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TWT Arkansas/Missouri Fall Rally 9/22 - 9/25

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Missouri Route:

From: Eureka Springs, AR US
To: Eagle Rock, MO US
To: Jenkins, MO US (MO 160 :thumb: )
To: Gainesville, MO US
To: Almartha, MO US
To: Gentryville, MO US
To: Sparta, MO US (MO 125 :thumb::thumb::thumb:)
To: Peel, AR US
To: Carr Lane, MO US
To: Eureka Springs, AR US

361 Miles





Arkansas Route:

From: Eureka Springs, AR US
To: Western Grove, AR US
To: Mount Judea, AR US
To: Hagerville Mountain, AR US
To: Fallsville, AR US
To: Deer, AR US
To: Jasper, AR US
To: Yellville, AR US
To: Sycamore, AR US
To: Eureka Springs, AR US

330 miles

 
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Wow... I am really starting to wonder if I am ready for this!

My riding experience is strictly commuting. I bet I have never gone more than 30 miles without reaching my destination. This will also be my first group-type ride. :oops:

I bought my current bike so I could start doing some touring, but I have yet to do one. I have no qualms about my ride up to Eureka Springs, but now that I see the distances that will be covered each day we are there, I wonder if this is a little much for my level. I also envisioned this to be a much smaller gathering, giving me a better chance to get good advice and mentoring from those I would be riding with.

Someone tell me it will be OK! I was/am REALLY looking forward to this trip to gain some valuable experience, but the number of people and distances involved are making me question if this is a good idea at the moment. Some advice from experienced riders would be appreciated! PM if you would rather.

P.S....
Don't worry Pacman...I'm not trying to abandon you just yet! ;-)
 
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Sorry I'll miss this, but not by much. I'll be with the IBMWR group and will be there this same weekend, at the Holiday Swiss. So if there's some overflow from the OTHER swiss motel, I just made reservations at the holiday swiss for $59/night so some are still available there, 888 582-2220, you need to mention IBMWR for those rates.

If anyones doing some dualsport, in the area I may be up for that.
Make sure you wave as you drive by!

Best,
 

pacman

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Jon The Buddha said:
Wow... I am really starting to wonder if I am ready for this!

My riding experience is strictly commuting. I bet I have never gone more than 30 miles without reaching my destination. This will also be my first group-type ride. :oops:

I bought my current bike so I could start doing some touring, but I have yet to do one. I have no qualms about my ride up to Eureka Springs, but now that I see the distances that will be covered each day we are there, I wonder if this is a little much for my level. I also envisioned this to be a much smaller gathering, giving me a better chance to get good advice and mentoring from those I would be riding with.

Someone tell me it will be OK! I was/am REALLY looking forward to this trip to gain some valuable experience, but the number of people and distances involved are making me question if this is a good idea at the moment. Some advice from experienced riders would be appreciated! PM if you would rather.

P.S....
Don't worry Pacman...I'm not trying to abandon you just yet! ;-)
My guess is that the ride leaders will split the group into several smaller groups based on experience/skill level, with an experienced leader for each group. Each group will also have a sweep rider to make sure no one gets separated. Read Scotts posts regarding ride rules and protocols and it should make feel a little more comfortable.
Above all, don't feel like you have to ride a certain pace just because the group is. Ride YOUR pace and enjoy the ride. The sweeper will always be behind you to keep the group together. Also, the leaders will always wait at course changes to make sure everyone knows where to turn.
Now whether your butt can handle the seat time is a question only you can answer. I highly recommend biker (bicycle) shorts with gel padding in the crotch and butt, and/or a gel pad for your seat. Some folks swear by the wooden bead seat covers. I'm not sure how those could possibly be comfortable, but supossedly they are. Lotsa folks replace the seats with Corbin seats or some other aftermarket brand. I personally hate Corbin. They hurt me worse than stock seats, and their customer service sucks. I have yet to try a Seargent, but I hear they are VERY comfortable. Wish I could afford one before this ride.
Hopefully this makes you feel a little better.
 

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Jon, you will be fine.

:tab Remember, don't worry about keeping up. The group should wait for you at every turn! If they don't, firmly remind them that they should ;-)

:tab Slow in, fast out!! That will save your bacon. If you are unsure about corner speed, ALWAYS err on the side of too slow. Once you can see through the corners, THEN accelerate out. Doing this one thing will make a tremendous difference in your comfort level. Do some googling on Delayed Apexing. That is another invaluable technique, one I use ALL the time.

