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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got a week off of work (mandatory vacation) so we decided to pack up the Africa Twin and head out to a BDR ride. My first thought was to go to Idaho since I’ve read it’s the least technical BDR however northern Idaho is on fire and they have closed all the off-road trails. Utah won the lottery. This trip was planned out as a ‘nice’ version of the BDR. We didn’t plan on camping and not doing Lockhart Basin or any of the other more technical/expert routes (so I thought)

Troy , Mike, and Mike’s wife Jackie (in a chase truck) joined Grace and I for the first part of the ride.

On to the ride...

We met up early on Friday 9/3 for the long ride to Flagstaff, AZ which was our launching point. After burning a hole in my tail bag, Troy losing his hat… and glasses on the fwy, Mike was probably thinking he picked the wrong people to ride with. Then there’s the cheap-azz hotel I picked which was easily overlooked (well, by me anyway) by a fabulous dinner that Jackie picked out for us at Cornish Pasty Co (Pasty.. not Pasties).

recognize this view? Hint: "Life is like a box of Chocolates"
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We headed up to Mexican Hat Saturday morning and hit “the Valley of the Gods”. Although Grace and I had done the loop before and going to skip it, we decided to ride with them. Kinda the reason we invited them to go with us. This was the first time I’ve had the AT with Grace, loaded up, and in the dirt. It proved the suspension was still waaaay too soft. Adjustments after the loop made a sizable difference and was decent for the rest of the trip.

First oopsy of the trip. Bottom of my bag melted.. from the inside. I think the one of the drone batteries decided to commit suicide.
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Green River wasn't so green.
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In 6 days of riding, 2383 miles, this was the only 'water crossing' we encountered. woo-hoo.
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Although we didn't see any gods, there were some great views. Mostly, I was enjoying my AT and testing its 'dirt worthiness'
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Mike and his cool katoom 890
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After the loop, we headed back to Mexican Hat to Troy’s favorite restaurant for some home-made Mexican bread. It was closed. Sorry Troy. We split up there. Troy, Mike, and Jackie headed west for Escalante. Grace and I headed up to Monticello via hwy, skipping this little loop. It was late and we were tired. Route modification 1 of.. well, many.

Jackie ready for some off-road bashing
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Monticello was a nice place to stay the night. Sunday morning took us on a very nice, twisty paved road through the hills with a little dirt section. The BDR route through La Sal mnts leads to Geyser pass however Geyser pass is closed. I had a planned route through however when we got up to the closure point, my tracks were closed also. Back down the hill we went and just took the hwy into Moab instead of BDR’s suggest dirt track alternate (I did say “Salad Bar” style). After a bigazz lunch in Moab, we decided to skip the little dirt loop out of Moab and went straight to Hwy 128. What a great hwy along the Colorado River. Glad we didn’t miss any of it. Because it was getting late in the day, we stayed on hwy 128 to Green River where we were staying the night. It was pretty “flat land” looking dirt trail anyway. Even the hwy ride to Green River was pretty mundane after the river section.

First technical dirt we hit... on 700 lbs of Moto/gear/wifey. Meh.. we got this..
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Why am I off the trail? Well, lets just leave it at "saved it"
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La Sal loop which was closed at Geyser. Ya, like we wanted to miss this stuff.
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My "alt" route. I mean, who doesn't single track an AT w/ the wife? Unfortunately, it didn't go far enough to get around the workers clearing
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...ask us how we know. oops
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and they did a fine job of turning the soil. Ya, real fluff w/ a bunch 'o rocks thrown in for real fun.
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(Grace actually dismounted for about 30 feet of this until it went around the corner. The only time in this trip she did. It was crap)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Out of Moab and along the Colorado River road. Spectacular.
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The ride Monday out of Green River, to Wellington was pretty fun. Roads were pretty decent but it started getting quite warm out. The track out of Wellington was paved for a while then turned to gravel. We don’t have a problem with gravel, even though it was pretty thick in many places, but the road was super ‘washboard” all the way to Fruitland where our BnB was for the evening. Great little ‘airBnB’ there called “the Lost Horse Ranch”. Ed and his wife Nenoska were great hosts and we had a blast telling lies all night.

We took a couple hours off of riding for a rest at lake Starvation. wtf? ya, that's the name.
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Our little chateau for the night
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Our BnB hosts Ed and Nenoska (knee-nose-sh ka)
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Nenoska and Grace having a great time dancing together.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tuesday was off to Evanston. We accidentally took the expert section and soon were battling a steep, rocky climb up the hill. Gee, that was fun. We got to the ‘road closed’ gate and there was no work around. Back down the shitstorm of hill and rocks to the road and cut around the section. After all that fun, I looked at the tracks and saw that where I messed up.

Evanston (Tuesday) was a nice little area but you sure can tell when you leave UT and enter WY. The land became flat and no trees in sight. There were cattle ranches EVERYWHERE.

ah.. is this the "nice" ride?
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oh the joy
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it was only about 3 miles of this. Then we got to turn around and do it all again back out. Ya, the joy.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Evanston to the end of the UTBDR has a dirt section but we were a bit worked from the expert section day before. We just took the blacktop up to Bear Lake. We grabbed some breakfast and completed the BDR route along the lake so we could start the first leg home. The day started at 35 deg and ended in St. George at 107 deg. Ya, that was brutal. Wouldn’t ya know.. we picked a perfect time for a “excessive heat warning” throughout the west. As you can see in the pictures, it got smokier as we went north. After spending the early evening in the hotel pool, we hit the sack early. We did a 4 am departure on Thursday for home to try and beat the heat. Made it back home by 10 am.. luckily avoiding ridiculous temps and freak thunderstorms.

You just can't have a bad ride when it looks like this for most of the day.
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Bitter sweet moments
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watching the sunrise on the road home
Sky Cloud Afterglow Red sky at morning Dusk


Ride specifics:

Bike:
2019 Africa Twin dct. (sure glad I got the dct model. We would have really had a tough time on the rocky hill climb expert section w/o it)

Tires: Heindenau k60 front & rear. This was the first time I’ve tried these tires. On the road they both did a great job. For the AT, the rear tread pattern is a little different in that it has a solid center band and worked great. I didn’t think it would do that well off-road however it handled the dry conditions fine. Not sure how it would do in mud, because there wasn't any on the trails we took. The front tire might have been ok IF it was just bigger. The 90/90 proved to be too small. In the sand, silt, and thick gravel the tire acted more like a knife. It was a bit of a handful. I mounted them up with tubes. I did try converting them to tubeless with the Outex tape however both tires leaked. I didn’t have time to RnR the tires again to redo it.

Mechanical issues: None. It’s a Honda for heaven's sake!

Bike naps: ZERO naps, 2383 miles. There was a few buttpucker moments, but **** if I’m going to drop that beast. I don’t want to even think about picking it back up!!!
 

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I want Utah.

The entire trip looked like some real, nice fun.

View of Monument Valley: Yeah, the film won six academy awards.
 
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