEVER had any kind of road rash or cuts, only mild bruising and a broken ankle from my bike slamming down on my foot after smacking a deer at about 40mph. Off road, they have been superb. My get off this past weekend was a minor event because of the protection against sharp edges and blunt impact. I hit the ground hard and I am not even sore. Had I been wearing the typical chest/elbow/knee protection worn by many dirt riders, I am pretty sure the sliding on the rocks would have done some damage. I don't have medical insurance and that broken ankle set me back about $16K... It was not even that bad a break, just two screws and ten weeks in a cast. Had I been wearing my normal dirt boots that day I hit the deer, I might have gotten off with a sprain and bruising like I did this weekend. Unfortunately, I was just riding home from work and was wearing my street boots. Still... I would like boots that are even tougher than the armored SIDIs I have now. Yeah, they were expensive... but nothing compared to that ankle surgery... I also like good gloves. Rashed/cut hands would be a major problem for any of us. No, gloves, like the riding suit, won't necessarily prevent broken bones, but they generally keep the skin where it belongs. Bad rash and or multiple cuts can be just as life threatening as more serious injuries like broken bones or internal injuries and they are also prone to later infection.

:tab I guess the point I am trying to make is that in terrain like what is in the park, where it is almost ALL rocks, going down at any kind of serious speed could get really nasty if you don't have the majority of your body protected. As Barrett mentioned, help would be a LONG time coming out in this place. It is unlikely that anyone would be able to get cell service to call for help, so someone is going to have to go get help. It could conceivably be many hours before help arrives. I know not everyone can afford a $1200 riding suit, including me since I got mine under unusual circumstances. But don't take getting good gear lightly.

:tab Okay, enough about the riding gear. What about the bike? I started my DS riding on an 1150 GS, then moved to a KLR 650 and now have the KTM 530. I also have a 1200 GS now. The KLR probably won't be seeing much use anymore. The right tool for the job is what comes to mind. I LOVED my 1150 GS and had some crazy adventures on it. However, that lead me to get the KLR because I wanted something lighter and easier to ride when the going got rough. I've taken the KLR through the desert and mountains of Arizona, the high mountain passes of SW Colorado, the rugged ATV trails of NW Arkansas, and to Big Bend. At the end of the day, I had a great time but was always worn out from having to work so hard at the riding. My problem was that my riding has steadily been drifting toward the rougher and more technical variety instead of the basic two track dirt roads you find in most places. The KLR suffers from being heavy and having poor suspension more than anything else. For "adventure touring" it is a great bike. For the stuff we did last weekend at BBRSP, I would have been whooped after each day. Riding the KTM was an amazing experience. The light weight, fantastic suspension, and the power just made for a radically different riding experience. I was able to focus more on the riding than on beating the bike into submission.

:tab Now don't get me wrong. I am not preaching that everyone needs to run out and buy a KTM. There are many great bikes out there. But if you want to do the riding that we did at BBRSP, then the focus needs to be on light weight, good suspension, and decent power (or good low gearing). Something like Dahveed's WR250 would be great. When you are fighting a big bike, you are increasing the chances of going down and getting hurt. I was joking with another KLR rider after riding in Cloudcroft, NM., and Ouray, Co., last year about how I need to buy something like the KTM because I'm getting old and can't afford to keep getting hurt riding something like the KLR. He agreed 100% :lol2: Anyway, I guess this gets back to that safety thing. The right tool for the job goes a long way in preventing injuries.

:tab In my ride report I mentioned the efforts of riders to look out for other riders in the group. I think this is a HUGE issue on rides. I know there are some riders that get antsy about being held up by slower riders or riders that are having trouble. To a degree, there is safety in numbers. I would NEVER ride alone on the stuff in BBRSP that we rode. Three was not bad, but I think the ideal is four-eight riders. This usually means there are enough folks that there will be plenty of tools for any needed trail side repairs (which seems to occur on just about EVERY ride I've been on). It means someone can stay with an injured rider while others go for help (and not alone themselves). Basically, it is just more resources. More than eight can really get to be hard to keep track of and to keep the group moving at a decent pace. I've led (reluctantly) groups of 15-20 riders and let me tell you it is WORK. Also, in the larger groups egos seem to be more of an issue, from showing off to a rider feeling like he has to push to keep up so he's not a burden on the group. Roger did an excellent job of leading our rides each day because he regularly stopped to make sure everyone was still with the group and not having any problems. When we misplaced Matt, the focus was not on the ride being "ruined" or "disrupted", it was on finding the missing rider and making sure he was safe! If someone was struggling, the focus was on doing whatever was needed to help them, not ditching them from the group. This is a BIG part of what I enjoy about riding with many of the DS riders I ride with. I've done rides where this was not a focus and it just doesn't make for as good an experience for everyone involved.