:tab The curves there are much better than what we have here. Remember that where you are looking is crucial. ALWAYS keep your head and eyes up, looking ahead through the corners.

:tab If you are in a corner and feel like you are going to fast, DO NOT STAND UP THE BIKE! DO NOT CHOP THE THROTTLE! Just start chanting, out loud if you like, "Look, lean believe!" Stay ON the gas, at least holding it constant, and lean into the corner. 99% of the time, the bike WILL be able to make the corner.

:tab If you feel tense, flap your elbows like you are doing the Funky Chicken and take some long deep breaths. This will really help you relax. You want to have a light grip on the bars, not a death grip.

:tab On past rides, I had someone else lead the fast guys and I stayed back to lead the slower and less experienced riders. Over the course of a 400 mile day, we arrived back at the hotel about an hour after they did, and that only because we jusssst missed the ferry on Hwy 125 and had to wait about 40 minutes for it to come back for us.

:tab Riding in Arkansas is all about rythm. Don't slam on the brakes going into corners and then blast out like a missle. Smooth is the name of the game. Get yourself a comfortable pace and go with it. If you find your heart beat creeping up or your adrenaline pumping, SLOW DOWN! If you have any "scare" moments, SLOW DOWN! I cannot stress this enough.

:tab As for the distance thing, you will be sore. If you are not used to riding 300-400 miles a day, by the end of the day your concentration will begin to drop off. Your muscles will be tired. It really helps to do some stretching. Whenever the group stops, spend just a minute or two stretching and walking around. Be sure to stay hydrated as well, not just with water, but something like Gatorade. This makes a BIG difference towards the end of the day. It does not matter if it is not hot out either. A camel-bak is good because it lets you drink small amounts frequently as opposed to large amounts all at once. Chugging large amounts at a stop does not good because your body cannot absorb it all. I think the average person can take in about 8 oz every 15-20 minutes. Drink more than that and it just passes through the system and makes you have to whiz a lot. Lastly, I would take 800mg of Ibuprofen with dinner the night BEFORE the first day of riding, and again at breakfast the day of the ride. Then at lunch and dinner, and the remaining days of riding, I would take a normal dose (400mg). This really helps with the sore joints and stiffness.

:tab For you guys that are the ride leaders. As the day wears on, people will be getting tired and their concentration will fall off. I see this on every ride. People will start making stupid mistakes. You need to drop the pace down accordingly. Even a drop of about 5mph can make a big difference. Watch for this!
 

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I rode in Arkansas when I had only 6 months of riding under my belt. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. Scott was VERY patient with me and it was basically a 3-day riding lesson with him.

The roads up there helped me become more relaxed on my bike and I started to feel like I was "in the groove". Just go into it as a learning experience and you'll be fine. The group that's going is a great one.

I need to get back up there with my Strom. I know it would be advantageous for me, it's just tough to work out the logistics.
 
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Tourmeister said:
As for the distance thing, you will be sore. If you are not used to riding 300-400 miles a day, by the end of the day your concentration will begin to drop off. Your muscles will be tired. It really helps to do some stretching. Whenever the group stops, spend just a minute or two stretching and walking around. Be sure to stay hydrated as well, not just with water, but something like Gatorade. This makes a BIG difference towards the end of the day. It does not matter if it is not hot out either. A camel-bak is good because it lets you drink small amounts frequently as opposed to large amounts all at once. Chugging large amounts at a stop does not good because your body cannot absorb it all. I think the average person can take in about 8 oz every 15-20 minutes. Drink more than that and it just passes through the system and makes you have to whiz a lot. Lastly, I would take 800mg of Ibuprofen with dinner the night BEFORE the first day of riding, and again at breakfast the day of the ride. Then at lunch and dinner, and the remaining days of riding, I would take a normal dose (400mg). This really helps with the sore joints and stiffness.

Thanks TM...that's the stuff I was talking about.

I wasn't really worried about my riding ablity, just my endurance and my inexperience with group riding. This ain't my first bike, but it is a new bike and my first "dual-sport". I don't want to get in over my head and do something stupid due to being saddle-worn.

Thanks for all the encourgement...I'll be there! Besides, I got about $800 worth of Givi goodies due off the UPS truck tomorrow (FARKLE!!). Doesn't that stuff automatically make you a better rider?? :trust: :trust:

Thanks also to Pac and Squeaky!
 

