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Trip To Texas Hill Country (Adventure Tejas)

Jarrett

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I'm new to riding and starting to branch out from local rides a bit. Got a chance to do some riding in the Texas Hill Country this weekend. Got in about 600 miles in total or so.

One day on pavement and two days in the dirt. It was a blast, especially the dirt riding.

The pavement day was just me running through the popular roads out there. 16, 337, 336, 335, 39 mostly. That was a lot of fun, especially all the corners. I was by myself, in and out of phone coverage and on a new set of big block off road tires, so I kept it fairly tame.

You've all probably seen the Three Sisters videos before, so nothing new. Here's mine :)

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PwxgodZ2EM"]Three Sisters on Africa Twin - YouTube[/ame]

The two days on dirt, I went out with a tour company called Adventure Tejas. I was hesitant to spend the money with them, but glad I did after the fact. They have some nice routes planned out that were 70% off pavement. Roughly 375 miles in two days.

Lots of water crossings, dirt, gravel, sand, etc. The new tires (Shinko 804/TKC 80 which they recommended to me beforehand) saved my butt in a few places. In the deep gravel and especially in the sandy areas. I would have been down no doubt on the stock tires.

Wes and Stephen are good tour guides, imo. They connected me to their Sena group and we talked all the way through the ride. They told me about the area we were riding in and stories about other rides through there in the past.

Probably most importantly, they fielded all my newbie questions and talked me through the technique of how to ride in different situations during the ride. Where to stand, where to point the bike, how to pick a line, how to handle deep water crossings, how to react to deep gravel and especially, what to do in sand. So I got some adventure riding lessons rolled in there with the tour. That was really helpful for me. I came away from it feeling much more confident off pavement than I did going in.

If anyone every wants to go do a tour down there with them, let me know, I'd go back and ride with those guys again for sure.

Check out 12:50 and 13:09 for some deep sand that surprised us in the dirt video.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJgxkA-vhdc"]Hill Country Dirt - YouTube[/ame]

Here are some pics:

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Tourmeister

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Re: Trip To Texas Hill Country (Adeventure Tejas)

Cool!

:tab In the water crossings, sand, and deep gravel, you want to drop further back from the guy in front of you. That way if they have a problem or go down, you have time to react to avoid. You don't want to slow down or you will likely have a problem or go down right there with them! Better to get by, find a good place to park, then go back to assist if needed. It's also just easier to see if you hang back enough to be out of their dust.
 
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I will get down there and do this once I get my new vstrom set up for offroad.
 
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Jarrett

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It's a good time.

Lots more rough ranch roads and water crossings than around here, for sure.
 
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It's a good time.

Lots more rough ranch roads and water crossings than around here, for sure.
I have been through the three sisters in my car but never by motorcycle. Im more excited about off pavement riding though.
 
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Thanks for the kind words Jarrett. We had a great time with you, Gary and Patrick! I think the best part of the tours we do is the friends we meet!


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Jarrett

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I have been through the three sisters in my car but never by motorcycle. Im more excited about off pavement riding though.
It's even better by motorcycle, but I had more fun riding off pavement with the Adventure Tejas guys.

Thanks for the kind words Jarrett. We had a great time with you, Gary and Patrick! I think the best part of the tours we do is the friends we meet!
Thanks for a fun tour. Looking forward to doing it again sometime.
 

Tourmeister

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It's a good time.

Lots more rough ranch roads and water crossings than around here, for sure.
Were the water crossings nice and slick? Sometimes they are so slick it is hard just to stand in one place, even in only a few inches of moving water!
 

Jarrett

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Were the water crossings nice and slick? Sometimes they are so slick it is hard just to stand in one place, even in only a few inches of moving water!
I don't think I remember slipping in any of them, maybe I did though. There are one or two in the video above.

I saw the KLR's in front of me slip a little, I think. I did try to power out of one for fun only to realize that I forgot to turn my traction control off :doh:

I think the water levels were much lower than normal on this trip, but still plenty of splashing around to be had.
 

StromXTc

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I don't think I remember slipping in any of them, maybe I did though. There are one or two in the video above.