:tab I look forward to more adventures, hopefully with some of the folks I met on this trip. I can't wait for my own kids to reach the age where they might be able to join me like Matt was able to do with James. What a great memory this trip will be for both of them, treasured for a lifetime!! That's what makes it all so special for me, having a great ride, surviving to ride again, and building on the relationships formed at the rides.

:tab I can't wait for the next ride... :rider:
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
Great report Scott! I really liked BBRSP. Man if only you could link up the bottom of Fresno Canyon to the road to the south west, what is it...



That would be a great loop, really wanted to try it last time I was down there but didn't want to spoil any good will with BBRSP staff.
:tab I think that was the Choro Vista. It would be hard to link up as the change in terrain between the canyon bottom and the vista is pretty severe. However, there is a two track trail heading down from the vista. It is blocked off and like you said, I don't want to engender any negative repercussion in the park for DS riders. DS riding in the park is still very much a probationary kind of thing. If some disrespectful riders got in there, it could end up with the entire park being closed off to motorcycles. That would be a HUGE loss to the DS community!!

I loved the Fresno Canyon gravel as well, sooo much fun at speed on a capable bike, preferably with a steering damper :trust:
:tab I never really felt like I needed a damper on any of the loose stuff. The front end never really got wiggly or wandered. It was quite stable and never even really protruded into my awareness. Now on some of the deflections off of rocks on the climbs and descents, I was think it might help reduce the severity of the deflections that send the bike off line?
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
2,556
Location
Waco
note to wife on 2nd KTM:

I am preaching that everyone needs to run out and buy a KTM. There are many great bikes out there. But if you want to do the riding that we did at BBRSP, then the focus needs to be on light weight, good suspension, and decent power (or good low gearing). Something like Dahveed's WR250 would be great. When you are fighting a big bike, you are increasing the chances of going down and getting hurt. I was joking with another KLR rider after riding in Cloudcroft, NM., and Ouray, Co., last year about how I need to buy something like the KTM because I'm getting old and can't afford to keep getting hurt riding something like the XRL. He agreed 100% Anyway, I guess this gets back to that safety thing. The right tool for the job goes a long way in preventing injuries.

:lol2:
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
2,556
Location
Waco
people keep saying it is the rider not the bike...

I remain unconvinced :rofl:
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
2,227
Location
Ten Sleep, WY
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Smith
Scott, that linkup is something that DS riders should work with the park attendants on. They seem open to responsible riders, I think it would make a great loop.

I've ridden Fresno with and without a steering damper on essentially the same bike. It made a huge difference for me....
 

greeneggs&ham

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
1,325
Location
KYLE, TX
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Crabtree
Scott, that linkup is something that DS riders should work with the park attendants on. They seem open to responsible riders, I think it would make a great loop.

I've ridden Fresno with and without a steering damper on essentially the same bike. It made a huge difference for me....
:thumb: It's almost like cheating. :clap: Sam

And it is more the rider than the bike. Like Scott said, pick the proper tool. Sam
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Messages
383
Location
Austin, TX
Really awesome report on BBRSP, and I am so glad that Tourmeister and his buddies could get out and see first hand how its one of Texas' dual sport gems! Yes, dual sporting riding (street legal motorcycles) on BBRSP roads (public 4X4 roads) is new to the park. As Tourmeister says, responsible riding in the park is critical to TPWD continuing to allow motorcycle access in the park. There is NO off-road riding in BBRSP. Both Parks Dept staff and the current park administrator are very welcoming to dual sport riders, and that is how it should stay. The park administrator offered to open a northern section of the park's road that is currently closed off, due to some issues that need to be worked out. At the next BUTT ride we will take him up on the offer to open up this loop, just for the event. We also hope to continue to work with the park and staff to connect some sections of the park, but this is not for sure, and will take time.

However, as it is BBRSP offers great dual sport riding opportunities!
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
Messages
32
Location
Austin, TX
One of the highlights at this years RideDualSport B.U.T.T. ride was finally making it through the Cienega Mountains... and it was really cool to have done it with Tourmeister, Rsquared, Subcomm and Portero72. The entrance and exit to the Cienegas was fairly difficult - and with great relief Rsquared located the exit from the riverbed through the trees.

These photos are from our 2010 RideDualSport B.U.T.T ride.
Other than IZZ and his two buddies - no one had ever traveled the Cienega Loop. We tried it the day after IZZ we had no GPS tracks to follow.
We managed to get as far as the Lower Alamito campground, but we could not find the "road" or any tire tracks leading out of the campground. The Cienega was virgin territory. It was probably good that we did not continue, because we were pretty exhausted - battling deep sand washes and ruts - time was running short - and we did not want to risk any injuries. Even getting that far was exhilarating though!