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I also brought some Icy Hot patches with me - needed them on my calves after the first day to keep from cramping up.
 

pacman

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Jon The Buddha said:
Thanks TM...that's the stuff I was talking about.

I wasn't really worried about my riding ablity, just my endurance and my inexperience with group riding. This ain't my first bike, but it is a new bike and my first "dual-sport". I don't want to get in over my head and do something stupid due to being saddle-worn.

Thanks for all the encourgement...I'll be there! Besides, I got about $800 worth of Givi goodies due off the UPS truck tomorrow (FARKLE!!). Doesn't that stuff automatically make you a better rider?? :trust: :trust:

Thanks also to Pac and Squeaky!
No problem, dude. Sorry if it sounded like I was talking down to you. I think I misunderstood main gist of you post. Looking forward to the journey!:rider::rider:

Now who can tell me how to safetly strap a case of Shiner Bock to the back of ZRX? I have a promise to Jon to keep.:lol2:
 
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pacman1 said:
No problem, dude. Sorry if it sounded like I was talking down to you. I think I misunderstood main gist of you post. Looking forward to the journey!:rider::rider:

Now who can tell me how to safetly strap a case of Shiner Bock to the back of ZRX? I have a promise to Jon to keep.:lol2:

Nah man, I in no way thought you were talking down to me!

You are right, though in that I do need to remember to ride my own ride. I don't think I would push the limits on purpose, but I imagine in the excitement of the ride and watching everybody else it could probably happen without realizing it.

Just remember...as my roomie, YOU are responsible for my actions! :thumb: (speaking of which... I better get busy coming up with an answer to your second question :party: )
 
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Everybody -

There's not a lot more to be said that TM didn't cover but:

The ride leaders (who have yet to positively identify themselves - which I'm thinking is gonna make me one) WILL keep their group together.

If it's just kocook (hey kent - did you notice thermalser volunteered you?) and myself as leaders (we both have sweepers), Kent will take the High Tolerance group, I will take the Reasonable - Medium Tolerance group.

One may notice that this situation still leaves two large groups. Or one medium large, and one medium small, or, well you get the picture. The point is, smaller groups more readily lend themselves to greater tolerance disparity, as there is less separation between the leader and the sweeper. So if you have 5 or 6 people you definitely want to ride with, there's your group. Thanks for being a ride leader.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no "fast" and "slow" groups. Everybody's ability is equal. It is only risk tolerance that differs. Therefore, there is NO SHAME in assigning oneself to the Reasonable Tolerance group. If a person is being held up, or "pushing", or passing the leader in the Reasonable Tolerance group, they will be immediately demoted to the High Tolerance group. BUT: DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF to be "pushed" by the person behind you. It is THEIR responsibility to pass when it is safe, or sit back there and like it. It is YOUR responsibility to ride within your abilities, and the double yellow line. If you go over the double yellow - YOU ARE OVER YOUR HEAD! Back it off. To nick it is one thing. To blow it, repeatedly, is another. (okay, got a little preachy there. sorry.)

There are always portions/ persons within groups that have higher or lower tolerances. Groups tend to filter out/ organize according to tolerance level. Tolerance levels can shift too - day to day, road to road, mile to mile. If you feel your tolerance decreasing, let folks pass till you're feeling brave again.

As for the mileage - It can be a long day, particularly if you're not used to it. You can, of course, cut the ride short, but be absolutely sure that the ride leader knows you are doing so. A lot of the time though, the most direct route back is the one we'll be on.

A Word Of Caution:

- Like TM said - the roads we will be on are NOT like TX. They will make you a better rider, and instill confidence in your abilities and machine. A great first day can make you feel like a hero. BUT: That confidence can be disastrous when starting all over on the second day - your rhythm isnt all together yet, you're still sleepy... but feeling great. Cold Tires + out of rhythm + overconfidence = OUCH. If you don't believe me, I'll tell you about the Matt shaped hole in the California desert.

- In slow, out fast. In fast, out backwards.

Better route descriptions are in work. PS - anybody is welcome to run their own routes with the group of their choice at any pace. The group I lead, if I have to, will be as described, most likely on the routes shown herein.
 
