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Old 10-01-2019, 03:57 PM   #1
2strokeYardSale
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Moab Fall 2019

I will post some pics during the week I'm here, from my crappy laptop that was only supposed to be for electronic engine management. Videos from my 4K helmet camera will come later after I edit them on my badass computer.

Day 1: Sovereign trail system

Things started out weird with us not even staging and starting together. Michael (YZ250), Drew (Husky 300), Regis (WR450F), and I (YZ250) headed out on Sovereign singletrack.



We took shelter from the wind and sun behind these rocks and had a snack. The wind was fierce but it kept the dust away.



Chris (KTM 300) and Rob (Beta 300) joined us then everybody but Drew and I headed up the double red diamond switchbacks of Salt Wash trail.



We re-joined for Sovereign singletrack going uphill between the tight boulders and it was epic. Whoever was in front found this bit of trail with a nasty obstacle. I didn't commit and failed.





Things seemed to go very quickly compared to last year and the previous ride on Sovereign. Partly because we had the magic number of six riders and partly because we were more familiar with the trails and obstacles. Also, due to changing conditions, some of the previously harder obstacles were laughingly easy. ("Daniel did a Walk of Shame up this?!")
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:04 PM   #2
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Day 2: Poison Spider, Where Eagles Dare, Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Gemini Bridges Rd, and some hinky shit I don't want my probation officer to catch wind of

This is the Poison Spider staging area.



Rob crashed hard not 50 yards from leaving here on mostly flat, easy road. His rear wheel shot sideways then he was body-slammed the other direction. It looked bad. He didn't have the decency to wait for me to turn on my camera.

Drew took the day off so it was just five of us.







There's no such thing as a trail without a view here.








Rob cresting Where Eagles Dare.

I'm not sure if it was Golden Spike or Gold Bar Rim but I took a line that was not ideal up a ledge, the bike stopped, and I fell off into one of the few trees in the area. My engine screamed with the bike upside-down until I pressed the kill switch. Then I sat and took inventory because I was hurt.

Michael came over and picked up my bike. I think he tried to ride it away because a 4 wheeler was coming or something. He started it with its stuck throttle, the rear wheel shot out from under him, and then he was hurt.

I had fallen onto a 4" broken branch of a pinion pine or juniper and it got me on the side gap between my armor, and my bicep below the armor. I may have also fallen back onto the rock. I had trouble breathing and I thought my ribs were bruised. Meanwhile, I supposed the tree snagged my throttle cable and stretched it.

Chris helped me troubleshoot and attempt to fix the cable while Rob and Michael supervised.



Regis was the hero by snipping away spiral cable sheath, giving more slack.



I had a running bike, and a semi-functional body, so we were back on the trail.



We encountered the Golden Crack obstacle of the Golden Spike trail, which was much more imposing in person. In theory it was easy, just get the front wheel up and you are golden. I watched everybody do it, bottoming hard when the rear followed. When I did it, I took hard impacts in my wrist and foot. No bueno.

Gold Bar Rim was the hardest trail I have done to date, maybe or maybe not due to injuries. Gold Bar Waterfall was serious ledge taller than my bike. I took the wrong line and didn't commit and thus failed, but made it on my second attempt.

Due to time spent repairing someone's damaged motorcycle, Michael and others were not keen on backtracking the out-and-back trail. Michael's plan was to ride out Gemini Bridges road to the highway, parallel it as much as possible, and ride highway 191 to 279, back to the staging area. I did not like our chances of encountering law enforcement. The plan was to point to the wounded old guy and plead for medical care in lieu of citations.

I can say for sure we absolutely did not ride on the paved bicycle-only path. And we turned around after the Bar M trail became signed for no motor vehicles. But there is some interesting single track near there. And a lower-geared YZ250 sucks on the road.
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:28 PM   #3
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Day 3: 5 Miles of Nope, Top of the World

I brought my trials bike to ride 5 Miles of Hell and today was the day. But I was discouraged from riding it due to my injuries. Rob, Regis, and Michael rode 5MOH while Chris and Drew rode White Rim road. That left me to my own devices. Slickrock and Hells Revenge? Nah. I decided on a trail I had never done, Top of the World.

I drove all the way out to Dewey Bridge.





Just loading and unloading my bike was painful so I was already glad not to be on 5MOH.

There was a long dirt road to the trail, which immediately reminded me of Porcupine Rim and Steelbender. Then it got hard! WTF? I thought this was an easy trail. There was one set of obstacles that made it harder than Porcupine.

