LA-Barstow-Vegas: Anybody Going?
Posted October 14, 2000 - 03:44 PM
I'm looking for folks to ride with since my usual partner in crime is not going to be able to make it this year. Let me know.
Posted November 20, 2000 - 08:02 PM
I'll post a ride report next week.
Posted November 22, 2000 - 03:27 PM
Posted December 02, 2000 - 06:36 PM
Well, I only made the first day (Newhall to Barstow) of ride. The flu I had been fighting off for about a week finally caught up to me late Friday night/Saturday morning while in Barstow. I was feeling so weak and worthless with the shakes, fever, coughing, hacking and spitting Saturday morning I elected to not ride the second day. I was bummed!
The first half of day one was a lot fun. This was my first really long ride on my WR since I’ve owned it. 260 miles which includes the ride from my house down to Dick Allen’s Friday morning. I got a late start and didn’t get out on the trail until around 7:45. There were only 2 hard/easy splits during the day and they were both in the Saugus foothills. I was met by quite a bit of oncoming traffic along the first hard section. A lot of folks decided to turn around due to one long hill climb that had a lot of ruts and the trail littered with a lot of downed motorcycles. It was probably the most technical section of the entire ride. My bike started “making coffee” (coolant boiling into the catch tank) while sitting there idling for a few minutes waiting for the trail to get clear. This was after a pretty long stretch of low speed, uphill riding. I shut the engine off to let it cool down for a couple minutes before the trail opened up enough for me to make a run. I had no problem picking the line I wanted and motoring up the trail even after a stalled it in the middle of the hill. Totally my fault, I just didn’t grab the clutch in time and should have plunked it down into first before I got to that section anyway. No problem, the bike cranked right up on the first kick, I wiggled it down into one of the many ruts and gassed it. The WR chugged up the fairly steep incline effortlessly even with the taller 14/47 gearing I was running. I continue to be very impressed with how tractable this motor is along with the predictable and precise handling.
The route took us out near Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth then out across the Antelope Valley. There were some great 85+ mph sections along this very flat long stretch of dirt road. The high speed fun ended when I came up on a Sheriff’s car, fire truck and ambulance. A girl in the ride lost control and high-sided through a short section of deep sand and whacked her head pretty hard. Someone told me she had sustained some pretty serious head injuries. A helicopter had already taker her away by the time I got there. I haven’t heard how she is doing.
The route picked up along the LA aquaduct and headed out north of Mojave and into Cal City for gas and lunch. The trail then headed us out along the Mojave (dirt) road through the towns of Red Mountain, Randsberg and Johannesburg. The ride then paralleled the “Golden Valley and the Black Mountain Wilderness Areas” which are “Tortoise zones” and the speed was limited by the ride organizers to 30 mph. We were randomly monitored by both BLM officers and some environmental group’s Gestapo to make sure we were observing the 30 mph speed limit. Everyone did a pretty good job abiding by the environmentalist’s blackmail tactic as far as I could tell in maintaining the low speed for fear of losing this dual sport privilege next year. It’s almost not worth it though. 30mph over a 40-50 mile section of dirt road is not a whole heck of a lot of fun.
I got into Barstow about 4:10. The WR ran great all day. I really liked the FMF PB header, Stroker SX1 combination. I also ran the quite tip to cut down on the noise. I did not need to wear earplugs with this setup. In fact, the wind noise pretty much drowned out the exhaust note above 45-50 mph. I am also very glad I installed the Factory FX softer seat foam. No monkey butt after riding all day! I ran a gripper seat cover for the first time and liked it pretty well too.
Two other things I tried for the first time were a CycoActive Bar Pack that kept my maps and money within easy reach. I was a little skeptical of the installation since it just clips to the bars and lays on the gas tank, but I never had a problem with it being in the way all day. I also installed a large display (1”x1.5”) $3.00 LCD clock I picked up at an auto parts store. I used a little piece of sheet aluminum and some Velcro to secure it right off the handlebar clamp. It was nice not having to guess what time it was or having to stop to check my watch.
The only problem I had all day was the rubber light bulb socket vibrating loose from my Acerbis hand guards with the integral turn signals. This will be easily fixed with a couple of zip ties. That’s it!
The second day’s route took everyone near the Calico ghost town staying near I-15 up to Baker. It then headed north to the Dumont sand dunes, through the Tecopa pass with a lunch stop at the CA/NV border near someplace called Sandy, NV. The trail then headed north through Red Rock Canyon like it did last year then east finishing up at the San Remo casino right off the Vegas strip. I was disappointed I missed out on the second day, but I think I have ridden most of these trails/roads during the last two years riding this event.
Overall its still a good ride, but the environmental special interest folks have taken a lot of route options away from us and all the 30 mph tortoise zones suck. What’s really stupid about this is the tortoises are hibernating deep underground during this time of year and they know better than to come out because they’ll freeze to death. I don’t think this ride will be around for very many more years the way the anti-OHV litigation has been going. If you do get the chance, I would recommend you ride this event at least once.
Hope your son's arm is doing better. I'm sure we'll hook up on some other ride soon.
Posted December 03, 2000 - 10:27 PM