I saw the KLR's in front of me slip a little, I think. I did try to power out of one for fun only to realize that I forgot to turn my traction control off :doh:

I think the water levels were much lower than normal on this trip, but still plenty of splashing around to be had.
Slow and steady win the crossing race. Those things can come back to bite who ever gets cocky.
 
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I still have not done the 3 sisters. Wait, that didn't sound right....

I may ride out this weekend. Leave EARLY sat morning.
 
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For a new rider you have good lines on the roads. Late entries give you that view of your exit. Lots of times new riders go in too close to the center line early, then get in trouble when they are surprised by decreasing radius corners they can't hold. It's a tendency I am still trying to improve on decades into my experience. Well done!
Dave.
 

Jarrett

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For a new rider you have good lines on the roads. Late entries give you that view of your exit. Lots of times new riders go in too close to the center line early, then get in trouble when they are surprised by decreasing radius corners they can't hold. It's a tendency I am still trying to improve on decades into my experience. Well done!
Dave.
Thanks. I used to do this kinda stuff for fun in little creeks on souped up jet skis. Seems like some of it translates.

I'm just too scared to do that on pavement as it looks harder than water :)

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZtroSGWGzA"]Yamaha VXS on Austin Bayou - YouTube[/ame]
 
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I used to race through creeks on jet skis as well. Used to ride the st John's river in Florida and all the little creeks that link to it. But this was 15-16years ago.
 

Jarrett

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I scoped it out before pulling the trigger :)

I think we did cross it. We cross a bunch of rivers or the same river a bunch of times :)
 
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I scoped it out before pulling the trigger :)

I think we did cross it. We cross a bunch of rivers or the same river a bunch of times :)
The James River isn't one you'd forget. REALLY long, 100 yards at least and 10 to 20 inches deep, depending on which side you take...

Quiz: anyone know of a longer / deeper crossing in Texas?
 
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Looks like this.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeeJXmzhSnY"]Crossing James River TAC 2012 - YouTube[/ame]

With real authentic wind noise to boot.
 
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Wes, did we cross the James River?


No. We went down James River road for a picture spot, but turned around and continued on tour. We offer that option sometimes if people want to do it, but it’s pretty treacherous and most folks on the 500+ lb bikes don’t want to fall.


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There's nothing particularly difficult about riding in water that deep or deeper. What makes it interesting is that darn algae hiding at the bottom.
 
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There's nothing particularly difficult about riding in water that deep or deeper. What makes it interesting is that darn algae hiding at the bottom.


Exactly, and the slower the water is flowing the worse it gets.


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Exactly, and the slower the water is flowing the worse it gets.


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Yea, I got attached by the ninja moss once. They are relentless little ninjas!:rider:

Lucky for me it was hot as you know what and I was on the DR650 not the AT.
 

Jarrett

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No. We went down James River road for a picture spot, but turned around and continued on tour. We offer that option sometimes if people want to do it, but it’s pretty treacherous and most folks on the 500+ lb bikes don’t want to fall.
Dang, now I want to go on down that road. Next time :)
 

Tourmeister

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The worst drop in water I've ever had on any kind of crossing was water about 1/4" dp on concrete...

The algae though... :eek2:

I could barely stand on it without falling!! Getting the bike back up without help was a real challenge!
 
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The worst drop in water I've ever had on any kind of crossing was water about 1/4" dp on concrete...

The algae though... :eek2:

I could barely stand on it without falling!! Getting the bike back up without help was a real challenge!


Yeah. Last time we did it a guy on a KLR fell twice on his bike and once just walking...


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Jarrett

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Wes sent me this video recently with a couple of water crossings from the trip back in June. Thought some might enjoy:

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1snJqNeieSs"]Hill Country Water Crossings - YouTube[/ame]

On the second one, I wanted to really accelerate out of it, but forgot to dial back the traction control and it kicked in hard on the exit :doh:

I love the music, makes it seem much more dramatic than it was :D
 
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Tourmeister

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Wow, that first crossing was really low! Last time I was out there a few years ago the water went a lot further up onto each side and it got pretty deep. We had several riders go down there. One flooded his engine and we had to pull the spark plug to get him going again.
 
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