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Just a little FYI, hope ya'll don't mind.:patriot:

I was in AR and MO two weeks ago and road MO 86 between MO 13 and US 65....IMO 311 from Blue Eye to Denver Road is a better route. When you get to Denver road take it over to 65. There are some VERY nice paved county roads in that area. They even have center strips on the county roads I road. 311 is nice.:sun:

A must road for the spirited type is 341 (Arkansas Gap ) between Big Flat and Salesville. There are very few driveways/cars on the southern part and it even has about a two foot shoulder on it. :dude:

123 is also a fav but there tends to be a bit of gravel in some turns. Be careful.:flip: Oh and that one lane bridge is cool too.:thumb:

Don't miss 74. :hail:
 

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Jon The Buddha said:
Thanks for all the encourgement...I'll be there! Besides, I got about $800 worth of Givi goodies due off the UPS truck tomorrow (FARKLE!!). Doesn't that stuff automatically make you a better rider?? :trust: :trust:!
If not, I can attest that it makes for a good frame slider :-P :wary:
 
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The 123 bridge is fixed, as of a month and a half ago.
Oh by the way Scott I now like that road on the FZ1.
It was the upright bar position that made the difference.
 

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I found the upright position on my GS made for easier riding in the twisty stuff. The wider bars helped as well because it made steering effort almost nothing.

Matt, we need to chat about your routes :trust:
 

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STrider said:
The ride leaders (who have yet to positively identify themselves - which I'm thinking is gonna make me one) WILL keep their group together.

If it's just kocook (hey kent - did you notice thermalser volunteered you?) and myself as leaders (we both have sweepers), Kent will take the High Tolerance group, I will take the Reasonable - Medium Tolerance group.
Matt, I'll volunteer to lead the "Reasonable" group for you. That should force me to pay attention, ride sanely and avoid a repeat of last year's little mishap. :doh: ;-)

<hi-jack warning>

I'm posting from a funky little pizzaria in Escalante, Utah right now. mhutch and I are waiting for a thunderstorm to pass so we can continue on to Cedar City. Tomorrow we hit Vegas where we'll swing by the local Triumph dealer to pick up some rear brake pads for my bike. Honest! That's ALL we're gonna do there! :trust: After that, we're turning east to take in some of the sights and roads in Arizona, New Mexico, etc.

Pictures and a report to come after we return next weekend...

<hi-jack off>
 
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Let me see if I can get this to work right.... Here is a more detailed map of Matt's Ark route. I've got it plugged into Mapsource right now. As soon as I get the other route loaded then it will be easy to share the file with anyone that would like it.



Alright, here is the MO route that he planned out.
 
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STrider said:
If it's just kocook (hey kent - did you notice thermalser volunteered you?) and myself as leaders (we both have sweepers), Kent will take the High Tolerance group, I will take the Reasonable - Medium Tolerance group.
I think Therm volunteered hisself, too. How did it just become me? :eek2:

Looks like you just picked up Scratch for the other group, assuming he ever gets back. As fine as that area of the country is, he may just stay out there--especially if he meets some of the local ladies. :trust:

If he decides to go for the northern coast, that's it; we will never see him again. :zen: :rider:
 

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So who is going to be on a DS style bike?

Also, everyone should make sure their tires are not about done. 500-600 miles of Arkansas and Missouri will use a LOT of your tire. If you are riding there and back, this is even more true. If they are even remotely questionable, I HIGHLY recommend you spoon on a new set. On the last trip out there, we had several people whose tires were completely shot midway through the second day of riding!!
 

pacman

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Alrighty DFW folks, lets get this together. I was going to ride up with Eulogite, but he's not leaving till 1:45 or so. I want to get up there before dark, and I'd rather not ride alone. So let's get a group together, or at least a pair! Who's with me?:rider:
 

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DFW_Warrior said:
We are riding out on Thrusday morning. Come along and ride with us. It will give you an extra day of riding.
When and where? Just let me know and I'll be there.
 

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pacman1 said:
When and where? Just let me know and I'll be there.
Duh:doh: I just noticed you said THURSDAY morning. No can do.:-| Oh well, who else is headed up on Friday morning??
 
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I have the routes in .gdb and .mps files (Thanks DFW_Warrior!!). What I lack is a program to open them. Somebody that has the technology to post/ host these files send me a PM with your e-mail address.

I'm working on a plan to have the different groups meet 1/2 way through the each days rides. Does anybody that's scoped out the routes know of a good place along the way?
 
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Matt, are you planning on having the groups ride different rides each day? For example Group A will ride the AR route on Saturday and Group B will ride the MO route, then switch the following day? Or will we all be riding the same route on the same day (my favorite choice:trust: )? Knowing that info, we might be able to pick a better meeting spot.
 