BUTT_2010_08.jpg

BUTT_2010_02.jpg

BUTT_2010_03.jpg

BUTT_2010_04.jpg

BUTT_2010_05.jpg

BUTT_2010_06.jpg

BUTT_2010_07.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
2,556
Location
Waco
now a major motion slide show..

[ame="http://youtu.be/MSJM8MKyEZo"]BBRSP 2011 SS - YouTube[/ame]
 

Rsquared

Un-Supervised Slacker
Forum Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
1,371
Location
Tx
One of the highlights at this years RideDualSport B.U.T.T. ride was finally making it through the Cienega Mountains... and it was really cool to have done it with Tourmeister, Rsquared, Subcomm and Portero72. The entrance and exit to the Cienegas was fairly difficult - and with great relief Rsquared located the exit from the riverbed through the trees.
Cienega Mountains ride... yeah... It's been a week now and each time my mind reflects back on each day of riding (which is frequent), I feel a big grin come across my face...

now a major motion slide show..
Well Done James!
 
Last edited:

CeeBee

Inactive Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
308
Location
Magnolia, TX
First Name
Chuck
Last Name
Blair
HOORAY - Scott has a real Bike Now!!!! :clap: I want one Too! :trust:

Great report everybody, Wish I was there. Need to clean the garage :eek2 and bring both bikes back up to 100%

Have been getting the riding bug again :help: and can't shake it. :giveup:

Reading Mexico and Central American trip reports that are griving me crazy - but the timing isn't right maybe in the fall?

May be able to subdue them for awhile with a Big Bend fix (hopefully)

:rider: Went with Richard, Izzie, and an old flat tracker (I can't remember his name) a few years ago and had a great time. Can only imagine the fun on

a 530. Hard for me to even type KTM - :lol2:
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
1,952
Location
Coupland, TX
First Name
David
Last Name
Hogate
Thanks a lot guys for the stories and pictures of Big Bend. Now that I've purchased a street bike 4 months ago I'm deciding I also need a DS or dirt bike. I don't have the money to support both but will find a way! I used to ride sand dunes in the SoCal desert and thought I could get by with just a street bike, but noooooo... you guys are killing me!!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
2,556
Location
Waco
[ame="http://youtu.be/m3VNYr_u6iM"]Big Bend Ranch State Park - YouTube[/ame]
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
5,171
Location
Terlingua Tx
First Name
Ed
Last Name
Hegarty
Scott, are y'all staying in the SP, or hanging out with the crowd at Richard's ride?

I might have to load the 250 in the truck and join y'all out there for a day.
 

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,140
Location
Mesquite
I think I am headed that way in April. The ct90 is going to try to climb some of those rocky hills. It looks like I might put the xr250 tank on it for extra gas. I am staying at Study Butte with another TWTer.
 

SL350

Forum Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2005
Messages
13,140
Location
Mesquite
I have been waiting for someone to tell me it is a bad idea to use the ct90 on BBSP but no one bit. There are some hills in this thread that is fairly aggressive and I would just choose to pass on most of those. Does this mean I can't get around the park on the ct? I just want to smell the roses.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
First Name
Bruce
Last Name
Taylor
I have been waiting for someone to tell me it is a bad idea to use the ct90 on BBSP but no one bit. There are some hills in this thread that is fairly aggressive and I would just choose to pass on most of those. Does this mean I can't get around the park on the ct? I just want to smell the roses.
Most of the roads around Saucedo are doable on your CT90. The one you will want to stay away from is marked as unmantained 4wd only. That's the one with King Kong hill IIRC. You can do a lot of casual riding without getting into any trouble.
 

Tourmeister

Keeper of the Asylum
Admin
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
45,982
Location
Huntsville
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Friday
I have been waiting for someone to tell me it is a bad idea to use the ct90 on BBSP but no one bit. There are some hills in this thread that is fairly aggressive and I would just choose to pass on most of those. Does this mean I can't get around the park on the ct? I just want to smell the roses.
:tab Well... almost all the roads we did have parts you could do on the CT90, but then they almost all had parts you probably would not want to do on a CT90. The lack of ground clearance, suspension travel, and power would make it a hard ride and likely tear up the bike. The main road in and out of the park is doable, as is Casa Piedra Rd, but once you get off on those side roads, things can get pretty rough.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,233
Location
Between a Rock and a weird place, Pflugerville, TX
First Name
Bruce
Last Name
Taylor
Definitely stay off Oso loop. But I think if he took his time he could ride down to the Chorro Vista. He could even to the Solitario until he got down into the creek bed. That would be tough on the little trailie. Low speed and picking his line correct, it is doable.
 
Top