The view at the top was incredible.
















youtu.be/yUMAmI5YcBQ
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:22 PM   #4
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:53 PM   #5
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Day 4: Slickrock, Hells Revenge

Another split group and a late start. The YZ250 crew loaded up, but one with a mountain bike and one with a trials bike, and we all split up.

I did Slickrock on my trials bike and I did not like it.



While on Slickrock I did some of the obstacles from Hells Revenge, which were no problem for the trials bike.

I did Hells Revenge and enjoyed it more than Slickrock, even with the ill-suited trials bike.



I went up Hells Gate, with only a little trouble. That was after astupid, major over-the-bars crash at the downhill entrance.

I psyched myself up for Mickey's Hot tub, with its incredible tall and steep exit, but while taking a picture Michael called me back to the truck. I didn't want to try it alone so I left without doing it.



On the way out I had to make another attempt at The Escalator, where I failed miserably last year. This time I again let the rear wheel drop into a hole. The hole was dry, I didn't stall the bike, and I resumed my climb. Not pretty but I made it.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:17 PM   #6
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Day 5: White Wash Sand Dunes, Tenmile wash area

We all loaded into two trucks and made the drive out to the White Wash Sand Dune recreation area.





We fooled around on the small dunes for a little while. The sand was soft and deep and was unforgiving of poor sand skills.

I followed Chris up a slickrock hill but didn't see him exit, then found myself off-camber with no easy way out.



Michael generously offered to ride it down while I only wanted to get it pointed back uphill so I could ride it back from where I came. In the end, Michael adjusted his goggles and tossed my bike down the sandstone hill. Problem solved.

The area had slickrock, canyons, and typical desert trails.





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Old 10-04-2019, 03:31 AM   #7
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Great stuff! Wish I was there.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:37 PM   #8
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Looks like a great time!
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Old 10-04-2019, 06:44 PM   #9
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Day 6: Metal Masher, Gemini Bridges

This was a casual day, staging near highway 191, riding Metal Masher, and finishing at Gemini Bridges.











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Old 10-05-2019, 08:34 AM   #10
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Nice write up!
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:14 PM   #11
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Hope you are healed up and feeling better.

That is some remarkable terrain. Always fun to check out even if it is just here. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:40 PM   #12
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Sally stories..... how did Michael get Sally and who else owned it over the trip?
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:16 AM   #13
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I thought I had a lock on Sally for being a total pussy at White Wash/Tenmile. But then Michael came in and snatched Sally from my grasp by launching his bike off a sand dune into the back of Regis' head. You can't deny that level of commitment to Sally.

There was arguing and bantering over Sally but no official hand-over. I think I earned it for getting hurt and delaying the group on day 2 but never was voted or presented Sally.

I think Chris had Sally mid-week for reasons I don't recall. (Breaking his headlight by kicking it?) Drew repeatedly tried to earn Sally by taking bad lines, walking his bike, and getting his bike stuck. Regis tried to earn it by never stopping at trail intersections and leaving in random directions.

Everybody looked more skilled than last year, Rob and Chris in particular. I felt my trials riding helped my balance and ledge-climbing, mostly.

The Shinko 505 rear was stellar, the Rekluse was great, and the YZ250 was great except when it wasn't. It's really too much bike for the rock crawling trails where you're just growling along at the bottom of 2nd gear, compressing the suspension to get over ledges. I would like to lose 30-40 pounds, keep the low end grunt, and give up the "fuck you" power I never use except in the sand and hills.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:36 AM   #14
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I thought I had a lock on Sally for being a total pussy at White Wash/Tenmile. But then Michael came in and snatched Sally from my grasp by launching his bike off a sand dune into the back of Regis' head. You can't deny that level of commitment to Sally.

There was arguing and bantering over Sally but no official hand-over. I think I earned it for getting hurt and delaying the group on day 2 but never was voted or presented Sally.

I think Chris had Sally mid-week for reasons I don't recall. (Breaking his headlight by kicking it?) Drew repeatedly tried to earn Sally by taking bad lines, walking his bike, and getting his bike stuck. Regis tried to earn it by never stopping at trail intersections and leaving in random directions.

Everybody looked more skilled than last year, Rob and Chris in particular. I felt my trials riding helped my balance and ledge-climbing, mostly.

The Shinko 505 rear was stellar, the Rekluse was great, and the YZ250 was great except when it wasn't. It's really too much bike for the rock crawling trails where you're just growling along at the bottom of 2nd gear, compressing the suspension to get over ledges. I would like to lose 30-40 pounds, keep the low end grunt, and give up the "fuck you" power I never use except in the sand and hills.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:41 AM   #15
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Sweet write up! Thanks for taking us along.
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