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DFW_Warrior said:
Matt, are you planning on having the groups ride different rides each day? For example Group A will ride the AR route on Saturday and Group B will ride the MO route, then switch the following day? Or will we all be riding the same route on the same day (my favorite choice:trust: )? Knowing that info, we might be able to pick a better meeting spot.
I'd considered both, but I'm thinking I like the same roads, same day plan better. We could pick a spot, or a time, say wherever the first group finds at close to noon, park somewhere the following groups will see you from the road, and that's the spot. -

FWIW - nobody is locked into riding any prescribed route any day. Anybody can run shorter, longer, or entirely different routes if they want. I'm working on incorporating some suggestions into the existing routes (and/or new routes) without coming up with 500 mile or more days, but if there is something anybody is dying to do that is not on the routes, go for it.
 

Squeaky

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Have you folks already figured out lunch stops? We were up there and our pre-determined lunch restaurant was closed that day. Might want to call ahead and verify hours.
 
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Just got back from there - Shoneys in Harrison has a great breakfust buffet. We just loaded up there and skipped lunch. Pack a powerbar if needed.

Other than the Shoneys, 62 is a road to avoid. Not much interesting, and a lot of traffic. On the AR route I saw posted, I'll just say that AR123 south off of 65 is more challenging (IMO) than the same route in the opposite direction. I thought it would be the opposite (did north the first day), but found the uphill switchbacks harder to look ahead into, since you have to really look *up*. I'll post some maps of the routes we took a bit later, after cleaning the tent (woke up to exciting thunderstorms yesterday about 4:30 AM).

(Can't seem to come up with a map format in PDF, PNG, or JPG that fits this board's size restrictions, and still have a legible map. PM if you want me to send it, or read the ride report on st-owners.com.)
 
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I checked the Vulcan Rider's site. They have over 100 coming, but I doubt they will be in our way outside the city limits. They have a poker run 9-12 Saturday in and around ES and another ride leaving at noon. We'll be long gone.
 

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Hey DFW guys, looks like I will be leaving Burleson around 7 or 8am Friday morning with shaft drive six. We may try to meet up with st1100 in Dallas. Where's a good place to meet you, st1100? Anyone else in the area want to join in?
 
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Possible Revised MO Route

Tourmeister even found a lunch spot for us. Can somebody plug this into their mapping/ routing program? If its a real long day, we'll make this the Sunday ride, with Saturday shorter, to make sure we're back in time for dinner.

My head is swimming with the logistics of this trip. Thanks all for your continued patience.
 
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IF you manage to get people at the Bavarian by 7:00pm, you will be doing better than I ever have ;-) We do good to make it back to the hotel by 7:00pm. Part of the reason for the not so great service last time was that we got there real close to closing time with a large party ;-)
 

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:tab Shirts should be shipping in the next day or so. Hopefully, this means they will arrive in time for you to have them for the trip.

:tab Regarding all the route suggestions, I would endeavor to keep the total route distance right around 350 miles. I know that to some people, this seems ridiculously short, and were I riding with a handful of other people, I would agree :trust: However, my experience from running tours, rallies, and other group rides is that once you start getting up around 8-10 riders in a pack, it is hard to do much more than that in a day and still get back to the hotel in time for dinner. For example, on the Colorado rides I do, each day's route is around 300-350 miles, and much of that is fairly high speed stuff. We would leave at 9:00am and be back at the hotel by 6-7:00pm. My experience in twisty stuff like Northern Arkansas, you can expect a total average speed for the day, including stops, to be right around 40-45mph. So figure 350 miles and you are looking at 7+ hours minimum. If lunch takes very long, which it usually does with a bigger group, and with gas stops taking longer, you can add another hour or so to that. If you try to plan for much more than 350 miles, you will really have to push to get the group through it. Towards the end of the day, fatigue will really become an issue as most of the riders will not be used to long distance and high concentration riding. Also, it just does not leave much time for the unexpected should that need arise :wary:

:tab Of course, that is all for routes with a big group. If there are folks that want to get up at the freaking crack of dawn and ride till dark, no doubt they could crank out 450+ miles ;-) As this is a rally, that is always an option for anyone willing to do it.

:tab For myself, I make no promises to stay on paved surfaces... :mrgreen: Of course, hopefully I won't be leaving said surfaces unintentionally :wary:
 
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